Plain in the city

A plain Quaker folk singer with a Juris Doctorate in his back pocket, salt in his blood, and a set of currach oars in the closet, Ulleann Pipes under his arm, guitar on his back, Anglo Irish baggage, wandering through New York City ... in constant amaze. Statement of Faithfulness. As a member of the Quaker Bloggers Ad Hoc Committee I affirm that I will be faithful to the Book of Discipline of my Meeting 15th Street Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

No Richard, I do not in these entries equate Christian Friends with nazis.

I equate nazi's with human beings. I am not the first. Hannah Arendt felt certain experiments showed that the evil that is the nazi society of murder and totalitarianism ... the evil which brought it to be is certainty and conformity.

A world without atonement is a world destined to do terrible things.

Richard and I set out to talk tonight about this, we had less then ten minutes... oh well, life intervened. Soon, I hope we will speak more about this.

All human societies, including our Society of Friends has the potential to totalitarianism and sin. I only say that in order to understand how we are called to atone, we have to understand the pain we cause each other, and that takes taking, questioning, not a world so confident that it can be dismissive of the pain of others.

I am not dismissive of the pain of Christians, who feel in this nation, they are under attack. I don't understand the feeling, as I don't see it. I see the majority of Christians committing the sin of war, of shunning, of greed... just like the rest of us. Jews do these things, Hindus do these things, Muslims do these things, all humanity does these things. We are addicted to war and hate and conflict. If we, any of us, are to be agents of peace, we have to come to the well of life and atone... and it is not a place or thing outside our hearts.

I tell each of thee, there is not a human that has done me wrong I would not forgive. There is not a human I would not travel to ask forgiveness of, or come to clearness with. I don't judge those who will not do this... I just don't understand how this can be called Quakerism. The advices are clear, the testimonies are clear... the process is clear, the place where the well of life waits is clear.

I atone for my impatience. I am sometimes wracked in pain of the damage of conflict. I long for a place where there is no conflict, not unresolved, but attended to lovingly towards resolution...

Richard and I, I think, are in such a place. We just don't seem to understand each other, but the love between us touches my heart. I know that we will keep talking, and even the loss of tonight's talk, I know our hearts are open to each other. That others don't attend to this love is a weight on my soul that sometimes I can't bear, and I atone for my weakness in that.


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