My privacy and your transparency

My pri­vacy and your trans­parency. A nice essay from Johan Mau­rer that weaves together Edward Snow­den, shaw­dowy gov­ern­ment offi­cials, protest move­ment, taxes, Chris­tian­ity… and the uses and abuses of transparency:

Daniel Web­ster asserted, and Jus­tice Mar­shall agreed, that the power to tax is the power to destroy. The power to vio­late pri­vacy is sim­i­larly coer­cive, which brings us back to the issue of trust. I want to live a trans­par­ent life, and I (usu­ally) don’t mind being observed to be doing so. But an unin­vited obser­va­tion that is ulti­mately for the pur­pose of com­pelling my obe­di­ence, or track­ing my rela­tion­ships with oth­ers, or enforc­ing polit­i­cal uni­for­mity, is com­pletely unacceptable.

Spiritual Nurture & Advancement

Spir­i­tual Nur­ture & Advance­ment. Steven Davi­son con­tin­ues is “Quaker-pocalpyse” series with a piece on nam­ing the spir­i­tual gifts of those in our meetings.

I fear, how­ever, that most of our meet­ings do not try to name our mem­bers’ spir­i­tual gifts or nur­ture them in any proac­tive way. Too often we are left to our own devices when it comes to matur­ing in the life of the spirit. As a result, the col­lec­tive life of the spirit, the spir­i­tual matu­rity of the meet­ing, suffers.

A Gathered People

A Gath­ered Peo­ple. Craig Bar­nett on com­mu­nity in the mod­ern world:

A gath­ered peo­ple is not just an asso­ci­a­tion of indi­vid­u­als who hap­pen to share over­lap­ping val­ues or inter­ests. It is formed by the rais­ing and quick­en­ing of a new spir­i­tual life and power within each person.

C. Wess Daniels and Remixing the Quaker Way

C. Wess Daniels and Remix­ing the Quaker Way. Brent Bill reviews Wess’s new book:

Here’s why I think Wess’ book bears read­ing. It’s an artic­u­late, acces­si­ble analy­sis of the cur­rent state of North Amer­i­can (pri­mar­ily) Quak­erism. He also pro­vides a cogent por­trayal of the par­tic­i­pa­tory and remix­ing nature of early Quak­erism and why it had an such an impact on cul­ture, faith, and life.

Are Quakers Capable of Planting Churches?

Are Quak­ers Capa­ble of Plant­ing Churches?. Micah Bales starts a fas­ci­nat­ing dis­cus­sion about new Quaker meetings:

Per­haps the Reli­gious Soci­ety of Friends, broadly speak­ing, sim­ply doesn’t have the body mass to lend its strength to new efforts like ours. Could it be that the only way for Friends of Jesus to come to life is through inte­gra­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion with other, more robust and mission-oriented com­mu­ni­ties, beyond the Quaker fold?

Lady Grantham would not be amused

Pentatomidae01At work today we had those lovely inter­nal head-scratching ques­tions on whether the com­mon name of the insects of the pen­tato­mi­dae fam­ily is one word (stinkbugs) or two (stink bugs). Yes, yes, some­times even Quaker thought and life today includes these horrors.

Our house dic­tio­nary (the Amer­i­can Her­itage Col­lege Dic­tio­nary, 4th edi­tion) unam­bigu­ously declares it a sin­gle word, which would nor­mally end the con­ver­sa­tion, but pretty much every other source says two. The proscriptively-correct response is to clutch for dear life to that book and delete the space. But when Wikipedia and state ag col­lege exten­sion offices alike seem to pre­fer the two words, insist­ing on the dic­tio­nary seems unnec­es­sar­ily pendantic.

I half-wondered if this might in ret­ro­spect be seen as another step on the road to offi­cially endors­ing Wikipedia as our house dic­tio­nary. If I were the Dowa­ger Count­ess of Grantham, I’d come up with a quippy line about this being how civ­i­liza­tions crumble.

NYTimes video remembers the 1965 Selma James Reeb attack

One of the white min­is­ters with James Reeb in the 1965 attack that helped pro­pel the Vot­ing Rights Act remem­bers the night.

He also reflects on the value of white lives vs. black lives for national atten­tion in the Civil Rights Move­ment. While the actual Selma march was protest­ing the killing of black civil rights activist Jim­mie Lee Jack­son by a state trooper, national out­rage focused on the vis­it­ing white minister.

In 1967, Dr. King noted, “The fail­ure to men­tion Jimmy [sic] Jack­son only rein­forced the impres­sion that to white Amer­i­cans the life of a Negro is insignif­i­cant and meaningless.”

Don’t miss Gail Whif­fen Coyle’s overview of con­tem­po­rary Friends Jour­nal cov­er­age of Selma on our website.

Bayard Rustin’s letter to the Draft Board

Bayard Rustin’s let­ter to the Draft Board:

> I admit my share of guilt for hav­ing par­tic­i­pated in the insti­tu­tions and ways of life which helped bring fas­cism and war. Nonethe­less, guilty as I am, I now see as did the Prodi­gal Son that it is never too late to refuse longer to remain in a non-creative sit­u­a­tion. It is always timely and vir­tu­ous to change—to take in all humil­ity a new path.