I think someone already posted a discussion or blog (what's the difference?) about an habitual negativism in the Quaker mindset.  I also think that we need to be careful about indulging in negativism.  To use Spiro Agnew's famous phrase: we don't want to be "nattering nabobs of negativism!"

We are told that we need to stand against the ordinances because they are meaningless rituals.  We need to stand against Christian faith because it is associated with crusades, the Inquisition, creationism, intolerance and who knows what else!   We need to stand against Fox News because it is associated with Republicanism.  We need to stand against Christmas because it has been commercialized.  And now, we need to cancel the Fourth of July because it is associated with patriotism!

I don't want to be read as believing that there aren't lots of bad things in the world that we need to steer clear of.  I could, and sometimes have, named a good many things that I would put in the NO category, alcohol being one of them.  BUT, I think we need to try to think in positive terms about our faith and what it stands for, instead of emphasizing the negative.

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This sort of US interference has been going on for a very long, was old history before this guy became upset about his part in it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler

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My father refused to eat hot spicy food, thought it was responsible for the "low energy" of people in the tropics. Never mind that they were out in conditions that would dissolve a typical northern European in sweat within a minute or so... but of course the spices turn out to be some minor help against the many parasites that do frequently sap the locals' energy. His notion reminds me of some of yours, in a way.

Actually, I quoted a French-speaking professor at McGill about volatility in the "Latin character."  I didn't say whether I agreed with him or not.  In fact, I don't think I would be qualified to make such a judgment.  He spoke as one from a Latin culture and, I am sure, his observation was impressionistic rather than systematically empirical.

As for me, I think that revolution and coups have been endemic in Latin American history, no doubt for a variety of reasons.  Radical social polarization, between a rich urban elite and a poor rural peasantry, is a characteristic of most Latin American societies.  The elites have been largely European (Spanish and Portuguese) in genetics, and the poor have lots of Indian blood.  As far as I can see, the U.S. has mostly played a secondary role in the Latin American dynamic, especially before the 20th Century.

I don't see the U.S. as always the prime mover in world history which you apparently believe it to be.

Wow, between you two here, I've greatly expanded my knowledge of Mexico!

May I get back to the "church of NO"?

I agree with Bill a bit in regards to the Quaker (at least "liberal" Quakers) tendency to be negative about nits as well as themselves.  That type of negative atmosphere at one point drove away a lot of Friends from my meeting.  And I'm sure I was one of the loudness negativity mongers.

The meeting (and me) have now matured some, and there is more of an environment of "everyone is struggling to figure out this crazy existence, so let's give folks a little more slack".  It is now considered somewhat uncool at my meeting to be so negative about others and the beliefs they may have.  There is a definite desire now to accept people into the meeting as they come with love, and trust the Spirit to do any necessary work within them as we each model (demonstrate) the fruits of the Spirit to the best of our ability at a given moment.

This environment creates lots of genuineness and honesty within the meeting - as Friends easily make known who they are inside, and others now easily accept them as they are, as we try to assist each other to be the person we are journeying to be in the Spirit. 

I have heard of Friends in Quaker meetings (pick your flavor of Quaker) who mention their spiritual bent - only to be chastised and made to feel unaccepted.  That just should not happen in my opinion.  It seems like if we are doing that, we are missing the whole Spirit of Jesus which was all about love, compassion, forgiveness, acceptance, and unity with the divine.  It is especially CRAZY to me for a liberal meeting to act negatively to a Christian-oriented Friend.  My God, if it wasn't for Jesus and his whole being, Quakers wouldn't exist!  My meeting is a very liberal meeting (in the definition sense of the word - not political per se).  There are a vast majority of universalists, a few Atheists, and a few devout Christians.  During our "Church of NO" stage, this was not possible.  But we have changed so much over the last 7 years that our new clerk is one of the Christian-oriented Friends who reads his Bible to himself during worship.  He is an awesome clerk who shares freely is Christian orientation, as others in the meeting share their particular orientation.  Same with politics.  The meeting used to be overtly political.  Not any more, because political parties are just not that great to be throwing yourself into them.  We are now more interested in a spiritual life as a community - not a political life.  This has attracted Republicans, Libertarians, whatever to our previously Democrat meeting.  But those affiliations just aren't that meaningful to us any more.

Regarding our spiritual life, our last State of the Meeting report said that the environment of the meeting has become one where we've let go dwelling on what's wrong with the meeting, and instead are focusing on what is right about our meeting in order to build on that.  Perhaps that's a good way to look at the world outside of the meeting as well.

Yes, if "politics" means "deciding whose cover story will prevail in the next struggle for political dominance," it isn't worth fussing ourselves over.

But there is also a politics of slandering the poor; and of thinking of justifications for hoarding the Earth God appointed for their needs, justifications for diverting humanity's heritage to feed the power and vanity and indolence of people who refuse to recognize their kinship with everyone else... and to oppose that kind of politics was, evidently, worth Jesus' life.

