From faith and harmony to gender and identity
Faith and harmony
I offer this response to Cap Kaylor (23 and 30 March). I think of Jesus as one of my ancestors. He was essentially Jewish in the same way as I consider myself. The Light that he brought to the world, the Light that early Friends recognised and current Friends can experience today, was not about any distant salvation but a here and now establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. It is a fully present realisation of the basic commandment of compassion to love our neighbours as ourselves. It is a love that bears all, a love that listens, a love that cares simultaneously for myself and for the person who stands beside me, whatever I am and whoever he or she is.
Such an establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth through the practice of compassion is still our aim, imperfect though we may be. That is my faith, and your faith is not compromised if I differ from you. Indeed, the harmony of our work together depends on our differences.
Suffering of animals
I was pleased to see the article about the work of the Quaker Arts Network (QAN) with Collateral Damage (9 March). However, I was disappointed that no mention was made of the universal suffering of animals as collateral damage in human conflict. Companion animals may be killed or wounded, abandoned and left to die; farm animals injured or confined in barns, unable to forage for themselves, or be milked or tended, and zoo and circus animals stay locked in cages slowly starving to death.
Purple poppies are worn in remembrance of these true innocents, and handmade purple poppies were contributed to the peace poppy exhibition QAN created last year, which also included other artwork relating to animals in war.
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