What do you do when you begin to lose faith in your faith community? My discouragement is with Quakers in general, not necessarily with my home meeting or the meeting I attend locally.
One of the main reasons I remained involved as a Quaker has been Friends’ admirable expression of their spiritual life in the way they lived their daily lives, and extended their concern to those beyond their Quaker meeting community.
Unfortunately, it is my perception that Friends in the United States have become too comfortable with the American lifestyle. There are so many injustices that result from allowing materialism to be the driving force of public policy, and personal choice. Many of the injustices have deepened, and involve many more people as the corporate, profit driven economy leaves more and more people behind.
But by far the greatest danger is the continued destruction of our environment. Decades of ignoring the environmental consequences of industry and fossil fuel use can no longer be hidden. Indeed it was because greenhouse gases are invisible that made it so easy to dump tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
We are rapidly moving down the path to the extinction of the human race because of this denial. The most important personal change we can make is to do whatever we can to stop burning fossil fuel. The two most significant things an individual can do is to give up personal automobiles, and find living space that uses the least amount of energy.
I have been living without, and speaking against personal automobiles for over thirty years with little apparent effect. I am struggling with how much longer I can be a part of a community that refuses to face this.
In the past, Friends were usually involved in trying to address injustices that they weren’t themselves necessarily part of. The issues of Friends and the environment are especially troubling because Friends are actively, daily contributing to this disaster.