PREVENTION: Starts In Families: LGBTQ youth whose families are more supportive have significantly lower rates of depression, substance abuse and suicidal ideation and attempts. It is important for federal, state, local, community and faith-based programs to support families of LBGTQ youth, such as through parenting skills-building, case management services, professional best practices in the justice and healthcare systems, and promotion of positive role models.
If we do a better job of providing a supportive and respectful environment early in life, we could help reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS and assure a higher quality of life for the next generation of LGBTQ Americans.
Jeff Levi – Former deputy director of the White House Office of National AIDS policy under President Clinton and executive director of the Trust for America’s Health.
EDITORIAL EXCERPT FROM SEPTEMBER 4, 2017 – CHRISTIAN SCIENCE SENTINEL
Refuse to hate—yield to Love
Kim Crooks Korinek
Whether it’s extremist hate groups or the anger of a neighbor, hatred can seem like an insurmountable wall. However, even in the midst of its emotional push and pull, we are not powerless. We can refuse to meet hate with hate. However threatening hatred may appear to be, we can yield to God’s love. God is Love, and Love is always operating, replacing anything unlike Love.
So what does this have to do with standing up to hate? By yielding to the omnipotence of Love, we can understand that hate is powerless. Mary Baker Eddy explains this in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, referring to Truth as another synonym for God: “Because Truth is omnipotent in goodness, error, Truth’s opposite, has no might. Evil is but the counterpoise of nothingness” (pp. 367–368). Knowing this, even in a degree, reveals how fragile and fraudulent hatred is. And because Love is omnipotent, the law of Love is equally so, and is instant and active under any circumstance.
Christian Science, the law of Love, “acts as an alterative, neutralizing error with Truth” (Science and Health, p. 162). As this was the case in the story above, so it is everywhere. We see this law in action in a well-known account in the New Testament in John, chapter 8, where a crowd of individuals bring to Jesus a woman who was caught in the act of adultery. The Mosaic law said she should be stoned to death, but the crowd also wanted to trap Jesus into disobeying the law. Jesus held to what divine Love was knowing. And it seems apparent that the woman must have felt for the first time what Jesus knew—that she was the loved of Love—a life-changing truth. Jesus expressed the law of Love both in forgiveness and in affirming her ability to reform to a new life. Prior to this remarkable transformation, Jesus turned to the crowd and said that if any among them was without sin, he could cast the first stone. The law of Love continued to operate, revealing the error in their consciences. And, one by one, all slowly turned away. The law of Love—like pure waters pouring into consciousness—freed the woman and neutralized the hatred of the crowd. No violence was done. The moral and spiritual force of the law of Love brought out once again that Life and Love are harmonious and continuous.
It takes moral courage to stand up to hatred. But the louder it clangs, the more we can listen for that still, small voice of God—that calm ever-present assurance of Love, which lifts human consciousness into healthy channels, where we are led to think, speak, and act in ways that help and heal.
The appeal is to thinking persons everywhere. Hatred and division are not sustainable. Truth cannot be harmed, and Love never fails. As we see all humanity fully clothed in the complete armor of Love, human hatred’s reach is diminished. We can refuse to hate; we can yield our thoughts, prayers, and actions wholeheartedly to Love. Prayer by prayer, step by step, heart by heart, hatred will fall.
Kim Crooks Korinek
By Anita Kiefer
Excerpt from the January 1970 issue of The Christian Science Journal
Heredity, contagion, all
That mask the perfect face
Of God’s beloved one are dreams
Which Truth and Love erase.
No labored breath, no sudden cry
Need now disturb the knight.
The door is closed. The window wide
Open to dawning light
Truth and Love come nearer in the hour of woe, when strong faith or spiritual strength wrestles and prevails through the understanding of God.
Mary Baker Eddy
Science and Health, 567:3-6
01st Apr 2021
This post was shared a few years ago when there seemed to be so much division and rancor in our communities. The demand to eliminate division, bigotry and hatred is especially insistent today. As I wrote below, “Can we Christians stand apart, mentally mute – and passively ‘walk by on the other side’ in the face of hatred and discrimination?” Not possible, as we are enabled and empowered by the great heart of Christ to unite in one Love for all sisters, brothers and children. This Easter, we rise!
In a Christian calendar filled with celebrations, memorials and historical events, this one day and its glorious lesson shines brightest of all.
Easter is the day that represents something momentous for all humanity to know and understand: The Resurrection of Jesus proved that his life is spiritual and not affected by a fatally-wounded material body. He overcame the violence and cruelty of religious and political hatred to demonstrate that his life is inseparable from eternal Life and wholly safe. Therefore, it is untouched by material conditions, despite what the crucifixion temporarily appeared to show.
