A Theological Perspective on Quaker Lobbying

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A Theological Perspective on Quaker Lobbying

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This publication examines the relationship between lobbying and Friends’ spiritual practice. Drawing on Quaker history and theology, as well as the teachings of Jesus, Margery Post Abbott connects FCNL’s work to the efforts of Friends through many generations to carry their concerns into the world.

The booklet includes discussion questions for individual reflection or for use with a reading group.

A Theological Perspective on Quaker Lobbying

Throughout our history, Friends have carried “concerns” that lead us to act. Sometime these concerns are for the Religious Society of Friends and its health and vitality. All Friends carry concerns for injustice that counters the world we seek.

In “A Theological Perspective on Quaker Lobbying,” Marge Abbott looks at the history of the Religious Society of Friends for the genesis of the Quakers’ call to lobby for peace and justice. At the same time, she also looks to the Bible, particularly in the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, his parables, and other teachings.

Her careful consideration of the spiritual and theological roots of Friends’ witness is both prophetic and pragmatic. She offers an explanation not only of how FCNL operates but also of how Friends through many generations have carried their concerns into the world.

Read an Excerpt

“Quakers live with paradox: They are law-abiding people, but they wrote the book on civil disobedience. Both these statements have been true since the 1650s.

Quakers live with paradox: They are law-abiding people, but they wrote the book on civil disobedience.

… Early Friends knew from experience that the law is not always just, nor is it applied equitably. Thus, when government acted in ways that would cause Friends to violate the guidance of Christ’s light, they acted to change the law. And early Friends also knew that, at times, change requires disobeying the law. In other words, civil law is less important than holy obedience. Acts of civil disobedience are not taken lightly.”

About the Author

Marge Abbott

Margery Post Abbott is a ‘released Friend’ writing and traveling in the ministry with the support of Multnomah Monthly Meeting in Portland, Oregon. She is a past clerk of FCNL’s General Committee. Along with her husband, Carl, she is the author of the forthcoming book, “Quakerism: The Basics.”

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