Where is the land of milk and honey? Is the Fertile Crescent the beginning of civilization? The Middle East is a crossroads of Asia, Europe and Africa, why is the US military so entangled there? The land caressing the Jordan and Euphrates rivers is ancient, with the taste of pomegranates and the lure of salt. Jerusalem is a golden city crested by a hill, shrouded with utopian dreams. Sarah and Abraham, the elders of three religions, didn’t they build a homeland between the Phoenicians and Egyptians 3,000 years ago? This land, now called by cartographers the Middle East, is both beauty and grief. For centuries it is cloaked in blood, a wound caused by white supremacists. I know this wound, it throbs. The violence in the Middle East claws at my senses raw until denial, with its swift relief, dulls my sorrow.Read more
by Minga Claggett-Borne
Quakers have joined in the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC) for these last two months. Every Monday for 5 weeks, we have gathered near Boston Common. Yes, Friends were ruffled and hot. Yes, Friends raised their voices against the liars and gluttons in our tattered democracy. Moreover, Friends burnished divine power to heal oppression. Our cry echoed MLK’s PPC.** The Poor People's moral compass points to Repairing the Breach. Yes, Friends illegally crossed into the streets. People took risks by forming a string of human pearls between the poor and the thrones of power. On different Mondays, Friends joined 15 others who shut down streets around the statehouse.Read more
The world is sweet and dripping with Spring. Holy abundance has sprung underfoot. My heart quickens at the sweet flute of finches, the hum of the first bees at the cherry blossoms. Wasps, lizards, chipmunks and coyotes learn to adapt to this explosion of Spring. And yet. I live with dissonance.
The discomfort is that humans show evidence that they cannot live harmoniously with other creatures. Humans murder each other intentionally more than any species. Kurds, Syrians, Americans, Australians, Russians, Salvadorans, Haitians, are starving or leaving homes or stealing from neighbors, or selling drugs or putting bullets in peoples’ brains. The United States, because it’s the largest exporter of military equipment and Intel, is the heftiest bully in Earth’s neighborhood. US weapons are killing young lives. This country crowned with verdant trees deports refugees under death threats back home. Mockingbirds sing while we bomb countries like Syria—Afghanistan—Yemen.Read more
A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
—Martin Luther King, Jr.
How can I remove myself from the war economy? Jesus’ message is to drop the sword and find wholeness. Can I embody Truth — to become a clear bell — to offer concrete love? I need to take my money out of the US federal bank account. On Tax Day, April 17, 2018, I will not voluntarily pay a nickel for war. I don’t support how the White House is defacing national parks for oil drilling, nor how they deport parents, nor how the chief uses hate-language and allows the assault of women. But I understand that we voted for Donald T in November 2016. I can’t justify stopping taxes because I don’t like his business style and self-serving ethics. I will not pay for a nuclear arsenal that can turn Earth into a toxic desert.Read more
I asked the Holy One for water, and I was given ice.
I asked the Holy One for warmth, and I was given the embers of a dying fire.
I asked the Holy One for truth, and I was given an ancient poem.
In my confusion, I asked the Living Spirit to show me the path,
and I was given this roomful of people to guide my feet.
Quakers scramble up the rocky hill, our thin sneakers barely gaining traction. In a moment of polarization between Billy Graham and Rev Barber; between the NRA and the survivors of Parkland High School; between republicans in Washington whining to build a wall, and catholics putting jugs of water in the Sonora desert for families crossing the border. Where is the moral ground?Read more
What is power? Power lines carry dangerous levels of electricity. Queens use a scepter of power. Between you and me, all human power is finite. Yet most power is infinite. Where can I tap into power to change my rubbery life? To change trash blown onto my street? To change my city so that you, me and the microbes thrive? Starhawk (if you never heard of her, look her up) speaks of power over which is the world’s power, associated with dictators, Popes, head honchos. This is the weakest of the 3 powers. A second type she calls “Power with” is the power of a circle, where all gifts and people are cherished. This could be a cooperative that builds a library or a community garden.Read more
National Grid plans to construct a one-mile gas pipeline along Huntington Ave, in Boston. Incredulous. MA has sufficient energy currently for all nations living in MA. Why bury money and sink gas (methane, more accurately) under Boston’s streets. All MA methane is fracked gas pumped in from PA. Boston has Brazilians who clean banks, we have Salvadorans who build roofs in Chelsea, we have Iranians publishing erudite journalism.
Why a new pipeline when all across the nation savvy entrepreneurs are building wind and solar renewables? Maura Healey, our justice seeking attorney general, and Boston City Councilors have asked a halt to this pipeline.Read more