April 22nd, 2003

22 Apr 2003, by


A friend of mine linked the Belief-O-Matic yesterday. I’ve seen it before and taken the quiz several times, but I went to take it again, just for funsies. Now mind you the quiz has several disclaimers about how it may or may not work for you very well and so on and so forth. I guess before I start into full on rant mode I should say that this isn’t an angry rant, but more of a perplexed rant. Usually when I take social, political, or religious quizzes I get answers exactly like I expect them. Beliefnet has me scratching my head every time I take this test (three times in the past three years or so). Why, you ask? I’ll paste the top three matches of my result set below :

1. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (100%)
2. Orthodox Quaker (91%)
3. Liberal Quakers (87%)

Now you, too, are scratching your head, right? Of course blah blah blah Protestant comes as no surprise as I have been heavily steeped in Protestantism all my life, but Quaker?! How is Quaker even a category? How am I a Quaker? I don’t even like oatmeal, except in cookies, and I’m certainly not at all like the most famous Quaker I know (that’d be Nixon). So…..what’s going on here? Last time I took this test, if memory serves, I came out 100% Quaker. I’ve never been to a Quaker service and don’t know any Friends personally. I don’t even know where the geographically closest group of Quakers to me might be! I come from a highly religious background, so I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about my spirtuality and religiosity. My beliefs are usually fairly thought through and personal. It’s just plain weird and I don’t know what to make of it. The beliefnet link to what Quakers are and believe in is a lot of some like blue, some like red and not all believe in orange, so it’s not much help deciphering what pegs me as a Quaker. I find it very mysterious, though.

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Happy Earth Day to all my fellow sharers of the planet! I’ve composed a small letter to Earth. Be warned that it’s sappy and rambling and honest.

Dear Planet – I haven’t stopped killing you slowly. I’m still driving my car, still making more garbage than recycling, and I made a very deliberate choice to use disposable diapers on my baby. I think about composting as one of those fascinating things I’ll never do. I like the concept of solar power, but except for my calculator, don’t use it. I’m wedded to the Internet and the power grid that feeds it. Still, my dear Planet, I haven’t stopped loving you, either. I’m crazy about your trees and mountains and critters. Even your waterways have a compelling beauty to me, despite the fact that I’m not into that whole immersion in water thing. I feel a little sick when I think about the way we’re sullying you, making you unusable for future generations, killing so many of your species and fouling your air. I’m really sorry about it. I want my little girl to be as in love with you as I am, and I’m afraid if you lose all your beauty that it will be very hard for her to love you as I do. What shall I do, Planet? How can I help preserve your pristine glory, even if only in pieces and parts? I think about that whole stewardship thing a lot. I don’t want to be the sort of steward who plunders, I want to be the sort of steward who manages and preserves. I sometimes think it’s hopeless for me to try to do anything to help, because I am so small, I am just one of billions of people working together to smother you. Then, I realize that even though we are all trying together, each in our own small way, to asphyxiate you, that you’re still breathing, so maybe if I can do my part you’ll get just enough air to keep on being your magnificent self a while longer. I’m not sure what my part is, though. Is it enough to “Do no harm” like the ancient Greek doctor says? I’m confused about what will truly help matters. My understanding of your complex nature isn’t very sophisticated, you see. I just don’t know. Still, despite everything, I want you to know that I am thinking of you, and that I still love you.

Kisses, Anarkey.

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