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Showing posts from May, 2007

On Falwell

As most people know, Jerry Falwell died yesterday. I would not have found this subject worthy of comment in this blog, if it weren't for the fact that I've read more than one post, from Pagan bloggers who usually know better, who've reported this with a smug or even gleeful tone. Needless to say, I'm unlikely to have been a fan of the man from Lynchburg, a man who said of September 11, 2001, "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'" But that is just not the point. I really wanted not to write this entry. I have been hoping that, if I just ignored it, perhaps no one outside the Pagan community would read any of the blog entries that have depressed me this morning. But this

The Many Things We Call "Divine" (Marshall Massey replies to Peter)

Spiritual Identity and Membership Series: Part 1: Quakerpagan or Paganquaker - Part 2: Membership and Identity - Part 3: Marshall Massey Replies The following is a reply by Marshall Massey of Earth Witness Journal to my post about Membership and Identity. I think it raises points that are important enough to both Quakers and Pagans that I want to feature it in a post of its own rather than have it tucked away as an appended comment. Marshall’s reply: --------------------- Friends Peter and Cat, you don't have to publish this comment on your site if you don't want to; you can read it and then delete it, and that's fine with me. I'm not sure what I am about to say is better discussed on an open forum than in private e-mail. But since I am mentioned in the opening paragraph of this post, I believe I have a bit of a duty to respond. The truth may be either that there are many things we call "divine", or that the divine has many faces. Different paths take one t

Membership and Identity (Peter)

Spiritual Identity and Membership Series: Part 1: Quakerpagan or Paganquaker - Part 2: Membership and Identity - Part 3: Marshall Massey Replies This began as a response to Cat’s most recent post, but has taken on a life of its own. I wrote it to address a fundamental dimension to this whole membership/self-identification question that no one—not Marshal nor Liz nor Cat—seemed to be addressing: namely the relationship with the Divine that is an integral part of any religious group, whether it be Pagan or Quaker, Christian or otherwise. I see now that this point did rise in responses to Cat’s post, but I still think it worth sharing my two cents. When I applied for membership in Mount Toby Friends Meeting, my clearness committee asked me what I thought the word “membership” meant. I said it is something like how Catholics describe the sacrament of marriage: “an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual reality.” (“Your Christian roots are showing,” Cat tells me, reading

Quaker, Pagan, Quakerpagan or Paganquaker: Moving Beyond the Cool Kids' Table

Spiritual Identity and Membership Series: Part 1: Quakerpagan or Paganquaker - Part 2: Membership and Identity - Part 3: Marshall Massey Replies This week, I encountered an update to the link to this blog that Quaker blogger Marshall Massey posted recently. To begin with, let me say that I'm really honored to be listed under Kindred Souls at Earthwitness*. Beyond the Earthwitness itself --on its own an important reason to respect Marshall--I've noticed that he not only links to, but praises writers he has had important disagreements with. He is truly open to new perspectives, at the same time that he is rooted firmly in his own very traditional, very Christian Quakerism. So. I take this guy seriously. And I like that he's linked to us here. And he says nice things. Recently I revisited his page, and noticed that the blurb linking to this blog had been revised, partly to point to our post Waging Peace in All Things , discussing the ways Quakers are laboring with the

Marching on Pride Day (Peter)

Today I marched with the Mt. Toby Friends contingent in the Northampton Pride March, and it was a blast! I've been part of the GLBT concerns committee at Mt. Toby since last fall, and the Pride March is always that committee's big event of the year. There were about half a dozen of us marching. D--, a fellow committee member, has been doing the marches off and on since their inception a quarter of a century ago, and was full of lots of stories about how much it has changed. The atmosphere today was like a carnival: balloons and music and children and dogs and fried dough... Back in '85, the feeling was much more embattled. That year, I'm told, there were gang rapes happening in the area and firebomb threats against the local wimmin's bookstore and lesbian archives, and the Pride March was an act of courageous defiance. It's really heartening to see how celebratory it's become. Not that there aren't still ongoing struggles for justice, but we've come