"PROVOCATIVE / EXCITING" — The Human Rights Campaign Fund Faith & Religion Program

Cracking the Whitman Code

LeavesOfGrass.Org is the home of Walt Whitman's Quaker Paradox and the sailorloverquaker theory. During the Age of Sail, because Inner Light theology offered liberation from traditional ecclesiastical and Biblical morality, no one stood to gain more than gay people. As a product of the second generation of Transcendentalism, Leaves of Grass is a Quaker summa theologica: it exported Inner Light beliefs outside the Quaker 'fence.' But the severe taboo on mentioning same-sex acts ensured that the culture war surrounding Whitman's spiritual defense of Adhesiveness was conducted in deeply encoded terms. LeavesOfGrass.Org has been at the forefront of the endeavor to fully decode this long-forgotten context.