July 3, 2003
"The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice."
No evidence before the material senses can close my eyes to the scientific proof that God, good, is supreme. Though clouds are round about Him, the divine justice and judgment are enthroned.
This was our second week on the topic Justice. We wanted to go deeper than we could last week when a swirl of legal issues and court cases rightly demanded attention.
We quickly got to this point: everyone of us — indeed everyone on the planet — is a "dynamo of Science." It's our responsibility to judge righteous judgment in order to bring out harmony for ourselves and our neighbor (i.e., the world).
And then this: all our attempts at doing good, whether through right activity, charitable giving, legal decisions and even righteous war will have negative side effects but should not necessarily be put down for that reason. They are dualistic attempts of mortals to pattern divine justice and can be evaluated in Science for what they truly are: the coming to view of the presence and power of God.
We couldn't resist spending some time on the Lawrence v. Texas decision, reading some excerpts and getting a scientific sense of what was said.
Here's Justice Kennedy for the majority:
"The petitioners are entitled to respect for their private lives. The state cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime."
A member quoted a correlative passage from this week's Christian Science Bible Lesson, Section V: "Man's rights are invaded when the divine order is interfered with, and the mental trespasser incurs the divine penalty due this crime." (Science and Health, pg. 106:12)
Here's Justice Scalia for the minority.
"What a massive disruption of the current social order, therefore, the overriding of Bowers entails...."
And a correlative passage from Section VI of the Lesson: "As mortals gain more correct views of God and man, multitudinous objects of creation, which before were invisible, will become visible." (Ibid., pg. 264:13)
Brief reference was made to additional breakthroughs in LGBT rights in the last few weeks: the move to full marriage in Canada, decisions pending in Massachusetts (within days) and New Jersey on this subject, extension of employment protection to employees of Wal Mart, one of the world's largest employers. We dared to add the forced removal of the Ten Commandments from the wall of an Alabama court room. One member said the Code of Hammurabi (ca. 1750 BC) would have reflected better the origins of western law.
This recitation prompted a member to ask why all this liberation was coming to the fore. Answers included that the trickle of 1969 has broadened into a mighty river. Many LGBT folks are now willing even enthusiastic about self-identifying, thereby releasing energy and creativity otherwise locked down in pretense and sham.
Some members pointed to Mary Baker Eddy's discovery 125 years ago of the male-femaleness of each individual. This insight is seeping into consciousness and promoting wholeness. One noted that as a discovery, this wholeness is a law of being pressing upon us all, whether we consciously know it or not, to reconfigure our understanding and activities to accord with it.
Rigid sex roles are breaking down. Those identified as women or men are increasingly able to call on their contra-sexual components to live balanced, whole lives. The women's (and men's) movements and Gay liberation are part of the re-balancing of appearances to reflect reality. These forward lurches can be placed in the broader context of political revolutions (e.g., Dutch, American and French), the collapse of dynasties and empires, the struggle for racial justice and what increasingly looks like the death throes of extremist religions such as Wahabi Islam and fundamental Christianity.
We spent a bit more time on Gay marriage, which one member feels is one natural evolutionary result for the institution, given the matters just discussed. He told of seeing two Gay fathers ardently nursing (yes, with bottles) 5 month old twins at the LGBT Pride March last Sunday. Contrast this loving scene with the comments of the majority leader of the US Senate hours earlier to the effect that we need a constitutional amendment to protect the sacrament of marriage from Gay intrusion.
As we understand marriage, its sacramental nature does not depend upon the government nor even a church. It's strictly between the two participants. So, LGBT couples can have the sacrament when they wish. As for the legal contract of marriage which apparently contains 5,000 rights (including important financial breaks under IRS and Social Security legislation) that the government can grant. As for community acceptance, it's coming along, but it's clearly part of what a government and/or church can help with. Now, we asked ourselves, why shouldn't that couple at the March have it all? What irrational, unscientific religiosity stands in the way? What would Jesus do?
We took a moment on stem cell research. Our chairperson tried mightily to get us off the political and medical ramifications to the Science of it. Failing, he weakly offered, "I am the vine, ye are the branches..." (John 15:5 — by which he apparently wanted to indicate how Christian Science would work on any problem, by finding and living its divine counter-fact or Christ).
