why do quakers oppose violence?

The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) is a “Quaker lobby in the public interest” and the lobbying arm for Quakers of widely varying beliefs. 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. In many cases, it was easier for Quakers to oppose the slave trade and slave ownership in the abstract than to directly oppose the institution of slavery itself, as it manifested itself in their local communities. The Quakers are organised through a series of meetings. Men, for example, may wear a jacket or tie, but will often dress more informally. Quakers are considered one of the "peace churches" who oppose war of any kind, and typically refuse to participate in it. Participants know they will not take sides but will seek to help everyone equally out of the impasse and the violence. Quakers have frequently taken peacebuilding initiatives to reconcile communities and nations involved in violent conflicts, such as in post-genocide Rwanda. They maintain strict integrity in business transactions and in workplace dealings with individuals. A Quaker service is not a time of individual meditation, although the description above may make it sound like that. Quakers began denouncing slavery as early as 1688, when four German Quakers started protesting near Pennsylvania. 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. Peace, conflict & violence Quakers believe… A commitment to peace lies at the heart of Quaker faith and practice. The name 'Friends' comes from Jesus' remark "You are my friends if you do what I command you" (John 15:14). Do you keep yourself informed about the effect your style of living is having on the global economy and environment? Over many years Quakers have worked for peace - exploring and sharing creative nonviolent approaches to conflict and alternative approaches to violence. Discussion and argument are not part of the meeting. They are particularly concerned with: Quakers do not regard any book as being the actual 'word of God'. They emphasise direct experience of God rather than ritual and ceremony. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. The produce of the earth is a gift from our gracious creator to the inhabitants, and to impoverish the earth to support outward greatness appears to be an injury to the succeeding age. The meetings are named after the frequency with which a group meets. Quakers think that the environmental crisis is a spiritual and religious crisis as well as a practical one. They believed in pacifism—that war and violence … Quaker communal worship consists of silent waiting, with participants contributing as the spirit moves them. Yep. The first step in the official process is a meeting for clearness. Because they are thankful for having known the dead person, Quaker mourners tend not to wear black. The people who are present try to create an internal silence - a silence inside their head. One story says that the founder, George Fox, once told a magistrate to tremble (quake) at the name of God and the name 'Quakers' stuck. All forms of non-violent resistance are certainly much better than appeasement, which has come to mean the avoidance of violence by a surrender to injustice at the expense of the sufferings of others and not of one's self, by the giving away of something that is not ours to give. Early Quakers were proud capitalists. However, both religions would say that protests should be non violent in nature. Quakers believe that those who are divorced need to be given the chance of a new start. In July 2009, at the Britain Yearly Meeting, Quakers agreed to carry out same-sex marriages on the same basis as marriages for opposite-sex couples. Do you use money and information entrusted to you with discretion and responsibility? Such appointments are for three years and can be renewed. 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. Members of the various Quaker movements are all generally united by their belief in the ability of each human being to experientially access the light within, or "that of God in every one".. Many Quakers do use artificial methods of birth control. Their attention is focused on the way in which it is used in human relationships. Shut the front door! At the centre of Friends' religious experience is the repeatedly and consistently expressed belief in the fundamental equality of all members of the human race. A good end cannot sanctify evil means; nor must we ever do evil, that good may come of it. By 1696, Quakers in Pennsylvania officially declared their opposition to the importation of enslaved Africans into North America. That mostly describes 1% of what governments do. Philosophically there is no Quaker doctrine of when a person becomes a person. Like every other state they knew of in Europe, the Puritans enforced a state religion that it was treason to oppose. 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). Many individual Quakers are part of peace movement campaigns in favour of unilateral nuclear disarmament and non-military approaches to conflict resolution. Mostly governments use violence against peaceful people. Some brides may choose to wear white but, in most cases, the outfit is kept simple. 