why do quakers oppose violence?

Posted by on Dec 29, 2020 in Uncategorized

Frankly, this isn’t A Quaker argument against gun control: it’s A Quaker’s (ie one Quaker’s) argument and a poor one in every way. Some members may be appointed as elders because a meeting recognises that they have the ability to serve in a particular way. Quakers (or The Religious Society of Friends): a Christian group with a total commitment to non-violence. That mostly describes 1% of what governments do. The Registering Officer calls upon the couple to sign the Quaker Marriage Certificate which records their vows. Over many years Quakers have worked for peace - exploring and sharing creative nonviolent approaches to conflict and alternative approaches to violence. This belief comes from Jesus' statement that "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:20). Quakers are not just opposed to war, but to all forms of violence. Scientific facts are the opposed of art. Members of the congregation sign the Quaker Marriage Certificate as a witness to both their presence and support for the marriage. However, both religions would say that protests should be non violent in nature. The whole of such a meeting, even the most nit-pickingly detailed section, is regarded as worship. This is why … A couple may decide to include readings and even a hymn. Asked by Wiki User. Discussion and argument are not part of the meeting. Those nutty Quakers actually wanted to know why stuff happened and how things worked. Quakers believe that if they wait silently for God in this way there will be times when God will speak directly to them. Quakers have coupled their refusal to fight with work to provide relief and rehabilitation to the victims of war, on both sides. But I want to hear the Republican's side: why do Republicans in the Senate oppose renewing it in 2012? Quakers are active in many charities. But Fox went even further. Broadly speaking, we affirm that "there is that of God in everyone." Like other Quaker testimonies, it is not a "belief", but a description of committed actions, in this case to promote peace, and refrain from and actively oppose participation in war. The certificate, in the form of a scroll or a book, has no legal standing but it reminds the couple of their friends' happiness and hopes for the success of their marriage. That meant that to be true to their beliefs they had to oppose war and not participate in it. Quakers do not have elaborate religious ceremonies and rituals. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so. We believe that every person is loved and guided by God. The name 'Friends' comes from Jesus' remark "You are my friends if you do what I command you" (John 15:14). They were persecuted at first, and four were executed. The question of legal recognition by the state is secondary. They sit down and talk about things. Shut the front door! Though incredibly tolerant what did the Quakers oppose vehemently? The first step in the official process is a meeting for clearness. Churches were either unnecessary to get to God, or an obstruction (Fox often referred to churches unkindly as "steeple-houses"). Appointment as an elder doesn't mean that the person is in any way superior to anyone else. They are particularly concerned with: Quakers do not regard any book as being the actual 'word of God'. Quakers believe that there is something of God in everybody and that each human being is of unique worth. So: A written list of beliefs is considered inappropriate. Quakers believe that war and conflict are against God's wishes and so they are dedicated to pacifism and non-violence. In their renouncement of violence, they sought to eliminate sources of conflict such as poverty, intolerance, and exploitation. But it wasn’t just about their religion. Their attention is focused on the way in which it is used in human relationships. Holding hands, the couple take it in turns to make declarations based on the following: "Friends, I take this my friend...to be my wife/husband, promising divine assistance to be unto her/him a loving and faithful husband/wife so long as we both on earth shall live." Quakers have no collective view on what happens after death. Quakers believe that there is a direct relationship between God and each believer, every human being contains something of God - this is often called "the light of God". Since believers should have a direct relationship with God, no one (priests, for example) and nothing (like sacraments) should come in between. However, both religions would say that protests should be non violent in nature. The words spoken are usually brief and may include readings (from the Bible or other books), praying, or speaking from personal experience. They prefer to choose work that has positive benefits for the community. The traditional formula for raising an issue is to begin "I have a Concern..." When everything is said the meeting agrees a 'minute' (a paragraph or two) setting out the decision. Perhaps you have met some, or read about them, or even attended a Quaker meeting. Quaker worship is very different to the worship of most Christian churches in that it doesn't follow a set liturgy or code of rules - a service has no structure, and no one leads it. Instead of meetings filled with sermons, scriptures, hymns, and lessons – Quakers take a different approach to gathering the congregation. Because they are thankful for having known the dead person, Quaker mourners tend not to wear black. 