Christians honor this day because it is a vital reminder of present spiritual power. The Christ-spirit that protected and lifted Jesus out of anguish and death is a gift from God, Spirit, to all of us, throughout all time. This Christ power is present and active, for everyone and every life. “He is risen!” for all humanity today.
Prayer and devotion by followers who are focused and centered unwaveringly on the life-affirming message of the Resurrection can have a powerful effect. The love and practice of the one Christ-spirit – true Christianity – is to eliminate any hint of separation from God and His sons and daughters, therefore there can be no division between them either. No Muslim, Jew, Hindu or Buddhist separated from Christian. It should be obvious, then, there are no nationalistic or regional divisions as well.
Let’s consider every area of distressing conflict, whether it is on a faraway border or in our own community. Can we Christians stand apart, mentally mute – and passively “walk by on the other side” in the face of hatred and discrimination? No…the demand is to prayerfully and defiantly rise in the conscious strength of one Christ, one Love for all our sisters, brothers and children. It is to know there is no power – no cruel violence – that can separate His children from the unconditional love of Christ and preserve all life. Let us pray that spiritual power inspires and guides practical wisdom wherever it is needed.
This Easter, more than ever, we must stand united, inseparable, and rise in our spiritual strength. In honor and celebration of the Resurrection let us commit our focus and devotion to the divine message, our love and practice of the divine nature, and our joyous expectation of the divine demonstration of universal life in Spirit.
The darker the hour,
the closer Jesus stayed
to his Father in prayer.
To his followers,
his example is
of inestimable value.
Gethsemane and spiritual growth
Marian C. English
From the September 1994 issue of The Christian Science Journal
It doesn’t seem just that Jesus should have spent a long, dark night of sorrow in the garden of Gethsemane—much less been crucified. His exemplary ministry of healing had so uplifted mankind with spirituality that it could not lead him downward to defeat. But the work he accomplished in that garden was indispensable to the resurrection that followed, and holds vital relevance today to the spiritual growth of those endeavoring to obey his Christly command to heal.
Christian Science helps us see that Christ-healing is a normal result of spiritual progress. One who is steadily making the effort to rise higher in his understanding of man’s inseverable relationship to God, immortal Life, sees increasing evidence of his own and others’ spirituality, dominion, and safety. The Preface of Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy declares, “The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus’ time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation.”1
But what of those healings that do not seem as effortless as light replacing darkness? What do we do if we find ourselves in a struggle in which there seems to be no evidence of healing in spite of our best efforts? Those are just the times when we can turn gratefully to the example of the Master in Gethsemane and humbly follow his lead. The Way-shower never ceases to show us the way, and the Christly way always shows us the way out of a night of despair.
Jesus did not waste time ruminating on why he was in such a predicament. His entire focus was on the prayer that relinquishes all human tendency to want merely to be relieved of the battle, and he patiently pressed on to higher demonstration of his Father’s plan of freedom and salvation for all. Human emotions one might expect to find in such an ordeal —despair, sorrow, and agony— seemed pervasive. But a deep study of the gospel accounts of the garden of Gethsemane (see Mark 14:32-42 and Matt. 26:36-46) reveals strong, uplifting, Godlike qualities that demonstrate the healing action of Christ, Truth, in the face of extreme need.
The spiritual mettle that Christ Jesus demonstrated shows us how to move forward through challenges that are not easily met. It equips us with the God-derived stamina that holds us fast to the healing power of omnipotent divine Love and to the reality of man’s spiritual, perfect selfhood. Through the power of Love we’re able to vanquish discouragement, fear, and feelings of hopelessness, which are elements of defeat and hindrances to progress and healing.
But if we find ourselves facing a dark night of discord, we can learn from our Way-shower’s experience in the garden of Gethsemane how to tend our gardens. A well-tended garden doesn’t wither. It grows, even at night, and ultimately bears fruit. We can let Christ, Truth, rouse the discipleship in us. We can patiently nurture the same qualities of love and humility, faithfulness and patient persistence in siding with the power of Spirit, that brought Jesus to the resurrection. Then we will find that for every night of gloom, we can expect great spiritual growth— our own resurrection—to follow.
Posted: 25 Mar 2021 02:13 PM PDT
“Oh no, not again…” came to me twice in one week, for Atlanta then Boulder. And again and again, I protested, “The weapons of anger, hatred and prejudice must be defeated and eliminated by the supremacy of Truth and Love. God is All and more powerful in every community, in every heart. All in all, victorious over anything opposed to Truth and Love.” Friends, we must say “No!” again and again until hatred is defeated. This is our moment to stand firm on the rock of all that is good and true.
