Our right to be free

A Christian Science perspective: There's a God-bestowed right to health and harmony.

I love the ideas behind the upcoming US Independence Day, celebrating the universal principle that each of us is created free and equal, and that we all possess the same inherent, natural rights that are never to be denied or forsaken. At the same time, I’m reminded how many people in the United States and around the world are looking to be freed from being enslaved by sickness, suffering, and want.

The Monitor’s founder, Mary Baker Eddy, referred to universal rights this way: “God has endowed man with inalienable rights, among which are self-government, reason, and conscience” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 106). Through her deep study of the Bible, she discovered that health is a natural outcome when we exercise these rights.

When my husband began to study Science and Health along with the Bible, he found freedom from seasonal allergies he’d suffered with for decades. He learned more about his true, spiritual identity as the child of God, which isn’t subject to material limitation. He began to take a stand for his God-bestowed right to be free in every department of life. He made an effort to live in a more God-centered way. As a result, he felt he could put aside his medical prescriptions and shot treatments.

That was more than 18 years ago, and he hasn’t suffered with allergies since.

Each of us expresses the spiritual nature and qualities of our creator, divine Spirit. Acknowledging God as universal good and rejecting the belief that sickness and inharmony are facts we have to live with, we can experience more freedom, and be better equipped to help others find their freedom, too.

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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.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

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.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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