[FT] An historian's view of Richard and Hannah Nixon

davnagle at juno.com davnagle at juno.com
Thu Dec 5 22:22:25 PST 2013

Afraid I have to agree with Andrew's final statement.  What would be even better would be exciting unprogrammed meetings with the Holy Spirit bursting out!David E. Nagle

---------- Original Message ----------
From: Andrew Little <andrewlittle at fastmail.co.uk>
To: William F Rushby <wfrushby at yahoo.com>,  "A list for discussing Friends theology." <friends-theology at lists.quakerchristian.net>
Subject: Re: [FT] An historian's view of Richard and Hannah Nixon
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2013 10:00:59 +0100

Just a little comment from the sidelines: when it comes to Nixon, may I suggest we are dabbling in the upper echelons of loaded topics. I have memories of how I thought certain Friends had thoroughly disgraced themselves by not having disowned such a character. As I recall in the activist world of those days, Nixon was hardly a name that one could bring up in a dispassionate capacity.

On 14/02/2013 03:58, William F Rushby wrote:I didn't expect this sort of exchange when I expressed a longing for the dialogue I enjoyed so much on F-T in former times!! I am struck incredulous that Larry Ingle can't find any "heavy bias and hatred" in his piece on Richard Nixon and his Quaker heritage.  The word "cover-up" in the title, linking Nixon's religious background to his actions as President, frames the whole discourse in a hostile way.  Larry's reference to "noisy evangelical roots and character" isn't exactly value-neutral, either! What I see very strongly in Larry Ingle's historical scholarship, in addition to his careful research, is his inability (or unwillingness) to empathize with those with whom he disagrees.  Larry seems to lack a capacity for seeing others "from the inside".  The interplay between empathy and detachment would yield a richer and more penetrating picture than simply interpreting the subject matter from an antagonistic stance.  Larry seems to approach his scholarship with an unacknowledged and only barely hidden agenda.  How about 'fessing up to this, Larry??? When Larry introduced his essay on Nixon, I thought immediately of the senator from Chicago who belonged to the 57th Street Meeting; it took a few days for me to recall his name--Senator Paul Douglas.  Senator Douglas was "an eastern Friend" in the sense that he was "unprogrammed".  It would be instructive to juxtapose Richard Nixon's "pacifism" with that of Paul Douglas.  Both were national political figures and, as I recall, their "Quaker heritage" was strikingly similar in its political expression. The East Whittier Friends Church appears to have been a remarkable congregation.  In addition to its Nixon connection, it played a role in the religious pilgrimage of John Wimber, who was perhaps the leading figure in the Vineyard Christian Fellowship.  If we are looking to cast stones at "noisy evangelicals", the Vineyard folks would probably make Lewis Hadley blush! I am impressed by how many Pentecostal leaders had roots in the Society of Friends. Too bad they left Friends, or were thrown out; we needed them. While I am on the subject, I think contemporary unprogrammed Friends could benefit from some vibrant and authentic "evangelical noise" to awaken them from their often superficial and somnolent spirituality!  From: Larry Ingle <lingle at bellsouth.net>
To: A list for discussing Friends theology. <friends-theology at lists.quakerchristian.net> 
Sent: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 6:10 AM
Subject: Re: [FT] An historian's view of Richard and Hannah Nixon

If there is in fact "heavy bias and hatred" in this piece, it is so deeply
embedded that I, its author, am unable to find it, so let's celebrate Bill
Samuel for finding it, without citing a single word to let us see his point.

For what it's worth.

Larry Ingle
Chattanooga Meeting


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