Ending was beautiful, tragic and overwhelming must watch actors did a brilliant job.
PS. If u have lost ur mom like me and watch this series it will b emotional rollercoaster ride.
Mehmet runs a solid waste warehouse in an impoverished Istanbul neighbourhood, where he helps everyone in need, especially homeless children and teenagers. One day, Mehmet meets a homeless 8-year-old boy who changes his life.
Rest in peace all the forgotten children
Paper Lives | Official Trailer | Netflix
•Mar 1, 2021
e-inspire, March 23rd, 2021
by Laura Moliter
“I know that you delight to set your truth deep in my spirit. So come into the hidden places of my heart and teach me wisdom.”
(Psalms 51: 6, the Passion Translation)
Let God in. His wisdom is ready to teach you. His Love is ready to reach you at the very core of your being. We can invite this Truth in. We can welcome God’s delight at knowing us fully and loving us without measure.
The hidden places of our heart may be where we hold fears and doubts. It may be a remembrance of mistakes or a feeling of shame or of confusion. We may bury deep inside a sense of unworthiness, or an awareness of base desires that we feel make us bad, unlovable.
But God wants to set His Truth within us. He wants to show us who He made and who He sees and who He loves. This Truth is that awareness of the Christ, our oneness with God as His child and His expression. This fact of our being is already within us. It isn’t new, but it is ready to be revealed and enjoyed.
Let’s know and joyfully accept that God delights in showing us what is wise and right and good. Let’s receive His loving intention willingly, openly, and gratefully.
Laura Moliter, Divine Purpose Coach and Spiritual Activist
e-inspire, March 9th, 2021
“…when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
(Matthew 14: 29-31)
This story surely gives us a lesson in faith and trust. Jesus had walked on the water, and his disciple, sometimes impetuous, wanted to do that as well. And Peter initially had the faith that he could. He believed that he, too, could transcend material laws and follow Jesus wherever he went.
Then the fear got to him, just as it often does to us all. We are bravely venturing forth, full of confidence and feeling inspired, and then we look around us. We start thinking about what we are doing with all the reasons it is impossible, or improbable, or why we are not ready, or that there are too many obstacles. And we falter. We give up. We become afraid and we lose the control and certainty. We stop moving forward.
But Peter’s doubt was not his demise. His good intentions, his initial faith, took him a few steps forward and when he began to doubt, he called for help. And it came. Jesus admonished Peter for giving up on his faith and questioned his doubts, but he did not leave Peter to drown or let him flail around for a while. Immediately, he saved him.
This Christ is with us all, ready to save us when doubts come in. When we give up the ego that feels personally responsible, brave, willful, we gain an opportunity to be lifted up. And by this, our faith increases. We begin to trust God more with our fears, to turn to Him in need, and to continue walking forward, on clear days and stormy, learning and leaning and renewing our faith all the way.
Laura Moliter, Divine Purpose Coach and Spiritual Activist
Virginia Harris, C.S.B.
04th Mar 2021
What captures our attention? It’s a question we may not often ask, but the answer is pivotal to our lives.
What we choose to focus on is the rudder of our day, and how we start our day informs that focus and sets it on a certain course. However, we are still the captain of our own ship. We determine where that course ends up. A few years ago, I went sailing for the first time. It was important to know where the rocks were in relation to getting to the channel. One of the first rules I learned was to look to the horizon and pick a point to sail to, all while avoiding the rocks in the shallow water to get to the open channel. I could have focused on the rocks and never made it to open water, but instead, I made it to the channel and had a wonderful little sail around the bay.
Over the past year, our individual channels of attention encountered multiple figurative rocks as the world changed. Many of us looked out on the world with a different perspective, one that thought of our neighbors more than ever before. Our attention had shifted. The world, our communities, our neighborhoods seemed closer, because of our new, shared experience.
The question is, where do we invest our attention now? This is an individual answer, and as such, answers will vary. However, the best and most productive focus is to emphasize the good every day in the present. Even on our toughest days, the act of moving forward, rising above negative influences, and finding a way to accomplish our goals adds to the collective good. Each individual triumph uplifts the whole. Every neighbor helped, every hurdle crossed, every new insight glimpsed is a light on the horizon we all can share, because we are not separated from each other.
We live in our world together, and every day is an opportunity to see that fact further demonstrated. Plenty is out there to try and divide us further. But we each have a path illuminated with progress, even on the darkest and most impossible days. It begins with turning our attention toward the horizon, the light, the good, and never giving up on that effort. Let’s seize every morning as a new opportunity to look forward and see the great possibilities before us.
