As loved sons and daughters of the Divine, we each have a forever fixed place within our divine family whose bonds have never been broken, and cannot be broken. These forever family bonds include each and every one of us equally, in unbroken unity with the Love that Mrs. Eddy describes as “man’s only real relative on earth and in heaven” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 151), our Father-Mother God.
The busy celebration of the Christmas season touches almost everyone! There is shopping for presents, preparing family dinners, and enjoying holiday parties, musical events, and nativity plays.
There is a lot going on – with friends, families, neighbors, coworkers, and throughout communities. Relationships, familiar and new, can be a source of joy – or sometimes be a bit strained with the increase of activity. Are you tempted to feel stressed or upset with holiday plans or expectations?
Remember instead that you are surround by the atmosphere of Christmas – the celebration of the birth of Christ Jesus – which is filled with the message and influence of Immanuel or “God with us.”
This atmosphere is the one divine influence that presented Jesus to humanity, in all his demonstrably healing glory. And this is the timeless, infinite divine atmosphere that surrounds you right now, sustaining you, and keeping you safe.
What, then, could possibly disturb or even separate you from the atmosphere of the Divine?
This Christmas season may you feel God with you! Living out your one true relationship with God lifts up every other relationship you have, and you can only express and experience the happiness that “…requires all mankind to share it.” (Mary Baker Eddy)
“In the scientific relation of God to man, we find that whatever blesses one blesses all, as Jesus showed with the loaves and the fishes, — Spirit, not matter, being the source of supply.”
(Science and Health, page 206)
Our true relationship with God means equality
December 12, 2017
by Laura Moliter
Our true relationship with God means equality. Divine Love plays no favorites and His blessings are for one and for all. God is Spirit and there are no limits in Spirit. The supply of all things good and needful, every right quality of being, is as infinite as God is and as available to all. There is no pre-qualification for His blessings.
And in this abundance, we can also recognize that when something good comes to us, it can’t be at the expense of another. Those true and right bestowals are ours to appreciate and they can’t fail to mutually bless. Likewise, another’s receipt of something good and right doesn’t mean we have to lose out. There is enough to go around.
This is what Jesus proved. He recognized what seemed to be a lack and he also saw the kindness of meeting the need. A few material fishes and several material loaves of bread, didn’t limit the divine Principle, God’s spiritual relationship with His beloved children. And so, there was plenty, distributed to one and all. Multitudes were fed.
Realize the operation of spiritual law. It is not limited supply and unlimited demand. It is a perfect balance of being, wherein every need is sufficiently met by God’s presence and His Love.
Laura Moliter, Divine Purpose Coach and Spiritual Activist
Although multiple studies point to elevated rates of depression, anxiety and substance abuse among sexual minority people, the panel found that these problems, by themselves, do not account for the higher rates of suicide attempts that have been reported by LGBT people. THUS, the consensus report identified Stigma and Discrimination as playing a key role, especially acts such as Rejection or Abuse by Family Members or Peers, Bullying and Harassment, Denunciation from Religious Communities and Individual Discrimination.
Journal of Homosexuality
…. when repressed homosexuality reared its head after I had Class Instruction, there was no one in my Father’s House to take up the slack or meet the need. But Life has a way anyway! My teacher could not make gay go away! I spent a lot of time beating up on myself. I was saddled with a lot of false teaching and false human opinion about gayness… We all have experienced dramatic rejections and out castings. We all have tried opening up only to be “spewn out dispassionately”.
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.
“Too often in the history of religion, people have killed in the name of the God of life, waged war in the name of the God of peace, hated in the name of the God of love and practiced cruelty in the name of the God of compassion. When this happens, God speaks, sometimes in a still, small voice almost inaudible beneath the clamor of those claiming to speak on his behalf. What he says at such times is: Not in my name!
I spent time working on behalf of the Human Rights Campaign at the end of 2015 to help pass the Equality Act which would prohibit discrimination in housing, education and employment against LGBT people in 36 states which currently have no protection. The Equality Act is currently before Congress.
