How did the Peace Testimony fare at Pacific Yearly Meeting after 9/11, and during the Vietnam War era? Anthony Manousos recently researched and compared Friends' responses to the Vietnam War and the so-called War on Terror. In a lengthy yet readable blog post, he outlines the clear differences in how Friends reacted to these two conflicts. The lessons he has drawn include:
- The Vietnam War was more intense, involved more bloodshed, and touched the lives of middle class Quakers more directly than the War on Terror, which has largely been conducted by low-income people of color. How can Friends be helped to see how their privileged status makes it difficult for them to empathize with the suffering caused by our government’s endless wars?
- Creative ways need to be used to engage Friends at an emotional as well as spiritual level with the suffering and injustice in the world. How do we help enable this to happen? What is blocking such engagement?
Friends are encouraged to read the full post and think about its implications.