Letters – 26 June 2015

From divestment to Grieving


Everything we buy and all we do depends on fossil fuels to a greater or lesser extent. Our food, our clothes, our furnishings, our communications and our leisure. We eat chicken, lay carpets, use computers, read books, travel…

It is virtually impossible to divest from all our involvement with fossil fuels – but every small change we can make in what we eat, what we wear and so on does make a difference. The transformation is happening; the transition has begun. As Friends we must be part of it. Gradually, we shall be able to say: ‘I’ve worn that sword as long as I can and I’m changing that habit now’ about more habits we have taken for granted.

Advices & queries are, as ever, a great help here in putting our faith into practice. Study 40 and 41. We must ‘keep ourselves informed’. Only by knowing what fossil fuel is involved in what we buy – a joint of beef, an acrylic jumper – can we live more in a way that shows ‘a loving consideration for all creatures’ and that we have ‘reverence for life’.

Audrey Urry

Quakers concerns – what about Tibet?

Genocide against the Tibetan people has continued for decades. The Chinese government has pursued a policy of the annihilation of Tibet’s culture: silencing opposition, imposing forced abortions, destroying the environment and taking the land of Tibetans for occupation by Chinese immigrants.

Tibetans are deprived of civil, political and human rights. China annexed Tibet in the 1950s. The Dalai Lama has offered compromise, seeking recognition as an autonomous state, but this has been refused. Despite his age, he travels the world but has received little help from other nations. China has only to wait until his demise.

The Quakers as a national body do not seem to consider this a formal ‘concern’.
Does the Quaker organisation send communications of solidarity to the Dalai Lama?
Do Quakers only support an issue when enough people speak of it?
Is China too big and powerful?
Do Quakers not want to associate with a ‘lost cause’?

Initially, some Tibetans opposed the Chinese invasion with force. But, since then, we see in the behaviour of the Dalai Lama and his people a unique example of responding with nonviolence in the face of extreme provocation, deprivation and violence. Justice and peace have failed and it is sad that Quakers seem to accept this. Is this what happens when a policy of nonviolence is pursued by a nation? I only wish that those attesting their faith in peace and reconciliation would demonstrate their support to this paradigm of that faith in action. Please check the link: http://freetibet.org/about/facts-about-tibet

Julie Hinman

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