One college student shared with me that he signed up as a member of HRC because he has two moms. He shared that he is a well loved man because of it.
I was touched by one heart breaking story in particular. One woman shared that she had a friend whose son was gay. His family ostracized him for being gay so he left home with no further contact with them and perhaps felt pressured to leave his faith behind too. He died at age 26 from AIDS. Perhaps he died of famished affections due to a lack of love and acceptance from his family and church. But this same women also told me she has a gay son but she loves him unconditionally and their family welcomes him. As a result, he is now happy, healthy and well adjusted which demonstrates that love is the cure as stated by Sir Elton John.
As one Journal Listed, CS stated: “God is listening! If you want to get into the reality of things, it is always God communicating. But, I think in the sense of having one’s voice heard, it is comforting to know the divine ear is always alert to our needs.
As states passed marriage equality laws, the passage of these laws led to a 7 percent drop in teen suicide attempts, a new study finds. That figure climbed to 14 percent for LGB teens.
February 21, 2017 —Teen suicide attempts are a persistent challenge. But policy changes may present an answer – albeit a controversial one.
In a study published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, researchers from Harvard and Johns Hopkins looked at the correlation between student-reported suicide attempts and state policies in the 16 years before June 2015, when the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality nationwide. Drawing on a health survey database of almost 763,000 students, they observed a 7 percent decline in teenagers’ efforts to take their own lives in the year after their states legalized marriage equality, a figure that increased to 14 percent among teens who identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. All in all, that amounts to 134,000 fewer attempted suicides annually over the period.
“It’s not easy to be an adolescent, and for adolescents who are just realizing they are sexual minorities, it can be even harder,” said lead study author Julia Raifman, a post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University, in a news release.
Legalizing same-sex marriage may have helped reduce suicide attempts by dismantling much of the social stigma LGB teens feel over their “sexual minority” status, the study’s authors suggested. Legalization reflects changing attitudes and may improve teenagers’ sense of being included in their communities, an idea that appears to be further supported by the fact that suicide rates remained flat in states that did not legalize same-sex marriage.
“The study tells us that even though young people are not necessarily thinking about getting married, the fact that the path is clear and the opportunity is real has a very positive impact on their level of optimism for the future,” writes Ellen Kahn, director of the Children, Youth, and Families Program at Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy organization, in an email to the Monitor.
Some groups are reluctant to say that the correlation proves that policy changes had any causative effect on the decline in suicide attempts.
“It’s always good news to hear that there is a report of decreased suicide attempts for whatever reason – it’s certainly worth celebrating,” Joseph L. Grabowski, director of communications for the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), an organization founded to oppose same-sex marriage, tells The Christian Science Monitor. But, he says, “I don’t think they’ve demonstrated that the policies as such had a direct impact on this question.”
In 2014, the last year for which such data are available, suicide ranked as the second leading cause of death among young people aged 10 to 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And teens who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual are four times as likely to attempt to take their lives, according to the Trevor Project, a national suicide prevention organization.
For advocacy organizations that support marriage equality, the study offers encouragement as they continue their policy work.
“We have to continue our progress in creating a legal landscape that opens doors for LGBTQ youth … on many levels,” Ms. Kahn writes, noting that supportive schools, corporations, and laws “send a powerful message to LGBTQ youth that their hopes and dreams can come to fruition.”
For social conservatives, the drop in suicides is just as encouraging. Equally, however, it may present a conundrum: Which value – the sanctity of life or traditional marriage – takes precedence?
That may depend on how strongly they oppose same-sex marriage. Attitudes have undergone a dramatic shift over the past 15 years, from 60 percent opposition in 2000 to 60 percent support today, says Brian Powell, a sociology professor at Indiana University-Bloomington. If accurate, the study could encourage a group of current opponents to reconsider, he suggests.
