Quakers pioneered social enterprise. They were also the first to fail: How hard was it to opt out of the slave economy in the U.S. before the Civil War? Pretty hard, as the "free produce" movement discovered: In 1829... the members of [the Female Association for Promoting the Manufacture and Use of Free Cotton] reported their contractors had spun 2,515 pounds of cotton. Compared to the approximately 78 million pounds of cotton produced across the country in the year 1800 alone, it was a drop in the bucket. The economics of slavery previously.
When a grown woman and her seventy-something mother engage in yearly debates about the existence of Santa, I think we can agree: there’s a problem. Of course, my mother believes the problem is mine, while I tag her as the source of the annual angst. But who’s telling this story?
A group of American Quakers say they are offering a way out for some desperate Ugandans fleeing the country’s new Anti-Homosexuality Act. If their account is accurate, it is a remarkable feat for a handful of individuals with very little experience in international aid.... Most Ugandan activists and international human rights groups are discouraging LGBT Ugandans from fleeing, since they largely go to Kenya and wind up in enormous refugee camps that are often just as dangerous for LGBT people as Uganda itself.... But the stories of people fleeing arrest or attack tug at the hearts of foreigners who want to offer direct help to people in crisis. The complex reality on the ground makes that hard to do through established channels — and the donors may never know the individuals they’ve helped. [more inside]
What Does D-Day, MLK JR and Tennessee Williams have in common? NO, not that D-Day. The other D-Day. [more inside]
Baptizing Dead Quakers. One woman's perspective on a family struggle over genealogy, proxy baptism, and discerning the best interests of those long gone.
The body of Tom Fox (a Quaker peace activist and Christian Peacemaker Team member who was abducted [previous MeFi discussion] by insurgents last November) has been found in Baghdad.
Tom Fox, a Quaker peaceworker, abducted in Iraq with three others. He understood the risks, accepted them, and now must "stand firm against the kidnapper as... against the soldier". His friends and supporters are calling for the hostages to be released, making it clear that they "[do] not advocate the use of violent force" to save lives.