my interest in the Society of Friends probably comes from a different direction than most. Three days after I graduated high school I was off to Marine Recruit Depot Sand Diego, CA. My parents where career military and really I never even thought of another job. So off to the infantry i went to prove my "manhood". Looking back I am thankfully that I never had to go to war, but even without having to experience that horror my time weighed heavy on me after I got out.
I've spent a lot of time getting over my disillusionment and rediscovering myself in the last decade. And it was during this time that I rediscovered Smedley Butler. Smedley is one of only two Marines to even win the Medal of Honor twice. His name is memorized by every recruit that joins the Corps. And so imagine my surprise when I discovered he was a Quaker and a man who was extremely disillusioned with actions over his long career. Ultimately feeling he had been nothing, but a pawn for big business and the industry of war. Honestly his history after the service is fascinating.
Which brings me to this post. First I am curious if modern Quakers even know who the man is? Is he acknowledged and known as a Quaker by current generations? And next I am curious if anyone could give me a little more understanding about Quakers going against the peace testimony in times of war.
I had hoped to get a little more in detail about this disparity reading his biography, but Smedley's biographer seems to just skip over this sort of yin and yang duality that existed within the man and religion. Outside of that the only thing I have really found that even discusses the subject of Friends and war was Robert Lawrence Smith's, A Quaker Book of Wisdom.
Anyway I appreciate any help you folks can give and hope that I am not offending anyone with my questions. Thank you, Jeremy