I Don’t Have to Show You Any Hat Honor. The Quakers Told Me So.

Sunday Michele Bachmann told Floridians that the earthquake and hurricane were God’s way of trying to get Washington’s attention to rein in spending. Apparently Glenn Beck said a similar thing not too long ago as well, which really raises a lot of questions.
1.   If God was trying to get our attention, wouldn’t he/she/it do it in a less hinty way? It’s GOD, you know? I mean, you’re GOD. If you want to tell us something, you can do it in any way you want. Sky-writing, for example. Take out time during network programming. Take over the bodies of the politicians who are causing the alleged issues and make them do things the way you want. Make a Facebook page. Tweet it, for the love of him/her/itself. Maybe natural disasters worked in the time of Noah, but nowadays we’re a very technological society. God would know that and would have morphed with the times, wouldn’t you think?
2.   There are a million things going on the world, and THAT’S what God’s mad about? Washington’s spendy ways? Really? I was sure Bachmann would say it was God telling New York that gay marriage was wrong, since the Bachmanns have been all up-in-arms about that issue, (*coughmethinksthehusbanddothprotesttoomuchcough*) but she decides to concentrate on spending. OK, well, I don’t know, and I don’t purport to be the mind of God, or anything, like Bachmann apparently does, but if I was God, I’d be more upset about, oh, I don’t know, my most beloved and treasured creation, Man, killing each other in my name, and maybe do some natural disasters to make that shit stop? “Government spending? I don’t give a rat’s ass about government spending,” I’d say, you know, God-me, I mean. “How about we stop discriminating against people that love each other and killing people and USING MY NAME TO JUSTIFY IT. ‘Kay, thanks, then.”
3.   Why is our nation becoming known for nutcases? I’m really honestly very worried about this, everyone. No, seriously. Seriously, seriously worried. It used to be that if you were a politician, and you were religious, that was ok, but you didn’t talk about it much. It was enough that the public knew you attended some sort of non-scary church and believed in a higher power. You kept your divisive topics to yourself, because you were there to represent everyone, you know? People who were all different religions and creeds and sexual orientations and colors and such. But now people are running for office who are openly hateful and bigoted and seem unintelligent about important issues and also don’t know basic grammar and sentence construction and this is a worry because PEOPLE ARE LISTENING TO THEM. I mean, yes, as of yet, none of them have gotten elected to anything really major, but I really feel like it’s just a matter of time and then we’re really going to be in a lot of trouble.
So of course this led to thoughts about religion. I used to attend church, as I’ve mentioned. Once I got old enough to realize I didn’t agree with a lot of the major tenets of the Catholic church, I stopped going. I always feel the need to say – please don’t think I hate the Catholic church, or anyone who is Catholic. I most certainly do not. It just doesn’t work for me.  I decided it would be hypocritical to keep attending services when the entire congregation was praying to stop things that I want to continue happening, so I stopped attending. It wasn’t a protest and I have nothing against the church, not really. It just wasn’t for me.
I do miss the idea of it sometimes, though. You’re always reading how people who have faith and regularly attend services live these much longer, much happier lives. And since I’m single, and likely will be forever so, and being married is also something that extends your life span, I shouldn’t avoid things that will extend my lifespan, right? And I don’t NOT believe in anything. I think there’s SOMETHING out there. I don’t know what, exactly, but I don’t believe we’re all alone, because that’s just too sad, and there are too many beautiful things to have no meaning and purpose behind them, and there are so many things that happen that are too magical to just be coincidence.
So, as you do, I said, “hey! Google! Let’s find out what religion I am!” And Google said – well, nothing? Because it’s a search engine, and it can’t talk.
I took three different tests. The one I WANTED to take that looked the most reputable I couldn’t because it was blocked at work due to RELIGIOUS CONTENT. The list of things that are blocked at work is insane. Humor, blogs, porn, and now God. Well, this sucks a lot of fun out of my day, WORK.  It’s like you want me to, oh, I don’t know, DO WORK. The nerve.
The one thing I know for sure after taking these tests is that I am NOT a Roman Catholic. Roman Catholicism tested in the bottom three for me on all three of the tests. Which is unfortunate, because I already know all of the lyrics to their hymns. That seems like a waste of brain space. Like, I know ALL the stanzas of Amazing Grace, not just the first one. This is taking up space in my mind that could be used for something like Firefly quotes.
Things that are important to me in a religion:
No hating.
Women and men have equal rights to advance within the church hierarchy.
Women have the right to decide what happens to/with/within their own body.
Divorce is fine.
Sex before marriage, also fine.
No cult-like behavior, i.e. going door-to-door, calling each other weird monikers, or enforced polygamy.
(Technically, if you think about it, rule #1 covers ALL OF THE OTHERS. It’s a really awesome rule like that.)
(Note: I am doing most of my research on these via Wikipedia, because that’s how I roll. And it’s not blocked at work. Also other websites are wordy and Wikipedia is like research for people with ADD. I also like to pretend it’s all true even though it might not be.)
