Readers write: News from Iraq, religion and faith, working together, local mongooses, and a special issue

Letters to the editor for the Jan. 14, 2019 weekly magazine.

Thaier al-Sudani/Reuters
Iraq's Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi (C) attends the opening of Baghdad International Fair in Iraq on Nov. 10, 2018.

News from Iraq

Regarding the Oct. 19 Monitor Daily editorial, “Identity politics on the ropes in Iraq?”: Finally, a positive article regarding the Middle East. Hope they succeed in their experiment. If they do, the Iraq War will have finally created some good and hopeful results that will hopefully spread to neighboring countries. The young population will hopefully insist on a well-functioning and honest government. 

Gordon Jones

Gridley, Calif.

Religion and faith

Thanks for the really insightful Nov. 12 Heart of the News article “Why Americans talk less and less about love and kindness.” I am involved with an interfaith organization. You are right that there isn’t a lot of “God talk,” although all of us are believers in one theology or another. What brings us together is the desire to help a particular segment of humanity, which for some of us, at least, is driven by our individual religious beliefs.

Rosalie Dunbar

Dracut, Mass.

Working together

Regarding the Nov. 19 Heart of the News article “Making a trailer park truly their own”: That these folks are forming a cooperative and working together to make a nice, safe, nonprofit home warms my heart and points to a future I would like to be part of.

Jerry McIntire

Boston

Local mongooses

I thoroughly enjoyed the Dec. 10 Home Forum essay, “To ‘aitch’ ... or not to ‘haitch’?,” but as a resident of Hawaii, the reference to mongooses would never be accepted here. I watch the nasty little critters try to sneak up on our neighborhood chickens often. The plural for “dem” here is “mo plenty mongoose,” which is way too “plenty.”

Nancy S. Young

Upper Kalihi Valley, Oahu, Hawaii

Special issue

I won’t even attempt to guesstimate how many Monitors I’ve read through many decades of my life. However, with the Nov. 26 issue, I read every word of every article for the first time ever. The cover was intriguing. This issue was beyond special, including the cartoons. It is the epitome of what a newspaper should be giving the reader – both sides of current happenings, food for thought, enlightenment regarding AI and immigration. It is pure gold. Kudos to everyone involved in putting it together.

Carolyn Hill

Portland, Ore.

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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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