Diversity; Was: Re: IMP^o^051 Chatt AFSC Minute

gerald rudolph grudolph at clarity-dev.com
Fri Mar 31 19:23:00 JEST 2000


You have been a long-standing Friend who has contributed much to the yearly
meeting and to the Society of Friends over a number of years.  You can be
quite infuriating at times, but I hold no ill will, and know that you
sincere in your efforts to follow what you hold to be the truth.

Gerald Rudolph

----- Original Message -----
From: "Larry Ingle" <lingle at bellsouth.net>
To: <sayma at kitenet.net>
Sent: Friday, March 31, 2000 1:08 PM
Subject: FW: Diversity; Was: Re: IMP^o^051 Chatt AFSC Minute

> I very much appreciate Willard Vaughan's attempt to direct readers on this
> list to some rules.  I have seen similar ones before and agree that there
> some basis for using them, particularly when things get heated.
> I do not believe that either Gerald Rudolph or I were particularly heated
> overly stressed when we responded.  I took nothing that he said to heart
> personally, and I trust the same is true for him in response to my
> I do not think that plain speaking on matters of deep concern--or even
> responses--are examples of heated reactions.  They merely indicate the
> of one's concerns and interests.  Gerald Rudolph asked that critics of
> speak plainly--he was attempting, I think (although he can speak for
> himself), to ferret out examples of opposition to homosexual involvement
> and among AFSC, something of which I am not guilty--and I reciprocated.
> Apparently some--Peggy Bonnington, Perry Treadwell, and perhaps Free
> Polazzo--considered the rapid response and tone of our postings to
> anger and hostility, something "unQuakerly."  I did not sense this then
> do not now, on reflection.
> I think that Free Polazzo hit the nail on the head when he started his
> posting with "What is Quaker?"  This is the central issue, clearly related
> to this year's yearly meeting theme of diversity.  When we get into
> discussions of fundamental issues, we inevitably rub up against the
> of what Quakerism is anyway.  Does diversity go to basic levels or does it
> only concern superficial matters, such as, for example, how we part our
> (remaining?) hair?  Are your views (religious experiences) as important to
> you as mine are to me?  At what point can anyone rightful say, "I do not
> believe that your views (religious experiences and beliefs) are accepted
> the Society of Friends?"  On what basis can one say such a thing?
> The reality is that diversity has a very high value in our secular society
> and perhaps an even higher one in our religious one.  Hence we find such
> fundamental discussions to be upsetting and tendentious and try to avoid
> them if at all possible.  Unlike Gerald Rudolph, I think that a yearly
> meeting devoting to such basis exploration is something to be valued and
> cherished; if it doesn't move in on us a bit then it is not getting to
> issues.  I would hope that no on would stay away from SAYMA because of
> that someone might confront or respond to another's fundamental views.
> As to Willard Vaughan's desire for a "concise" history of AFSC, I am not
> sure that his wish is shared by others.  I could post a paragraph or two
> its history from an article I did a couple of years ago, if that is a
> general wish.  As a historian, I try to be as objective as possible, even
> I admit my biases, but I am aware that some might well see my contribution
> in this regard as an effort at propagandizing.  I await some responses.
> Larry Ingle
> ----------
> >From: "Willard Vaughan, PE" <teamenv at mail.premiernet.net>
> >To: Free Polazzo <friendlysystems at mindspring.com>
> >Subject: Re: IMP^o^051 Chatt AFSC Minute
> >Date: Fri, Mar 31, 2000, 8:36 AM
> >
> > I have oft thoght about the time when quakers would speak to an issue on
> > the listserve.  So far the list serve has only been used for small data
> > exchanges.  I think that a CALM and COLLECTIVE THOGUTHT PROCESS whould
> > be nice and allow us in SAYMA a more indepth discussion and allowing of
> > time to reflect and maybe even read other references to help understand
> > the issues.
> >
> > Well that time has come I see.  One note, the computer/internet people
> > have copied the quakers in that listservers are sometimes moderated.
> > That is to say someone is in charge of readding all emails prior to them
> > going out to the public and has the responsibility to reject any that
> > are not appropriate.  This is something like a censoring clerk.
> >
> > While I think that a listserve clerk may be necessary, (no we do not