“Some Quakers meet for silent worship with no leader and no fixed program.” This is promising, because I think I could use that time thinking up things to blog about, or planning out what I’m going to wear the upcoming week, or scheming. No one would have to know. SILENT.
Historically, Quakers have been known to refuse to participate in war, advocate peace, and to promote social justice and equality though anti-slavery and women’s rights movements. That’s nice! I approve. Also, the Quakers believe in, and celebrate, same-sex marriage. Nice, Quakers!
“Most Friends believe in continuing revelation, which is the idea that truth is continuously revealed directly to individuals from God without a need for any intermediary, objective logic or systematic theology”, which means there is no need for priests. Well! Direct line to God and no priest yelling at me. I think that’s a positive!
This awesome list is the best thing. List of things, per Wikipedia, you’re supposed to “testify” against with your actions (you don’t seem to have to go door-to-door, so I approve): capital punishment, conscription, hat honor, slavery, times and seasons. HAT HONOR. What? What IS that? I LOVE IT. NO HAT HONOR! Like, is hat DIShonor ok? Hat honor. OK, I just looked it up? And it means you don’t have to bow to anyone in a higher station than you. I LOVE THIS SO HARD, QUAKERS. I want to be a Quaker just for that one phrase. Also, times and seasons? I don’t think you can just testify against those, because they’re going to happen anyway. The Byrds said so. Also the Bible.
This is also known as The Religious Society of Friends. Well, that sounds cultish. Also, I don’t know if I want to be forced to be friends with the people at my church. Isn’t there a separation of church and personal life?
Quakers are known for their plain dress and refusal to swear oaths. Um. Still, or back in the day? This is a worry. I sometimes like to wear things that sparkle and I swear on all that’s holy I’ll be revenged on my oppressors, like, DAILY. Uh-oh.
Some Quakers still use “thee” and “thou”. I don’t think I could do this because it would make me look like a gigantic goofball and also I think I would need to put on a bonnet.
Decision: overall, I’m up with Quakers! I don’t think I’ll BECOME a Quaker? But I’m definitely pro-Quakers. They seem like a righteous bunch of liberal-minded people who enjoy playing old-timey dressup and decrying hat honor. Quakers get my stamp of approval.
Unitarian Universalism
This is kind of the most awesome. It’s crunchy-granola-hippie religion. Seriously. Things I found out:
Everyone has “complete and responsible freedom of speech, thought, belief, faith, and disposition.”
“…each person is free to search for his or her own personal truth on issues, such as the existence, nature, and meaning of life, deities, creation, and afterlife.”
You can believe in no god. Or all the gods. Or a female god. Or that god is in the flowers. WHATEVER, DUDE.
The Bible’s, like, kinda just there, you know? I mean, it’s sort of righteous? But also mythical. So don’t be a hater!
Social justice – yes, please, say the Universal Unitarians! Because there’s nothing hippies are better at than gathering and protesting. Probably also smoking weed.
Decision: although this is a very, very good idea, and I love it overall, I think it would be too “let’s save the world” and “free to be you and me!” for me. Nothing against the hippies! I love that there’s a church for the hippies. I’m just way too high-strung to be one. And I think, even though rules make me chafe, I would need some rules in my religion, otherwise I would wander around touching shiny things. Also, I feel like the people would be a bit patchouli-scented. And that would make me sneeze.
This is how I knew the quizzes were actually fairly accurate because I actually practiced a neo-pagan religion for a while in a group and still adhere to many of its tenets.  I approve; I admire; I really have nothing negative whatsoever to say here. I don’t know why I fell away from it. Time constraints, I suppose. It’s something I should make more time for as it’s something I enjoyed and something that made me feel better and more grounded.
Google, as usual? Very intelligent. Because these are all very good ideas.  And all religions I can totally get behind and don’t really have any huge issues with. Will I start attending services? Probably not. I’m very busy and organized anything tends to chafe, which is why being a pagan really is the road best taken for me, I think. But is it nice to know that there are religions out there where I have an option and that have similar religious feelings to my own? Yes, that is a nice feeling. It’s nice to know that not all religions are telling you that God’s sending down his wrath because of government spending (or, since I started writing this, that American-born children of illegal immigrants should not be given the same rights as other children, because they’re not equal – I don’t mean to nitpick, but I’m pretty sure that the Tea Party’s all about the CONSTITUTION being THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER and the Constitution says all children born on American soil are American citizens, right? I mean, that’s what this seems to imply, anyway.  I might be wrong. I also found a crazy-person website while researching this that was spouting about “anchor-babies” and how the amendment is being misinterpreted so who knows, I might be off my rocker.)
I really think this could be summed up in both MY first and most important rule of religion – No hating – and Jesus’s most important commandment, for the love of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, “Love one another as I have loved you.” THEY ARE THE SAME THING. However, like most things that the crazy hatemongers don’t like or that don’t fit in their philosophy, Horatio, they IGNORE them.
I’m not showing them even the SMALLEST bit of hat honor. So there.

