Politics

November 11, 2004

The government of divine Love is supreme.

Miscellany, by Mary Baker Eddy

"How did we come up with Politics as a topic?"

"We looked at Election for two weeks but some of us wanted to work directly on Politics."

"I found we've worked on it twice: [#topicd=19981029#] and [#topicd=20031218#]. I studied what we said back then and it always amazes me we seem to have more to say."

"Definitely. Problems evolve — we evolve — and we have a different cast of characters."

"Speaking of which, would the newcomers like to introduce themselves?"

"Sure. I'm not a Christian Scientist. In fact I'm Jewish, but a friend said I'd be comfortable here because you don't wave the Jesus flag. He said you try to get at universal spiritual truths, which I'm very interested in. I'm basically celibate, but still looking for the right guy in the right context. Bar-level relating bores me. My approach to politics as with other things was summed up by a Christian, St. Paul: '...abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.'"

"The newer translations say 'love' instead of 'charity'."

"I know, but I like charity because 'love' is way overused. We love everyone and everything — 'I just love her,' 'I just love my new Mercedes!' Charity means so much more to me in terms of compassion and true concern for another's welfare."

"Well, as for me, I'm from Australia. I'm on a seven week around the world trip. I just arrived from London this afternoon. My main problem over the years has been how to reconcile being a Christian Scientist and Gay. I've read all the articles and testimonies in our periodicals condemning homosexuality and claiming healings. Down deep I knew they were hogwash, but even my own mother would sometimes pound me over the head with these pieces of incorrect literature. I got my freedom finally when I stumbled across the web sites of Emergence and this group and saw how others were dealing with being LGBT Christian Scientists. Talking about politics, I could see all those articles spewed out of the Publishing Society against Gay people as pure politics, meant to quiet the thought of the homophobes amongst us. This was a major healing for me — I was elated for weeks."

"We're so glad you're both here. I can't tell you how much joy we get from newcomers."

"I agree. Let me read something from Hendrick Hertzberg in the November 15, 2004 issue of The New Yorker. It's about those who voted for Bush: 'He is a good Christian, so his policy failures are forgivable. He is a saved sinner, so the dissipations of his early and middle years are not tokens of a weak character but testaments to the transformative power of his faith. He relies on God for guidance, so his intellectual laziness is not a danger.' Hertzberg goes on to say Bush makes decisions based on his gut which apparently takes direction from God. Seeing himself now as possessing a mandate, 'he is likely to be more confident — in himself, in his "instincts"and in Almighty Gut.'"

"Very funny — but you know Almighty Gut is beyond fighting with, at least on the human belief level."

"We have to find a way to head off the drift into theocracy. Mother Jones said something to the effect that the time for mourning is over — now we need to celebrate how far we've come and work even harder for sanity."

"I've talked many times about Islam's need for a Reformation like Christianity had; and how it might eventually have an Islamic Science equivalent to our Christian Science. But with all the news of evangelical fervor, I'd say Christianity desperately needs a further revolution. I understand a trial is about to occur in Cobb County Georgia over whether to teach Creationism."

"When I see Christian bigots talking on TV they have the look of addicts to me. They're beyond normal feeling, caught up in rhetoric. The only way I see to handle this starts with an Al-Anon approach — to go within myself and handle my own rage and tendency to judge and manipulate. Then I can pray to see through the appearance out there."

"One of my friends said he's glad the Republicans won — 'Let them clean up their own mess.' I'd been saying we needed adults to step in and clean it up, but he pointed out that good child rearing theory encourages the kids to clean up their own room."

"Let's handle that. A practitioner once interjected something like 'nothing embryonic' when I'd referred to the supposed limitations of youth. I later found several striking refutations of embryology in Science and Health. The point here is that it's the realization of God's man, not hopes invested in mortals, that'll clean up the mess."

"Both political parties are in for severe struggles. The Dems have no leadership or direction. The Repubs are coagulating into mutually exclusive globs: fiscal/small government conservatives, spread-the-freedom Wilsonians, the country club set and the Christian Taliban."

"The Economist recommended Americans form a new liberal party promoting fiscal restraint, personal freedom and a moderate foreign policy."

"Let's talk Gay politics."

"The editor of the New York Blade said on November 5, 2004 that the Gay community had brought defeat on the Democrats with our reckless pursuit of same-sex marriage."

"Whew! Them's strong words. But Barney Frank said them first, months ago."

"Who can say? It was the court in Massachusetts that highlighted the basic equality of Gay people under the state's constitution. An activist judge might have delayed the decision until after the election."

"A Republican strategy would have done it just that way. Look at how they handled Faluja. Let's give them their due — they're brilliant politicians."

"I heard the other day that the Supreme Court decision to make Bush president turned on the equal protection clause of the US Constitution — a clause that paralyzes the right wing with fear when it comes to LGBT rights, and accounts for all the thunderbolts hurled for constitutional amendments to block Gay marriage."

"We really need to revisit same-sex marriage for some metaphysical insight and comfort. The loonies are using it as a wedge issue to push us backwards."