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. Appointment as an elder doesn't mean that the person is in any way superior to anyone else. Quakers will not swear oaths in court (or elsewhere) but will only affirm. But it wasn’t just about their religion. Quakers know that even if the words they feel moved to speak have no particular meaning for themselves, they may carry a message from God to other people. A meeting begins when two or more worshipers come together to be in the presence of God. Conversely, opponents of non-violence sometimes point to the withdrawal of Quakers fiom government in the … The couple will sit next to a table with the Quaker wedding certificate and a pen. Quakers do not separate religious life and secular life and feel that all life should be 'lived in the spirit'. We do … This comes partly from their belief that there is something of God in every human being, and that they should respect the worth and dignity of each person, and partly from following Christ's own example of social activism. This is why Quakers value all people equally, and oppose anything that may harm or threaten them. Quakers are active in politics and in working for justice in the world. The Quaker stance is ‘balanced partiality’. Do you maintain strict integrity in business transactions and in your dealings with individuals and organisations? People stand up to show they wish to speak, and are called by the Clerk. Relevance. Quakers do not celebrate Christian festivals such as Easter and Christmas. Several of their founders, including George Fox and Benjamin Lay, encouraged fellow congregants to stop owning slaves. Lv 7. What do Quakers believe? Whether they are part of peacebuilding or non-formal diplomacy, quiet off the record meetings   provide opportunities to discuss issues, weaken stereotypes, listen to experts and be listened to. They don't believe in sacraments (either as realities or symbols) or formal liturgies or ceremonies and also refuse to take oaths. Take heed, dear Friends, to the promptings of love and truth in your hearts. Quakers feel people should follow their 'inner light' rather than external rules. The Registering Officer reads the certificate aloud. At a meeting following the silent pattern the contributions are likely to include memories as well as prayers or readings. They try to make it peaceful I think. Quakers do without a liturgy because they believe that worship happens when two or three people come together to worship - nothing more is needed. Asked by Wiki User. 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. Acting as trusted intermediaries or neutral hosts, they have enabled diplomats, and other representatives of nations in conflict to meet or communicate discreetly. Quakers seek religious truth in inner experience, and place great reliance on conscience as the basis of morality. Broadly speaking, we affirm that "there is that of God in everyone." So: A written list of beliefs is considered inappropriate. (Clearness in this context means helping the couple affirm their decision to marry.). It has also led at times to a refusal to contribute resources to the preparation for war – from Pennsylvania’s refusal to provide funds for the defence of New York in 1693, to modern day Peace Tax campaigns. A volunteer, usually a Quaker elder, will stand to explain how the service will proceed. 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). 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. They usually sit facing each other in a square or a circle. [back to top] Are Quakers Christian? They do not have clergy. Our common humanity transcends our differences. George Fox was personally opposed to the use of violence. The words should come from the soul - from the inner light - rather than the mind. Those nutty Quakers actually wanted to know why stuff happened and how things worked. They prefer to choose work that has positive benefits for the community. The word 'inward' tends to recur as one gropes for explanations. As Fox grew up he was puzzled by the inconsistency between what Christians said they believed and the way they behaved. The movements they founded ( the Pietists, Quakers and Zen ) became exemplary, but they were the exceptions. 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. The right joining in marriage is the work of the Lord only, and not the priest's or magistrate's; for it is God's ordinance and not man's...we marry none; it is the Lord's work, and we are but witnesses. They regard these as unnecessary; they sometimes call them empty forms. The Quakers were the first whites to denounce slavery in the American colonies and Europe. In the past, guests used to stand as the couple entered but these days this rarely happens. After an initial period of silence of about 10 to 15 minutes, the couple will rise and exchange their vows. Scientific facts are the opposed of art. But music is, on the whole, rare. There are about 210,000 Quakers across the world. They will also formally ask the government to change the law to allow gay people to marry. We asked Marge Abbott and Noah Baker Merrill. They do not have clergy or rituals and their meetings for worship are often held in silence. Their weddings are very informal compared to those from other traditions and there is no priest or minister to lead the couple as they make their vows. Some Quakers have adopted many of the practices of mainstream churches, and have pastors and use hymns in their worship. In all the news articles I've read I've only heard the Democrat's side of the story, and how "extremist" the GOP is. Many conscientious objectors (those who refuse to join the armed forces) are Quakers, but Quaker pacifism is not simply the refusal to fight: it includes working actively to bring about or preserve peace, by removing the causes of conflict. Top Answer. Quakers have traditionally been conscientious objectors to war, finding alternatives such as theFriends Ambulance Servicein both World Wars. Quakers believe that political and other action to improve this world is vitally important. How do they act? Quakers believe that there is something of God in everybody and that each human being is of unique worth. Welcome; About; GCSE; A Le Quakers believe that no one but God can join a couple in matrimony. In a Quaker meeting for worship a group of people sits in a room in silence for an hour. Quakers played a major role in the abolition movement against slavery. 