Because Friends believe there is that of God in all people, we strive for a world of freedom, justice, and equality for everyone. … It is important that Friends speak truth to those in power. We recognize that, in our world, power in government and private sectors lies disproportionately with those of economic means. Speaking out … may be difficult, even dangerous, yet by doing so we may encourage others to work for justice.
– Iowa YM Cons, Book of Discipline, 1974.
We must literally not take too much thought for the morrow but throw ourselves whole-heartedly into the present. That is the beauty of the way of love; it cannot be planned and its end cannot be foretold. … In your zeal for the cause, are you tempted to confuse self-righteousness with the righteousness of God?
– Wolfe Mendl, Prophets and Reconcilers, London YM, pp. 99-102.
Our first allegiance is to the Holy Spirit. In general, Friends support the laws of the State; but if those laws directly violate our religious convictions, we may be led to oppose them. When contemplating civil disobedience or unpopular personal testimony, do we carefully consider the spiritual basis for our actions and honestly face the consequences?
What conflicts do we perceive between the laws of the State and our consciences? How do we resolve those conflicts in our lives? In what ways do we assume responsibility for the government of our community, state, nation, and world? What role might we as Friends play in facilitating essential governmental action?
How do we order our lives so that we seek and become open to Divine leadings in framing our attitudes and actions? Do we really respect and help those we seek to serve? How do we maintain our integrity when we find ourselves in a position of power? How do we respond when we ourselves feel powerless?
From Advices & Queries, for Use by Individual Friends, Meetings, and Worship Groups (Lake Erie Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends: Ann Arbor, 2012). Find the PDF online.