Quaker Bloggers Respond to Maggie’s Post “YOU ARE NOT A QUAKER (so please stop calling yourself one)”

In the first few days after Maggie’s recent blog post, we realized that she had hit a nerve as the comments just kept coming in. That realization deepened over the following days, as we started to see blog entries popping up in response. We’ve been sharing them as we see them on our Facebook page, but it seemed like a good idea to compile them here for our readers to peruse.

If you know of others, please feel free to point them out in the comments section.

1: “Who is Quaker?”

“What if we were to confess that none of us are really Quakers anymore? What would happen if we had the courage to stop laying claim to the past glories of George Fox, Margaret Fell, William Penn and Bayard Rustin? What if, instead of basking in the fiction of our status as “Quakers,” we humbled ourselves and started putting our energy into actually nurturing the communities that depend on us?” More…

Micah Bales
The Lamb’s War

2: “Called Out, Called In: Maggie Harrison’s Loving Challenge”

“I come to this perspective after days of sitting on the consternation and judgment of thinking Maggie’s words—ironical, creative, or not—were childish and harkening back to some imagined and impossible to recreate period in mythic Quaker history.” More…

Victoria Pearson

3: “Why Being Told I Wasn’t a Quaker Was the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me”

“All of my knowing that I was a Quaker – heck, all of my knowing what Quakerism was – was flattened by this one mentor-who-seemed-to-care-a-lot-about-me-yet-said-this-really-shitty-thing-that-pissed-me-off. So now I mostly only knew that maybe there were a lot of things about being a Quaker that I didn’t know yet. Like, maybe a whole lot of things. Like, maybe the most important things.” More…

Jon Watts

4: “Diffident No More”

“Not that I’m signing any manifestos. I’ve already explicitly refused to lay any claim on being able to define “real” Friends. But I still want to know, does anyone care if you or I are Friends? Do you? Does God? Is any person’s life made more whole by the fact that you or I identify with Quakers?” More…

Can You Believe?

5: “The Prophetic Calling: It’ll Break Your Heart”

“I keep bringing politics back into this because for Early Quakers, Jesus, and Dr. King there really was no separation between religion and politics. Becoming clothed in righteousness isn’t your personal ticket to inward purity, no way. It’s about asking to be a servant of humanity’s deepest, most denied dreams. In fact, I actually don’t think “getting naked” is the best metaphor. To become a prophetic revolutionary, you have to have your heart broken, permanently.” More…

Charley Earp
Leftist Quaker

6: “Aspiring to Be Quaker”

“In a world full of churches that call themselves Christian but really contain people aspiring to be Christian, it is not surprising that a world full of meetinghouses contains people aspiring to be Quaker. We call ourselves Quakers and Christians, but because that is the path, not a destination we’ve reached.” More…

Simon St. Laurent
Light and Silence

7: “Un-Unitarian? “

“I’ve just come across this post, “YOU ARE NOT A QUAKER (so please stop calling yourself one”, which is causing a stir amongst Quaker bloggers. It made me wonder, would Unitarians ever declare someone not a Unitarian? (Other than a Trinitarian Christian perhaps…)” More…

Life in 361˚

8: “I am not a Quaker. But could a naturist be a Quaker? “

“Nonetheless, I believe that beyond the metaphorical nakedness of Maggie and Jon’s clothing-oneself-in-righteousness, actual, literal nakedness has a place in living an authentic life. It’s not only not incompatible with faith and belief, it’s a way to enhancing faith and belief.” More…

Nude, Renewed

9: “A Messy Faith- Inclusivity Within Friends “

“If we start saying, ‘I am a Quaker and you are not.’ We are setting up Quakerism to be an enclosed community, a gated community, again. Who will have the keys? Who will make up the rules?” More…

Greg Woods
Reflections and Thoughts

2: “Nakedness”

“How I long to take all the names I wear—Quaker, non-theist, Democrat, American, Cartographer, White, Male, Straight—and take them off one by one like pieces of clothing, to be able to stand there, shivering slightly because it is February in Minnesota.” More…


Posted in News & Videos | 7 Comments

7 Responses to Quaker Bloggers Respond to Maggie’s Post “YOU ARE NOT A QUAKER (so please stop calling yourself one)”

  1. M Golby says:

    It matters not at all, surely, what people call you nor what you call yourself. It may matter that the Society of Friends is upheld as an institutional embodiment of the historic principles and testimonies we live by. So it matters that at least a critical mass of people clings together. Am I one? Are you?

  2. Markku Hirn says:

    I don`t agree! Beeig a quaker is a state of mind not liknnes of early friends!

  3. Sue Tannehill says:

    What if, instead of these intellectual/ heartfelt dealings with one another we were simply to post, each day, each week, each month what we individually or collectively did to LITERALLY feed the hungry, clothe the naked (if they wish to be clothed of course) and comfort the afflicted. What did we do LITERALLY to love God with all our strength soul, might and heart?
    After a month or two of these postings we could revisit this conversation and see whether it is still relevant. Perhaps our definitions will have shifted under us creating new tectonic plates on which we may stand, or we will grin at one another and carry on with the work we have been commanded to do, whether or not anyone joins us, carries our name, the name of our faith, or looks like us.
    If we are doing these things, perhaps it will not matter who does and doesn’t belong, who is and isn’t. There is much to do, and our commandment is, to my mind, pretty clear.
    What did you do today that fits under these commands?

  4. Chuck FAger says:

    Sorry, too busy to comment. Get back to me when there’s a serious statement to respond to.

  5. christa says:

    so in my breaf looking over this hole page there is one thing that sticks out to me the most about the blog “you are not Quaker so stop calling your self one” if we were all true quakers to what are founders wanted us to be then none of us she own a car or a cell phone or even get on the internet because that is not living a simple life we would go to meating on the 1st and 3rd day of each week and not indalg in to exstravigent things like technoligey…I am just as gillty as the next quaker for staying up with technoligy but if this is a disution of wether or not any one is truly a quaker then the only true quakers left in the world are probuly the ones that live in Africa and that is not to be racesd that is just were the most quakers are lockated

  6. Chris Wynn says:

    Being a Quaker is a journey. I may not always act and think like the “ideal” Quaker should, but I’m on the journey. Methinks we’d all be better off to not be too idealistic and just seek what God wants us to know and do in our lives. That sounds pretty Quaker to me.

  7. Randy Burns says:

    A tree is known by it’s fruit not it’s folage. If Christ Jesus be not formed in you, you are none of his. Why have you ended in outward works what you started in faith? With out Holiness, no one will ever see God. A true Quaker is led by the indwelling spirit of Christ, he takes up the cross given him by God and carries it to the bitter end. Like it or not we are all in the same boat, our righteousnous are as dirty rags. So do you realy think that when we are all gathered before Him on that great day to give account of our life, will the subject of what clothes you hung on your rotting frame in life ever come up? Christ lives and suffers with us, through us, do not close the door in His face. RB Church of the Living God

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