The Last [Shakers] Standing


http://www.boston.com/news/globe/magazine/articles/2006/07/23/the_last_ones_standing/?page=full
Only four Shakers are left in the world, all living in southern Maine. But if they can't attract converts to their celibate lifestyle and this really is the end for them, they have a plan to ensure that their legacy lives on forever.
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http://www.boston.com/news/globe/magazine/articles/2006/07/23/the_last_ones_standing/?page=full
I don't suppose that the shakers have a very good understanding of biology. Since they follow absolute celibacy, they can not reproduce. And like all good religions, they don't want to change traditional practices. Apparently their God would not approve of any changes. The net result is very predictable.
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I'm sure you slapped yourself on the back after posting this because of your assumed semi-humorous content. Because they are celibate, you assume they are stupid? Do you believe the same about Buddhist monks?
todd
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Don't get all upset.
There are other obvious problems. Bhuddists can continue to exist because it is attractive enough to draw in converts. The Shaker religion is not.
Whatever religion it is, if you can not sustain it, there is something wrong. Did God create the sect so it could die out? That seems like a good definition of stupid to me.
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Sorry about that. Ignorant people tend to piss me off.

The Shakers are devoutly religious and believe in honesty, celibacy, and hard work. Their demise speaks more to our society than their stupidity. Your attempt to belittle them is repugnant.
todd
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The first is true, and I think the last is true. I ain't sure about the one in the middle.
Any religious sect maintains itself by gaining adherents. This is either done by recruitment or reproduction.
The fact the Shakers have been unable to recruit is not necessarily a comment about those they have failed to recruit.
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wrote:

Well, I wasn't going to waste this on Mr. Michaels, but there are probably multiple factors resulting in the decline of the Shakers. First, even at their zenith, there weren't really all that many...only about 6000. There has also been a migration of the population away from rural areas where the Shakers operated into the cities. Although Shakers don't procreate, they did adopt orphans. New laws passed in 1960 barred them from adoption. And if you believe that society as a whole values the things the Shakers value, I think you're kidding yourself. Add on top of that that, unlike other religious sects, it doesn't appear to me that Shakers do a lot of active recruitment.
Lots of good ideas end up failing for one reason or another, but it doesn't automatically make the idea stupid, as Mr. Michaels seems to think.
todd
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Did I say such a thing? Don't think I did... I think I said that I ain't sure that (what you said) "Their demise speaks more to our society than their stupidity" is true. I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to decipher exactly what is, was, or could be meant by that.

From what I read they don't actively recruit at all. That's their choice, and they are certainly aware that the four of them may be the last. Again, their choice.
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Ah. The Church of Convenience. We have one of those here. They have a special "2 Sins for 1" deal on Saturdays.
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writes:

This religion thing gets everybody worked up doesn't it?
I notice that you did not address the real issue that was being discussed.
Which was, is it a sign of intelligence that all members of a particular religion dies? Do you consider adapting to the world a sign of stupidity or intelligence?
Is convenience a bad thing?? Particularly if it prevents death?
Would you rather be "pure" and dead?
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Well, me being dead is a 100% certainty. I should compromise my beliefs so that those compromised beliefs outlast me?
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Well, the Shakers probably felt that if they compromised their beliefs, they would risk their eternal soul.
I guess if one don't believe in a soul, one would consider this decision stupid.
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Lee Michaels wrote:

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/magazine/articles/2006/07/23/the_last_ones_standing/?page=full
???? Buddhists make more Buddhists the old fashioned way. There is nothing in Buddhism that requires celibacy. It's not even required for monks in all orders.

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todd:

But Todd, Buddist monks do not comprise all of Buddism. There are practicing Buddists among clerks, computer programmers, trash collectors, etc. The monks are the celibate priesthood of the religion but NOT the religion itself. Same with Catholic priests (no jokes about the recent scandels please!). And we all know that neither Catholicism and Buddism is dying. Whereas the Shakers as a whole are celibate. They have to rely on conversions for growth and as it was previous noted, adoption to have children to be raised in the society.
Sad to see them die out like this. They live(d) gently on this land and we are the worse as a people to see go.
MJ Wallace
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my gosh you guy's are sure getting shook up over the shakers. is this what happens if ya get to close? remember we still have moony's out there. i hope because of the mention people don't start, well you know the rest. ross
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...and the Moonies make guns, not furniture, seeds, and wooden boxes. ;~) Justin Moon, son of the Reverend, runs Kahr (or did... haven't been paying much attention lately). They make various handguns, Thompson sub-machine guns, etc.
John
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