Which candidate do you love more?

A Christian Science perspective: In an atmosphere teeming with opinions, perhaps our biggest contribution can be a peaceful acknowledgment of divine Love, God’s power beyond the power of people, a heart that sees ourselves and those seeking election ultimately as equal rays of a powerful center, Love itself.

My children have loved to tease me by stating that I loved one of them more than the other. Early on I would deny their accusations until I began to see they already knew how much it meant to me that they knew they were loved equally and fully and unconditionally. I learned to catch their knowing eye, and roll with the joke.

Thinking of that experience during this US presidential campaign, I suddenly asked myself, Do I love all the candidates equally? It startled me to ask that. Intellectually, I would reply that I would hope to love everyone equally as God’s children. But in actuality, do I? To vote for one or the other candidate doesn’t need to mean loving one more than the other.

What does it mean to meaningfully love those whom we don’t know personally or even those whom we think we don’t like? What does it mean to hold a lesser love for anyone? And why shouldn’t we? Jesus put it this way: “If ye love them which love you [or we could say those with whose political positions we agree], what thank have ye?” (Luke 6:32). What is Jesus asking of us? How do we love in this way, and why does it matter?

I don’t really know of any way to do this from a mere personal human kind of love. We seem to have so many opinions and personal preferences about so many things, certainly including candidates. But in an atmosphere teeming with such opinions, what a relieving and refreshing position to simply love – deeply love as a replacement for anxious political positioning. But what kind of love are we talking about that seems so much easier said than done?

We can still listen intelligently to the issues and policies and even character of the candidates, and vote as wisely as we see fit. But we may most discerningly and more peacefully find that wise choice if we are seeing Love. Not just loving a person, but seeing Love itself, Love as the presence of God. As we read editorials and ponder the pundits’ analyses, we can likewise learn how to simultaneously see through the surface presentation to the very presence of divine Love, right there, right here, right now as the Governor of the universe. Look first at the Governor, the divine Principle behind all existence.

Love as God, as a universal presence and reigning intelligence, never breaks down and it is constantly giving impulse to our efforts to sort chaos and confusion into peace and order. Love already exists as the simple concept reigning quietly, powerfully behind all the chaotic scenes of conflict and fear and division.

When looking at the sun, I don’t imagine loving one of its rays more than another. They are equally equipped and valued in the warmth, cheer, and light they bring. When looking into the face of Love, I don’t need to fear that any of the rays are less worthy of divine Love. And what is our love but a reflection of the Love that exists.

It isn’t harder for a sun's ray to shine on a rock or a garden. The principle impels the natural results. To love is a natural outcome of being Love’s ray. Focusing more on our own and everyone’s true identity as an unarguing shining of Love, rather than on the rocks or garden – the various choices of politics – doesn’t make us less discerning, but more so.

In today’s abundance of punditry perhaps our biggest contribution to this season can be a peaceful acknowledgment of divine Love, God’s power beyond the power of people and cloaks of political position, a love-filled heart that sees ourselves and all those seeking election ultimately as equal rays of a powerful center, Love itself. Perhaps how we learn to love equally this season is ultimately more important, and adds more value, than what political position we hold. Our world needs that deeper sense of love much more than it needs more opinions.

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About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

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The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

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