Talk:Peace Testimony

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Title[edit]

I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure that Testimony should be lower case... if anyone agrees, feel free to switch it. Zach 23:06, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I think it should be capitalized because it acts as a proper title. Logophile 09:35, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Agree I agree that testimony should be lower case. It is not a proper title but a description of how Friends testify for peace. I also do not think it should have a definite article (the) prior to it - I think it should be peace testimony not The Peace Testimony. I think that the article should also mention that some Yearly Meetings use the word witness rather than testimony - ie witness for peace Ceiriog (talk) 19:40, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

I rewrote the introductory paragraph to re-frame the "testimony" as a way of acting rather than as a belief. I did not carry the same concept through in the rest of the article, though I think that would be a good exercise. The same could be done for each of the other "testimonies". I think it would also be good if someone could come up with a discussion of the fact that early Friends didn't usually refer to the "testimonies" plural, but to their "testimony" singular: a reference to the way in which their whole pattern of life "testified" to the "Truth".

In addition, I deleted the material in the "general explanation" paragraph that emphasized how the testimony can be modified or changed. This seemed to pose a stark and unexplained contrast to the quotation from the Declaration to King Charles which said that the Spirit of Christ would never move Friends to engage in war. The ensuing historical discussion seemed to make it sufficiently clear that in practice Friends' understanding of and faithfulness to the testimony has changed from time to time. --Richquaker 20:36, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Most of this article actually seems to be about Quakers' beliefs about peace and not their testimony for peace. Believing that war is wrong is a belief, yet acting to stop war is a testimony. Most of this article is about why Quakers believe war is wrong rather than how they actively testify to this belief. I have changed some of the wording to reflect this, however perhaps the title of the page should be Quaker beliefs and testimony for peace rather than simply Peace Testimony? Ceiriog (talk) 20:02, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Pro-life/Choice blurb[edit]

I'm a bit concerned about adding extraneous debate to the article, so I've pulled the following out of the applications section.

The Peace Testimony has also motivated many Quakers to have a pro-life view-point. [1] The vast majority of Quakers are pro-choice, believing, e.g., that consciousness and mental accumen beyond that of a newborn is necessary for meaningful communion with the Spirit.

If others feel it's important to keep this text in, we can. But of the applications and debates around the peace testimony, in my experience this is one of the more rare issues to come up. If we included a more complete discussion of out-growth of the peace testimony I might be more inclined to keep it, but I don't think it's representative in the current context. --Ahc 14:25, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

