A strong basis for national reconciliation

A Christian Science perspective: Recognizing everyone’s true nature as the child of God can uplift cultures in a spirit of mutual appreciation and support.

First Nation, Métis, and Inuit people in Canada are experiencing a spiritual and cultural resurgence, contributing more and more to the visual arts, theater, music, film, and politics. At the same time the whole country is moving beyond injustices toward these groups to effect national reconciliation between them and other Canadians. Some steps taken include the prime minister’s appointment of an indigenous, and by all accounts brilliant, woman as the federal minister of justice; the city of Winnipeg’s ongoing dialogue of reconciliation, including its recently approved Indigenous Accord; and the establishment of a National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Although the Bible has been misused to justify oppression (slavery, apartheid, and the subjugation of women, for example), in fact, one can find in its pages freedom, healing, and a foundation for brotherhood and reconciliation. By seeing how the words of the Bible point to a dynamic, ever-present spiritual reality, author Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, showed that there is an eternal basis that unites us all in a higher sense of who we are as God’s children. The Bible teaches how seeing this to be so can lead to reconciliation – to a recognition of wrongs done and to fair and just action today.

For instance, Paul, the writer whose letters compose much of the New Testament, so prided himself on his faithfulness to the religion of his forebears that he persecuted those with different views. However, he evolved to preaching a broader understanding of what it means to be a child of Abraham, the patriarch of the children of Israel (see Galatians 3, for example). His writings assert that membership in God’s family and the blessings that flow from that inclusion aren’t based on ethnicity or external observance but on God’s grace, inclusive of all. He learned that it is the divine will that everyone be embraced in the universal family of one infinite Parent.

Showing how a limited sense of God yields to a liberating sense of Deity, Mrs. Eddy writes: “This human sense of Deity yields to the divine sense, even as the material sense of personality yields to the incorporeal sense of God and man as the infinite Principle and infinite idea, – as one Father with His universal family, held in the gospel of Love” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” pp. 576-577). Christ Jesus presented the idea of God as infinite Love, and the understanding of each of us as being in truth the spiritual manifestation of that Love.

As we express that love that Christ Jesus perfectly exemplified, we discover ourselves to be prized members of the family of Love, at one with God and with each other. And while it’s normal and right to respect and cherish human cultures, we can think of this universal oneness as constituting a higher, all-embracing spiritual culture, uniting all peoples and uplifting all cultures in respect and in a spirit of mutual support.

No matter what country we live in, the desire to express God’s goodness in our thoughts and actions – and to acknowledge God’s goodness in others – constitutes a powerful prayer to counter ignorance, mistrust, and hatred. Truly one good, universal God holds us all in unity as His children. It is our divine right to prove more of that reality each day.

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Dear Reader,

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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