Letters - 10 May 2024

From Sadness and sympathies to Boarding schools

Sadness and sympathies

I have often found Tony D’Souza’s articles enlightening and inspiring and so I owe him thanks. However, I was perturbed after reading his article (5 April), which described soldier Aaron Bushnell’s self-immolation, in front of the Israeli embassy, as an act representing ‘the best in all of us’.

I expect few if any Quakers would advocate harming anyone to garner publicity.

It is confusing for me to understand how our testimonies of peace, integrity and seeking that of God or goodness in others and ourselves lead us to admire Aaron Bushnell’s sad self-immolation. I don’t see an act of courageous spiritual beauty.

Most of my friends who endure pain would not gain any solace or succour from others choosing to join them in pain and taking this to the extreme. Suicide does not seem a way to protest that is particularly Quakerly.

Indeed creating more traumatised people, while enacting this public self-immolation, makes me struggle to see this as anything other than a very sad and disturbingly brutal suicide. My sympathies are with Aaron Bushnell’s parents and those who have no choice as to their suffering, which I think included Aaron Bushnell.

Claire Christopher

Disappointment and anger

Might I add my voice to those Quakers expressing disappointment and anger about Jeremy Corbyn’s treatment over the proposed Salter Lecture?
The Britain Yearly Meeting rejection implies agreement with anti-semitism charges with which Corbyn has long had to contend.

He is a decent man who has had a raw deal. It is appalling that the decision-makers have bowed to ‘public perception’, rather than upping protective security if this is deemed necessary.

‘Our life is Love, and Peace, and Tenderness; and bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, and not laying accusations one against another but praying for one another, and helping one another up with a tender hand.’ Isaac Pennington.

Rosamond Cynthia Reavell

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