Readers write: The Monitor’s moon landing coverage

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See what readers had to say in the Aug. 12 issue.

Effects of the lunar program

Regarding the July 22 editorial “Why the moon landing still inspires”: The successful Apollo 11 mission confirms that a team of committed, highly motivated men and women can accomplish a worthwhile project in a way that is truly satisfying. Therein lies a lesson we can all comprehend and embrace.

Alistair Budd
Newport, Wales 

Why We Wrote This

Letters to the editor for the August 12, 2019 weekly magazine.

Lunar program cost

In the editorial “Why the moon landing still inspires,” a question was referenced: “Why spend so much money on NASA at a time of war and social unrest?”

I’m one of the people who relates to that question. I’m all for continuous exploration, experimentation, and advancements. I admire the work of the people who achieved the moon landing. At the same time, I wonder whether the world would not be served better by tackling urgent issues directly, rather than benefiting from the fallout of costly space exploration.

Elisabeth Seaman
Mountain View, California 

Moon mission anniversary

I’m rarely at a loss for words like I am about the July 22 Monitor Weekly, and this includes every page in it.  There’s been so much coverage of the moon landing, but nowhere else did I read an article that included the facts and human interest narratives that Eva Botkin-Kowacki included in the cover story, “One giant feat for mankind.” This issue is going into my collection of treasures for my family to have. Thank you to all who helped bring it to readers.

Carolyn Hill
Portland, Oregon

A historian’s view

Editor’s note: The following letter is from a space historian who contributed to Monitor reporting earlier this year.

One giant feat for mankind” was an outstanding article. In fact, I think it’s the best Apollo anniversary cover story I’ve read so far. So many are boring to a longtime Apollo anniversary observer like me.

The best part was the observation of how the meaning of going to the moon changed from something impossible to something achievable but utterly remarkable. The idea of a “sea change” in our culture is captured very well. No one will ever be able to take away the fact that, 50 years ago, a bunch of geeks and government civil servants put their heads together and did the impossible. We’ve not had a challenge as great since.

David S.F. Portree
Tempe, Arizona

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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.