Academy picked a small independent movie that tackles homophobia, class structures and patriarchal norms.


The accessory of the night at the Oscars is not a shiny designer clutch or a strappy stiletto.

It’s a blue American Civil Liberties Union ribbon.



The ‘Moonlight’ Best Picture Win Is A Vote For Inclusivity In Hollywood

Barry Jenkins’ movie beat “La La Land” after an onstage Oscar mixup.

26/02/2017 11:25 PM CST | Actualizado Hace 3 horas

The Oscars voted for inclusivity this year, naming “Moonlight” 2016’s greatest film.

In one of the craziest Oscar moments in history, presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced “La La Land” as the winner. He had been handed the Best Actress envelope, with “La La Land” star Emma Stone’s name printed in it. Producer Jordan Horowitz was in the middle of his acceptance speech when he was informed that “Moonlight” was the rightful winner. Beatty took the podium again to correct the error, at which point the “Moonlight” cast began marching to the stage.

Barry Jenkins’ drama about a black latchkey kid grappling with his sexuality in the Miami projects beat expected front-runner “La La Land” for Best Picture on Sunday. That means the Academy picked a small independent movie that tackles homophobia, class structures and patriarchal norms over a musical-romance fantasy about voters’ favorite topic: Hollywood. This is a leap forward for big-screen storytelling that humanizes marginalized voices.

Heading into the night, the Best Picture race had come down to three movies: “La La Land,” “Moonlight” and “Hidden Figures,” which split the key precursor prizes. In the media, a complicated narrative about the significance of this year’s award coalesced around these films. Because “La La Land” romanticizes a dreamy Hollywood that is unfamiliar to most Americans, some critics and commentators felt that it was less worthy than the vital social stories told in “Moonlight” and “Hidden Figures.” With popular culture inching toward better representation for minorities and women, and Donald Trump’s administration inching away from it, many saw a “Moonlight” or “Hidden Figures” victory as a referendum against the current political regime.

However the win is interpreted, it’s a remarkable moment for a remarkable movie. This was one of the most diverse Oscar rosters in history, a marked departure after two consecutive years without any acting nominees of color. “Moonlight” scoring the most prestigious award, especially given the politicized fodder surrounding its contest with “La La Land,” feels like a new frontier for Hollywood.


1001669_1_amelia-newcomb_standardAnd 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


… when my mum told me she didn’t want to hold me after I was born, it was hard to take, to say the least.  I was insecure enough as it was, but to hear that my own mother could not bear to look at me was … well, imagine how you might feel.  I was hurt and felt rejected.

Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life

By Nick Vujicic


After a suicide attempt at the age of ten, Nick turned his disability into a motivation to spread the Christian gospel to all corners of the world.  He stopped believing the lie that he was “less than” or “unequal” for being different.  “The greater the struggle the more glorious the triumph!”  




There are other magical moments: a moment when a black child touches the strong man’s biceps and goes away believing he can become anything he wants, a moment when a crippled boy embraces the limbless man as though he were touching the face of God and a moment when the limbless man emerges from a stream into which he has fallen with the triumphant cry, ”I can swim!”


Uploaded on Oct 12, 2011
At the height of the Great Depression, the showman of a renowned circus discovers a man without limbs being exploited at a carnival sideshow, but after an intriguing encounter with the showman he becomes driven to hope against everything he has ever believed.

Same-Sex Marriage Laws Linked To Powerful Drop In Teen Suicide Rate.

1001669_1_amelia-newcomb_standardAnd 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


Key Findings and Recommendations:

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.
                                                 The Journal of Homosexuality

(The Journal of Homosexuality is a peer-reviewed academic journal)

January 2011



Same-Sex Marriage Laws Linked To Powerful Drop In Teen Suicide Rate

Tolerant societies have healthier, happier citizens. Period. By Anna Almendrala – Huff Post – 02/21/2017 09:20 pm ET | Updated 1 day ago

Living in a community that recognizes gay marriage can improve the mental health of all teens, according to a new study.

