Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
I remember a story about a customer who looked at a Quaker merchant’s prices and swore that he’d never buy from him. Then the customer looked at the competition’s prices. The customer came back to the Quaker’s shop. Now the Quaker wouldn’t sell him anything because to do so would cause the customer to go back on his word. Friends hold absolute honesty in high regard.
Thirty or more years ago there used to be rules against sexual activity at Young Adult Friends’ retreats. I remember one retreat where I was set up by YAFs. Around midnight three of us went to a Young Adult Friend’s mother’s house. The host’s daughter and her mom would sleep upstairs in the bedroom. The other Young Adult Friend had skipped the contra dance in order to have some alcohol at a bar, and she asked me to sleep with her. I became worried first about Young Adult Friends getting canceled if word got out. Second, in a previous sleep-together experience I had gone a bit too far. I didn’t think of it that way, but I lost the lover and that hurt. I really didn’t want that to happen again. So I immediately said no, and I somewhat repented that decision all night. Maybe my Friends knew better than me. The kicker was when a slightly older Friend counseled me in a thoughtful way on my refusal. People were concerned about me.
Queries for second generation teen/adult Friends:
Do you use alcohol, cocaine or meth to turn your sex drive on and off as needed? Does that system work for you?
Do you drink alcohol illegally because you’re underage? Do you get drunk while driving around so as to hide your alcohol use? (Note: a car full of small f friends that I no longer was riding around with overturned one night. One passenger died.)
Do you break your parents’ rules in order to find love? Do you break your yearly meeting’s rules? Is the Friends’ testimony about scrupulous honesty worth suspending in all matters related to pursuing love?
48% of all babies in the U.S. are unplanned. Do you think that you’re taking an ideal amount of birth control precautions? (I can think of one Friend and one Quaker's offspring that both accidentally got pregnant and had their kids.)
If Friends are regularly affixing their teenage kids into patterns of dishonesty, would another general strategy be better?
My own parents went through a pretty rough divorce when I was 12. My mother never told me the half of it until many years later. Should Friends tell their kids the truth about divorces?
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Queries for all adult Friends:
I knew a Friend who had a ménage a trois with another Friend, who needed to talk about it. I kept confidence with all three, but it bothered me. Where should Truth stand?
I knew a Friend whose Quaker husband often beat her black and blue before her divorce. I knew another Friend who was threatened with murder if she filed for divorce. Yet another Friend was cornered and was almost bashed in the head with a full gallon glass jug of wine. How can we stand with the victims of this violence? (All of these stories are quite old.)