Dear Friends,


I was sent this document on Google Docs.   It is a very critical, almost anti-Quaker, commentary on Philadelphia Friends' involvement with Occupy Wall Street.  I was sent it anonymously, without the ability to comment on it, the ability even to share it, or with an accompanying note explaining why someone wanted to send it to me.  Given these circumstances, I am quite suspicious of the motivation of whoever sent it to me. 

Despite these concerns, I think it raises some interesting points that I would like to see us discuss.  I saved my own copy so that I could link it above.  It is entirely public and anyone may comment (either there or here) but not edit, so as to preserve the original sentiment.


Cross-posted to my personal blog here.

Views: 334

Comment by Michael on 11th mo. 21, 2011 at 4:24am

I'm not sure what this adds, but my very strong suspicion is that the writer is one of the members that was "lost" by the Quakers.   The writer shows way more than above-average knowledge of Quakers (and, frankly, some of our problems, even if put harsher than I think is fair).  In addition, while the criticism the writer launches against Quaker involvement seems applicable to all religious groups at OWS, it is singularly aimed at Quakers.

Reading this, in light of what I suspect it to be, I feel sad for this person.  I wish the person would feel comfortable speaking openly about her/his experience and issues with Quakers, so that some dialogue could be had and perhaps some resolution could be reached.

Comment by Mackenzie on 12th mo. 5, 2011 at 12:17pm

I saw the document when it was first linked on Twitter and wrote this response:

Comment by Forrest Curo on 12th mo. 5, 2011 at 12:45pm

I am a fervent supporter of the occupy movement, and I find much of the criticism here valid, even though misstated to some extent.

I, for example, believe that the occupy movement needs to become a movement explicitly rooted in its religious roots. Quakers should be a natural institutional source of people with that kind of grounding... and should be raising that concern within the occupy movement, as natural supporters of their political concerns.

If that concern is widely enough shared by others in the occupy movement, it may at least come to be expressed as a concern of that movement. The 'animal-rights' folks have certainly gotten their position into my local position-statement [to our detriment, I would say] but they are part of the movement, wanted their concerns included, got it.

If enough people come to realize that spiritual concerns are and must be central to the movement, we could (in fact) be considered to have 'co-opted' the movement for (what should be) the goals of our "failed" religious institution.

I agree that our institution has, in fact, failed.

The resurrection of our institution may well require us to recognize that we have failed, repeatedly and chronically... and will continue to do so, until we (personally and collectively) can approach every religious/political/personal issue in a spirit of worship.


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