Friday: Hili dialogue

January 10, 2014 • 1:27 am

Hili and Sarah have a frank dialogue on their faiths:

Hili: Is it true that you are a Quaker?
Sarah: In a way, but I’m also an atheist.
Hili: I, too, am a Meower and an atheist.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy to prawda, że jesteś kwakierką?
Sarah: W pewnym sensie, ale jestem również ateistką.
Hili: Ja też jestem miaukierką i ateistką.
I suspect that Miaukierką is one of the less harmful faiths, as its main rituals involve cuddles and cream.

13 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

  1. I went to a Quaker meeting once out of curiosity and found that the almighty was an unavoidable fixture.
    Also you have to be initiated in to Quakerism – but maybe this is similar to the Girl Guides promise.

    1. I went to a Quaker meeting once too – many years ago – and the only thing that was going on was discussion about various secular community projects that were being run by members. There was no discussion whatsoever of deities of any kind.

  2. I suspect that Miaukierką is one of the less harmful faiths, as its main rituals involve cuddles and cream.

    Is it completely harmless though? Isn’t there catlicks involved?

  3. Twenty – one years a formal Quaker member, I quit Meeting in September 2003. Godless I just could not ‘do’ the god – part of it through one more Silence. One other aspect I could not and cannot abide is shunning.

    However, both the god – thing and the shunning deal are quite geographically Meeting – specific. One, my first –– in the early 1980s, Columbia, Missouri –– is / was quite lovely; it very successfully helped me with my specific purpose then: to guide three sons, wee at the time, from ever glorifying or joining any military anywhere.

    I did love the Silence — as did, actually, the Boys, too. One used to practice Suzuki piano pieces by way of quiet fingerings barely moving along on his knees; another planned in his brain his next fishing expedition. And the babe went back to sleep.

    Then ? At my last –– and still the current –– geographic locale, I cannot abide the willful dominance of the entire community, let alone of just Meeting, of its specific god – folks. Over the last decade I have several times reconsidered my attendance at Silent Worship and, so far, not one time regretted my cessation nor desired to return.

    My experience with ( years and years of ) Quakerism is not unusual.


    1. You speak my mind. I was born and raised a Quaker, in a family whose history of Quakerism went back to the late 1600’s. Quakers in general (Quakers schism very easily) and the branches of Quakerism I grew up in, have a lot to recommend them…. But, there is still a core of irrationality and group identification that is as ultimately destructive as in any other religion. One of the characteristics that helps Quakerism be generally less problematic than many religions is a testimony on the necessity of being truthful. That indoctrination in the virtue of being truthful was what eventually led me to cease trying to be a Quaker Atheist and simply be Atheist. The irrational and often demonstrably false claims that my fellow Friends would make as signs of piety and group membership simply became too much for me to tolerate without challenging….and I did not want to put up with the ‘passive-aggressive’ anger at me that would result.

    2. I also grew up Quaker. My mother was convinced in her 30s. The meeting I grew up in had an assortment of flaws usual to any group of people, but most members were willing to self-examine and to change, slowly, if necessary. The local meeting here is managed by sanctimonious bullies who wear expressions of sweet piety while treating those they do not agree with with appalling incivility. I left 16 years ago and haven’t regretted it since. The meeting itself has now split and the ‘outgroup’ has more regular attenders than the core meeting.

      It was the practice of self-examination, of questioning, that led me to realize I was atheist. I had often disregarded the god-talk in meeting focusing instead on the secular concerns and projects of the meeting. When I finally asked myself “why?” I knew I didn’t believe and I was no longer going to pretend I did.

    3. I like that these personal stories show up from time to time, it is interesting to read the various paths to reasoned thought. My thanks to all of you.

    4. When my son was born I briefly considered joining the Quakers in order to ensure him a CO status should the next ‘Nam come along. I didn’t*; and it–I should say they–did. But thankfully there’s no longer a draft; though in principle I think there should be one, so that a lot more people would care about whether we wage war or not.

      *I decided to count on Canada to take us in, should conscription arise.

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