The astronomer will no longer look up to the stars,—he will look out from them upon the universe; and the florist will find his flower before its seed.
The vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science, is Love.
Mary Baker Eddy
(Science and Health, p. 113)
How many Christian Scientists have attended a Wednesday evening meeting where every one gave a testimony? At one such meeting there were only five present, their ages ranging from twelve to eighteen years. Tears of gratitude filled the eyes of the Reader, as one by one the fresh young voices spoke lovingly of the help which Christian Science had been to them since they had last met there. They were all faithful attendants at these meetings, and one boy said that the truth helped him a hundred times a day. In the long cold walk home, one forgot the passing of time, and in listening to their joyous words we felt as care-free as themselves, so that the battle with the elements only made one stronger to press on and “fight the good fight of faith.”
From the April 1911 issue of The Christian Science Journal
Interstellar Docking Scene [HD]
•Mar 15, 2015
by Danielle Steel
I’m going to share something with you that I have on my desk. I have it framed and it inspires me. I’m not sure where I got it, but I framed it so I can see it every day, right next to my computer. Maybe it will inspire and comfort you too.
It’s titled “Love”
“There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer; No disease that enough love will not heal’; No door that enough love will not open: No gulf that enough love will not bridge; No wall that enough love will not throw down; No sin that enough love will not redeem.
It makes No difference how deeply seated may be the trouble, How hopeless the outlook, How muddled the tangle, How great the mistake; A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all. If you can love enough, you would be the happiest and most powerful being in the world.”
I hope that helps you. It does me. Stay safe and take care, and have a fantastic week!!!
all my love, Danielle
Secretary Pete Buttigieg Makes History As First Openly LGBTQ, Senate-Confirmed Person to Lead a Department
by Viet Tran •
Peace I leave with You
By Danielle Steel
“We each have to find our own way to cope with it, how to relax, how to breathe, how to hang on, how to believe and know that things will go back into good order eventually, and we have to make the best of it until then. Whatever works for you, as long as it’s legal and safe and doesn’t hurt you or anyone else, is fair. Exercise, meditation, spending time with a loved one, or alone, listening to music, doing a painting, reading a book (yes, please!!), watching something on TV, helping someone in worse shape than you are, praying, going for a walk. Getting a glimpse of beauty, or finding something to laugh at. There is an expression in French for these situations: “Raise the Hearts”, which applies here. We have to raise our hearts, even if we feel like our hearts are dragging, even if we’re scared or anxious or angry that any of this is happening. We will come through it, we HAVE to hang onto hope. There is no other choice. And gratitude helps too, no matter how small what we are grateful for.
At times like this, I turn to spiritual inspiration to find balance and strength. For others, it’s exercise, or other things. The love and comfort of the people I love gives me strength too. But sometimes, we don’t even have that, and we have to find courage and strength on our own. In my darkest hours, after my son’s death, working on the streets with the homeless gave my life purpose and brought me back to life again. I would lose myself among them, working to serve them and bring them supplies and comfort, dangerously and sometimes even foolishly brave because I didn’t care what happened to me, but all those kind people I supposedly helped, actually helped heal my broken heart. And today, we don’t have the same freedoms, since we need to be careful of Covid, we can’t hug a stranger or touch a hand, and have to use caution, but there are ways to help others even now, without putting yourself at risk. Whatever works for you, and is safe.
I found a passage in the Bible today that brought me comfort, and I share it with you. Even if that’s not your form of comfort, I share it with you, in case it helps. From John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you…Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Have a peaceful week. We’ll get the mess sorted out, and the closet of our lives sorted out neatly again.
I send you love and comfort, and a hug, Danielle”
Response by Rob Scott
”In my darkest hours, after my son’s death, working on the streets with the homeless gave my life purpose and brought me back to life again. I would lose myself among them, working to serve them and bring them supplies and comfort, dangerously and sometimes even foolishly brave because I didn’t care what happened to me, but all those kind people I supposedly helped, actually helped heal my broken heart.”
I get it, Danielle.
Loved your book; “A Gift of Hope, Helping the Homeless.”
In my darkest hour, after losing my home, giving away all my material possessions, and over whelmed with hardships, it was my students in Mexico who pulled me out of depression and healed my broken heart. I just wanted them to have good lives and to never give up. We read inspiring material and their homework was to come to class and tell everyone something they were grateful for. Most shared gratitude for family and God. You could have heard a pin drop it was so sacred and beautiful as they spoke and shared.
For me, the second part of your blog post brought me comfort, peace, and hope.
