After seven semesters at a Quaker university, I had decided that it would make sense for me to understand who Friends are and what they believe. And so I gathered with a group to discuss Quaker history and beliefs. After the first session, those of us who were less familiar with Quakerism were encouraged to do some poking around, to see what we could discover about Friends.
I came to the second meeting invigorated by what I had discovered. Having never spent much time looking into Quakers, I was surprised to see the wide range of theological diversity among Friends. In my research I had read about Nonthiest Friends, Orthodox Friends, Evangelical Friends, Neopagan Friends, and Fundamentalist Friends. I was shocked, but pleasantly so. Here was a group of religious folks who could stand to associate with one another despite vast difference in faith and practice. Or, at least I thought they did. As I spoke of my findings, an older Friend cut me off - "Well, Brandon, some of those people you're talking about aren't really Quakers." He didn't specify which group(s) he was ostensibly ready to vote off the Quaker Island, but his meaning was clear: I am not at all comfortable associating with some of those people as Friends.