Readers write: Love as justice, a wake-up call, seeing the world

Letters to the editor for the November 2, 2020 weekly magazine. Readers discuss life after prison, waking up to inequality among women, and more.

Love as justice

Patricia Leigh Brown’s cover story “New life for lifers” in the Aug. 17 & 24 Monitor Weekly includes a photo of a parolee named Clinton Thomas. Every time I see it I practically ache, for the obvious pain in his face. 

In my volunteer work in prisons, I quickly came to realize why Christian Science churches generally have “God is Love” at the front of the sanctuary. Since then I have always written “God is Love” on the board before we start our meetings, and it is always our starting place: There is nothing at all you can ever do to either win God’s love or lose God’s love; it’s always there for you. And not only that, but even if you think you don’t know how to love God, that love for God is native to you; it’s part of who you are.  

Thank you so much for this wonderful article; no sense of fear-based or vengeance-based justice should ever cause us to deprive anyone of the right to awaken to these facts.

Robin Smith

A wake-up call

Thanks for the wonderful Aug. 3 Monitor Weekly issue about suffrage! As a senior white woman, I have always considered myself to be accepting of all people, not prejudiced, but in my pleasant bubble, I haven’t realized how long and how persistent a problem equality has been for women, people of color, and immigrants in the United States. 

I fault my education for pointing out all the statements of “all created equal with equal rights” but not exposing all the glaring inequalities, especially in some parts of the U.S. The suffrage issue was a wake-up call. I always read the entire magazine, and I appreciate the paper Weekly for being something vital to read that is not on a screen.

Anne Hughes
Agoura Hills, California

Seeing the world

I am a longtime fan and reader of the Monitor and the perspective it presents on global affairs and events. The Monitor, in its multiple formats – including the paper magazine, the website, and the Politics and Weekender newsletters – has been my primary news source for many years. I am very grateful for the dedication, time, intellect, courage, honesty, and passion of the writers who share their stories with the world. 

And the Monitor includes beautiful images from around the world that communicate the feel of the story and transport the reader to the people, homes, villages, streets, and schools where the stories emerged. I will always remember the photo of the table of Swiss families sharing a meal with an Eritrean refugee in the Jan. 27 Monitor Weekly. These stories and images are not available elsewhere, nor is the care, compassion, kindness, and exactness of the writing.

Each section is special, and I appreciate the introduction of writers such as Susan X Jane and Candace McDuffie. Mary Beth McCauley’s Ten Commandments series was inspiring. Thanks to Andrea King Collier for the article “Anti-racism reading list: 10 books to get started” in the July 6 & 13 Monitor Weekly. Of course, the experienced voice of Ken Makin and his analysis and framing of the current struggle to overcome injustice, discrimination, and violence to Black Americans are highly valued and moving. I look forward to hearing more from these talented writers.

Marie Hegarty

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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.”

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