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Mon Aug 27, 2012, 08:05 PM

"A Quaker's Response to Christian Fundamentalism" by Sallie B. King

Introduction

Many Friends are unprepared to meet the challenges of Christian fundamentalism. When acquaintances, co-workers or neighbors accost us, insisting upon certain conservative or fundamentalist theological views, many Friends find themselves tongue-tied and do not know what to think or say. Instruction in Friendsí beliefs, history and practices, instruction even in the Bible, while necessary, may not be enough. Some of us need to directly talk and think about the challenges we frequently receive from our Christian fundamentalist peers. It is to meet this challenge that I have written this pamphlet.1

The objective of this pamphlet is to help Friends understand Christian fundamentalism and our differences from it, so that they will not be intimidated, overpowered or confused in their interactions with their Christian fundamentalist peers. The goal is not to enable Friends to argue better with fundamentalists, but to understand their own religious tradition better and to understand better what they think in response to the challenge of Christian fundamentalism. While they are likely to find many points of difference from their fundamentalist peers, they may also find some points at which they may be able to build bridges of understanding. Examining these issues is, in fact, a very good way to understand more deeply what our Quaker beliefs and practices are all about.

This pamphlet is a response specifically to Christian fundamentalism. By fundamentalism I do not mean the many other kinds of Christian conservatism or evangelism, and I certainly do not mean mainstream Christianity. I mean the kind of fundamentalism popularized by such televangelists as Jerry Falwell. I have in mind the set of views that includes biblical inerrancy and literalism, salvation through the substitutionary atonement of Jesus, strong emphasis on human sinfulness, and strict Christian exclusivism.

There are, of course, many Quaker responses to Christian fundamentalism. This pamphlet could not possibly represent all Friendsí thinking and does not pretend to. It is written from the perspective of one Friend within the varied landscape of contemporary, liberal Quakerism. It is informed by my own, unique experience as a Friend, my reading of Friendsí materials both historical and contemporary, input from other Friends, and my academic training as a scholar of religion. On the fundamentalist side, it is informed by my interactions with fundamentalist students at the university where I teach and by my exposure to fundamentalist radio and publications.

-snip-

more: http://universalistfriends.org/library/a-quaker-s-response-to-christian-fundamentalism





I was going to post this in the Religion forum, but decided it was actually a Good Read.
If someone alerts for Wrong Forum, I understand.

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply "A Quaker's Response to Christian Fundamentalism" by Sallie B. King (Original post)
eShirl Aug 2012 OP
AnotherMcIntosh Aug 2012 #1
socialindependocrat Aug 2012 #2
Diclotican Aug 2012 #3
defacto7 Aug 2012 #4
Manifestor_of_Light Aug 2012 #5
defacto7 Aug 2012 #6

Response to eShirl (Original post)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 08:54 PM

1. Quakers = quiet, peaceful, rational. Fundamentalist = noisy, confrontational, irrational.

 

A Friend who thinks that they are going to find common ground with Fundamentalists = an extreme optimist.

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Response to eShirl (Original post)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 08:55 PM

2. Thank you....

My father's family was Quaker but I never asked him and he never said anything about being Quaker.

I have a ways to go in your pamphlet but I do get an aha from the spirit within vs. the sin aspect

I am from New Bedford, Mass. and I had read about alot of the whaling ship owners being Quaker. Because the Quakers were not judgmental toward others was one reason for there being a lot of blacks who came to New Bedford and worked on the whaling ships. It's nice to know that my home town grew from such kindness and understanding.

Thank you for sharing...

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Response to eShirl (Original post)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 09:39 PM

3. eShirl

eShirl

Some of the best people I have ever known, over the years - have been christians, who by their deeds have doing christ work - not by words alone. Most of them have not told a word about their belief, until you ask them - but they do good deeds and is not afraid of being dirty at their hands if nessesary... And they are friendly, and act in the interest of doing good... Some have been family members - some have been just nice people I have get to know over the years.. But they all treat others as humans - and doesn't care how rich or poor you might be.

And I have known people who is the opposite - who act as they are christian, byt who by their actions is not..

And I have allways beeing thinking about Quakers as nice pepole, often softspoken and kind. Even though I dosen't know to mutch about them:/

Diclotican

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Response to eShirl (Original post)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 11:53 PM

4. I really have had respect for the freedom and peacefulnesss of the Quaker Friends.

I am not a fan of religion in general but there are a couple of groups that stand for something without force or demands. I find the Friends (Quakers) one of those. I have even known congregations to have welcomed Atheists. Now how more open can a "church" be than that?

If you need a religious community, Quakers are a beautiful bunch. Each group chooses it's own style so one meeting group may be more liberal than another, but that's pretty healthy.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #4)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 02:44 AM

5. Unitarian-Universalists welcome atheists too.


From the UUA website (www.uua.org):

Atheists are people who do not believe in a god, while Agnostics are people who think that we cannot know whether a god exists. Both groups are welcome in Unitarian Universalism.

Today, a significant proportion of Unitarian Universalists do not believe in any type of god. Our congregations are theologically diverse places where people with many different understandings of the sacred can be in religious community together.

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Response to Manifestor_of_Light (Reply #5)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 04:16 PM

6. The UU has for the most part been accepting and open to Atheists, but

... there is a strong movement that is trying to change that landscape. John A. Buehrens, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association from 1993 to 2001 and still an active minister in a UU congregation in Massachusetts wrote a book called "A Chosen Faith" which is considered a basic primmer so to speak of the modern UU church. In it he says, "Atheists are in the grip of self-delusion", that Atheists are "worse than the violent zealots we condemn" and that we're practicing a "demonic pseudoreligion". His denunciations don't represent the stand of most UU members but this book is still one of it's main publictions and couldn't be said more forthrightly by Bible-thumping fundamentalists.

This book is still being promoted as the definitive introduction to Unitarian Universalism by the UUA's publishing arm. If anyone can claim to be a spokesperson for Unitarian Universalism as a whole, it would be them.

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