About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

6 responses to “I Don’t Have to Show You Any Hat Honor. The Quakers Told Me So.

  • Beth J.

    Wow. Sounds like you left the Catholic church for pretty much the same reasons I did. I have nothing against them, I don't hate them, I just didn't fit in. Seriously, I really get irritated that women have a submissive role to play, no matter how progressive your parish may seem to be.

    I was also a practicing neo-pagan. I think that's an easy reach from being Catholic because of the rituals involved, and it is why Catholicism still holds a special place in my heart. If it would just stop being douchey about women and LGBT people, I might go back.

    Do you have links to the quizzes you took? I'm curious to see where I fall.


  • Amy

    Surprise, Blogger's being wonky and won't let me comment ON MY OWN BLOG. Fascists!

    You & I are internet kindred spirits, Beth! :)




    (There were also dumb ones. I didn't take those…)


  • Mackenzie

    Heya, I'm a Quaker. The shirt I'm wearing today is sparkly :) The plainness was back in the day, and it was often a free trade thing, because fancy clothes = slave labour back, ya know, before it was abolished. Oh, and now too, if it comes from a sweatshop, so some Quakers, like other liberal sorts, don't buy from sweatshops, for example. Or like to shop at thrift/vintage stores so stuff gets reused. That kind of thing.

    And “thee” and “thou” went out about 100 years ago.

    I don't own a bonnet.

    As far as oaths…since Quakers are supposed to tell the truth all the time anyway, if called as a witness in court, instead of swearing on the Bible, they'll affirm, which is like saying “Yes, of course I'm telling the truth, because duh.”

    As a former-Catholic as well, I also have a habit of saying “I bet they'll…”, which, betting isn't cool with Quakers either, historically, but I don't get funny looks from other Quakers for it. “I swear, this is the last time!” as an expression? Also, no funny looks.

    It's not like Quakers have excommunication (which was called “reading out” back in the day) anymore.


  • Amy

    Thanks for commenting, Mackenzie! I hope I didn't offend. I'm very sarcastic. I actually didn't know anything about the Quakers until I started writing this, and I really have an appreciation for your religion – it just seems very peace-loving and forward-thinking and I really admire how, historically, the Quakers followed their morals (which align very closely to my own!) and stuck to them, even when society was against them.


  • Beth J.

    So I'm a humanist who is actively seeking spiritual guidance, and my top three religions are:

    Unitarian Universalism
    Liberal Quakers
    Theravada Buddhism

    And Roman Catholic is at the bottom of the list.

    No, really. Kindred spirits much?


  • Amy

    We *are* kindred spirits! I love it! :)


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