Readers write: Lifting humanity through a story, prayer after mass shootings, making sense of confusing events

Letters to the editor for the April 23, 2018-April 30, 2018 weekly magazine. 

Henry Gass/The Christian Science Monitor
Elizabeth Sanders, co-general manager of WMMT radio station, edits a call that will be played during 'Calls From Home,' in Whitesburg, Ky. on Feb. 5, 2018.

Lifting humanity through a story

Regarding the Feb. 9 Monitor Daily article “ ‘Calls From Home’: Kentucky radio station connects inmates and families”: This was such an important story. What I love about the Monitor is your focus on every front page of some story that lifts my humanity. You so often point out what people are doing to make positive changes in this world, as well as highlighting the humanity of people who walk a different path from mine. I wish this story could be spread far and wide. Thank you for connecting it to government actions that affect the people in this story.

Marianne Borgardt

Santa Monica, Calif.

Prayer after mass shootings

Regarding the Feb. 16 Monitor Daily editorial “After large-scale killings, aid groups find new ways to comfort”: Lovely piece. Right on. But I would appreciate also addressing the issue of whether prayer is enough in US mass shootings. One side says that it’s all we can and need to do. The other side says we need a fundamental change – e.g., the stricter regulation of guns that a strong majority favors. Christian Science affirms the efficacy of prayer – it’s not synonymous with doing nothing – but also the need for practical help that shows our faith by our works and reform. I believe permitting continued easy access to assault-type rifles, huge magazines, armor-piercing bullets, and secondary market weapons defies common sense and humane values. We should not duck the Christian and moral duty to prevent violence if we can. That means both effective prayer – right thinking – and right acting. And action embraces policy as well as after-the-fact care.

Lance Matteson

Mercer Island, Wash.

Making sense of confusing events

The March 5 OneWeek piece “Who will believe Mueller’s report?” was a great long article that put together a confusing series of events for me.

Lynne Lawson

Peacham, Vt.

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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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