[saymaListserv] Re: Friends and Politics (long)
jhminshall at comcast.net
Thu Dec 18 21:30:01 JEST 2003
And thank you, Paul Nunis, for what I consider to be gentle eldering
though I really don't know which of us is older. By the standard of
other Friends' messages I don't think yours is long at all. (By the
way, I really like the Paul Robeson quote at the bottom.) Janet
>I agree with Friend Janet Minshall that such a serious
>discussion is well worth devoting electronic resources
>to. War and injustice would certainly count among the
>concerns that occupy my thoughts, as I am sure they do
>for others. As to the manner in which Friends couch
>their distress over such concerns, I would not presume
>to comment on mere form or style.
>I could however, wish that some statements were chosen
>with an eye toward unintended consequences. I
>personally do not hold such self editing to be either
>obfuscation, or at odds with Friendly notions of Truth
>or plain speaking.
>One such consequence might be the alienation of the
>listener. While we are all Friends, we are most
>assuredly not always the same.
>Labels which are handy, such as Republican, or
>Democrat, etc. tend to pigeonhole the communication
>into an Us/them framework, and close an awful lot of
>doors and ears.
>Soon we may be left in the un-Friendly position of
>preaching to the choir...<G>
>(The chasm between Us and them has never to my
>knowledge been narrowed by naming 'them' in connection
>with a litany of wrongdoings).
>Potentially more harmful in the substitution of a
>uniform standard of Truth for the Friendly Integrity
>testimony, is the all too human tendency to allow the
>ends to justify the means.
>Soon we are operating with a goal of showing 'them'
>that We are owners of the Truth, and before you know
>it, the goal becomes more important than either truth
>or integrity...a loss too great to be dismissed
>Another concern which occurs to me, is that that
>partisan labelling and finger pointing sends a very
>powerful message that our concern is far more partisan
>Are we opposed to war, or only to the current
>Are we opposed to greed and profiteering, or only to
>one party's greed and profiteering?
>(And, I would note that saying 'Well of course we are
>opposed to all war, But...' can be seen as akin to a
>logical double negative in that it reverses the
>meaning of everything that prefaced the 'But').
>So, I find reason to wish that there were more
>messages that left off the partisan labels, and
>focused on substance.
>In closing, I guess that I feel as though we have been
>putting Republicans and Democrats and other such
>partisans in and out of office for quite a while now,
>and I feel that there may be much more important work
>being left undone if we pay too much attention to such
>" There is no standing above the conflict on Olympian heights...The
>artist must elect to fight for Freedom
>or for Slavery. I have made my choice. "
>Do you Yahoo!?
>New Yahoo! Photos - easier uploading and sharing.
Janet's new e mail address is : jhminshall at comcast.net
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