The Bible passage from John is one I know well. There is a stillness around it that brought me peace as I write this.
“Raise the Hearts”.
Sending love and comfort, and a hug right back at you.
May God Bless Us All,
“The God-inspired walk calmly on though it be with bleeding footprints, and in the hereafter they will reap what they now sow. The pampered hypocrite may have a flowery pathway here, but he cannot forever break the Golden Rule and escape the penalty due.”
Mary Baker Eddy
“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”, page 41
An Interview: on racial prejudice
Is there something in the human mind that resists the healing of this social scourge?
Yes, there seems to be. Society’s racial myths and cruel traditions seem real and justifiable to some individuals. Perhaps, seeing no reason to give them up, one allows them to supplant the Principle that really should govern him. Racial prejudice is mortal mind’s way of looking at others; it would be abandoned if one could only see how ungodlike it is.
Jesus discerned that social and religious customs of his time got in the way of true religion: “Why do ye … transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?” he prodded. “Ye hypocrites. …”4 And Mrs. Eddy says: “There is no hypocrisy in Science. Principle is imperative. You cannot mock it by human will.”5
Racial prejudice and discrimination are a violation of God’s law of love. All men are created “of one blood”;6 God’s ideas have only one substance, one intelligence. Man is the reflection of Spirit. Unless we all come face to face with the spiritual reality that there is neither black nor white, “Greek nor Jew …: but Christ is all, and in all,”7 we cannot hope to see the kingdom of God take command on earth. God’s kingdom cannot come where inharmony exists, where there is grievous conflict and separation because of superficial ethnic differences. We’ve got to know that we are all the children of God, that creation is undivided. Jesus announced to the world two great commandments: first, to love God; then, to love your neighbor as you love yourself.
Would you care to mention any personal experiences you’ve had in coping with racial discrimination?
I’ve had many, and I hope I have learned more of the meaning of love from each experience. I once visited a Christian Science church where I was told that the custom of the community did not permit the races to mix in church services. Seeing that I was a black man, an usher met me on the sidewalk and asked what I wanted.
“Is this not a house of God?” I answered.
“Yes, it is,” he said somewhat sheepishly.
“The invitation read by your First Reader at each services, ‘All are welcome’—is it real?” I went on. “I am a weary traveler seeking a cup of cold water in Christ’s name.”
I am grateful for Christian Science as I continue to work out my own salvation with it. My own mother did not have a proper understanding of Christian Science by ridiculing gay people or those she perceived to be gay while I was growing up and in my developmental years.
Thus I had to throw out the bathwater and keep the baby so to speak. Or perhaps she threw me out for being gay.
I’ll always remember her last words before I left for college. “Being gay is the most horrible thing a man can be”.
My father made the following observation. He said he suspected our cousin may be a lesbian because she lived in a major city and never dated. He then laughed and stated: “She probably has AIDS.” He then retold the same comments again because nobody else laughed or responded to his so-called joke.
During class instruction my own teacher stated: “We don’t want gays and lesbians in our church”.
Sometimes this healing Science can get lost along the way from the ignorant messenger performing badly used Christian Science.
Comment Section from Ted Talk Below:
I hugged a mom with a “free mom hugs” sign at pride last year and instantly burst into tears. Something that small really is so much more powerful than a lot of people realize. Bless this woman!
It’s so nice to hear a Christian who actually sounds like a Christian.
“I chose my child” got me in tears, and I don’t cry easily. Bless this mother!
This is so amazing, I love that she emphasizes that she didn’t reject religion, she adapted her views while keeping her faith and that is SO IMPORTANT!
Why I chose my LGBTQ daughter over the Evangelical Church | Susan Cottrell | TEDxMileHigh
•Jan 4, 2019
What happens when the most important parts of your life come into conflict? When Evangelical Christian mom Susan Cottrell’s daughter came out, she faced an impossible choice: her LGBTQ child or her non-affirming church. In this heartwarming talk, Susan explains why she chose her LGBTQ child and how she fights for progress inside the Christian Church. Susan Cottrell is a prominent voice for faith parents of LGBTQI children. She is an international speaker, acclaimed author, and public theologian with a Masters in Theological Studies. After spending 25 years in the Evangelical church, she founded FreedHearts to champion the LGBTQI community and their families. She served as the Vice-President of PFLAG Austin (Texas) and was endorsed by The Human Rights Campaign and The Gay Christian Network. She has five children, two of whom are in the LGBTQI community, with her husband of 30 years, Rob. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.
