IMP^o^051 Chatt AFSC Minute

gerald rudolph grudolph at clarity-dev.com
Mon Mar 27 10:51:47 JEST 2000


Larry,

I do not have the time now to quickly address the questions you raise, and I
am sure the people on the list are not pleased to hear our disagreements.  I
will try to address your questions later this week.

I hope this issue does not cause SAYMA yearly meeting to be as rancorous as
in some past years.  I am sure the various meetings can search their own
heart about this issue.

I know that Larry and others in the Chattanooga meeting are honest in their
search, and though I disagree strongly and will continue to support AFSC, I
want them to know that I do not want to create barriers of hostility with
them.  I feel a lack of skill in articulating disagreements with words that
(hopefully ) add light to the issue rather than heat.  I recall the
hostility that was generated when Columbia Friends in past years have
brought issues to SAYMA,  and hopefully I can control my words sufficiently
to keep from raising the conflict from a loving concern to an angry
conflict.

In Peace,
Gerald Rudolph

----- Original Message -----
From: "Larry Ingle" <lingle at bellsouth.net>
To: "Gerald L. Rudolph" <grudolph at clarity-dev.com>; "sayma"
<sayma at kitenet.net>
Cc: <afscinfo at afsc.org>
Sent: Monday, March 27, 2000 4:40 AM
Subject: Re: IMP^o^051 Chatt AFSC Minute


> Unfortuately, I have received little insight into Gerald Rudolph's
> definitions of what Quakers ought to be about.  All I have learned is that
> he does not like the Chattanooga minute on the matter--for the record, I
had
> nothing at all to do with that minute (its words are not mine, and I doubt
> that withholding funds is the best way to deal with the problems as we
> collectively saw them)--that he support FCNL--not until now a part of the
> controversy--and that he does not favor a central authority that can
decide
> where meetings send money--other than AFSC's constant posturing as
"Quaker"
> and promoting itself as the place to send it.
>
> One of the things that I have discovered is that AFSC adamantly disavows a
> discussion of history, for a mere glance at the past demonstrates how far
> AFSC has strayed.  Like Gerald Rudolph, its leadership desires to talk
> generally about helping prisoners, the poor, and the oppressed, without
very
> many specifics.
>
> But let me be specific:  Harper's Magazine reported that while the
> Croatian-Yugoslavian civil war was going on in the early 1990s, AFSC
> sponsored a conference in the Balkans to deal with [you guessed it:] the
> plight gays and lesbians experienced.  I know I would not have placed that
> matter at the top of my list of what Quakers ought to be about in a war
> zone.
>
> Another specific:  AFSC's infamous "1000 meetings in 100 days" effort,
> designed to reverse the results of the 1994 Republican electoral victory
by
> focusing attention on the bad results that it had had on localities.
After
> 200 days, they had, by their count, 333 meetings and absolutely no impact
on
> the broader process.  Even if they had, I would challenge Gerald Rudolph
or
> others to explain how such a blazenly partisan and transparent Democratic
> political maneuver could possible sail under the banner of "Quaker."
>
> Not only that, but AFSC flew members of its staff to Philadelphia to
listen
> to Kara Newell deliver herself of a speech that excoriated Americans for
> supporting such people at Newt Gingrich and his allies.  This a Quakerly
use
> of AFSC's resources?  As a Democrat, I was raised to believe that what the
> people said was what ought to be done.
>
> What I'd like to hear from Gerald Rudolph is some specific examples of
> AFSC's humanitarianism--do not read humanitarian as Quaker there!  I can
> give him some, such as sending schools supplies to Haiti and Bosnia, aid
to
> Central American after recent hurricanes there--activities in which
> Chattanooga Friends gladly participated.  But talk to me not of holding
> conferences in the Balkans, during a war, about lesbian and gay rights.
>
> Such specifics could be multiplied.
>
> Larry Ingle
>
>
>
> ----------
> >From: "Gerald L. Rudolph" <grudolph at clarity-dev.com>
> >To: "Larry Ingle" <lingle at bellsouth.net>, "sayma" <sayma at kitenet.net>
> >Subject: Re: IMP^o^051 Chatt AFSC Minute
> >Date: Sun, Mar 26, 2000, 10:08 PM
> >
>
> >> So before Gerald Rudolph rides off into the sunset convinced that he
(and
> >> AFSC) are acting Quakerly, I would suggest 1) that he be a little more
> >> specific about how simply helping the poor, prisoners, and those on the
> >> margins of society is Quakerly rather than humanitarian and 2) that he
> >> compose for us a little essay in which he sketches out what being
"Quaker"
> >> is in this context.
> >
> > I suspect there would be considerable difference in what I consider
being
> > "Quaker" and what Larry considers "Quaker".  I would not want to suggest
> > that I have greater access to the Light than Larry in this or any other
> > matter.
> >
> > I support FCNL, and if asked if the work of FCNL is Quakerly I would say
> > yes.  If a FCNL employee approaches a congressperson about a piece of
> > legislation, and that employee is not a Quaker and the legislation is
> > humanitarian (with no reference to anything in Quakers history),  is the
> > work of that employee with that congressperson Quakerly?  That work is
being
> > done by funds that come from my meeting (partially) and is done on
behalf of
> > my meeting (and others), and it is work that is consistent with what is
> > important to me as a Quaker.  And the importance to me of the
legislative
> > lobbying by FCNL on my behalf comes from my faith.  The fact that FCNL
may
> > have hired a non-Quaker to do the lobby work is of little consequence to
me.
> >
> > Similarly, the work of AFSC for the poor, prisoners, and those on the
> > margins of society could be characterized as humanitarian, just as the
FCNL
> > work could be characterized as simply humanitarian lobbying.  But it is
> > consistent with what is important to me as a  Quaker.  It is done with
funds
> > that I (along with others) have contributed, it's Board and governing
body
> > is overwhelmingly Quaker, and it is done on my behalf (along with
others).
> > If the AFSC Board has decided that it is important to be an equal
> > opportunity employer rather than require that the majority of staff be
> > Quakers, that does not diminish in my mind the work that is done for
poor
> > and oppressed on behalf of Quakers.
> >
> > It is fortunate (or some may think it is unfortunate) that Quakers do
not
> > have a central authority who can pronounce for all of us what is
"Quakerly".
> > It is certainly not my place to suggest that Chattanooga Friends consult
me
> > about what is "Quakerly" before they decide how to distribute their
funds.
> > I would only ask that you don't try to bring additional harm to AFSC.
> >
> >> >From my experience, most of AFSC's courage flows from supporting
> > politically
> >> trendy, eastern drawing room types of solutions to problems, while the
> > only
> >> tokens its leadership is willing to toss in Quakers' direction are such
> >> nondescript words as "spirit."
> >
> > I do not know about eastern drawing rooms, and I am not  in touch with
> > trends.  However, I have been quite pleased with the stands they have
taken.
> >
> > I am glad, though,  to see that Larry is admitting that his concern with
> > AFSC is not simply a concern about whether "AFSC's internal operating
> > processes are compatible with Spirit-led Quaker principles.", but with
> > concerns about AFSC support of what he calls "trendy, eastern drawing
room
> > types of solutions to problems."  Perhaps some plain talk about what
this
> > really means would give us a clearer understanding of the underlying
concern
> > he has about AFSC.
> >
> > In Peace,
> > Gerald Rudolph
> >
> >
> >
>



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