9 years ago. They disagree, and say that they fight by non-violent means. They also practice worship in silence. Once a minute has been drafted and read out members can suggest modifications. After the meeting the couple and the two witnesses sign the civil register. Quakers are as fully opposed to personal, family or community violence as to war. The Peace Testimony has led many (though not all) Quakers to refuse to bear arms or to play any part in military action. The monthly meeting must approve the application before the registering officer, who is recognised by law, makes arrangements for the public notices and other legal requirements. Quakers, also called Friends, belong to a historically Christian denomination known formally as the Religious Society of Friends or Friends Church. Quakers don't have a united view on abortion but regard it as a matter of individual conscience. Quakers say that environmental issues are also a matter of social justice: they acknowledge that those living in Britain or the USA are largely insulated from the effects of environmental problems and that such issues have a much more serious effect on the world's poor. They believe that God grows and changes with his creation and believe that God continues to tell human beings what they should do. In addition to the funeral there can be a "meeting for worship on the occasion of the death of our Friend". Women may choose a skirt or other reasonably smart clothes. Some Quakers make 'living wills', requesting that if they become ill to the point of being incapable of living without artificial life support systems or inappropriate medical intervention, they be allowed to die naturally and with dignity. It's an interesting question as to whether violence is the answer for dealing with a situation in which other means have been used to reach an agreement and have failed. the resurrection and the incarnation) should be kept in mind throughout the year. Quakers are active in politics and in working for justice in the world. Quakers believe that faith is something that is always developing and not something frozen at a particular moment in history that can be captured in a fixed code of belief. Like many Christian groups, Quakers never intended to form a new denomination. Quakers feel people should follow their 'inner light' rather than external rules. Violent Protest and Terrorism Both Christianity and Islam would say that believers have a duty to protest against social injustice and to fight for freedom. Quakers have also undertaken much ‘non-formal diplomacy’. In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. The Clerk records the decisions and helps those taking part discern the will of God in the meeting, but he/she does not chair or lead the meeting. The people who are present try to create an internal silence - a silence inside their head. Lv 7. The Quakers have welcomed same-sex unions for more than two decades, allowing local groups to celebrate same-sex commitments through special acts of worship. The meeting gives them the chance to discuss their relationship with other members of the community. In the 1970s it was estimated that '10% of the diplomatic community had met each other under Quaker-sponsored auspices. Welcome; About; GCSE; A Le It has no set order of service or sermon. But you may still have a number of questions, such as: Who or what are these Quakers? One of their documents states: "In all our meetings for church affairs we need to listen together to the Holy Spirit. Christian Teachings ‘Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God’ (Jesus)… Skip to content Menu. Why do Hindus oppose violence? The word 'inward' tends to recur as one gropes for explanations. Tolerance is part of the Quaker approach to life, so Quakers are willing to learn from all other faiths and churches. What do they believe? They believe God can be found in the middle of everyday life and human relationships, as much as during a meeting for worship. Quakers strongly oppose violence and war. Quakers seek religious truth in inner experience, and place great reliance on conscience as the basis of morality. Such appointments are for three years and can be renewed. Answer Save. If you swear you say the truth it’s because the rest of … There is no organisation that has worldwide authority over the movement. They do not have clergy or rituals and their meetings for worship are often held in silence. The political establishment did not take this lying down. Christianity and the abolition of slavery. 20. Quakers don't have a united view on euthanasia. The Peace Testimony, which derives ultimately from the Quaker belief that there is ‘That of God in everyone', has remained at the core of Quakers' belief for over 350 years. A person will only speak if they are convinced that they have something that must be shared, and it is rare for a person to speak more than once. I told them I was come into the covenant of peace which was before wars and strifes were.”, “We are a people that follow after those things that make for peace, love, and unity; it is our desire that others' feet may walk in the same, and do deny and bear our testimony against all strife, and wars.”. Internationally they have helped weapons experts to meet across political divides, and have also been active in campaigns against mines and other weapons particularly destructive to civilian populations. They believed in pacifism—that war and violence … why was bacon mad at the Governor? Acting as trusted intermediaries or neutral hosts, they have enabled diplomats, and other representatives of nations in conflict to meet or communicate discreetly. He became a religious activist at the age of 19, and was imprisoned eight times for preaching views that annoyed the religious and political establishment of his time. We feel that the quality and depth of feeling between two people is the most important part of a loving relationship, not their gender or sexual orientation. He refused to defend himself when he was attacked and often, when the violence was over, had kind words or actions for his attackers. They do not have clergy. A Quaker funeral has two particular aims: to thank God for the life that has been lived, and to help the mourners feel a deep sense of God's presence. Do not be persuaded into buying what you do not need or cannot afford. Meeting for Sufferings' Statement of Intent on Racism, 1988. The funeral can follow the normal silent pattern of Quaker worship, or it can include programmed elements. Try to live simply. Read more. They believe that priests and rituals are an unnecessary obstruction between the believer and God. The origins of Christian abolitionism can be traced to the late 17th Century and the Quakers. A meeting begins when two or more worshipers come together to be in the presence of God. Christ demands of us that we adhere, without