Saturday, 3 May 2008

Persecution in the modern day

I offer a posting for consideration from from one of the members Floyd. It seems that the days of persecution are not over in the USA.

Contemporary Persecution of Quakers « on: May 02, 2008, 08:29:19 PM »

Although Quakers are no longer being publically hanged or dragged and whipped through the streets as they were in 17th century Massachusetts, they are still being persecuted and discriminated against because of their religious beliefs in 21st century America. I came across a story in today's news that I wanted to pass along to the Friends online. Wendy Gonaver, a Quaker and pacifist, was fired from her job as an instructor of American Studies at California State University Fullerton for refusing on religious grounds to sign a loyalty oath swearing to "defend" California and the U.S. "against all enemies foreign and domestic." Gonaver offered to sign the oath if she could attach a brief statement explaining her religious convictions against war and violence but Callifornia State Fullerton rejected her statement and insisted that she either sign the oath or be fired. In February of this year, another California State Fullerton Quaker instructor, Marianne Kearney-Brown, a math teacher, was fired because she inserted the word "nonviolently" when she signed the oath. Her case received widespread media attention, however, and she was soon rehired. Wendy Gonaver hasn't been so fortunate. The California loyalty oath was adopted in the 1950s to root out Communists, but today it mostly is used to deny employment to religious believers such as Quakers and Jehovah's Witnesses who have convictions against oath taking and the use of violence to resolve social problems. Sometimes one is required to pay a price, today even as in George Fox's day, for obeying the leadings of the Light. Persons wishing to read the full story should go to:

In Friendship
Peter Lawless


Anonymous said...

LA Times reporter Richard Paddock typically fails to mention the 1994 "loyalty oath" lawsuit in which Fresno City College was court-ordered to pay a mother-daughter pair of Jehovah's Witness job applicants $259,000.00.

To read what the LA Times doesn't tell you, go to the following website which summarizes over 500 Jehovah's Witnesses Employment related lawsuits, etc,:


Peter Lawless said...

Dear anonymous
that maybe so but are there any Quaker cases which is the purpose of the posting?
Peter Lawless

Simon Heywood said...

What a dumb reason to fire someone!!

Mind you, the Brits are no slouches when it comes to silly oaths, eg. for MPs and the armed forces. Or the cub scouts if memory serves.