Friday, March 21, 2003

Holding pattern

It's a beautiful day outside today. I slept in rather later than usual. Yesterday I had to do a blitz cleaning of my duplex because an appraiser was coming at 10 a.m. The landlord wants to refinance; I just hope my rent doesn't increase again as a result. One of the things I've learned in my new job is that part of the appraisal process for income properties is a survey of comparable rent levels. Definitely bad news where I live given the demand for housing.

So, once again, I have a relatively tidy house. Let's see if I can keep it that way! Maybe I'll try follow the FlyLady's program. Her CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) acronym certainly describes the state of my place too often.

I've been hitting all the sites bookmarked in my "Favorites" list, reading how people are responding to the war. I feel so detached, with a sense of unreality. I didn't have a television during the previous Gulf War, and I'm very reluctant to watch a war on television now. Reading The Journal of John Woolman has been grounding. He had such a strong sense of the Truth and determined to live his life according to that Truth, regardless of prevailing opinions and practices. One hundred years before the Civil War was fought in this country over the issue of slavery, he personally confronted Quakers/Friends who owned slaves, refused to accept free room and board from Friends who used slaves, and refused to draw up legal documents regarding the disposition of slaves. Additionally, he wrote "epistles" and essays directed to Friends and the "Professors of Christianity of Every Denomination," arguing against the slave trade and ownership of slaves.

Woolman also took an active pacifist stand. He refused to pay certain "war taxes" even though other Friends paid them.
I all along believed there were some upright-hearted men who paid such taxes, but could not see that their example was a sufficient reason for me to do so, while I believed that the spirit of Truth required of me as an individual to suffer patiently the distress of goods rather than pay actively (p. 75).
Woolman quotes a speech made by another Friend, John Churchman, to Pennsylvania Assembly where Churchman reminds the Assembly that the framers of Pennsylvania's charter
would be greatly grieved to see warlike preparations carried on and encouraged by a law consented to...contrary to the charter [which set forth]...that the reverent and pure fear of God with a humble trust in his ancient arm of power would be our greatest safety and defence (p. 80).
Chapter Five lays out Woolman's thoughts on the war tax, as well as documents by other Friends on the issue. There is also a letter on pp. 48-50.

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