State marriage equality laws enacted in the years before the 2015 Supreme Court ruling were linked to lower rates of suicide attempts among all high school students but especially among teens who identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual or unsure. Ultimately, the researchers found, for every year that same-sex marriage laws were in place, 134,000 fewer teens attempted suicide. 

This is noteworthy because queer teens are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide as their straight peers.

While the study doesn’t demonstrate that these laws actually caused a reduction in suicide attempts, lead study author Julia Raifman theorized that having equal protection under the law may account for much of the change.

“These are high school students so they aren’t getting married any time soon, for the most part,” said Raifman, a post-doctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, in a statement about her research.

“Still, permitting same-sex marriage reduces structural stigma associated with sexual orientation. There may be something about having equal rights ― even if they have no immediate plans to take advantage of them ― that makes students feel less stigmatized and more hopeful for the future.”

Raifman’s theory is an important measure in this new political climate. Same-sex marriage is now federal law, thanks to the 2015 Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges, but there are worrying signs that Republican politicians may start to undermine the right to marriage and LGBTG protections in general, both at the state and federal levels.

Studies like this one show that equal marriage rights benefit those who want to marry someone of the same gender but also improve mental health for everyone, especially queer teens.

“Policymakers need to be aware that policies on sexual minority rights can have a real effect on the mental health of adolescents,” she concluded. “The policies at the top can dictate in ways both positive and negative what happens further down.”

The link between equal marriage and teen suicide attempts

Before 2015, only 35 states had legalized same-sex marriage. During this era, Raifman surveyed nearly 800,000 students of all sexual orientations from 1999 to 2015 about suicide attempts both before and after 32 states had legalized same-sex marriage. She also compared teen suicide attempts in states that legalized marriage to those in states that didn’t.

Before the passage of same-sex legislation, nearly 9 percent of all teens and nearly 29 percent of queer-identifying teens had attempted suicide. After states enacted same-sex marriage laws, suicide attempts dropped to 8 percent among all teens and 25 percent among queer teens.

That might not seem like a lot, but based on these reductions, Raifman estimates that every year of same-sex marriage policies was linked to about 134,000 fewer teens attempting suicide.

How the right to marry affects mental health

Raifman’s study adds to a body of research demonstrating links between same-sex marriage laws and mental health in the queer community. For instance, a 2010 study suggested that psychiatric disorder diagnoses among queer people increased significantly in states that banned same-sex marriage in 2004 and 2005, and that spending on mental health services decreased among gay men in Massachusetts after the state legalized same-sex marriage in 2003, no matter their relationship status.

Laws that speak to the core of a person’s identity can have the effect of making someone feel included in wider society, says Dan Reidenberg, director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education in Minnesota.

The right to marriage also signals a right to experience love, to be a part of a romantic relationship and the right to a certain social status and benefits. This makes people feel more included and lessens shame about their status as a sexual minority, he said.

Reidenberg wasn’t involved in Raifman’s analysis, but he praised it for emphasizing a reduction in the number of suicide attempts.

“Any time we lessen the potential for death by taking away the number of attempts, we’re literally saving people’s lives.”

“The more that people feel that they are accepted and that people are not going to ostracize them or stigmatize them or put them in a separate category and make them feel different and uncared for, the better off we’re going to be in terms of keeping people alive,” Reidenberg continued. “We’re not just talking about reducing suicide, as you can see in this study, but we’re talking about general mental health and well being.”

On the other hand, laws that bar same-sex couples from legal marriage can have negative psychosocial effects, both on the couples themselves and the children they are raising together. A 2006 article written by members of the American Academy of Pediatrics (and published the same year the anti-LGBT Defense of Marriage Act went into effect) argued for more inclusive public policies for LGBT relationships because of their potential to strengthen family ties between parents and children, and also to protect the children legally, financially and emotionally from the insecurity of an uncertain legal status.

Resultado de imagen para all are welcome - lgbt church


Breaking – CSMonitor Equal Ed – Marriage Equality Laws Lower Suicide Attempts among Youth.