How about this:
The Peace Testimony has also motivated some Quakers to have a pro-life view-point [2], but the Quaker community has no consensus on the abortion issue. (The community generally has no consensus "on any of the 'boundaries of life' issues, which include abortion, euthanasia, and overpopulation.") [3]
This is exactly what the article says, and I think that more applications of the Peace Testimony need to be added. Robotbeat 06:20, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
I mean, under a title called "Application of the Peace Testimony" the statement of some pro-life Quakers citing the Peace Testimony seems like more than a valid example of "Application of the Peace Testimony." Robotbeat 06:24, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm all for including any applications of the Peace Testimony, but they should be well referenced. I think that we would need a quotation from a "Faith and Practice" or a mission/purpose statement from a Quaker organization to back up any assertions about how the Peace Testimony has been applied. Logophile 14:20, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't mind a longer discussion of applications. And this could certianly be included, but I have two concerns here. First, I aggree with Logophile, that it would be nice to be citing a group, not an individual (irrergaurdless of how many places she's cited). Second, the phrasings that have been removed twice now imply that this is a major outgrowth within the society, and in my expereince that's not true. In my expereince very few Quakers feel the Peace Testimony applies in this way, and it gives over-due weight to the issue. I feel if we choose to include debated applications we start with more traditional points of debate (situations like Bosinia, CPT, etc.) where large numbers of Friends have debated how abosolute they feel lead to be about violence. --Ahc 06:04, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm in strong agreement with Ahc. I think there are far more relevant and long standing debates over interpretation/application of the peace testimony which should be included instead of the abortion issue. JFT 13:59, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
I won't add anything. If someone thinks it's appropriate, then they can add it, but I won't. I just added it here, because in the general section about Quakers it was suggested that it be added here, instead of there. Again, the section about Application of the Peace Testimony seems to be a section giving different ways that it has been applied, which certainly makes it seem as though this certain application would be relavent (even though plenty here on Wikipedia seem to think that non-concensus (among the Quakers) views should be censored from this section, which I agree with if it causes unneeded confusion, but in this case I don't think it does). Robotbeat 03:07, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
Robotbeat, pleased don't be soured by the talk here. If you can verify that a particular body of Quakers has a stated position on abortion based on the Peace Testimony, I for one would support the inclusion of it. The source you cited didn't seem to include primary sources; did I miss them? You can't make a claim on such a controversial subject without proving its validity. I for one have not run across any primary source that substantiates what you originally wrote. Logophile 08:32, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
I'd like to second Logophile's comments. It's not that this article isn't open to points of disagreement (indeed, the main RSoF article would probably be 1/3 the length if points of disagreement among Friends were removed). But for an article this short to include a topic that is rarely discussed, using 1 author as the source provides a disproportionate view of the debate, and therefore is a POV problem. --Ahc 14:50, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
I give you two more sources, although you are correct in that I previously only gave you one author's remarks.
[4] and [5] The first source is more of an overview, and is probably more "official" while the other source is merely a conversation about the topic, but this is the method that Quakers often use, so on issues without a consensus, you are unlikely to find anything that isn't "just a discussion." Robotbeat 21:32, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
Here's another source that shows that there is a noteworthy view among some Quakers that the Peace Testimony implies an anti-abortion stance (look at the section called "Remember Three Things"): [6] Robotbeat 22:50, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
Also, here [7] shows that some groups of Quakers (mostly the more traditional/less liberal ones) have reached a consensus that abortion is prohibited along with war, capital punishment, etc. Robotbeat 22:57, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
Another official statement by a small body of Quakers: [8] Robotbeat 23:33, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the added references. Looks like atleast in Indiana it's more widely discussed then I realized. I'd still like to make sure it gets placed in context well (i.e. it should not be the only example of disagreement surrounding the Peace Testimony), but let's see if we can find a way to work it in. --Ahc 00:24, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I'd like to suggest the following replacement text for the existing section (this includes my most recent edits of a few mintues ago):

The peace testimony has inspired Quakers to protest wars, refuse to serve in armed forces if drafted, to seek conscientious objector status when available, and even to participate in acts of civil disobedience. Not all Quakers embrace this testimony as an absolute; for example, there were Friends that fought in World War I and World War II. Never-the-less, the American Friends Service Committee, and the Friends Service Council was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947 on behalf of all of Quakerism for their work for peace after both world wars.
Friends frequently disagree on the details of how to apply the testimony; during the Bosnian War there were Friends that struggled with this testimony, while wanting to end the Bosnian Genocide. Also, while the majority of Friends in North America and Britian support a woman's right to choose to have an abortion, there are Friends that feel strongly that the peace testimony is based on an understanding that all forms of human life carry a divine spark, and are therefore sacred.

This does feel quite right to me yet, but I think it's a place to start. --Ahc 00:42, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Margaret Fell and the 1660 Peace Declaration?!?[edit]

Back in 2009 an unsigned editor made an change here attributing the famous 1660 Declaration ("A declaration from the harmless and innocent people of God, called Quakers") to Margaret Fell. I'm almost certain that's wrong. The academic Historical Dictionary of The Friends attributes it to "George Fox and other early Friends." Even more, the actual declaration was signed by twelve Friends (George Fox, Gerald Roberts, Henry Fell, Richard Hubberthorn, John Boulton, John Hinde, John Stubbs, Leonard Fell, John Furley Jnr., Francis Howgill, Samuel Fisher, Thomas Moore).

Margaret Fell did pen an letter earlier that year that touched on many of the same themes, Margaret Fell's Letter on Persecution, 1660.

I suspect the Wikipedia error might have come from a misreading of a passage of Britain Yearly Meeting's Faith & Practice. It excerpts the Declaration without attribution. At the bottom it says "Margaret Fell’s earlier expression of these ideas may be found at 19.46." If you read it carelessly you'll think it's implying she wrote the Declaration.

If anyone has any further information I'd love to know. --Martin kelley (talk) 16:18, 28 April 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Martin kelley (talkcontribs) 15:36, 28 April 2015 (UTC)