Thursday, January 10, 2008

Betty Butterfield and the Quakers

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
from -- "To A Louse: On Seeing One On A Lady's Bonnet, At Church"
Robert Burns, 1786

I was reminded of that thought by Burns recently after receiving an email from my friend Keith. Now Keith is not his real name -- even though that's what I call him, even to his wife -- and for purposes of this post it's probably best I don't use his real name. That's because, unlike me, Keith is highly respected in the religious community of our fair city and I'd hate to do anything that might harm that reputation. But he is sort of a smart-aleck -- or oworse. And in that spirit he sent me a link to the video that follows -- the religious adventures of Betty Butterefield. Betty is on a search for the right church, and as Keith told me via the miracle of email, she visited the Quakers.

Now my faithful reader (whoever she/he is) probably knows that I'm pretty sure Quakers are the final revelation and true branch of Christianity. Well, I'm not quite that extreme, but I think we've got a good thing going -- when we get it right. And then Betty, talking about Quakers during her discourse on visiting the Unitarians, made me think. And, in spite of her satire, to see ourselves as others see us.

If you're of some other species of Christian (or other faith even) or are just ready for some craziness, you can check out more Betty on YouTube or her site at

-- Brent


Robin M. said...

The first time I tried to take my sister to a Quaker meeting, it WAS just like an AA meeting where no one says anything, just like Betty says!

Brent Bill said...

I especially like the way she wanted to "break the ice" and so stood up and said, "Hi, I'm Betty and I'm an alcoholic." Perhaps more of us Quakes should "break the ice" and admit why we're there!

David M. said...

I think this is supposed to be a comic bit, but it seems like comedy rooted in genuine pain. I'm going to hold Betty Butterfield in my thoughts, that she finds what she's looking for.

And these folks sitting in a circle, listening for the stirrings of a god of their understanding? Do you think those two New England boys who started AA made that stuff up out of whole cloth?

Brent Bill said...

David -- I think most comedy is rooted in pain of some sort. But I'm not sure that deep pain is "Betty"s problem -- since "Betty" (an intersting made-up persona) skewers everything.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but Betty kind of reminds of some wacky character from a David Lynch film....or from a Tom Waits video :)