1001669_1_amelia-newcomb_standardAnd 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

See CV Below


…  hitch your wagon to something bigger than yourselves. This generation coming up – unselfish, altruistic, creative, patriotic …You believe in a fair, just, inclusive America [and world]; … and you are willing to carry this hard work of democracy forward. You’ll soon outnumber any of us, and I believe as a result that the future is in good hands. 

President Barack Obama’s farewell speech in Chicago, IL


rob3I was heart broken several years ago during a visit to The Mother Church when a reliable source high within the movement informed me of a close friend and student of Christian Science who committed suicide after class instruction while trying to pray away the gay.  He had a parent who worked for The Christian Science Monitor/The Mother Church.  Perhaps the Church could learn from this sad plight and stop the use of badly applied Christian Science as tool for “reparative therapy”.  Could this be one of the many examples of malpractice that are out there?  What if this was your child?  This is for all those who never had a voice or suffered in silence.  This is for him and the ones who didn’t make it.



Video – Reparative therapy unmasked.  Bigotry is an attack on Christian Science.  Mrs. Eddy would say: Not in my name!


The Christian Science Monitor presents:


When states moved to allow same sex marriage – as 32 did from 1999-2015, until the Supreme Court made it the law of the land – it appears teens were a surprising beneficiary. The proportion of all high school students reporting a suicide attempt in the past year dropped 7 percent after the legal changes, and was heavily concentrated among gay, lesbian, and bisexual students, who are at higher risk. The study, published by JAMA Pediatrics, found that the declines are associated with the legal changes. With same-sex marriage now legal across the nation, that 7 percent drop could mean that 134,446 fewer adolescents will attempt suicide each year.


Note:  Amelia Newcomb is a senior editor with The Christian Science Monitor’s EqualEd section. She also serves as The Monitor’s international news editor, overseeing four bureaus and numerous contributors from around the globe. Prior to that, she held positions as the editor of The Monitor’s award-winning former education section and its Ideas section, and wrote on a wide variety of education issues. She has also reported periodically from China and Japan. Before joining The Monitor 20 years ago, Newcomb worked for Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun in Washington for two years. She was a 2008 recipient of an International Report Fellowship for in-depth reporting on Japan, and was also a 2013 Sulzberger Fellow at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. A graduate of Harvard University in East Asian Studies, she also holds a master’s degree in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.


A Time to Laugh – being invited to church most often is not what our struggling fellow man needs. What is needed is compassion and love and a practical reaching out of our hands to help them.


Mrs. Eddy, although she prayed continually that her discovery would be established, found it refreshing to laugh and be joyous whenever circumstances aroused and promoted gaiety. At a time when false rumors were being circulated about her voice and her health, she responded in one of the periodicals (Miscellaneous Writings, pp. 238,239): “While I accord these evil-mongers due credit for their desire, let me say to you, dear reader: Call at the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, in 1889, and judge for yourself whether I can talk—and laugh too! I never was in better health.”

From the September 29, 1962 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel


“Gentlemen, why do you not laugh? With the fearful strain that is upon me day and night, if I did not laugh, I should die. ”

Abraham Lincoln



From the October 3, 2011 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

Reaching out with compassion

Humor—a great way to laugh at ourselves and something which often breaks the mesmerism of challenges we may be facing. The cartoon in the June 13 issue of the Sentinel [“Prayer about food and body”] made me laugh, not because of the plight of beached whales, but because the cartoon was making light of what many Christian Scientists do—hand someone, who is in need, a flyer and invite them to a church service, hoping that meets their need.

Just as with the whale, being invited to church was not what the whale needed, and it most often is not what our struggling fellow man needs. What is needed is compassion and love and a practical reaching out of our hands to help them.

I only hope people will lighten up and really look at the meaning of the humor being included in the Sentinel and realize it is all a way to laugh at ourselves—a way to wake us up to how we can better reach out to humanity (and animals, the environment, etc.) in helpful, practical ways. We all need to laugh more. So with regard to publishing humor in the Sentinel, I say, publish on, publish on!

