Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Before reading about Mother Ann Lee and listening to Mrs. Gold's presentation on Shakers, I knew little about what a Shaker was and what being apart of their society entailed. Whenever I think of religious communities, I immediately think of extremist or cult-like groups. I was unaware that neither of these descriptions apply to Shakers. They are simply a community of religious followers who believe in celibacy, and equality between men and women. They do not dismiss technology but rather, create it. They encourage creativity and innovation. They strive for perfection and motivate their brothers and sisters to do the same. After learning about Shakers, I did not only find respect for them, but I even contemplated becoming one! In our society, I feel that it's easy to be quick to judge. With my previous knowledge on the matter being so little, it was easy enough to assume that they were just another extreme religious group who banished technology and outsiders. The Shakers opened their doors to everyone and allowed them to leave as they pleased, never forcing their beliefs onto people who had changed their minds or realized it was not what they had hoped. They practiced gender and racial equality before laws forced people to do so. They were ahead of the game and I would have been honored to join such a group.

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