“People change their mind, and a finding like this could have an impact on those people who are opposed but not adamantly opposed,” Professor Powell tells the Monitor.
But that shift in thought relies on having clear evidence of the pattern, he cautions.
“For research to have an impact, it has to be … so visible that people are talking about it,” Powell explains. He offers the example of climate change, where publicly presented, consistent data about climate change has, he says, helped spur a dramatic change in public attitudes.
Currently, the study demonstrates correlation, rather than proving causation, its authors acknowledge. To some, that suggests the policy shift, and its associated decline in stigma, may not be responsible.
“Stigma does not seem to account totally for why this happens,” says Mr. Grabowski of NOM. Instead, he proposes, the drop could be a sign that caregivers have become increasingly alert to the possibility of suicide among sexual minorities.
“Over the time of the study, the LGBT community was increasingly recognized as an at-risk population for suicide,” Grabowski says. That meant caregivers – from school guidance counselors to parents – were paying closer attention to these teenagers, directing them toward mental health services and counseling that “may have had more of an impact” than legislative changes, he says.
The next step, he says, is further research to look for a causative link between marriage equality and suicide prevention, making a more substantive debate possible.
“We hope that future studies do get to the root cause of that decrease, so we can take better care of all our children,” Grabowski concludes.
And take a look at our graphic below. You might not have thought that marriage equality legislation could drive down youth suicide rates. But it looks like it has, particularly for sexual minorities. Check it out – and be reminded of what a “you are welcome here” sign can make in a young person’s confidence and desire to excel. Amelia Newcomb Senior Editor with The Christian Science Monitor‘s EqualEd section
Marriage equality has become the law of the land down under.
Australia’s Parliament passed a bill on Thursday to legalize same-sex marriage following a long push for marriage equality. The House of Representatives approved the legislation without amendments after hours of emotional speeches and debate. Only four members of parliament voted against the the legislation.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a supporter of marriage equality, had committed last month to passing the bill before Christmas.
“This is Australia: fair, diverse, loving and filled with respect. For every one of us this is a great day,” Turnbull said on Thursday.
More than 100 members of Parliament gave speeches on the bill, with a majority in support of changing the definition of marriage, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported. MP Tim Wilson used his portion of the debate time to propose to his partner on the floor of Parliament.
I cannot think of a crueler and more destructive expression of homophobia in our time than having hundreds of thousands of teens be rejected by their families, deprived of love, and driven to utter destitution. No teenager who comes out of the closet should be thrown into the streets. And together, if we stand up and lift up our voices for them, we will make sure they can find a home.
The 18-bed facility, located in New York’s East Village neighborhood, will house participants in the center’s two-year transitional living program, designed to prepare homeless LGBTQ young people for successfully living alone.
When she died in 2009, the Emmy- and Tony-winning actress left $300,000 to the Ali Forney Center in her will. At the time, officials say the facility had been struggling to survive because it had fallen behind on rent.
Part of Arthur’s donation was used to renovate the building that will accommodate the shelter. In 2012, the New York City Council and the Manhattan borough president allocated an additional $3.3 million toward the renovations.
Carl Siciliano, who is the Ali Forney Center’s executive director, called the opening of the Bea Arthur Residence a “momentous occasion” for the organization. A 2012 Williams Institute study found that 40 percent of the homeless youth served by agencies like the Ali Forney Center identify as LGBTQ.
The new shelter “marks an important shift in the way that we are able to house and care for young people who have been discarded by their families simply because of who they are,” Siciliano said.
“My administration is committed to supporting New York’s thriving and diverse LGBTQ community. Critical to this mission are community organizations like the Ali Forney Center that are working to uplift and empower homeless LGBTQ youth across our city,” de Blasio said in an email.
He went on to praise the Ali Forney Center’s “incredible legacy of building a strong foundation for the next generation as we renew our commitment to protect and lift up our city’s LGBTQ youth.”