[saymaListserv] A historical analysis of the current crisis

Taimi Olsen tolsen at tusculum.edu
Fri Oct 12 14:34:19 JEST 2001

I appreciated Larry's message.  I was just talking with colleagues about the
bombing campaign (one of whom is from France and mentioned that her parents see
US planes flying overhead constantly).  It's helpful to hear peace perspectives
and to be reminded of historical and world contexts.

Larry and I both teach, which reminded me of a question.  Has anyone--either
through Meeting or campus groups--tried to do a peace teach-in?  And if so, what
was tried and with what success?  Also, I've pasted in a message (see below)
which I received from NC Friends.  It gives the link to a new Quaker Peace Site
by Chuck Fager.

Taimi Olsen
Foxfire Friends Meeting (Johnson City)

-----Original Message-----
From: CHUCKFAGER at aol.com [mailto:CHUCKFAGER at aol.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2001 12:43 AM
To: fqa at quaker.org
Subject: A New Webpage on Quaker Pacifism

Dear Friends,

        In the current wartime environment, and especially in light of the
perceived threats of terrorism against "civilians," many Friends in the US
elsewhere are thinking and rethinking the meaning of the Friends Peace
Testimony.  Some of the questions being asked are:

        How "pacifist" were early Friends, really?
        What are the limits, if any, to the pacifism of the famous 1661
        Is there a valid distinction between "police actions" and military
force, from the Quaker perspective?  If so, how is the distinction
        What is the proper place for punishment and revenge in situations
as we now face?
         Does pacifism have any meaning in the face of violence against the
innocent and defenseless?

    Already, one Friend with a high public profile, Scott Simon of National
Public Radio, has gone on record as abandoning his understanding of pacifism

in the face of  recent violence. Others may feel similarly, but many Friends

still are resolved to hold to a strong pacifist commitment.

        To assist in further exploration of these and related issues, I have
set up The Quaker Peace Page, a webpage, at:


       Here you will find excerpts from various Quaker statements on peace
pacifism, old and new, plus links to numerous related articles (including
Scott Simon's statement), all also on the web. I expect to add to the page
additional resources become available.

        I hope Friends and others will find this page and its links of use
sorting out these difficult issues for themselves.

Chuck Fager

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