Harboring Hate

The United States is being called upon to learn a profound lesson, one which is necessary to its peace and progress, and, perhaps in the ultimate analysis, to its very survival as well. Yet the truth of this lesson has been available for many centuries, being set forth sharply and urgently in the book of Proverbs: “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.” Seldom if ever in its history have an understanding and an acceptance of these words been more sorely needed in the United States than today.

Out of the twin trials of the war in Vietnam and of race relations, there have arisen widespread evidences of hate, of bitterness, of resort to violence, of intolerance. These in turn have spawned acts and attitudes of which no American should be other than deeply ashamed and which have so seriously tarnished America’s image abroad.

Stark and savage as it was, the murder of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was but the outward manifestation of the hatred felt in so many hearts. It was the sudden volcanic explosion of the uncontrolled and unsubdued forces which lie below the surface.

Similarly, the bitterness which has arisen over American policies in Southeast Asia have, in a sense, produced its victims. The decision of the President of the United States not to seek reelection is but one example of this. So, in part, are the bitterness being shown various presidential candidates, and the intolerance exhibited toward differing viewpoints. As Russell Baker wrote in the New York Times, “A good part of the population has been hooked on hate for a long time now....”

Such bitterness and hatred is the most corrosive element which can enter national life. It makes it impossible for a man or a country to think correctly or constructively and leads him to take decisions and commit acts which he would not dream of in sober moments. Often it even blinds him from seeing what he is doing to himself and others.

It is to be hoped that the shock of Dr. King’s assassination and stunning surprise of President Johnson’s withdrawal will contribute to a national awakening, to a recognition of how deeply the American people had allowed themselves to become mired in animosities. But the only guarantee of such an awakening is through a recognition of what hatred is and what it seeks to do. The founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote, “Hatred inflames the brutal propensities.” But she also wrote, “Human hate has no legitimate mandate and no kingdom. Love is enthroned.” When men strive to prove these latter facts, the problems of race and the problems of war will be more quickly solved.

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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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