Readers write: Bad precedent, a 108-year celebration, scientific agreement

Letters to the editor for the Dec. 5, 2016 weekly magazine.

Nam Y. Huh
Chicago Cubs players celebrate during a celebration honoring the World Series champions at Grant Park in Chicago on Nov. 4, 2016.

Bad precedent

Regarding the Oct. 28 article “In ‘stunning victory’ for defense, jury acquits Oregon’s Malheur occupiers” (CSMonitor.com): Acquitting the Oregon standoff defendants not only opens the door to others taking up arms against the government, but it also signifies a win for the National Rifle Association. The NRA’s stronghold on our government is alarming. And we have no one to thank but our elected legislators. The Bundy acquittal has set the wrong precedent.

JoAnn Lee Frank

Clearwater, Fla.

A 108-year celebration

The Chicago Cubs won the World Series this year, something they hadn’t done since 1908. Something else happened 108 years ago that has significance to all mankind – not just Chicago Cubs fans.

That year, 1908, marks the beginning of The Christian Science Monitor’s new approach to the journalism prevalent in those days. As so many celebrate the Cubs’ epic win of the Series, all who read this can share a moment of appreciation for how the Monitor has brought balance, accuracy, and insight to the news around the globe. Now that’s a true world championship that everyone can celebrate.

David K. McClurkin

Beachwood, Ohio

Scientific agreement

Your Oct. 17 cover story on ending the water wars in Washington State’s Yakima Valley (“How the water wars may end”) was great, but I have one tiny quibble.

In talking about climate science, the article uses the term “consensus of scientists.” That is inaccurate because “consensus” implies that it is a matter of subjective opinion among the scientists. Actually, it is a matter of hard objective science (within limits of uncertainty). Rather than “consensus,” the language should be “the preponderance of objective data and analysis.”

William H. Cutler

Union City, Calif.

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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.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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