Letters - 18 August 2023

From Woodbrooke to Food waste


I view the coming closure of Woodbrooke with a sinking feeling. Not because I shall miss the conferences and courses, informative and enjoyable as those have been over the years, nor the washing up of the cooking utensils, which I seemed to do on every visit in the 1980s, but the small gatherings which occurred over meals and coffee.

Like Rufus Jones, ‘I pin my hopes to quiet processes and small circles, in which vital and transforming events take place’ (Quaker faith & practice 24.56).

Those international meetings were always the highlights of my visits and I can see no replacement on the horizon.

John H Hall

The status of trans people

I find Neil Crabtree’s list of charismatic ‘asexual’ prophets surprising (4 August).

There is no record of Jesus’ sexuality. However it has been argued that Jesus was married, but that this was so unremarkable nobody bothered to record it.

As a friend recently said ‘absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’.

Muhammad fathered many children, though no sons survived him, and of course he founded the Hashemite dynasty which rules to this day in Jordan.

Gautama Siddhartha (the Buddha) is said to have lived a life of indulgence until confronted by sickness and death. He then pursued a life of brutal asceticism before finally discovering the Middle Way and achieving Enlightenment.

So he may have followed a life of celibacy in his later years but not before a life of sexual indulgence.

Hitler’s sexuality expressed itself bizarrely, and rumours abound. What is certain is that two of the women who were closest to him both attempted suicide, his half-niece Angela Geli successfully.

Eva Braun too attempted suicide early in their relationship but survived.

Having lost family in the Holocaust, ‘charismatic asexual prophet’ is not a description that would have occurred to me. Psychotic murdering monster comes closer.

Ol Rappaport

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