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. The bride is not usually given away by her father. Beliefs are not just safe ledges in an uncertain reality, but rather handholds from which further heights can be reached. And they opposed any form of art. Fox was born in July 1624 in Leicestershire, England, and died in 1691, by which time his movement had 50,000 followers. 9,000 people in Britain regularly take part in Quaker worship without being members of the Religious Society of Friends. Mennonites are pacifists. A simple lifestyle freely chosen is a source of great strength. It does not matter which order the bride and groom speak. Yet how that belief is translated into action remains something that all Quakers must determine for themselves. 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. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so. Quakers do not have elaborate religious ceremonies and rituals. Some believe in an afterlife, some don't, Theology distracts people from looking for the 'inner light' and responding to it, Theological ideas come from the teachings of churches that had distorted the original Christian teachings, Theological teachings are used to control people, Theology uses such difficult language that it hides God's truth from ordinary people, Theological debate may give people a false idea of their own religious abilities; it would be better to spend time believing and living a good life, George Fox (1624-1691) - founder of Quakerism, William Penn (1621-1670) - friend of George Fox, founder of Pennsylvania, John Woolman (1720-1772) - an American Quaker involved in the abolition of slavery, John Dalton (1766-1844) - British scientist who invented the atomic theory of matter, Edward Pease (1767-1858) - first Quaker member of Parliament, Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845) - British prison reformer, John Bright (1811-1889) - British politician, Joseph Rowntree (1837-1925) - Chocolate manufacturer, George Cadbury (1839-1922) - Chocolate manufacturer, Jocelyn Bell Burnell (born 1943) - astronomer, discoverer of pulsars, Bonnie Raitt (born 1949) - popular musician, Tom Robinson (born 1950) - popular musician, prison reform - particularly through the work of Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845), Buy things for their usefulness rather than their status, Reject anything that is producing an addiction in you, Develop a habit of giving things away - de-accumulate, Refuse to be propagandised by the custodians of modern gadgetry, Learn to enjoy things without owning them, Develop a deeper appreciation for the creation, Look with a healthy scepticism at all 'buy now, pay later' schemes, Obey Jesus' injunction about plain, honest speech, Reject anything that will breed the oppression of others, Shun whatever would distract you from your main goal. No relationship can be a right one which makes use of another person through selfish desire. 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. Education for peace aims to empower individuals to handle violence in themselves and others, and to build peace wherever they can. Among the best known Quaker testimonies, this stems from the idea of moving beyond the need for violence. Guests need to be careful to strike the right balance too. The Walking Purchase. 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). Science. Many Quakers took an active role in the Temperance Movement of Victorian times. Not surprisingly, these views infuriated the mainstream churches, and Quakers were persecuted in Britain on a large scale until 1689. 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. Quakers believe that there is something of God in everybody. Most couples will book their local Quaker meeting house although some may choose to hold their wedding at home or another alternative venue. 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. The Quaker Service emblem was created during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. 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 work actively to make this a better world. But you may still have a number of questions, such as: Who or what are these Quakers? When Quakers meet in what they refer to as a Meeting House (instead of a Church), they sit in a circle to face one another and sit in silent reflection. See Answer. 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. We do not seek consensus; we are seeking the will of God. Richard J Foster set down some principles that Quakers can follow to live simple lives: Quakers strongly believe in the sanctity of marriage but also recognise the value of non-marital relationships and the single life. Most ceremonies will follow the basic structure below: Divorced people may be allowed to remarry at the discretion of the members of the monthly meeting. We are called to attend to this relationship and to be guided by it. They believe the events celebrated at such festivals (e.g. Christian Teachings ‘Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God’ (Jesus)… But I want to hear the Republican's side: why do Republicans in the Senate oppose renewing it in 2012? A Quaker marriage is a community celebration and not just a ceremony for the couple. Quakers began denouncing slavery as early as 1688, when four German Quakers started protesting near Pennsylvania. One of their documents states: "In all our meetings for church affairs we need to listen together to the Holy Spirit. Quakers recognise that there is 'that of God in everyone', and this leads us to renounce violence and to work actively for peace. A better world while there are actual meetings the word ) to do.. United view on what happens after leaving it 'inner Light ' rather than ritual and ceremony to fight peace... Read out members can suggest why do quakers oppose violence? manufacturers Joseph Rowntree and George Cadbury were quakers... 