As WWII ends, Quakers look back in sorrow

On this day in 1945: Meeting at Guilford College during the last week of World War II, North Carolina Quakers declare, “We bow in penitence for helping to cause this war through selfishness, isolation and lack of vision, for now having loosed history’s most barbaric instrument of destruction.”

One thought on “As WWII ends, Quakers look back in sorrow”

  1. To All Friends Everywhere

    Two soul shaking announcements came during the two hundred and forty-eighth session of North Carolina Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends: devastating use of the atomic bomb, and a Japanese proposal for peace. We pray for the speedy establishment of a peace of equal justice. We bow in penitence for helping cause this war through selfishness, isolation, and lack of vision, and for now having loosed history’s most barbaric instrument of destruction.

    Which way? Mankind must choose Christ’s way of love, or face vast periodic destruction. We reaffirm our deep confidence and trust in God and His love, as opposed to pagan trust in armed might. We reaffirm our faith in the historic and indwelling Christ and his message, “Love your enemies,” “Blessed are the peacemakers,” “Love one another.”

    We are under conviction for our sins of omission. We are deeply contrite, as we recognize that Christ’s condemnation, “They say and do not,” often applies to us, past and present. We highly resolve to open our consciences more freely to His leadings, to do His work more faithfully, to build his kingdom on earth.

    We rededicate ourselves to our historic mission to bring Christ to people, at home and abroad; to bind up the wounds of this holocaust, physical and spiritual; to build peace on earth among men of good will; to live lives of true brotherhood with men of all races and nations. We would hold aloft the ultimate goals for humanity and also work on immediate steps leading toward those goals. We seek, with sensitized consciences, new and ever enlarging ways to apply the love of God to crying human needs about us.

    We pray that all our actions may be in that pure leading of the spirit which has been the peculiar genius of those Quakers who have walked closest to God.

    Our love goes out to all Friends everywhere. We salute you, our brethren! Hold fast that which is good! Rejoice with us that the “ocean of light” still covers the “ocean of darkness.”

    Signed and in behalf of the North Carolina Religious Society of Friends held at Guilford College, Eighth month, sixth to twelfth, 1945.

    Algie I. Newlin, Clerk
    Dorothy Lloyd Gilbert, Assistant Clerk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.