[saymaListserv] "...exactly the same number of peacemakers..."

Mary Calhoun moriah at preferred.com
Wed Nov 17 16:11:57 JEST 2004

Dear f/Friends,

The following, with his permission, is a forward-of-a-forward from Hibbard Thatcher.

Mary Calhoun


----- Original Message ----- 

From: "Jay Thatcher" <jthatch at peak.org>
To: <Cthatcher at aol.com>
Sent: Thursday, November 11, 2004 8:31 PM
Subject: FWD: Why I am not Bummed out today

> Carl
> Here's the piece from Peggy Parsons.
> Jay T.
> >
> >Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2004 09:52:03 -0800
> >To: Jay Thatcher <jthatch at peak.org>
> >From: Wayne  Yarnall <Wayne at yarnall.org>
> >Subject: FWD:  Why I am not Bummed out today
> >
> >
> >This message from Peggy Parsons, Pastor, Freedom Friends Church has given
> >me hope.
> >
> >Wayne
> >November 3, 2004
> >
> >Ok, I was a little depressed this morning for about an hour, things
> >didn't exactly go my way in the election - especially the things 
> >I cared the most about - but the depression didn't last long.
> >
> >On about the second cup of coffee the sun broke through the fog, and my
> >magnificent Maple tree was still lit up like fire in my front yard.  It
> >has rained sideways for two days here in Salem, and when it started I
> >thought, "well, that is the end of the color show", but somehow those
> >crimson and gold leaves hung on until today.  I took it as an omen.
> >
> >Then I washed my face and put my sneakers on and went to Freedom Friends
> >ministry and oversight committee.  And I started to remember a few
> >things.
> >
> >First, being in power is never a good thing for the Body of Christ.
> >Mixing power and faith is always bad for faith.  Constantine turned
> >Christian martyrs into Inquisitors by making the Faith legal and
> >mandatory.  Our Puritan founders came to this country to escape
> >persecution, established their own legal faith and started burning people
> >and hanging people right off the bat.  Some of those killed were
> >Quakers.  In Europe where they have state religions, religious devotion
> >has dropped to all time lows.  The right-wing, religious fundamentalists
> >may think that they won yesterday -- they may actually have won.  But I
> >assure you -- it won't be good for them.  The infighting will start and it
> >will start soon, watch with me.
> >
> >On the other hand, being out of power -- even persecuted -- is always good
> >for the faith.  I knew an old Quaker missionary who spent years in
> >China.  It was a hard gig, so little ground was made.  Then Mao came
> >along, chased the missionaries out and declared atheism to be the state
> >religion.  No one got in for about twenty years, but when they did they
> >found millions of indigenous Chinese Christians.  Faith sometimes grows
> >strongest in bad soil with a toxic wind.
> >
> >Today I have the good fortune to have been given a Divine commission to
> >build a liberal, loving, inclusive church.  Today there are many people
> >here in Salem feeling bummed and alienated and ostracized.  I intend to
> >work my tail off giving them a place to feel welcomed and accepted.  The
> >conditions couldn't be better for me.
> >
> >Second, when it comes to the issue of allowing gay and lesbian full civil
> >and religious rights, I know I am working on the side of Justice and
> >Love.  This is never a bad long-term investment. And there is no other
> >ground that I would rather be standing on.  Our Quaker ancestors were on
> >the cutting edge of all kinds of Loving Justice issues; abolition,
> >women's rights, mental health treatment, prison reform, civil rights.
> >Many of them worked their lifetimes to see justice come into flower. 
> > Some of them died before they saw it.  (Yes, I mean that exactly
> > as I wrote it! - I think they saw it after they died, and see it now.)
> > It was a tough road while they worked, but they became 
> > heroes.  We are working to be the heroes of our 
> > great-grandchildren.  Let us not let them down!
> >
> >And I know that the other side thinks that they too are working for love
> >and justice - but this is in our favor.  For it is the ground we will
> >eventually win on.  Open hatred is the minority, and it is entrenched and
> >hard to beat on the heart level.  But most of the people on the 
> >other side of this issue are not really hate-filled. And because of 
> >that, Love will eventually win.
> >
> >"Love never fails" -- Paul the Apostle.
> >
> >I know that many are really hurting today.  The hope of many young voters
> >has been stung -- we must speak up and tell them that they have taken
> >courageous first steps in a life long journey.  I know that there are at
> >least 6,000 people in Oregon who just had their most personal precious
> >relationship put to public referendum and rejected. I can only imagine
> >what it would be like to have the validity of my marriage put on the
> >ballot.  But we have to stand beside them and tell them that they are not
> >alone, and that the fight is not over. We have to give them places where
> >their relationships are honored and nurtured.  There is no law or
> >constitution that can stop us from doing this.
> >
> >It looks like Peace has taken a blow, but do not be deceived.  War and
> >strife is always based in fear and deceit -- we can fight these things,
> >our only real enemies.  There is always something you can do. You 
> >always have a choice.  Are you afraid of a draft?  Well, we have run 
> >an underground railroad before, and we can do it again if we need
> >to. We have gone to jail before, and walked out victorious.
> >
> >Last, I remembered that there are exactly the same number of peacemakers,
> >and justice builders, and love encouragers in the world today as
> >yesterday.  I am one, you are one, there are millions of us, and we are
> >just as talented, and determined and confidant as ever. No election can
> >stop this work, or undo a mite of its produce.
> >
> >I love this country.  I even like it most of the time.  I have seen
> >anarchy and chaos in the third world and -- trust me -- this with all its
> >faults, this is still a good deal.  But I am first a citizen of another
> >country, one that is not bound by time or geography, one that is not
> >affected by fear or greed or ignorance.  It is the only country that gets
> >my full allegiance, and the only army I will fight in.  It is the Kingdom
> >of Christ, and He is my sovereign and friend, and co-creator.  And when I
> >work and fight for His cause, it can only benefit this temporal realm.
> >
> >So pick yourself up! Shake it off, and let's get to work.  The need is
> >great, the situation is favorable to our cause, and we have nothing to
> >fear.
> >Truth arrives in funny places.  I saw this on the back of a shirt today
> >at Muchas Gracias Drive Through.
> >"What lies behind us, and what lies before us, is nothing compared 
>>to what lies within us"
> >
> >AMEN 
>>Yours faithfully,
> >Peggy Senger Parsons
> >Pastor, Freedom Friends Church
> >www.Freedomfriends.org 
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