JANUARY 16 2019 4:52 PM EST
Susan Cottrell, mother, pastor, and founder of FreedHearts.org, recently released a TED talk where she shared the difficult choice she made when her daughter came out. “One day the phone rang and everything changed,” Cottrell said in her speech. Her 20-year-old daughter, Annie, called her from college and said, “Mom, I’ve got something to tell you. I’m attracted to girls. I think I’m bisexual. I prayed about it, Mom. I resisted, but it won’t go away.” Cottrell admitted that her total acceptance for Annie didn’t come immediately.
After 20 years in an evangelical church, the mother of five “believed that being gay was somehow wrong.” In the moment she told her daughter, “Don’t give in. We’ll support you. How can I help?” But she knew their family would never be the same in the church again. The advice from her Bible study peers was clear: “Homosexuality is a sin and we can’t accept it.”
So she had a choice to make. And in a tearful moment onstage she said, ” I realized I was being asked to choose between the two most important parts of my life: my child and my church. I chose my child.” And the audience stood and applauded.
After leaving the church and losing the support of half her family, Cottrell found her heart opened to a new mission. “God was telling me to serve the gay community,” she explained. Since that remarkable moment, Susan and her husband, Rob, also a pastor, have created a blossoming community of parents and LGBTQ children, that all started with a simple blog. Their work has helped over 3,000 people choose to love their children and has kept families together by reconciling their faith issues. “As pastors, Rob and I represent the voice of God, and it’s a voice of love,” she said in her speech, countering the hateful messages often spewed by those who claim to represent Jesus Christ. The Cottrells have led support groups, officiated same-sex weddings, offered free mom and dad hugs at Pride parades, and connected LGBTQ folks with parents who love them, even when their birth parents won’t.
In one touching example, Cottrell shared a story of Ken and Kathy, a couple looking to renew their wedding vows after Ken made a gender-affirming transition to Kendra. Their parents didn’t come to the ceremony. “That’s where Linda and Janet stepped in,” Cottrell explained. The two moms connected with the couple through the FreedHearts community and became the parents who walked the brides down the aisle.
Cottrell is very aware of the lifesaving change that can come from choosing your child. She quoted a report that showed 57 percent of transgender youth without parental support attempt suicide. However, with parental support that number drops to 4 percent. “Fifty-seven percent to 4 percent — that’s the power of a parent’s love!” Cottrell commented,
By the end of the speech, she had shed tears and so had the crowd. The impact was visible on faces in the audience when she said, “LGBTQ people come up to us and melt into our arms. Many have not had parental encouragement in years.” She and Rob tell everyone, “You’re worthy. You matter. You belong.” She affirmed that “real love accepts people as they are with room for who they may become.” And she reminded us that choosing love is always the right choice.
“I was just overwhelmed with emotion,” Kim, 38, told NBC Asian America. “It’s a room that I love so much — it’s the heart of the Capitol, literally the heart of this country. It pained me so much to see it in this kind of condition.”
Behind the viral photo of Rep. Andy Kim cleaning up at midnight after riots
Excerpt by Claire Wang | NBC NEWS
Unlike many of his congressional colleagues, Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., was in his office in a separate federal building when President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon. So he didn’t actually see the damage live until nearly midnight, after the House had voted down the last challenge to the presidential election result.
When he finally did walk around the rotunda — his favorite and arguably the most storied room of the building — the disarray left him speechless. Water bottles, broken furniture, tattered Trump flags and pieces of body armor and clothing were strewn on the marble floor as if it were an abandoned parking lot.
“I was just overwhelmed with emotion,” Kim, 38, told NBC Asian America. “It’s a room that I love so much — it’s the heart of the Capitol, literally the heart of this country. It pained me so much to see it in this kind of condition.”
So for the next hour and a half, he crouched down and filled a half dozen trash bags with debris. When he finished cleaning up the rotunda, he began working on the adjacent rooms, including the National Statuary Hall and the Capitol crypt downstairs.
Then he returned to the House floor to debate Pennsylvania’s vote count, a session that lasted until 3 a.m. By Thursday evening, he’d been awake for more than 36 hours.
On a day in which video of mayhem and bloodshed inundated social media, a widely shared photograph of Kim, alone on his knees, picking up the final pieces of garbage in a nearly empty rotunda, was a radical break from — and rejection of — the violent impulses that drove the country to the brink of collapse. Many people labeled him a “true patriot.” While Kim said he didn’t dwell much on the symbolic heft of his actions, the term was on his mind.
“I feel blessed to have this opportunity as a son of immigrants to be able to serve in Congress,” he said. “Democracy to me is this place of opportunity that is affording me a chance to do something extraordinary.
In 2018, Kim became the first Asian American to represent New Jersey in Congress, flipping a predominantly white district that voted for Trump in 2016 and did so again in 2020. (Kim won re-election in November despite voting to impeach the president last year.)
