Seeker of Truth

Robert F. Scott, CS

A life saving message from Virginia Harris, C.S.B, The CSMonitor and Oscar Winner -“Moonlight”.

Video – ‘Moonlight’ Star, Andre Holland 

In his review of “Moonlight,” Monitor film critic Peter Rainer wrote that “Full-out, richly layered acting need not clash with the mood, as triumphantly demonstrated by Ali, Harris, [André] Holland, and [Janelle] Monáe. There may not be a better quartet of performances in a single movie this year.”  

In an interview with Indiewire, Ali said, “I had an emotional reaction to this project [‘Moonlight’]. That’s not par for the course for me. I could see and hear the characters, and had a good sense of the world. And I had wanted to work with Barry. It was the best ­– if more difficult – work experiences of my life.” 

“Tarell and I knew people like this growing up,” Jenkins said. “They exist. Juan is not the ‘magical Negro‘ who sells drugs and teaches kids how to swim. Tarell was actually taught how to swim by a local drug dealer. I’m sure there are men just like him all over the country, who are doing some untoward things, but on the other hand, also do some very charitable and nurturing things. There’s room within these men for multitudes.”

http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/2017/0226/Mahershala-Ali-wins-best-supporting-actor-Oscar-in-Moonlight

 

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

February 23, 2017

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JAMA PEDIATRICS

February 20, 2017

 

rob-photoI was heart broken several years ago during a visit to The Mother Church when a reliable source high within the movement informed me of his 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. 
                                                   
                                                      February 23, 2017

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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.
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                                                 The Journal of Homosexuality

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

January 2011

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No Labels, No Limits

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Let’s say someone’s opinion about you comes knocking on your mental door – thoughts that are unkind or demeaning…do you open the door and accept their notion of you? If someone declares that you are fearful, a victim or have suffered at the hands of another, do you simply accept that as a fact of life?

Why?

That is only their opinion about you. But you decide to accept it or not. You are the arbiter – the judge, the decider – of who you really are. Consequently, you decide the experience you will have in your life, not anyone else. So why would you accept a demoralizing, suffering, victimized view of who you are? It is always better to have a positive, productive outlook on life, and that begins with your own view of you.

It surprises me how often in the news today there are articles and polls attempting to reduce to a simple description, or rather definition, of who and what people are…what they think, how they act, and what that means to an entire country. Truthfully, these are opinions, not facts, and they are usually marginalizing in some way. And honestly, aren’t they all mis-statements or mis-labels about people…about you?

One of the negative effects of many of these poor descriptions or labels is that people are tempted to feel they are victims of some group of people, some institution, some system, or some circumstances beyond control. This then justifies a reaction of despair, anger, or hatred. Worse when this is directed to another person or group of people.

All this from being mis-labeled!

Isn’t it better to see one’s self as full of worth and value, generous, kind, intelligent, productive? Isn’t it better for your community that you see your neighbor that way too?

Whenever there is a temptation to feel that you have somehow and in some way been taken advantage of, consider these spiritual lessons of Divine Abundance:

No Loss. You are not a victim of any kind of loss because you have never been forgotten or forsaken by divine Love. Her angels are constantly ministering hope, never defeat, and providing creative ideas that produce practical benefits for you and your family, your workplace, your community, your church…our world.

No Less. Would Father-Mother Love create a universe of abundance and intelligence for an elite group then make you “less than able,” “less than deserved,” “less than prepared” – less than the best to partake of it? No, you are able, deserving, and prepared to receive and contribute all good. That goes for your neighbor, too! The divine law is equal and just – abundant good and intelligence for all!

No Lack. Have you ever thought, “I need it, but I won’t get it”? Well that is fake news for sure because it is a misstatement of your divine inheritance – your divine wealth of spiritual resources. The Creator of divine abundance requires a beneficiary, you! So know without a doubt you already have all that is divinely yours. When this conviction fills your consciousness, whatever you think you lack or need evaporates. And the situation will change for the better.

No Limit. The universe, created by God, is unlimited good! There is enough from All for all, regardless of the circumstance. God has enabled you to partake of this unending reservoir of allness so that you are never limited in doing good. In fact, the more selfless generosity you express to your neighbor, the more you are blessed. This is spiritual justice!

So when these opinions – fake news! – come knocking on your mental door, about you or someone else, don’t answer. You are the arbiter of your life!

“Everything good or worthy, God made. Whatever is valueless or baneful, He did not make…” – Mary Baker Eddy

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

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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.

 

ENTERTAINMENT

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.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com.mx/entry/moonlight-best-picture-oscar_us_58b3909be4b060480e0915af

PRAYER THAT TRANSFORMS US by TONY LOBL, C.S.

                                                                  
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

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… 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

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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!”  

Amen.

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

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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

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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.
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                                                 The Journal of Homosexuality

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

January 2011

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QUEER VOICES

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.

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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

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…  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

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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 his 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.

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

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The Christian Science Monitor presents:
EqualEd
TODAY’S TOPIC

BY THE NUMBERS

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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“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

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Letters

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!

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“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

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“Lion” – Academy Award Nominations

 

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

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”.

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