Sunday, July 1, 2018

High Cairngorms: Nontheist Friends (NtFs) / Atheist Quakers (AQs), Some basic beliefs / assumptions / understandings of Quakers, World Univ & Sch's A) Nontheist Friends/Atheist Quaker and B) Quaker - Religious Society of Friends' wiki subject pages for open teaching and learning, "[NTF-talk] New Amsterdam Figured Out Religious Tolerance 361 Years Ago," #NoMuslim Ban and Quakers, AFSC and Western Friend magazine (IMYM+) posts about the No Muslim ban in the US

Anita, Wyatt, and NtFs,

Thanks. I enjoyed this characterization of Friends' / Quaker understandings, Anita ...

Curious about ways in which Nontheist Friends might have grown / are growing from these (see below) in new nontheist ways ... i.e. "Light" construed non-theistically ...

And Quaker schools too, seem a fascinating and deeply seated expression of Quakers. Noticed recently that Penn Charter school on Twitter - - writes in its description that it's the oldest Quaker school in the world. (And I just re-added NtFriend here -

Here's the only Nontheist Friends / Atheist Quaker school that I know of - - and it's wiki too (kind of in the manner of Quakerly sharing in silent Meeting). (Check out the Quaker - RSOF wiki subject page - - as well). Both aren't yet connected with their "backend" structured knowledge base, Wikidata/Wikibase (part of Wikipedia), in its 301 languages.

Friendly cheers,
Both of these are partly NtF / and Quakerly-informed ...

- Scott MacLeod - Founder & President

- World University and School



Below is my attempt to answer your questions.  I have put quotes in italics:

Quakers don't have a set of rules or theology, but we do have some basic beliefs/assumptions:

We start with this:

We believe in that of God in everyone; however, there is no written creed.

"That of God" can be understood in many ways, from a traditional deity to a metaphor.  Often referred to as a light within.  Here are some implications of this basic concept:

We believe that there is in everyone a Light
  • a light in the conscience that can guide and strengthen us to do the right, that can awaken us to the wrong we have done and are about to do;
  • a light that can heal us, that can strengthen us to live better lives, that can release us from our inner demons, make us more whole, and relieve us of suffering and lead us to forgiveness;
  • a light that can inspire us to acts of kindness and to creativity;
  • a light that can lead us to the deepest fulfillment and the "peace that passes all understanding," and help us to become the people we were meant to be;
  • a light that can open to us direct communion with God (however you experience God), both as individuals and as a community.
Our practice or how we live our lives is as important, or more important, than what we "believe."  

Let your life speak

As Friends, we lay upon ourselves the responsibility to live by the Spirit of Love and Truth in each of us. This Spirit can direct every aspect of our lives if we open ourselves to it. It can enable us to reach out to the same Spirit in others. Thus Friends strive to live lives that embody the leadings of the Spirit.


Thus it is our experience that God can and will call upon any one of us to bear witness in the world in special ways, that occasionally some specific task for bettering the world might be laid upon us. We call such a task a "leading." Leadings can actually be about any aspect of life, but sometimes they are witness leadings, meaning that we feel called to work toward peace, social or racial justice, care for the earth, voluntary service, or some action intended to minister to those who suffer, to advocate on behalf of the oppressed, to protect the unprotected, and to right wrongs, where possible.


Out of our experience of these leadings, and very early on, Friends felt led into a number of truths that have kept their power for us, even though they have never stopped evolving as the centuries passed; we feel that God has revealed to us new truths over the centuries, as one of the blessings of continuing revelation. We call our historically sustained truths about right action in the world our "testimonies."
The most commonly held testimonies are the following:
  • Earthcare—protecting and restoring the earth systems that sustain life on earth.
  • Community—living in peaceful fellowship and protecting the health and integrity of all communities.
  • Death penalty and torture—working to end both practices in the United States and elsewhere.
  • Economic justice—working to ensure the economic security of everyone.
  • Equality and social justice—working to end racism and prejudice in our own communities and in the wider society.
  • Integrity—living outwardly as the light within our conscience guides us; truth and honesty in all things.
  • Peace and nonviolence—working to take away the occasion for all wars and to reconcile differences without violence.
  • Prison reform and solitary confinement—working to end mass incarceration, provide spiritual and other forms of support for incarcerated persons, and to end solitary confinement, which we consider a form of torture.
  • Right sharing of world resources—reducing the demand for resources at home and helping others gain access to basic resources for themselves.
  • Simplicity—seeking to live as simply as possible.

Anita :-)
"If high heels were so wonderful, men would be wearing them."
Sue Grafton


I'm delighted that my summary of Quakerism has been helpful to some.  :-)

Wyatt:  Re. going to Friends General Conference:  That would be a huge commitment of time and money, and it might overwhelm you.  I think proceeding slowly, bit by bit, perhaps finding a meeting near you, is an excellent approach.  After all, you are exploring.  Congratulations on your new job!  Fantastic!  I hope it goes well for you.
Anita :-)
Atheist Non-Attending Quaker, Pennsylvania


[NTF-talk] New Amsterdam Figured Out Religious Tolerance 361 Years Ago

The article draws some parallels between attempts to exclude Muslims from coming to the United States now and attempts to exclude Quakers from coming to the New World in the mid-seventeenth century.
New Amsterdam Figured Out Religious Tolerance 361 Years Ago

Thanks, Bill, for sharing this,

Was glad to see both the AFSC (Lucy Duncan - and Western Friend magazine (IMYM+) - - posts about the No Muslim ban in the US (which I re-Tweeted again here -

Glad too that Joyce Ajlouny is the new General Secretary / Executive Director of AFSC. She's originally from Palestine, and the former Director of Ramallah Friends School (which is a) Quaker b) International Baccalaureate, c) taught both in Arabic and in English, and d) old:) as well.