The irony of a history-making Korean American lawmaker dusting up after a white supremacist riot is not lost on Kim. But he also pointed to the progress that’s been made.
“I represent a district where the vast majority of people do not look like me,” he said. “But they’ve voted for me twice now to be their representative, and that’s a beautiful thing. There are others who seek to make me seem like an ‘other’ whether it’s because of skin color, or gender, or sexuality. But that’s not what this is about. We’re all Americans.”
“The depth of the divisions that we have isn’t something any single law can wipe off the face of our planet,” he said. “We also need to recognize that how we get through that is by seeing the humanity in each other. There are ways we can have debates and disagreements but not resort to violence.”
Voting—and giving voice to God
March 17, 2008 ISSUE
Hardly a day goes by these days that somewhere in the world elections, or changes in government, aren’t front and center in the news.
Staff discussions here have resounded with the question of how the Sentinel can effectively respond. Undergirding our discussions is the conviction that prayer is powerful in bringing wisdom to voting and governmental decision-making. Because it evokes the power of God, prayer gentles human opinions. It transcends speculation and emotionalism. It rests us on a solid acceptance and faith in “God’s disposal of events” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, by Mary Baker Eddy,p. 281).
This week Elizabeth Schaefer writes that we can all experience God’s blessing in the particulars of everyday life by giving voice to “the universal law of God … written on everyone’s heart” (p. 10). And it’s reassuring how the Bible weaves the goal of securing health of body, family—and, yes, of government, too—throughout its narratives. Within each healing story is the expectancy that ultimately “the government shall be upon his shoulder” (Isa. 9:6)—on the Christ, or God’s message of good speaking to each one of us. Ron Ballard’s article “Prayer and the political process” reiterates this point: “Government by Mind [God] instills integrity, and values honesty and reliability” (p. 9).
The first book of Timothy in the New Testament lays out ideas to inspire our support of this divine government. Its discussion relates to elections in the early Christian church. The author identifies key qualities vital to each sacred office, each of which has its source in divine Love. They include blamelessness, vigilance, sobriety, good behavior, hospitality, generosity, patience (see I Timothy 3:2–8). As we consider these spiritual qualities today, and recognize that they are present in ourselves and our leaders—already written on our hearts—we can expect everybody’s decision-making and voting choices to become easier and more trustworthy.
We hope this week’s articles will deepen your hopes for sound government, and help direct your prayers.
Happy New Year – 2021
“As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”
King James Version (KJV)
The Good Stepmother
[Original in German]
In Munich, Germany, there is a large zoo, and many kinds of animals live there—on rocks, in the water, almost as they do in their native home. The people often go to the zoo to visit the animal families. These are real families. Just as with people, there are fathers and mothers to care for their young, teach them to play, and protect them. There are happy families of mother, father, and small giraffes, baby monkeys with mother and father monkeys, and many other species. But one day, among all these families something extraordinary happened. A little tiger was seen lying in a cage with a mother dog—a mother terrier who was giving milk to the baby tiger. It happened because the little tiger had no tiger mother of its own. The dog not only fed the baby tiger but tenderly cared for it as if it were her puppy.
The baby tiger and the dog were so different, but the dog-stepmother didn’t see it that way. She loved the little tiger, and he accepted this love. The dog didn’t worry about the fact that the baby tiger didn’t come from her dog family. She must have felt that the baby tiger needed help.
No one can be without mother love. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, says in her book Science and Health, “Love, the divine principle, is the Father and Mother of the universe, including man.”1
Just as it was necessary in the little tiger’s case for the mother tiger to be quickly replaced by another mother, it is also sometimes necessary in a human household when the mother’s place has become empty. Love fills it again. The Bible promises, “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.”2 This is what God is telling all His children, big and little. His words have power, and He keeps His promises.
God’s great care knows no emptiness; every place is filled—sometimes by a foster-mother, or by a housekeeper, or other friends. But the love is always there.
SUSAN COTTRELL, a prominent voice for faith parents of LGBTQI children, was featured on ABC’s 20/20, Nightline and Good Morning America, on NBC News Out, on The Advocate Magazine’s National Coming Out Day, Mother’s Day, and other viral videos – as “our favorite affirming matriarch.” – and is a devotional contributor on the Our Bible app. She is an international speaker who was featured on the TED stage for 5,000 people at TEDxMileHigh, a public theologian, acclaimed author, and consultant. Through her nonprofit organization—FreedHearts—Susan champions the LGBTQI community and families with her authenticity and tender-hearted zeal. She challenges Christians to love as the foundation of faith. She spent 20+ years in the non-affirming Evangelical church, has a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, and served as the Vice-President of PFLAG Austin (Texas). Her books “Mom, I’m Gay”—Loving Your LGBTQ Child and Strengthening Your Faith; True Colors – Celebrating the Truth and Beauty of the Real You; and Radically Included – The Biblical Case for Radical Love and Inclusion are critically acclaimed. She and her husband Rob have been married for more than 30 years and have five children, two of whom are in the LGBTQI community.