One aspect of divine justice or judging righteous judgment is to understand that so-called enemies can speed our growth in Science (see Readings, Miscellaneous Writings, pg. 267: 1-5).
One member told us of a healing she had in this area when she was a very new student of Christian Science. She found herself the object of physical and mental abuse from two women in her apartment building. She consulted a practitioner who reminded her that she was entirely responsible for what happened to her! It was her own thought that needed healing. As she slowly faced this, took responsibility and did the needed prayerful work, the problem faded out.
Here are some recent experiences.
1) One member had dinner with two non-Christian Scientist straight friends, one of whom suddenly challenged them to tackle a serious subject. They decided it would be "God". Our member laid back — something of a feat for him — and let the other two hash it out. One, a Roman Catholic, started off describing an older white man with white hair and beard "up there". The other, a mixed-race South African, brought Islamic, Hindu, Christian and mythological hints of Deity together into a grand vision of all-inclusive Spirit — leaving the others with their jaws dangling in appreciative adoration. (We'll try to get these gentlemen to our meeting.)
2) Another member is finding many of her straight male clients are seeking help with Gay sexual fantasies. There's also a growing demand for assistance by both straight and Gay men in dressing up, applying make-up and acting in a "lady-like manner". She's getting the help she needs to support her clients' gender issues and inner females from her study and practice of Christian Science.
3) Another member spent most of the week on jury duty. He approached it in a sacramental way, determined to see the divinity of everyone involved in the court system. On what looked to be his last day, within 15 minutes of release, he got swept up in the mounting euphoria, pretty much lost his grip on Science and landed on the jury of a trial slated to go on for up to two weeks. "Ah well, at least I'm an alternate juror; so I'll probably not have to judge the case. I can quietly listen to the evidence and work cheerfully to hold crime in check. (This is a paraphrase of a quote from Science and Health pg. 96: 31-4. He's also studying pp. 476: 32-5 and 573: 3-12).
We'll take on Identity as our topic for the next two weeks. Notes will be posted to our site on or about July 19th.
Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
Courts and juries judge and sentence mortals in order to restrain crime, to prevent deeds of violence or to punish them. To say that these tribunals have no jurisdiction over the carnal or mortal mind, would be to contradict precedent and to admit that the power of human law is restricted to matter, while mortal mind, evil, which is the real outlaw, defies justice and is recommended to mercy. Can matter commit a crime? Can matter be punished? Can you separate the mentality from the body over which courts hold jurisdiction? Mortal mind, not matter, is the criminal in every case; and human law rightly estimates crime, and courts reasonably pass sentence, according to the motive.
Let your higher sense of justice destroy the false process of mortal opinions which you name law, and then you will not be confined to a sick-room nor laid upon a bed of suffering in payment of the last farthing, the last penalty demanded by error. "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him." Suffer no claim of sin or of sickness to grow upon the thought. Dismiss it with an abiding conviction that it is illegitimate, because you know that God is no more the author of sickness than He is of sin. You have no law of His to support the necessity either of sin or sickness, but you have divine authority for denying that necessity and healing the sick.
Mortal mind alone sentences itself. Therefore make your own terms with sickness, and be just to yourself and to others.
The Jury of Spiritual Senses agreed at once upon a verdict, and there resounded throughout the vast audience-chamber of Spirit the cry, Not guilty.
The true leader of a true cause is the unacknowledged servant of mankind. Stationary in the background, this individual is doing the work that nobody else can or will do. An erratic career is like the comet's course, dashing through space, headlong and alone. A clear-headed and honest Christian Scientist will demonstrate the Principle of Christian Science, and hold justice and mercy as inseparable from the unity of God.
The audible and inaudible wail of evil never harms Scientists, steadfast in their consciousness of the nothingness of wrong and the supremacy of right.
Our worst enemies are the best friends to our growth.
^How would you define Christian Science?^
As the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony.
You must feel and know that God alone governs man; that His government is harmonious; that He is too pure to behold iniquity, and divides His power with nothing evil or material; that material laws are only human beliefs, which govern mortals wrongfully.