Readers write: Explaining evangelical, learning more about hometown, solutions for youth problems

 Letters to the editor for the Feb. 5, 2018 weekly magazine. 

Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor
The Gateway Arch is seen above a residential neighborhood on December 6, 2017 in East St. Louis, Illinois.

Explaining evangelical

Regarding the Jan. 29 Focus story, “What does it mean to be evangelical?”: This article really helped me understand the origin, growth, and various meanings of the word evangelical and the movements created around it. Thank you for providing that background and explaining the righteous and religious fervor I see in some Republicans who identify as white and evangelical. It’s not just a political goal for them but a moral and religious one, too. It makes sense to me now.

Marianne Scott

Boulder, Colo.

Learning more about hometown

Regarding the Jan. 1 & 8 cover story, “Bridging black and white”: This is a beautifully written, well-researched, very balanced story, with the right mix of inspiration/emotion and facts. I’m a native St. Louisan and wasn’t aware of these meaningful interactions going on right here! Thank you for this wonderful story.

Barbara Rea

St. Louis

Solutions for youth problems

Regarding the Jan. 22 Focus article, “How Iceland kicked teen drinking”: As director of a children’s educational theater program, I am terribly excited to find this story and will be looking for ways to use it and its ideas as I bring families and young actors into our program.

Caroline Rackley

Las Vegas, N.M.

The Jan. 22 Focus article was inspiring! I love learning of new and successful solutions to widespread problems, especially those that relate to youth and families. 

It is good to hear that this idea is being investigated by communities in West Virginia. Wouldn’t it be great if more areas in the United States were to pick up on it? 

Thanks for helping to spread the word.

Franja Bryant

Bellevue, Wash.

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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

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