“Susan has this fierce, loving, don’t mess with me, Mom vibe.”—Rev Ashley Harness, Auburn Seminary
“I love to observe Christmas in quietude, humility, benevolence, charity, letting good will towards man, eloquent silence, prayer, and praise express my conception of Truth’s appearing”.
Mary Baker Eddy
Merry Christmas, 2020
e-inspire, December 24th, 2020
“Midnight foretells the dawn. Led by a solitary star amid the darkness, the Magi of old foretold the Messiahship of Truth.”
(Science and Health, p. 95)
We can join the wise men who recognized in the night what the dawn would bring. We can commemorate that amazing occasion where the world was led to a humble place to embrace a powerful promise.
Let’s not fail to glimpse that star. We can find it in others, in experiences that inspire, in scriptural verses, in angel ideas that come to us just when we need them. We can find that star in our own hearts—a light within beckoning us to follow through, to trust that this saving radiance is to be appreciated deeply and accepted gratefully.
We have this light of Love in us. It encourages us forward not only to see that Christ-Truth and to accept the glorious message of freedom, but to freely share it as well. We can follow that star as it leads us out of personal darkness, to the reality of God’s presence, forgiveness, peace. And we can keep on following it, walking not only toward that Christ-idea, that Christmas glory, but with it.
Let’s enjoy the midnight hour, even the mystery of the unknowing, and wake with expectation of the goodness to come.
Laura Moliter, Divine Purpose Coach and Spiritual Activist
Lady Liberty echoes the call of Jesus from the Gospel of Matthew:
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
— Matthew 11:28-30
More Than Comfort
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” has been quoted for nearly nineteen hundred years, and is a universally known and beloved statement of Jesus. It will continue thus to be known and loved and quoted as long as there are “heavy laden” ones on the earth; for it is a statement of divine Truth, voiced by the Way-shower of men. And like all the sayings of the Master, it is so clearly stated that even the most material may in some degree understand it. Jesus’ statement has been, is, and will continue to be of universal interest, because even a slight degree of understanding of it gives a proportional amount of comfort, producing that peace and rest which all desire. In short, the quotation is believed because it is taken from the most respected of books, the Bible, and was given by the most loved of men, Christ Jesus; and also, because “he may run” who understands some degree of its truth. To understand it even in a slight degree is a step toward peace, toward trust, toward spirituality.
In saying “Come unto me,” Christ Jesus meant that we should realize the truth; that we should follow “the way;” that we should know that, even as he said he could do nothing of himself, we also are unable to do anything of ourselves. It is the Father that works; we only reflect His activity. Our weariness, then, is without a real cause. What makes us seem weary is the false sense that we are working as gods, by ourselves—that we are originating something; whereas in reality God does the work, and we merely reflect divine activity. To lose the false sense of working is indeed to “come unto me,” to realize the truth that God alone originates, that He is omnipotent and never grows tired, and that we have only to reflect. That will indeed give us rest.
Updated 8:30 PM ET, Wed December 16, 2020
Former President George W. Bush has sent out holiday cards with a pointed message about a hopeful new year as President Donald Trump continues to deny his election loss.
The painting and its title come from a former President who has in the past leveled veiled criticism against Trump’s immigration policies and was one of the first Republican figures to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden on his election win. Bush’s choice to make the Statue of Liberty central to his card is symbolic of his past critiques of Trump. The statue was often one of the first sights that new immigrants to America would see as they entered New York Harbor and contains a poem by Emma Lazarus that is famous for its phrase, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
“Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country,” Bush had said. “The President-elect reiterated that while he ran as a Democrat, he will govern for all Americans. I offered him the same thing I offered Presidents Trump and Obama: my prayers for his success, and my pledge to help in any way I can.”
In 2017, Bush gave a speech in New York condemning bigotry and white supremacy while endorsing policies that ran counter to those supported by Trump.
“Our identity as a nation, unlike other nations, is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood. … This means that people from every race, religion, ethnicity can be full and equally American,” he said during remarks at the George W. Bush Institute in New York City. “It means that bigotry and white supremacy, in any form, is blasphemy against the American creed.”