What Do Quakers Believe In? Integrity.


Photo by grilledcheese.Reproduced under terms of Creative Commons License
 
Integrity is an important Quaker value. It is not necessarily about telling the truth all the time: for example in World War 2 many Friends in the Netherlands told lies in order to protect the safety of Jews. We trust to God's enabling us to maintain our integrity and to discern the right ethical choices in difficult situations. 

Some banks have Quaker origins (eg Barclays and Lloyds). One reason for this was the high regard that people had for the honesty and integrity of Quakers at a time when many bankers were notoriously unscrupulous. 

Quakers have always refused to take the oath in court: George Fox reminded the judge that Jesus Christ had forbidden us to swear; our word should be truthful in all circumstances. Friends suffered much hardship over this, but eventually it led to the general legal right to affirm rather than taking the oath. 

A challenge to Quakers comes from our own Advices and Queries, where we are asked: ‘Are you honest and truthful in all you say and do? Do you maintain strict integrity in business transactions and in your dealings with individuals and organisations? Do you use money and information entrusted to you with discretion and responsibility?’ 

Integrity is also an attitude of mind. It means being honest with oneself, and facing uncomfortable facts. It means not holding contradictory values or ideas. It means not being dishonest by stating different opinions and values according to the company we happen to be in.

 
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