Readers Write: Can the military have a moral backbone?

Letters to the editor for the July 4, 2022 weekly magazine. One reader remembers listening to the Monitor on a counter top radio in the early 1950s. 

The ethics of warfare 

Thanks for the amazingly impactful May 30 cover story, “Molding a moral soldier,” that appears unique to the Monitor. I hate guns and I hate war, but as a friend once told me, “I’ll fight so you can believe what you want!” 

This article shows that there can be a moral backbone to our military which would in turn reflect, one would think, in its physical effectiveness as well. 

So long as we must live with this lesser evil of a military force, it is encouraging to know that there may be ways to lift it to a higher ground. 

Charlotte Wallace
Durham, New Hampshire

The Monitor, 70 years later

Greetings from beautiful Western North Carolina! I’m reminiscing about a childhood experience back in my small hometown in northern Indiana. I was probably 11 or 12 years old, in the early 1950s. I was dialing our family counter top radio, just to explore, because like my dad, I liked music.

I came across a Monitor radio broadcast. This was something different! I was intrigued. There was news reporting going on, as I remember, but there was also a quality to the commentary that was different. I recall that even at my young age, I was drawn to the broadcast. It was not at all a religious message – it was secular reporting.  

What was the attraction? Was it “my little secret” about something I had found that my parents had not yet discovered? To this day, I say that attraction was an “intangible” – a quality or qualities I cannot name.

Following a career in public health, I would reconnect with the Monitor 70 years later. About 25 years ago, I had followed the advice of almost every leader I read in the field of health at the time and put myself on a “media diet” as a stress reduction tool.   

But after a time away from media, I yearned for a daily source of current and world events that I could resonate with. Enter, again, The Christian Science Monitor. Today the Monitor Daily and the Weekender newsletter arrive regularly in my email inbox. 

It’s the window through which I read, listen to, and assimilate national and international news and events. Yes, it is journalism with a bias for hope, and that’s my personal preference and choice.

Jim Reed
Mills River, North Carolina

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

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: Can the military have a moral backbone?
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today