'Q' is for Quakers
Quakers, more formally known as the Society of Friends, draws its roots back to mid-century England.
|Society of Super Friends|
"Hey, I'm not picking up after that dog."
"Give it to Aquaman. It'll give him something to do.
Besides, it'll get him outside. Seriously, dude smells like fish."
Following the English Civil War, a variety of groups rose in opposition to the Church of England (also known as Anglican, Episcopalian, or Catholic Lite in the United States). Among them were the Quakers, so named because one of their first leaders, George Fox, accused non-believers of trembling when faced with the word of the Lord.
|"Quaking. Get it?"|
Ridicule soon followed Fox and his fellow believers, but they took it with grace and charm. Until the final straw when they didn't get an invitation to a Tupperware party hosted by Charles II. Deciding they would be happier in the New World, they visited Ye Olde Travel Agency and Bloodletting Emporium.
Figuring they would find common cause with the Puritans, who likewise fled England for religious freedom, they set sail for New England. The new colony in Jamestown, Virginia, was a consideration, but the men were concerned that the extreme humidity would play "heck" with their wigs. Plus, there were a lot of mosquitoes and the Powhatan Indians were real cranky.
Surprisingly, the Puritans decided that religious
freedom applied to themselves only. Everyone else, including the Quakers, could go scratch.
|"They took the recipe for oatmeal, |
cinnamon, and raisins with them!!"
So, the Quakers found a home in Rhode Island, after the realtor agreed to waive the closing costs and bring the outdoor privy up to code.
|"What the...? |
Hey, FU, Penwasser!!"
Under the guidance of William Penn, the Quakers also found a home in Pennsylvania's Delaware Valley in 1682. Dealing with the local Native American tribe, the Delaware (Al's Helpful History: why it's called the Delaware Valley. You're welcome), Penn was a rarity among white men: he didn't screw the Indians. Inspired by his fair manner, the Delaware chief, Tammany, signed Penn's Treaty with the soft-spoken Quaker (not before making fun of his wig and hat, though). And, unlike Miley Cyrus, this treaty has never been violated.
|"When this is over, they said we can go to |
something called a 'plantation.'
I don't know about you,
but it sounds pretty sweet to me."
|"Really had heart set on fat guy |
who invent oatmeal, instead."
I don't think William Penn had anything to do with it, though, because he was trying to negotiate an Indian casino on the Delaware River (sadly, all parties couldn't come to terms so the contract went to those show-off Mohegans in Connecticut).
|"Hey, we wear plain dress, don't drink, |
and don't go in the Army, either.
But, you think we could get to drive?
What the eff is up with that?"
Early Quakers used the word "thee" a lot ("No, eff thee, Pilgrim asshat!"), refused to participate in war (although they have served as medical personnel), believed in plain dress (NOTE: Elton John. NOT a Quaker), condemned slavery (okay, I'll give them that one), didn't trust miniature golf, despised disco (that's good, too), thought the Amish were "whack," would not swear oaths ("Swear to God...oooops!!"), thought electricity was the "Devil's Tingly Fingers," and were teetotalers (Bonus! Instant Designated Divers!).
I tried looking up their modern beliefs, but it was too much work. So, let's just go with these.
|Quaker Steak and Lube.|
Apparently, some Quakers
Most Quakers (89%. Thanks, Wikipedia!) follow a traditional kind of service, called "Programmed Worship." Remarkably similar to most other religions, this type of worship includes a pastor, Bible readings, and a structured orthodoxy. Unfortunately, they're don't offer Bingo or Casino Nights because I'm almost positive they're not all that crazy about gambling. Plus, those snooty Catholics have cornered the market.
A minority of Quakers (11%. Don't need no stinking Wikipedia to do the math) opt for what's known as "Waiting Worship." Not following a pre-planned sequence of events, "Waiting Worship" is held mostly in silence as each member of the congregation waits for someone to speak up about...something. This results in spontaneous professions of faith or, usually, Knock-Knock jokes.
Because, really, who can concentrate when those gosh-darn Catholics sound like they're having so much fun over at the Knights of Columbus Hall?
|"Quaker Oats. That's right. |
More than those stuck-up Puritans can claim.
Of course, we had Nixon."
|"You're damn right! |
Oops, not supposed to swear.