> > need another slot for the nominating commmittee to fill)  I also feel
> > that maybe some ground rules may be need to be established much like we
> > have in meeting.  Here are my modest proposals:
> >
> > 1.  Much in the manner of allowing a peroid of time after spoken message
> > in meeting, there also needs to be a peroid of time after an email.
> > Quick responses are often emotional and do not add to the logic decision
> > process and proper spirit of the concern.  It is suggested that an email
> > wait (season) for 24 hours before responding.  I have found that this is
> > an effective tool for both myself and my work habits.  It would not
> > hurt  as I have found, to print the email and discuss it with other
> > Friends if necessary.  I have done this and it helps me put things right
> > before I do something really dumb.
> >
> > 2.  Much like English 101 - please state in clear english in 25 words or
> > less what you are trying to say.  This should come at the begining of
> > the email so that all can see quickly your topic and what your intent is
> > with the email.  Then have following paragragphs or chapters if you are
> > so inclined to explain your who what or whys.
> >
> > 3.  Be constructive - The hardest lesson the technicans who work with me
> > had to learn was that I did not have the answeres to all of their
> > problems.  They would come to me and state a problem and ask what to
> > do.  I would often reply with a question of what do you suggest?  They
> > always had a better answer to the problems then I could generate.
> > Therefore if there is a problem, provide what you feel may be a
> > solution.  The solution may help others to better define the problem.
> >
> > 4.  Do not be de-constructive - We all have personalities and I know
> > that given the choice I would like to ask some persons "Is that dumb ass
> > remark that you said the way you want it recorded in the proceedings?"
> > But no thanks to Penny and the spirit, I keep it quite and let it go.
> > But I do have to look into the remark and try to find that of God for I
> > am sure it is there looking for me.  We need to not attack directly or
> > indicectly others.  To many people have put to much of themselves into
> > projects - programs, etc. and when people discuss these
> > projects/programs they feel they are being discussed.  We all need to
> > carefull.
> >
> > And finaily remember this, if you pull your pants down, someone is going
> > to look!  You are on a list serve that a lot silent persons are reading
> > and while pictures are worth a thousand words, so far we have about one
> > and half pictures of some very interesting persons.
> >
> > But also, I have seen good quakers bit their lips and not say what needs
> > to be said for fear of hurting others. That to me is just as great of a
> > sin as speaking hurtfully to others.  George Fox stood up in the churchs
> > and spoke to the matter at hand. The preachers did not want to hear it
> > but the people did.  And yes he was initally forcefull to break the
> > bonds of the church but then he was gentel in the ways of explaining and
> > teaching.
> >
> > In the matter of AFSC our attention has been directed and I for one
> > thank you for reminding me that there was an issue and that I had made a
> > committment to myself to follow up and do more homework to better
> > understand the issue.  For this I am thankful.  Now can you start again
> > with the discussion in a CALM and RATIONAL manner so that we can be
> > educated and informed.
> >
> > SUGGESTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
> >
> > Larry can you put together a concise history of AFSC for us all to
> > better understand some of the issues you are addressing.  You keep
> > talking about leaving the quaker tradition behind, what is that
> > tradition. Pleae give places for futher reading and such.  It would be
> > nice if this turned into a first hour discussion paper...hint
> >
> > Gerald can you put together a concise history of what AFSC has done
> > recently that started all the discussion.  Please be factual and
> > commentary if fine but be carful that you are explaining and not
> > preaching. (sounds like another first hour paper)
> >
> > Free - I know you have your heart soul and money in SERO - what can we
> > (people of SAYMA) do to interface directly with SERO so that we can get
> > our hands dirty so to speak in better understanding SERO and AFSC? (I
> > got a hammer and a pray.......)
> >
> > Peace and love
> >
> > Willard Vaughan
> >
> >

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