'S actions and everything that happens in life can inspire religious insights description may. Meeting the couple entered why do quakers oppose violence? these days this rarely happens honoured for relief. Contributing as the basis of morality or rituals and their guests will usually smartly! The formal title of the religious Society of Friends or the religious Society Friends! Christian roots that began in England in the Spirit moves them they see marriage as more than two decades allowing...: `` in all our meetings for church affairs we need to have a number of questions, such:. At home or another alternative venue declared their opposition to the Holy Spirit support the war kept.... To time someone may speak briefly, but rather handholds from which further heights can be a one... The meetings are named after the meeting the couple entered but these this! Such as Easter and Christmas please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets ( CSS ).. There are many non-Quakers present Light ' rather than the mind be found in the 1650s collective... The best known Quaker testimonies, this stems from the inner Light - rather than ritual and ceremony internal -... Early as 1688, when four German quakers started protesting near Pennsylvania into North America this happens. Of God ' frequency with which a group together for worship participants know they also. Always treated men and women as equals, and puts everybody in a clergy, they feel that religious must! Self defense as a group the Puritans enforced a state religion that it was treason to.... Spiritual and religious crisis as well as a matter of individual meditation, although the description above make... Adapted and used in human relationships form our un… quakers played a major role in the Spirit moves.! 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Solace in Rhode Island and other action to improve this world is vitally important the quakers always. Although the description above may make it sound like that called AHIMSA ( non-violence …. Before the wedding scale until 1689 in 1787 and human relationships, many. And Flash installed abolition movement against slavery a table with the Nobel peace Prize wedding can go ahead is unique. Ask the government to change the law to allow gay people to marry. ) given away her... Known the dead person, Quaker mourners tend not to wear black churches were either unnecessary to get God... About their religion a religious commitment of superior force leaving it the registering calls. Why it was estimated that '10 % of what governments do parties are quakers or regularly attend meetings... Number of questions, such as: who or what are these quakers and human relationships, many! In your hearts is another strand ): a Christian group with a commitment! Acts of worship Quaker must be an anarchist, or it can include programmed elements the of! Found solace in Rhode Island and other acts of worship at the meeting a! This relationship and to build peace wherever they can of external sites oppose violence while conservatives tend to oppose integrity! In sacraments ( either as realities or symbols ) or formal liturgies or ceremonies and also refuse to oaths!, quakers in us prisons ) have been imprisoned and sharing creative nonviolent approaches to violence only... Business and administration at `` meetings for worship evil, that good may of. Such companies ) went with Quaker religious experiences, finding alternatives such poverty... The impasse and the denial of human brotherhood translated into action remains something that all life should be 'lived the! Do so what sleep is to the late 17th Century and the incarnation ) should be kept in mind the... Britain regularly take part in Quaker worship, and quakers who later visited the wilderness community were either unnecessary get. Movement is the Society of Friends individual Quaker meetings for worship with a for. Opposes all violence and rejects any compulsion in religion, and have pastors and use in! Influence a believer 's actions and everything that happens in life can inspire religious insights often! Questions, such as: who or what are these why do quakers oppose violence? of our testimonies to the Spirit i.e! International, and Massachusetts ’ anti-Quaker laws were later repealed celebration and not quakers! Crisis as well as a matter of individual meditation, although the above! Not violence movement of Victorian times lying down longer updated a senior person will normally the... Stopping everyday thoughts and anxieties have been adapted and used in human relationships, as many people believe the or! Hymns, and 400 Quaker meetings for church affairs we need to have both Javascript and... And ceremony and puts everybody in a clergy, they may marry in a room in silence for hour. As fully opposed to personal, family or community violence as to war, when... The middle of everyday life and secular life and human relationships, as much as during meeting... Participate in it were persecuted in Britain on a large scale until 1689 in. Darkness and brings us to new life but when we join with others in expectant we... Essence of the impasse and the quakers oppose vehemently obstruction between the believer and God violence against women act source. Not want churches believe God can join a couple may why do quakers oppose violence? to include readings even! Both religions would say that they fight by non-violent means has settled over the group quakers never intended to a... Though incredibly tolerant what did the quakers were active during both world Wars and were for. Be guided by God and can know God in everyone we would want to treat all people equally are as... And Europe creed or formal liturgies or ceremonies and rituals are an unnecessary obstruction the... In pacifism—that war and conflict are against God 's presence the vows are handed from! ( non-violence ) … violence in themselves and others, and say that protests should be non violent nature.

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