Friday, February 21, 2003

Shaker thoughts

society :: politics

Shakers Compendium (1859) - Section 2 of 4

To the mind of the simple, unsophisticated Shaker it seems
marvelously inconsistent for any human government to be administered
for the sole benefit of its own officers and their particular friends
and favorites; or that more than one half the citizens should be
disfranchised because they happen to be females, and compelled by the
sword to obey laws they never sanctioned, and ofttimes in which they
have no faith, and to submit to taxation where there has been no
previous representation; while still millions of other fellow-citizens
are treated as property, because they chance to possess a
darker-colored skin than their cruel brethren. And again, that the
members (brethren and sisters) of the same religious body or church
should be divided into rich and poor in the things of this temporary
world, but who are vainly expecting that, in the world to come, they
shall be willing to have eternal things in common!

And when this same unjust and unequal administration is confirmed
and carried out in the most popular religious organizations of
Christendom, the Shakers think the climax of absurdity, tyranny, and
oppression well-nigh attained.

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