'What Does George Fox Say?' Features Hilarious Insight Into Quaker Life

What Does George Fox Say?
Copying Ylvis' "What Does the Fox Say?" a group of Quakers put together a video explaining Quaker doctrine and presenting some biblical truths. |

Quakers have made their own parody of Ylvis' viral video "What Does the Fox Say?" with "What Does George Fox Say?" which outlines Quaker doctrine and biblical themes.

As "What Does the Fox Say" compares the mysterious fox to animals with well-known sounds like the cat (meow), the dog (woof), and the cow (moo), "What Does George Fox Say" presents the tenets of a lesser-known Christian denomination. The Quaker version includes the same crazy sounds which Ylvis' video suggests for the fox, but adds subtitles to educate viewers about what Quakers believe.

"The Lord does not dwell in these man-made temples, but rather in people's hearts," says the video caption, as dancing Quakers make the crazy animal sounds featured in Ylvis' video. This line, along with many others in the video, articulates the central Quaker doctrine of the "Priesthood of All Believers" (1 Peter 2:9 "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.").

The video opens with a crowd of Quakers in "waiting worship," waiting for the spirit of God to speak through one of them. So inspired, a man stands up and starts to sing the story of George Fox, the founder of the Religious Society of Friends, the Quakers.

"1650s England, kingless country, civil war. Dudes in robes the only way to communicate with God," the man sings, setting the stage for reform in the church. "All pay tithes, and all take oaths, churches full of empty forms." Then, ending the first chorus of Ylvis' music, the Quaker sings, "A shoemaker begins to preach … What does George Fox Say?"

As the man asks this central question, his clothes change to mimic the era's Puritan garb, with red tights, a collared shirt, a long coat and a round black hat. The Quakers rush across the room as he makes the crazy animal sounds "ding, ding ding, ga-ding, ga-ding, ga-ding." The subtitles quote George Fox – "I saw that there was an ocean of death, but flowing over it was an infinite ocean of love."

What Does George Fox Say Crowd
A Quaker parody of Ylvis' viral video "What Does the Fox Say?" features this crowd of Quakers, dressed up in 1650s garb, rocking out to a song explaining the theology of George Fox, the founder of the Religious Society of Friends |

"Wha-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow!" he says, as the Quakers now all dressed as Puritans, jump up and down, making crazy hand motions from Ylvis' video. In one segment, the screen features a central George Fox quotation – "I heard a voice, which said, 'Jesus Christ can speak to your condition.' When I heard it, my heart did leap for joy." This refers to the revelation that led Fox to start the Society of Friends.

Crowd Shot in What Does George Fox Say
This parody of Ylvis' viral video "What Does the Fox Say?" features many Quakers rocking out to the theology of George Fox, founder of the Religious Society of Friends. |

Following the same style as Ylvis, the Quaker song refers to a "guardian angel hiding in your soul" (the video calls the fox "my guardian angel hiding in the woods"). As it draws to an end, the Quaker parody proclaims "the insight of George Fox was that the spirit can guide us," and finally asks, "What do you hear?"

While the video articulates basic Quaker doctrines, the artist behind it, Ben Guaraldi, explained that Quakers do not have a set creed. "Many Friends have conservative Christian theologies, some Friends don't believe that there is anything supernatural at all, and a lot of Friends (including me) are somewhere in between," Guaraldi wrote on his blog.

George Fox Praying
In "What Does George Fox Say?" a group of Quakers explain the story behind the Religious Society of Friends, following Ylvis' viral video "What Does the Fox Say?" Here, George Fox prays, connected to his "so-o-o-o-ource." |

The artist event went so far as to welcome those who feel excluded by traditional Christian churches. "If you're queer or trans and looking for a church, we might be a good fit," Guaraldi wrote.

The video has received very positive reviews on YouTube, with 647 "likes" and only 68 "dislikes." Viewer Justin Williams called the video "brilliant," and Mary Robinette Kowal declared "I have so much love for this."

George Fox and Jailers
George Fox hoola hoops, hanging out with the jailers who listened to his preaching in prison and followed him after his release, in the Quaker parody of Ylvis' viral video "What Does the Fox Say?" |

In a response to The Huffington Post linking to his video, Guaraldi said he hoped that his viewers "have learned that Quakers still exist and a little more about us, too."

While the Quaker denomination continues to this day, the practice of "waiting worship" – where, as Guaraldi explains, there is no priest or pastor or order of service but rather, Friends wait in silence for the Spirit to give them message – has declined drastically, with only 11 percent of "Friends" practicing this.

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