One of the things that I've been thinking about on and off for the past few years is the boundaries that might be set for the Religious Society of Friends. I could say a lot more about that - the history and theological trends that led Hicksite Friends to be fairly wide open - but even I sometimes think that there need to be better boundaries. Talking about "the Light" shouldn't give you an automatic free pass.
An important part of integrity is having distinct boundaries. To a certain extent, it seems as though people are somewhat self-selecting, but I'm still occasionally surprised at the people who want to be among Quakers. Let me suggest a modest boundary: pagans.
It's fine to find the Divine in nature; the Bible encourages that. And the Bible also has Feminine images of God. Christianity has folded in various pagan images throughout history - not just the Easter Bunny with it's eggs, and the Christmas tree, but also the Celtic cross. There has been a fairly consistent trend among Quakers to excise those pagan elements, including the names for the days of the week and the months of the year, although personally I think that insisting on "First Day" and such can be idolatrous in it's own right; I don't particularly find my thoughts drawn to worship of the Norse God of Thunder on Thursday, for instance. It's just an oddity of language.
It does bother me that some people think of magic as real, and think that it's possible to believe in magic and be a Quaker. It seems like there are two possible responses to "magic": you can dismiss it, or you can take it seriously. If you dismiss it, I can't imagine why you would tolerate Friends practicing magic any more than you would tolerate Friends who thought the earth was flat; that is, it's not just an idiosyncratic belief, but demonstrably wrongheaded and potentially harmful.
But you don't have to dismiss magic: I don't take it seriously, but I know people who do. But if you take it seriously, and you want to be a Quaker, it must be rejected. Not because it's necessarily Satanic - although I suppose you could make that argument - but because it necessarily usurps God's powers. Can people make traffic lights change, or control the weather, or call (or send) animals (as at least one member of the administrative faculty of a Quaker seminary believes)? I would say no; these people are just being silly. But if you say yes, then you're usurping God's powers.
If this post is muddled - and I'll admit it is, more than I'd like - it's not because I haven't thought enough about the issue, but because I've thought about it too long. This isn't just about attacking one particular person, because I know several members of the Religious Society of Friends who believe in this nonsense; but I also think the people attacking Harry Potter are silly, too. But it seems as though the proper response to pagan magic is rejection, one way or another. That would be a nice first step to reasserting boundaries for Hicksite Friends.
(The title references a song by Pilot, if you were wondering)