  • Class photo below.  I can’t remember laughing as much as with my students. And it felt healing!



“Lion” (A Search for Home) – Academy Award Nominations, Mothering, Unconditional Love, and a Class Discussion on Gratitude.


This movie is emotional but life affirming.  It’s putting goodness into the world.

This is about mothering.  It’s about the essence of what mothering is and unconditional love.

The love (the unconditional love) you feel in this movie is not just for adoptive mothers but … mothers.

Nicole Kidman


“Lion” – Academy Award Nominations


Image result for academy awards 2017
Best Picture
2017 · Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Angie Fielder
Best Supporting Actor
2017 · Dev Patel
Best Supporting Actress
2017 · Nicole Kidman
Best Original Music Score
2017 · Dustin O’Halloran, Volker Bertelmann
Best Writing Adapted Screenplay
2017 · Luke Davies
Best Cinematography
2017 · Greig Fraser

Nicole Kidman: New Film ‘Lion’ Is About The Essence Of Being A Mother


I asked my conversation class to speak about something they were grateful for as their assignment for class.

We then passed a ball randomly to different students so they could share something with the class.

I was moved to the core by what one student shared.  His father died when he was only 10 years old and his mother had to take over and keep the family together and uplifted.  As a result, this student stated he wants to make his mother proud of him.  He said it is this thought that keeps him away from drugs and alcohol.  Thus his mother is what he is most grateful for.

Several other students spoke of their gratitude for all the love received from their families.

One student even got up and stated he was grateful for God and all the blessings in his life.  He included me as his teacher.  I share this in deep humility.

We did not get into a discussion on religion.  But the school has a discussion card on God.  Thus when asked in a variety of my classes what the students would want God to be they always say Love.

Only one student declined to share something when she received the ball as her eyes filled with tears.

Surprisingly, this particular class then gave me the ball and asked me to share what I was most grateful for.

I responded by simply saying: “this moment”.



"The dearest spot on earth" by Tony Lobl.png

Could the same lesson that healed a low performing school turn around the CS branch churches that are closing?


Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.


KJV Bible


The letter of Science plentifully reaches humanity to-day, but its spirit comes only in small degrees. The vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science, is Love. Without this, the letter is but the dead body of Science, — pulseless, cold, inanimate.
Mary Baker Eddy

SH 113:3


Is my branch church welcoming the Prodigal Home?

People are looking for a community that will support them in their journey.

Some people are leaving and going to other denominations because they not finding support when facing a personal challenge.

  Suzanne Riedel – Clerk of The Mother Church

(Annual Meeting of The Mother Church, 2016)


TED   Published on Jun 5, 2015

On Linda Cliatt-Wayman’s first day as principal at a failing high school in North Philadelphia, she was determined to lay down the law. But she soon realized the job was more complex than she thought. With palpable passion, she shares the three principles that helped her turn around three schools labeled “low-performing and persistently dangerous.” Her fearless determination to lead — and to love the students, no matter what — is a model for leaders in all fields.


rob-photoLinda Wayman turned around a low performing school.  She discovered an important lesson on how to be a good teacher along the way.  It turned around an entire school district regardless of the labels placed on it.

Mrs. Eddy made the same discovery.  Perhaps the branch churches that are closing could learn from her.  Obviously there are some unmet needs if so many of the branch churches are closing or have closed.

I found the heart of Linda’s statement to be true in my own teaching.  It can be applied anywhere (school or church).  But it took somebody who faced extreme adversity to understand, apply and appreciate it.

I think she would be great as a member of CSBODs.

Watch the video and find out her secret.   Perhaps Mrs. Eddy already gave it  away in the above quote.

Perhaps some of the branch churches became a country club.

Perhaps Emma Lazarus’s sonnet “The New Colossus,” which is inscribed on Lady Liberty’s pedestal could offer some advice to the so-called experts who forgot what church was all about.


“Not,” Ms. Jenness stressed, “the closed door.”


Truth, Wisdom, Love and Sincerity, to ALL Mankind.