Saturday, August 13, 2011

"Lost Quaker Journals"

Walhydra has been a convinced Quaker (aka Friend) for several decades.

She believes that one of Quakerism's strengths—though also one if its main sources of potential ambiguity and confusion—is that Quakers tend to value the Spirit-led testimony of individuals almost as much as they do Scriptures. This quality has led to a rich tradition of journaling and of sharing journals, going all the way back to the first Quakers in 17th century England.

Of course, as with any religious tradition, Quakers can get carried away with the seriousness of things. Walhydra being Walhydra, she gravitates toward those Quakers who, despite—or maybe even because of—their weighty faith and practice, have a healthy sense of the absurd, especially regarding themselves and even their most dearly held beliefs.

Association of Bad Friends & Bad Quaker Bible BlogThat being the case, when Friend Brent Bill and a number of other "virtual" Quakers created the Association of Bad Friends on facebook, she of course had to join.

On his blog, Holy Ordinary, Friend Brent once described the founding idea for the ABF in these terms:

Though I have been a member of the Religious Society of Friends all my life, I'm just not very good at being a Quaker. I find that I frequently fail to live up to the ideals of our Religious Society—I'm not always peaceable, humble, truthful, ...well that's enough confession. While confession might be good for the soul, too much is enough to send a depressive like me into an emotional tailspin. But now you know why I say I am a "bad Quaker."
Now Friend Brent has added another service by posting spoof excerpts from "Lost Quaker Journals." Here's the latest, from the Journal of Charles E. Hires:
April 1, 1876

This new temperance movement is driving me wacky. Women armed with hatchets chopping up saloons. It's just unseemly. It's enough to drive a Quaker to drink. What I wouldn't give for a pint of stout right now. Still, there has got to be some way to make some money on it. That Canadian fellow McLaughlin may be on to something with his "Ginger Ale." What could I come up with? .... Hmmm, how about "Sassafras Ale?" No. I've got it. "Root Beer!" We can have our beer and our temperance, too!
There's more.


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