16 March 2010

Fay ce que voudras

... and call your House Thelema. I can't for the life of me recall who said and did this, but I was reminded of him the other day when I walked up S Giles. In the window of the Quakers' Meeting House was : "THOU SHALT" in gothic capitals followed by "decide for yourself" in modern cursive.

I am fairly horrified. Time was when the Quakers were thought of as a gentle folk, egalitarian and pacifist by inclination, who were regarded with affection even by those who disagreed with their distinctive dogmas. When their sect originally began, their simplistic biblicism led them to talk to each other in a comic dialect, that of the Authorised Version of the Bible viewed through eyes innocent of syntax (they used thee as both Nominative and Oblique). Now, apparently, they not only treat quasi-biblical English with contempt, but have descended into the extremest form of anomia.

Even the likes of Richard Dawkins are not amoral antinomians. As far as I can understand them, 'Humanists' adhere to to a rather flabby form of the "Utilitarianism" which we were taught to be able to write General Studies essays about when we were bright little Sixth Formers working for Oxford Scholarships. But it is something. The Quakers, however, apparently now believe that not only are codes such as the Decalogue to be viewed with contempt; but that anybody can do whatever he decides. Murder, apparently; genocide; pedophilia; snuff movies; suicide bombing; sex slavery; the grossest forms of economic exploitation - if you decide to do them, you'll have Brother Quaker patting you on the head with kindly approval. "At least you didn't just blindly follow some rules invented by someone else", he will gently murmur.

I think think it is high time that some enquiry is launched into what is clearly a sordid, dangerous, and dirty little cult. At least Islamic and other terrorists have some sort of notion that there is right and that there is wrong, however corrupted their moral perceptions may be. Quakers, so they assure us, don't ... except for the one maxim ignore rule-books and make your own decisions.


motuproprio said...

Aleister Crowley is the name you quite rightly choose to forget!

William Tighe said...

I thought it was Montaigne.

GOR said...

"THOU SHALT decide for yourself"

Yes Father, not quite in the same league as St. Augustine's: "Love God and do what you like".

Hardly even on the lines of a 1960s "Love is all you need" - to which even Pope Benedict could subscribe, assuming a correct definition of 'love', of course...

Thomas W. Evans said...

The name is Rabelais.

Fr Neil said...

"The name is Rabelais."

... which, if not in the original, should be read in Urquhart's translation

motuproprio said...

Off topic, but important breaking news!

16 MARCH 2010, 12 noon


The Fathers and many friends of the English Oratories are delighted by the official announcement that our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI will beatify our founder, the Venerable John Henry Newman, in the Archdiocese of Birmingham during his visit to Britain in September. Newman made his home in the Archdiocese for all his adult life, first in Oxford, where he lived as an Anglican and was received into the Catholic Church, and later in Birmingham itself where he founded and worked in the Birmingham Oratory for over forty years.

The Holy Father's life-long devotion to Newman has made a profound contribution to understanding the depth and significance of our founder's legacy. His decision to beatify Newman in person confers a unique blessing upon the English Oratories and all who have drawn inspiration from Newman's life and work.

We joyfully look forward to welcoming the Holy Father, as well as the many pilgrims and visitors who will come to the Beatification ceremony and visit Newman's shrine at the Birmingham Oratory.

We also look forward to the challenging work of preparing for the Beatification in conjunction with Church and civil authorities. We pray that the Beatification will fittingly reflect both Newman's significance for the Universal Church and the honour paid to our Archdiocese and our country by the Holy Father's presence among us.

Very Rev. Richard Duffield
Provost of the Birmingham Oratory
and Actor of the Cause of John Henry Newman

Michael McDonough said...

Fr. H,

In the light of Motuproprio's comment, I recall that interesting post of yours where you distinguished between beatification for "local veneration" and "canonization" where the Beatus was recognized universally. Perhaps Pope Benedict agrees with you, and yet feels a sense of urgency that Cardinal Newman receive universal cult. His going to Birmingham to do the honors is a double honor vis-a-vis the Saint: a) it's the Pope, and b) who is going to Birmingham.

In any case, it's good news.

As a lot of Quakers around here might say, "Peace, dude!"

Fr LR said...

How many Quakers are there? BTW doesn't the man on the Quaker Oatmeal tube look like Barbara Bush?

Michael McDonough said...

Fr. L.R.,

LOL. Yes, but only when she's smiling!

Bishop of Ebbsfleet said...

I buy my porridge oats from the local Co-op and don't bother with Quakers.

Sir Watkin said...

Oatmeal (preferably pinhead) is better than these modernistic rolled oats: one just cannot make proper porage [sic] with them.

Fr Neil said...

What was it Dr Johnson said about oats?