Yes, those spiritual "politics", our testimonies, are what's worth standing up for.  FCNL is a good model in that they take those testimonies to both sides of the aisle, careful to cultivate relationships with all as they spiritually focus their efforts.

Another kind of 'politics' (which these friendly discussions tend to point up) is how to deal with the fact that some people are Differently Informed, yet all people are born equally pigheaded. (Some may be pigheaded about the Testimony of Wishiwashiness, but does that really transcend the difficulty, or merely evade it?)

I believe an extension of that early testimony, that 'Christ is here to teach his People himself': That God (What William Stringfellow used to call 'The Word of God', ie God active in the world) is continually teaching every person -- but that we are all in different points of a curriculum which apparently is not even strictly linear (ala 'Nursery, kindergarten, 1st grade etc.') -- but more like Grade 0, Grade 1, Grade 1 + Pi * square root (-1) etc -- ie a set like the complex numbers which doesn't even have an unambiguous order to it(?)

So while we see urgent suffering all around from political malpractice, some of us are not up to dealing with the opposition of wrong-headed good people, while some of us _are_ wrong-headed good people -- and we're all in the same crazy humanity, all needing to shut up first and let Wisdom get a word in.


Where refrigeration is either non-existent or inadequate, spices help to preserve food and prevent food poisoning.


Forrest Curo said:

This sort of US interference has been going on for a very long, was old history before this guy became upset about his part in it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler

----------

My father refused to eat hot spicy food, thought it was responsible for the "low energy" of people in the tropics. Never mind that they were out in conditions that would dissolve a typical northern European in sweat within a minute or so... but of course the spices turn out to be some minor help against the many parasites that do frequently sap the locals' energy. His notion reminds me of some of yours, in a way.

What I observed, via being fed rancid-chicken rice by an aunt who'd been hungry in the Depression (that older one of the 1930's) -- is that people can digest many things that wouldn't at first occur to them as actual food.

The traditional function of spices, as I understand it, was to make that distinction a little less obvious.

While we're at it, here's an update re a 'Guardian' story you might not have found featured on Faux Snooze.

Bacteria adapt so very fast to anything of an antibiotic nature -- that anything which actually 'preserves' food needs to be more along the lines of bacterial wasteproduct, ie alcohol or acetic acid or the acidic substances that specifically adapted bacteria put into yogurt & saurkraut.

Hello again, Forrest!

You may attempt to insult me with derogatory take-offs on the name "Fox News", but I will tell you right now that I don't knowingly insult other participants in online discussions, so you will be playing that game solitaire!

As far as politics is concerned, I am emphatically apolitical insofar as possible.  I am a bit of a news junkie, and read Fox News selectively as well as various other news sources.  Before we subscribed to the internet, my only news source was NPR because we don't have TV.  My opinion of Fox News ratcheted up several notches after Megyn Kelly achieved celebrity.

My information about spices as a means of food preservation comes from a friend from India.  I think he graduated from an agricultural college, so he is probably worth his salt as a credible source! 

The idea that spices were used in medieval Europe to hide the taste of rotten meat is bogus. If you could afford that much in spices, you could afford to have an animal freshly slaughtered. It wasn't the nobility that had to contend with foosty meat, but it was the nobility who had the money to spice the heck out of their food as a show of extreme conspicuous consumption.

Now, if we consider salt to be a "spice," well that certainly is a preservative.


Forrest Curo said:

What I observed, via being fed rancid-chicken rice by an aunt who'd been hungry in the Depression (that older one of the 1930's) -- is that people can digest many things that wouldn't at first occur to them as actual food.

The traditional function of spices, as I understand it, was to make that distinction a little less obvious.

While we're at it, here's an update re a 'Guardian' story you might not have found featured on Faux Snooze.

Bacteria adapt so very fast to anything of an antibiotic nature -- that anything which actually 'preserves' food needs to be more along the lines of bacterial wasteproduct, ie alcohol or acetic acid or the acidic substances that specifically adapted bacteria put into yogurt & saurkraut.

William, I never thought you were the propaganda network called "Fox" "News" -- nor the one called "NPR" either. So I haven't been trying to insult 'you',   nor could I easily 'insult' either of those corporations.

The identification of 'me' with "whatever sources of information I've come to consider authoritative" (rightly or wrongly) is certainly one of those illusions that complicates the issue I raised here a little while ago: ~"How can we let the Spirit reconcile our differences without compromising whatever few things we actually do know?"

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I don't know whether there is preservative value to any Indian spices, simply that my salsa (containing a great many little red & green Mexican veggies, plus a spoonful from the powdered 'Ghost Pepper' that James Schultz here sent me awhile ago) develops yucky off-white slime and grey fuzz on top if I don't add a generous dose of lemon juice.

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As Desmond Tutu said in one of his books, to be literally 'apolitical' is effectively to take sides with the strong against the weak, the loudest and most accessible voices against the excluded.

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