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For those of you who are not familiar with Quakers (the Religious Society of Friends), here is a short description. Those who already know this can correct or expand. Quakers are not necessarily Christians today, and they were distinctly different than the Anglican church in England. The primary belief is that "there is that of God in everyone", which means that a Quaker meeting is a congregation of ministers - without laity. (It has been said that Quakers have no priests, in fact, we have a "priesthood of all believers). I have never heard it said, but I should add that Quakers seem to have no belief in "original sin". Imagine that!
There is no established credo, and Quakers avoid fixed hierarchy: leadership tends to be shared, and people "clerk" rather than lead, which means that they facilitate a group by attempting to discern the state of the meeting. Members take on tasks by agreement. There are no icons, no ornaments, no scripture in a meetinghouse. The work of maintaining the organization is not done by hired people, although today there is a branch of Quakers that hires a minister.
At meeting, Quakers sit in stillness (not "silence", as is often said) until feeling called upon, internally, to speak. Discerning when your testimony is truly inspired by god rather than leaking from your ego is not always easy, but Quakes seek to be led internally by an inner voice, whether that be called god, or conscience, or whatever.
To be a Quaker means living without explicit, provided structure, but rather taking individual responsibility. At a Quaker wedding, Non-Quakers are baffled, but once they understand that they are free to stand and say what the couple means to them, they rise to the occasion. Literally. Individual discernment of meaning that has been inspired by god, is shared with the meeting. That is the core of the process.
Quakers do not vote upon decisions. They discuss until there is a "sense of the meeting" that a decision has arrived. The clerk, whose task is to reflect the meeting, gives voice to this. Those who do not agree may speak out and invoke further discussion, or they may choose to "stand aside" for the benefit of the meeting - if they feel that they have been heard. It is hard to imagine a less efficient process, but just as difficult to imagine one that offers more respect to individual dissent.
In court, Quakers do not swear to tell the truth because it is a value of Friends to always tell the truth: taking an oath implies lying as an option. In court, as elsewhere, hats are not removed, except to pray.