In my experience in Britain (I became a member of the RSOF in Edinburgh), there's a weighty concern for social justice in Palestine shared by people in many Meetings there. And you'll find in one of the first videos here about Quakers in Wales (which is in Welsh, but with subtitles) - (I've posted all the links below) - a focus on justice in Palestine coming there.

Perhaps AFSC's choice of Joyce Ajlouny to be General Secretary reflects an American Quaker (and NtF?) proactive stance - i.e. of US tolerance - re a kind of No Muslim ban in the US. What do you think?

Thanks for sharing. How to figure out tolerance online in new ways in the emerging worlds there?

NtFriendly cheers, Scott

In Welsh
Quaker Meeting House, Dean St, Bangor, Gwynedd, Wales,-4.1231587,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xf1509c446f33644f?sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj20qXGzvbbAhWKCHwKHdy2CoEQ_BIIfTAO  ~

(- -)


Dear Friends

I'm sorry that I have not had the time/energy to click on the links to watch the videos provided.

I wanted to respond to Scott"s comment, since he asked "what do you think?":   Perhaps AFSC's choice of Joyce Ajlouny to be General Secretary reflects an American Quaker (and NtF?) proactive stance - i.e. of US tolerance - re a kind of No Muslim ban in the US. What do you think

I had the pleasure of meeting Joyce Ajlouny once, about a dozen years ago when she was in the U.S. and still director of the Friends School in Ramallah. It was my impression she is a Quaker, but no one thought to ask her about her religious affiliation. She was intelligent, diplomatic and showed every sign of being familiar with Quaker process.

I was glad to see that she has become AFSC's General Secretary , for many reasons, among them her unique ability to tell her own story without disrespecting the other side.



Thanks, Clare, and NtFs,

I also met Joyce Ajlouny once a few years' ago at Palo Alto Friends' Meeting - when she made a presentation about Ramallah Friends' School, and before she had become General Secretary of AFSC - and learned there that both she and her parents are Quaker, although they come from Muslim backgrounds as do most if not all of the students at the RFS where she was director. I was impressed too by her "unique ability to tell her own story without disrespecting the other side" as well as by the age of this Quaker school, having begun in 1869 ( with its remarkable history of Friendly service.

Thanks for your email.



Bill, Claire and NtFs (aka AQs - atheist Quakers?),

This video

"Best Documentary 2016 History Channel Documentary - Jan De Hartog's History of Quakerism" ...

- followed on my watching in full the Welsh Quaker video -

"Y Ffordd Dawel? The Quiet Way? (Quakers in Wales)"

And the skillful Quaker historian/writer de Hartog's video begins with the year 1650, potentially informing a different, perhaps complementary, perspective on Muslim-identity affirmation in the US (de Hartog was Dutch and lived from 1914-2002). I haven't yet watched the whole video to see if de Hartog touching on Quakers and anything related to "attempts to exclude Muslims from coming to the United States now and attempts to exclude Quakers from coming to the New World in the mid-seventeenth century." It seems like NtFs could make unique contributions in the world of Friends/Quakers in these regards, however.

Here too are some further resources on Ramallah Friends School (FUM) - (- - and potentially re perhaps Friendly-informed affirmations of Muslims both in the ME and re the US.

Sincerely, Scott

See, too:

Meconopsis: "The Quakers are right. We don’t need God" by Simon Jenkins, in "The Guardian," "[NTF-talk] British Quakers and God: interesting "Guardian" article", VISIT VIRTUALLY Dolobran Meeting House, a secluded Friends (Quaker) Meeting House near Pontrobert, Meifod, Powys, Wales, Nontheist Friends (NtFs) are a bit non-conformist in an historically Quaker way, Here's where World Univ & Sch is ... "Waratah: Developments in "Your new Miraheze wiki: World University and School Wiki" ... with getting our somewhat new wiki "front end" working with Wikidata as a "backend" ... Large Meeting Room in Britain Yearly Meeting (Quaker) … Temple tank in Nagapattinam, India, in Street View-, Harbin Hot Springs’ gate- in Street View, Many parallels between soaking in Harbin warm pool & Quaker Meeting re inner releasing action


Happy Friends General Conference (FGC) in Toledo, Ohio, NtFs / AQs (atheist Quakers)

And thanks, Anita, Claire, Bill and AQs, 

And Tweeted about about this today - 


Nontheist Friend - NtF - nontheist f/Friend - nontheist friends - atheist Quaker - AQ ... & re 'NtFriend' see (in the 'nontheist Friend' label) & 
- Planned @WorldUnivAndSch in Wikidata's 301 languages+


Thank you, too, Joyce Ajlouny for clerking / 'heading' AFSC (American Friends Service Committee) ... at a critical time in American history for Americans of Muslim background, and Muslims in general.

NoMuslim Ban ... Affirm Muslims in America (and friends of Muslim background - NtF-wise),

Ntf/Friendly cheers, Scott



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