Readers write: Post-coronavirus values, views of Trump, and more

Letters to the editor for the July 6 & 13, 2020 weekly magazine. Readers discuss how Americans view Trump, and how COVID-19 has changed the world.

Post-coronavirus values

I just spent 30 minutes analyzing Peter Grier’s cover story “5 ways COVID-19 will change America” from the April 27 & May 4 Monitor Weekly, and I must say, I came away impressed.

I have an antagonistic relationship with news sources. I assume they have a hidden agenda, and read articles attempting to uncover it. On many major news sites, this is evident as they introduce an argument or topic in the first paragraph, and then reveal in the final paragraphs details related to the topic but irrelevant to the declared argument or understanding of the event. The details are often published in related articles in a similar fashion and work to establish the site’s narrative or agenda. I find that critical reading like this helps me avoid “fake news.”

In Mr. Grier’s article, I failed to uncover a hidden agenda, despite the fact that I believe an in-depth piece is a great place to hide one. The conclusion was stated up front and the rest of the article supported it, using language of appropriate strength. So thank you. This is why I continue to support the Monitor – although I don’t plan to let my guard down anytime soon!

Matt McGrath

I found the cover story “5 ways COVID-19 will change America” puzzlingly inconclusive, until I realized that my expectations were formed by the title and cover art. 

The cover graphic and accompanying headline (“What a post-virus America will look like”) seem to suggest that our current physical isolation and internet dependency will become permanent. But the actual content of the article is merely a discussion of possible long- and short-term effects, with no definite conclusions reached.

For me, the takeaway is that there are significant trends to watch, but that they could lead in a variety of directions. This more nuanced view seems like a wise approach, but I do wish the presentation had more accurately reflected the content.

Jennifer Quinn
Gate City, Virginia

The call of the hen

I enjoy reading your magazine and consider it one of the best for accuracy and decency in reporting. I always enjoy Melissa Mohr’s columns on word definitions, derivations, etc., because I too am a language fanatic. I am concerned that we are giving up literacy along with clear thinking and decency in this country.

Her column “Animal noises sound different in other languages” in the May 25 Monitor Weekly addresses an interest of mine because I am also a farmer, born and raised. I recall learning in a Spanish class, to my surprise, that roosters crow “quiquiriqui.”

An aspect of animal sounds that Ms. Mohr did not mention – and that is very important – is that animals and birds themselves do not make only one sound. Most of them make clearly different noises in reaction to different situations. As a child I learned the language of hens with chicks and could mimic them. I once used that skill to call a lost chick to me, and boy, was he surprised to see he had run to a human rather than a hen.

Ken Kauffman
Hubbard, Oregon

Views of Trump

Regarding the article “For some seniors, virus is shifting their views of Trump” in the June 1 Monitor Weekly: I can understand why many might dislike President Donald Trump for his controversial tweets, but not because of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, I am in favor of opening the economy. It is the younger generations, not we seniors, who have lost the jobs and businesses that they worked so hard for.

Muriel Horacek
Altadena, California

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

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

QR Code to Readers write: Post-coronavirus values, views of Trump, and more
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today