swerving, to the methods of love, and therefore, if a seeming conflict should arise between the claims of His service and those of the State, it is to Christ that our supreme loyalty must be given, whatever the consequences. who was the Governor of Virginia at the time of the mystery document? Quakers try to live up to high standards of honesty, as set out in this series of questions: Are you honest and truthful in all you say and do? Quakers have frequently taken peacebuilding initiatives to reconcile communities and nations involved in violent conflicts, such as in post-genocide Rwanda. By 1696, Quakers in Pennsylvania officially declared their opposition to the importation of enslaved Africans into North America. The Britain Yearly Meeting is the body that represents the interests of the thirty thousand Quakers in the Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends in Britain. Quakers don't have a collective view on the rightness or wrongness of contraception. Quakers began denouncing slavery as early as 1688, when four German Quakers started protesting near Pennsylvania. From the early years of the North Carolina colony, the Quakers, or Society of Friends, held certain beliefs that differed from those of the other colonists. In a Quaker meeting for worship a group of people sits in a room in silence for an hour. Quakers don't believe in a clergy, they feel that all believers can minister to one another. And why do you swear ? This is why Quakers value all people equally, and oppose anything that may harm or threaten them. This helps them to be aware that they are a group together for worship, and puts everybody in a place of equal status. The bride is not usually given away by her father. Quakers oppose blood sports, and do not approve of businesses that exploit animals, such as circuses or zoos, or the fur trade. Favourite answer. Violence in response to violence can only worsen human suffering and increase hatred and fear. Quakers are members of a group with Christian roots that began in England in the 1650s. The meeting is terminated by two elders who shake hands, inviting the rest of the congregation to do the same. Quakers believe that those who are divorced need to be given the chance of a new start. Take heed, dear Friends, to the promptings of love and truth in your hearts. George Fox was personally opposed to the use of violence. The bride and groom will normally enter the meeting room together with friends and then quietly take their seats. It does not matter which order the bride and groom speak. At a meeting following the silent pattern the contributions are likely to include memories as well as prayers or readings. Participants know they will not take sides but will seek to help everyone equally out of the impasse and the violence. Quakers do not follow a creed, they acknowledge that words are not up to the job of precisely defining belief for a whole group of people. An act which (for example) expresses true affection between two individuals and gives pleasure to them both, does not seem to us to be sinful by reason alone of the fact that it is homosexual. There is a Quaker hymn book, called Worship in Song, A Quaker Hymnal. William Berkeley. Quakers believe that political and other action to improve this world is vitally important. They emphasise direct experience of God rather than ritual and ceremony. They do this by stopping everyday thoughts and anxieties. Some would call it 'listening to the quiet voice of God' - without trying to define the word. (Clearness in this context means helping the couple affirm their decision to marry.). A volunteer, usually a Quaker elder, will stand to explain how the service will proceed. Training in ‘active non-violence’ campaigning techniques is another strand. In the early days Quakers were suspicious of theology... and many Quakers are still not keen on it, believing that experience is a better teacher. Their services are usually like Methodist or Baptist services. Quakers are considered one of the "peace churches" who oppose war of any kind, and typically refuse to participate in it. Read more. Quaker missionaries arrived in the USA in 1656. slavery. The Process of Seasoning a Minute/Statement Relati... Light a Candle for Peace in Syria; Why what we say, or don't say, at Yearly Meeting m... What can we do to oppose the evils of empire: war ... August (8) July (4) June (8) May (11) They see marriage as more than a legal contract - it is a religious commitment. We do not seek consensus; we are seeking the will of God. They regard these as unnecessary; they sometimes call them empty forms. The repudiation of violence as a means to an end has led many Quakers to espouse forms of non-violent direct action – from a refusal to pay church tithes in England in the 17th Century, to the Civil Rights Movement in the US, the campaign for democracy in South Korea, and many others. Everyone waits in shared silence until someone is moved by the Spirit (i.e. It is important that the waiting in silence and the listening are done as a group. The Walking Purchase. Yet, one religious group—the Quakers—went against majority opinion and refused to support the war. Quaker meetings for worship take place in meeting houses, not churches. The biblical basis for … The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. 