"Yeah. We've looked at it before, several times, but the situation is now critical. I encourage everyone to go back to the [#page=archive#] and study what we've come up with so far and start reaching out for new revelations."

"Here's something that occurs to me right now. Is it all that clear what a man is — or a woman? Biologically it's often cloudy and from a gender identity standpoint it's even cloudier. In Science, being one gender or the other is a total non-starter. We're all male-female. We're infinite expanse infinitely filled. In other words, the ongoing bliss of divine coition."

"Oh, my. Well, I'm dealing with my sexual identity right now. My upbringing was drenched in homophobia. My father and brother are cops and I hear anti-Gay slurs all the time. So I can't consider coming out to them any time soon. But last year I went to the Gay March with a Lesbian friend and when I saw the Gay Officers Action League I burst into tears. Gay people are so brave! That's when I looked for help in Christian Science. I didn't want to go back to the church — I wanted to find liberal Christian Scientists, and thank God I found this group."

"You might say I have a little political problem dealing with other Christian Scientists when they hear I'm a Registered Nurse. There are almost always questions about administering drugs and general disbelief about working in the medical system. When I get a chance, I tell them about scientific thoughts that come through in working with patients — some of them quite dangerous — and doctors and drugs. You look through the picture to the divine idea right at hand."

"I could relate to the topic in terms of my eleven year old daughter. She's apparently straight, but she's my greatest champion. She'll speak up for me when my tendency is to shrink down in anonymity. She digs my friends and they dig her. We often go to alternate family parties and get-togethers. Once I was really feeling a gnawing sense of loneliness and separation over the breakdown of a romantic relationship. She brought healing to me by saying Gay love is the same as love between a child and a parent. Love is love!"

"I want to say something that came to me about the US's lurch towards theocracy. On the surface the appearance is an upsurge in narrow-minded religious fervor but underneath there are tectonic shifts and people are getting scared. I heard Gore Vidal say we're not a faith-based nation but children of the Enlightenment. We deal with reason and fact. Christian Science seems to me to be the religion of the Enlightenment and its conclusions are now being brought to popular attention through quantum physics. Christian Science pins nothing on faith and the same could be said of the true facts of the universe."

"Well, that certainly removes Christian Science from any denominational status."

"It was a discovery, not an invention."

"I'm very uncomfortable, as a Jew, with the terms Christ and Christian."

"I can see why; they've been used very badly by most sects, but they're technical terms in Christian Science. They refer to God being man."

"We're coming to the close of the meeting. Is there a topic in that point about Christ or Christianity?"

"Exclusivity or exclusion of people?"

"How about Reaching Out?"

"Or Outreach?"

"That's too churchy-sounding. Remember all those metaphysical meetings trying to attract attendance?"

"I like Reaching Out. The way it came up here was in answer to a concern that we're too insular. I don't know about the meeting, but I can really work on his idea in my life."

"Okay, shall we go with Reaching Out?"

"That's fine."

"It's okay with me."

The Bible

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy

The erroneous belief that life, substance, and intelligence can be material ruptures the life and brotherhood of man at the very outset.

Tyranny, intolerance, and bloodshed, wherever found, arise from the belief that the infinite is formed after the pattern of mortal personality, passion, and impulse.

God has built a higher platform of human rights, and He has built it on diviner claims. These claims are not made through code or creed, but in demonstration of "on earth peace, good-will toward men." Human codes, scholastic theology, material medicine and hygiene, fetter faith and spiritual understanding. Divine Science rends asunder these fetters, and man's birthright of sole allegiance to his Maker asserts itself.

The higher false knowledge builds on the basis of evidence obtained from the five corporeal senses, the more confusion ensues, and the more certain is the downfall of its structure.

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me." (Exodus xx. 3.) The First Commandment is my favorite text. It demonstrates Christian Science. It inculcates the tri-unity of God, Spirit, Mind; it signifies that man shall have no other spirit or mind but God, eternal good, and that all men shall have one Mind. The divine Principle of the First Commandment bases the Science of being, by which man demonstrates health, holiness, and life eternal. One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, "Love thy neighbor as thyself;" annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry,—whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed.

Miscellaneous Writings, by Mary Baker Eddy

It is the pulpit and press, clerical robes and the prohibiting of free speech, that cradles and covers the sins of the world,—all unmitigated systems of crime; and it requires the enlightenment of these worthies, through civil and religious reform, to blot out all inhuman codes. It was the Southern pulpit and press that influenced the people to wrench from man both human and divine rights, in order to subserve the interests of wealth, religious caste, civil and political power. And the pulpit had to be purged of that sin by human gore,—when the love of Christ would have washed it divinely away in Christian Science!

Shall religious intolerance, arrayed against the rights of man, again deluge the earth in blood? The question at issue with mankind is: Shall we have a spiritual Christianity and a spiritual healing, or a materialistic religion and a materia medica?

POLITICS

Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy has always believed that those who are entitled to vote should do so, and she has also believed that in such matters no one should seek to dictate the actions of others.

In reply to a number of requests for an expression of her political views, she has given out this statement:—

I am asked, "What are your politics?" I have none, in reality, other than to help support a righteous government; to love God supremely, and my neighbor as myself.

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