I have removed my “In between” post.
A correspondent has convinced me that I created an unfair situation by publicly criticizing actions of the host of Quaker Quaker without giving the specifics which would have allowed a response.
I was engaging in a self-deception, pretending to be writing about a general situation.
4 comments On Apology to Quaker Quaker and its host
You are not the only Friend who has been called to respond to “Quaker Quaker”. It is a remarkable thing today, that we are expected to speak truth plainly to power, unless that power is a fellow Quaker who ignores all attempts at clearness from other Friends. I recall the Billy Bragg line, “anything for the quiet life…”. Friends seek non-confrontation today rather than non-violence. Non-confrontation is the highest form of disrespect, as it assumes there is not enough love in this community of faith to stand light when one is put off by another Friend.
Go back and read of the public laboring of the past. Friends often called each other out in the press once attempts at clearness were ignored.
Speak thy mind with conviction and walk in the light
I did like that post. Given my specific circumstances in recent days, I guess it is odd that I did not focus on that part of it that you think was negative. What I got from it was an emphasis on kindness owed to all parties and the sense that unlike so many other occasions, another soul was standing with me–not with sword brandished– but with his hand in mine. Your loyalty to both the Pagan and Christian virtues that I hold dear was clear to me in that post and once again, I felt kinship. Seminary was a terribly lonely place for someone who is as heterodox as I am. Atheist conferences are terribly lonely places for spiritual non-theists. I’m an “in-between” person and called to be among Pagans, non-theists and Christians but never, apparently called to fit in properly. The kindness, nuance, gentleness, and honesty of your commentary always helps me feel less lonesome.
Friends Lorcan and Hystery,
I appreciate your comments very much.
By deleting the “In between” post, I am not withdrawing my criticism of Quaker Quaker. I, too, am very troubled by the trend, demonstrated in that venue, which Lorcan describes:
“Friends seek non-confrontation today rather than non-violence. Non-confrontation is the highest form of disrespect, as it assumes there is not enough love in this community of faith to stand light when one is put off by another Friend.”
This applies, of course, not only to Friends but to so-called “liberals” in our broader American culture. The whole “political correctness” thing is a symptom of this sort of disrespect.
And “conservatives” have no hesitation to exploit this trend, co-opting “individual rights” language to say, “If you voice disagreement with me, you are denying my rights.” (Witness the whole “reverse racism” sham which brought down affirmative action.)
However, my private correspondent helped shine the inner light on an ambivalence I already felt about my deleted post.
I knew my real argument was with the host of Quaker Quaker, but I was not confronting him honestly and directly.
Instead, I did the same passive-aggressive dodge we are discussing here: I pretended to be writing more generally about what “some people” do.
That is not speaking truth to power. That is sabotage.
I will come up with an edited version of “In between” and repost the core ideas later.
Thanks, again, for your feedback.
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