You’ll Never Guess Who Called Today: The NRA

When the NRA called, I listened. They didn’t want to talk to me, though! And then I did some research and discovered a personal connection to the NRA founders. Yikes! [Read more…]

As a Quaker, How Are You Keeping Your Temper?

Over lunch my friend asked me, “How are you doing with all this with Trump? I mean as a Quaker, how are you keeping your temper?”
What my friend knows is that I am a Quaker with a temper. [Read more…]

Warriors’ Writing Expresses Their Pacificism

A writing workshop for military veterans introduced me to warriors who had become pacifists. I worried that my views and beliefs would not be welcome here, but I was completely wrong. They accepted me just as I am. The Warrior Writers project came to a local community college to help the instructors understand their soldier [Read More…]

Least Among us Forgotten in the Health Care Debacle

There was no love in the health care bill introduced by the Speaker of the House. The only love coming from 45 was love of self and his fairly embarrassing need for love. His empty assurances that there would be terrific coverage for everyone were a plea for all to love him. But it left me wondering, “Does his everyone include the street people?” [Read more…]

Homeless Youth Offer Grace and Forgiveness

“I don’t want to think about that stuff and I’m not going to write about it either.” John grabbed his backpack and stalked  out the door.  I had pushed too hard. It had happened in a moment. As the organizer of a writing project called Poetry Heals, I have learned great lessons from the homeless [Read More…]

Parenting a Nonviolent Boy in a Violent World

Kids with Quaker parents suffer all sorts of small embarrassments. Their parents wear political tee shirts … everywhere. Their box lunches are full of organic, vegetarian food that no one wants to trade for in the cafeteria. When the kids get together, they roll their eyes and make jokes about their urban farms, eating granola [Read More…]

Who Holds Our Moral Compass? Who Carries Moral Authority?

For some time, I was willing to consider some of these people as one Voice for Christianity. I regretted the slant that they were often perceived as the only voice, but I was willing to accept them as A Voice. But this year, I am not just angry, but find the hypocrisy to be overwhelming and the message to be a betrayal of Christian values. In this last year and a half, the white Republican Evangelical Christians have lost any moral high ground they might have possessed in the past. [Read more…]

Teach Children to Question Authority: They Will Like You As Adults

That someone’s mother would forbid their daughter to read book seemed unbelievable to my son. That the speaker was nearing her 30s and still hadn’t read the book blew my mind. And then there was the fact that neither woman seemed to think this prohibition was worthy of questioning. [Read more…]

John Stafford’s Poem Called “Poetry” Makes Us See

John Stafford was a poet, a Quaker, a pacifist and much more.  Every War Has Two Losers, edited by his son Kim Stafford,  brings together previously unpublished poems, journal entries and prose pieces that speak to me across the decades. “Poetry” does the job a good poem always does of helping me see the world [Read More…]

Quakers Always Among Friends: A Lesson from Friends Central Debacle

Quakers work, learn and worship together. The full and formal name for our faith is the Religious Society of Friends. The name Quaker came about as a derogatory description of early Quaker preachers who spoke in public squares and interrupted church services; they literally quaked as they spoke. As Friends, we emphasize that everyone can [Read More…]