0 1 2. Although outsiders usually regard the movement as a Christian denomination, not all Quakers see themselves as Christians; some regard themselves as members of a universal religion that (for historical reasons) has many Christian elements. Yet how that belief is translated into action remains something that all Quakers must determine for themselves. Quakers do not celebrate Christian festivals such as Easter and Christmas (although Quaker families may mark Christmas as the secular festival it has largely become). You have probably heard of the Quakers. Although Quaker meetings for worship generally take place on a Sunday, this is purely for convenience and not because Sunday is the Sabbath or a particularly holy day. Everyone is known by God and can know God in a direct relationship. They usually sit facing each other in a square or a circle. Quakers played a major role in the abolition movement against slavery. They emphasise the importance leading your own life well as an example to others (what a person does can be much clearer than what they say). Quakers do not celebrate Christian festivals such as Easter and Christmas. Yet novelty kept appearing relentlessly from the lips of stray Lyfordites, Baptists, and Quakers who later visited the wilderness community. Quaker meetings for worship are open to everyone. Quakers avoid working for companies that manufacture weapons or other harmful products (nor will they invest in such companies). I think it is because Quakers fight with peace, not violence. From time to time someone may speak briefly, but sometimes the entire hour may pass without a word being spoken. BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Why do liberals tend to oppose violence while conservatives tend to oppose intellectual integrity? the light of God is in every single person, a person who lets their life be guided by that light will achieve a full relationship with God, everyone can have a direct, personal relationship with God without involving a priest or minister, redemption and the Kingdom of Heaven are to be experienced now, in this world, human rights, based on their belief in equality of all human beings, environmental issues - Quakers seek to live simply so as to reduce the burden on the world, Quakers regard all human beings as equal and equally worthy of respect, Quakers accept that all human beings contain goodness and truth, Quakers do not accept value judgements based on race or gender, Each person has an inner light (part of God's spirit) inside them - so there is a unity between all human beings, Spiritual truth can only be known through direct revelation from God, The Bible is not regarded as the only guide for conduct and belief, Doubt and questioning are valuable tools for spiritual growth, All human beings can have a direct experience of God - they don't need priests to help them, There is good and evil inside all human beings, and all human beings can choose between them - everyone has the power to choose good over evil if they really want to, Christ's life demonstrates the full truth of God, Quakers do not agree on what happens after death. Not surprisingly, these views infuriated the mainstream churches, and Quakers were persecuted in Britain on a large scale until 1689. War, in our view, involves the surrender of the Christian ideal and the denial of human brotherhood. The early church up until the time of Augustine of Hippo were pacifists. The movement has difficulty reconciling the principle of non-violence, which could argue against abortion, and the wish that women should be able to play a full part in society, which might sometimes justify abortion. Quakers work actively to make this a better world. Relevance. Be still and cool in thy own mind and spirit from thy own thoughts. Couples who are registered as 'attenders' but not yet members of the Religious Society of Friends would be expected to have attended meetings for a number of months before making an application for marriage. Quakers, like other pacifists, are sometimes accused of being willing to give in to evil regimes rather than fight against them. Fiddle-di-dee. The structure is organised at local level (Preparative Meetings), smaller and larger district levels (Monthly and General Meetings) and national level (Yearly Meeting). These pages will try to answer some of the most common of those questions. Science. There are many reasons that the Quakers were persecuted in England, each of them contributing to the justification for their escape to North America in the mid-1650s. So when Quakers showed up in Boston in the 1650s, it’s no surprise they were persecuted. Quakers recognise that there is 'that of God in everyone', and this leads us to renounce violence and to work actively for peace. The people taking part are trying to become something more than just a collection of individuals; they want to become aware of being part of a 'we', rather than just a solitary 'I'. We asked Marge Abbott and Noah Baker Merrill. The straw that broke my camel’s back was when I was told to my face at a FGC Gathering that all libertarians were racists. Quaker refusal to take oaths and to take off their hats before a magistrate, and their insistence on holding banned religious meetings in public, led to 6,000 Quakers being imprisoned between 1662 and 1670. Their founder, George Fox, was trying to take belief and believers back to the original and pure form of Christianity. Among the best known Quaker testimonies, this stems from the idea of moving beyond the need for violence. No relationship can be a right one which makes use of another person through selfish desire. See Answer. The movements they founded ( the Pietists, Quakers and Zen ) became exemplary, but they were the exceptions. In most cases, the finer details of the ceremony are decided through discussion with the marriage registering officers and community elders. Many Quakers do use artificial methods of birth control. 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Joseph Rowntree and George Cadbury were both quakers, and are called to attend to relationship! The frequency with which a group together for worship each week meeting terminated... A matter of individual meditation, although the description above may make it sound like that Christ, Spirit Seed... Like other pacifists, are sometimes accused of being willing to give in to evil regimes rather than pondering happens! Treat all people equally the service will proceed who are present try to live our respecting... Puzzled by the Spirit ' liberals tend to oppose violence while conservatives tend to oppose intellectual integrity an does! The creation and support for the content of external sites treason to oppose chance of a group relationship. Of view they think that force nearly always creates more problems than it solves first step in the abolition against!, i can not afford finding alternatives such as: who or what are these quakers is another strand not. 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