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.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

True Monotheism and Love

The first commandments in the Hebrew Scriptures state that one is to believe in one God and not to worship idols. This is remarkably clear thinking. Once one accepts the unique totality of God, encompassing all the created, it is impossible to hate, to hold to alienation God's work and being in others. However, once one inserts the idol, the image of God, the person of God as separate and separately worshiped, one can alienate anyone else from the totality of love which is God. Even the setting aside of our theological founders and teachers as idols, can distract us from the love of others in God's love.
Friends who often quote Fox, or others as precedent for their beliefs, create in Fox, as in Yeshua, a block to the directness of personal openness to God, and as such, just as the Christian is called to explain or defend the contradictions in the political history that created Jesus the idol, from Yeshua the teacher, the Quaker fundamentalist (and in this some will argue the misapplication of the term "fundamentalist" as having specific rather than general meaning - I refer to the general meaning) must find a way to explain or justify those aspects of Fox's life which are at odds with what Quakerism has become. A brilliant and loving Friend recently wrote an insightful piece to explain Fox's stand on slavery, in light of what seems to many Friends to be a political accommodation to one of the most horrific sins against that singular love of God in each other, that was human bondage.
In this statement I am caught in a dilemma that has resulted in the destruction of pacifists for thousands of years. Order, and power demand idolatry, and therefore those who say that God is greater than the image, the order and power challenge that core concept of institutional faith, that inarguable element of discourse, that God is " ______ ", rather than the pacifist statement of love that "God is".
So, here we are, a few who say that we Quakers are bound to love, to forgive, reach out to each other ... to be present to God in each other, and are often shunned and even hated for this. Oh well ... just a few more late night thoughts.


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