Readers write: The power of song, comparing movements, updates on Washington, and exploring diversities of the Amazon

Letters to the editor for the Nov. 12, 2018 weekly magazine.

Zoubeir Souissi/Reuters
Souad Abderrahim, a candidate of the Islamist Ennahda party, celebrates after being elected mayor of the city of Tunis, in Tunis, Tunisia in July.

The power of song

Thank you, thank you, thank you for doing the Oct. 22 Heart of the News article “How choirs build community” and sharing this reemerging spirit of song! I’m thinking it may be time for me to start something like this in my area.

Donna Tongue

Londonderry, N.H.

Comparing movements

Regarding the Sept. 17 cover story, “Rise of the Islamist moderates”: Because of my background (four years of high school in Afghanistan), I follow the Middle East closely. Yet I had never heard anything about the rise of Islamist moderates. Thank you. Perhaps an editorial or column comparing this movement with the rising tide of right-wing Christianity in the West would be helpful.

Chip Steiner

Lancaster, Pa.

Updates on Washington

Please keep the photos and the cartoons. I would also like a page of current decisions in Washington – the Supreme Court’s reports, what the president has just signed to go into effect, who leads and what actions are under way in the congressional committees, etc.

Mary Lou Peckham

Fort Collins, Colo.

Exploring diversities of the Amazon

I’ve just finished Amanda Paulson’s interesting cover story on Camp 41, the Oct. 1 article “Camp Amazon.” She can sure write well! She articulated the complex diversities of the Amazon situation in an enjoyable, understandable, and fresh way. I could practically hear and visualize the richness of the animal and plant life she described. 

It’s wonderful for us readers to learn about important research going on and how it impacts our amazing planet.

Vicky Cameron

Mount Pleasant, S.C.

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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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