Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Today at Nailsworth Meeting, Gloucestershire, following our all age meeting, there was a 2nd all age meeting of census refusers and supporters. We met to hear what support is needed for the 7 Friends who have refused the census because of our peace testimony and also to hear how Friends who returned the form wish to support and act now. Many Friends came to find out more about the reasons Friends have refused the census. It was an emotional and heartfelt meeting with many Friends sharing deeply personal and sometimes painful accounts of personal struggles with the decision and other acts of refusal to take part in or support warmaking.
The Office of National Statistics is currently prosecuting 400 people out of about 1 million census refusers. Some of these are Friends including one of our group. There may be more.
These Conscientious Objectors have acted individually to express a corporate sense of outrage that Lockheed Martin, should be paid over a £100million to carry out the census. The ONS did not stipulate any ethical limitations imposed on the contract. The money goes straight into making more cluster bombs, F16 bombers, interrogators who were implicated in human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib and carry out the interrogations at Guantanamo.
What Quaker in their right mind is willing to support that? Even under threat of fines and imprisonment? Not me. Not us.
Faith into Action - Action into Faith.
"We totally oppose all wars, all preparation for war, all use of weapons and coercion by force, and all military alliances: no end could ever justify such means.
We equally and actively oppose all that leads to violence among people and nations, and violence to other species and to our planet.
This has been our testimony to the whole world for over three centuries.
We are not naive or ignorant about the complexity of our modern world and the impact of sophisticated technologies - but we see no reason whatsoever to change or weaken our vision of the peace that everyone needs in order to survive and flourish on a healthy, abundant earth".