The January issue of +Friends Journal will include an interview with +Robin Mohr. One of the classic Quaker tracts that’s inspired her is a 1944 speech that Rufus M Jones gave to young Friends in Baltimore Yearly Meeting. We couldn’t locate a copy online so we scanned, copied and typed it in and will use it as a supplemental link to Robin’s piece. #blog
There’s a different feel since I last visited–it’s quieter and more lived-in. Less a protest and more a small town. Services are organized and there’s less people standing with signs and taking each other’s pictures.
I briefly sat in on the Quaker/Interfaith tent, where a meeting was going. I couldn’t hear much but the main issue of business was how open an interfaith speaker’s series should be. I didn’t have too much time so I quietly slipped off afterwards to take more pictures of Occupy. #blog
Emigrants from the Irish potato famine, via Wikipedia
People sometimes get pretty worked up about convincing each other of an matter of pressing importance. We think we have The Answer about The Issue and that if we just repeat ourselves loud enough and often enough the obviousness of our position will win out. It becomes our duty, in fact, to repeat it loud and often. If we happen to wear down the opposition so much that they withdraw from our companionship or fellowship, all the better, as we’ve achieved a patina of unity. Religious liberals are just as prone to this as the conservatives.
These are not the values we hold when talking about the natural world. There we talk about biodiversity. We don’t cheer when a species maladapted to the human-driven Anthropocene disappears into extinction. Just because a plant or animal from the other side of the world has no natural predators doesn’t mean our local species should be superseded.
Scientists tell us that biodiversity is not just a kind of do-unto-others value that satisfies our sense of nostalgia; having wide gene pools comes in handy when near-instant adaptation is needed in response to massive habitat stress. Monocrops are good for the annual harvest but leave us especially vulnerable when phytophthora infestans comes ashore.
It’s a good thing for different religious groups to have different values, both from us us and from one another. There are pressures in today’s culture to level all of our distinctives down so that we have no unique identity. Some cheer this monocropping of spirituality, but I’m not sure it’s healthy for human race. If our religious values are somehow truer or more valuable than those of other people, then they will eventually spread themselves–not by pushing other bodies to be like us, but by attracting the members of the other bodies to join with us.
God may have purpose in fellowships that act differently that ours. Let us not get too smug about our own inevitability that we forget to share ourselves with those with whom we differ.
It seems circles are curated only by their creator. What is some circles were publicly listed with an opt-in button for recipients (with an optional approval step by the circle creator).
Here’s the example: a lot of my photo stream is endless pictures of cute kids. Facebook friends who have friended me for other topics have to wade through that collection. Some actually like them–our friendships aren’t single issue and they appreciate glimpses of the rest of my life. But with G+ it’s my job to figure out which issue friends might want to be kid picture friends. I don’t want to put them on a list they don’t like and essentially spam them. Is there any G+ features I might use?