“WHAT IS THAT TO THEE?”

 

Emerge gently doesn’t mean emerge slowly.

Robert MacKusik, C.S.B.
Cleveland, Ohio/Boothbay Harbor, Maine

 

“WHAT IS THAT TO THEE?”

From the October 1917 issue of The Christian Science Journal

This unfortunate tendency, however, is no new thing in the annals of human history. Nearly two thousand years ago another pilgrim on the narrow pathway which leads upward showed himself unduly concerned over the doings of personality. The Master had been telling his disciples of things which were to come, and as he drew his discourse to a close the impetuous Peter could not refrain from inquiring about John. Apparently his own future conduct and accomplishment were of small importance for the moment. “Lord, and what shall this man do?” he asked. We all recall the gentle rebuke which followed: “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.”

Well may each disciple of today, when he feels himself yielding to the temptation of judging, criticizing, condemning, or even becoming idly curious in regard to the doings of another, ask of his own heart this old-time question, “What is that to thee?” Undue and overanxious contemplation of John, either to admire or to blame, will not help John to work out his problem, nor will it in any way facilitate Peter’s progress, for it may easily lead him into a state of self-depreciation on the one hand or of self-righteousness on the other. The great and only question which should concern Peter is this: What is Peter doing? If he is just sitting back and being miserable, he certainly is not doing very much either for himself or for anybody else. Is John doing something which seems “unscientific”? If Peter will look into his own heart, and strive earnestly to be delivered from all that he sees there which is unlike God, he will generally find himself so fully occupied that there will be no time left to worry about John.

 

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Ian Thorpe shares struggles with depression, sexuality and alcohol prior to coming out.

 

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

January 2011

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There are two themes that ring out clearly from the hundreds — actually thousands — of stories I have read this month: first, that we all deeply desire to be known and loved by our Creator God, and second, that we all desperately need to know that the people we are closest to, our families and friends, love us just because we breathe.  Pretty simple, right? 

This is not just our story; I have heard from hundreds of men and women whose experiences of rejection and alienation from family members have sparked downward spirals of depression, addiction and despair.

 Linda Robertson

 JustBecauseHeBreathes.com.

 

 

The family bond that cannot be broken

From the July 10, 2017 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

By Tony Lobl, CS

In our heart of hearts, none of us wants our family ties to be broken.

That stands to reason, because we each have a spiritual sense within us—a capacity to see beyond the many material details of our lives, to what God knows. And with this spiritual sense we can perceive one universal family we each belong to. In this family the ties that bind are never torn apart by grief, nor severed by any geographical or emotional parting of the ways. In this family, Spirit, God, is the perfect, divine Parent—our divine Father-Mother—and we are all His solely spiritual offspring, bonded together in an unbreakable spiritual unity.

In best-case scenarios we gratefully see this ideal family reflected in human families formed of mutual fondness, compassion, kindness, and belonging.

Sadly, this isn’t always how human relationships play out, either within the global family of mankind or within our own families.

Just over a year ago, a shooter opened fire on a crowd in an Orlando, Florida, club predominantly frequented by the LGBT community. Dozens of innocent lives were lost, and families and friends were left grieving. In the wake of such targeted hatred, I immediately reached out to people dear to me who openly identify themselves as gay—including a fellow church member, my brother, and his marriage partner—to express love and care for them.

On the 24-hour news cycle, talking heads mainly focused on the big-picture tragedy. But one lone voice particularly moved me. In a missive addressed to the killer, author K. G. MacGregor pinpointed what she called the real fear faced by LGBT people in everyday life, a fear which would strike a chord with anyone who has ever dreaded, or experienced, broken family ties.

What if we were to see every individual as our divine Parent’s son or daughter, and just love them?

“Real fear [is] being unloved. By our parents, our siblings. By our extended families and dearest friends. By our schools, churches, workplaces and communities. There’s nothing you can ever do to us that scares us more than the thought of losing love,” she wrote.

In the spiritual understanding of Christian Science, fear is ultimately never real in the light of divine Love’s allness. And the truly satisfying and enduring spiritual love that reflects this divine Love, and which makes up our true identity as God’s children, can never be lost. But as I read MacGregor’s words, I put myself in the shoes of those who had found themselves “unloved” by those they’d grown up with or grown close to—or by those at church they had grown into fellowship with. And I yearned to see all such loss of familial affection become a thing of the past.

At their best, family members love one another impartially. Such love can not only safeguard a family member going through a potentially vulnerable period in his or her life, but can also safeguard every other family member’s connection to a son, daughter, sister, brother, nephew, or niece, whose love they should never be deprived of.

And when this impartial love is founded on God’s love—by which we love man as the pure image of divine Love itself—it does more than tolerate differences. Such love lifts the atmosphere of thought to that place where those we relate to genuinely feel loved, whatever differences we might feel we have. And loving our kith and kin no matter where they might be in their individual demonstration of spiritual growth fulfills our obligation to support them in moving forward morally and spiritually, just as we would want to be supported in our own efforts to do so.

Such empowering love is best seen in the spirituality Christ Jesus exemplified, which enabled individuals to feel both the love of God that heals broken minds and bodies and the power of Truth that transforms character. The Christ, the voice of the true Mind, God, so clearly perceived in Jesus’ love for all, shines a light on what we all spiritually are as objects of God’s never-ending affection. To affirm this understandingly is prayer that brings out an affection within us that unreservedly expresses Love’s care.

For instance, I recently talked with a Christian Scientist who had met and married a man whose adult daughter was the first openly gay person this Christian Scientist had ever known. I asked, “So how did you respond when finding this out about your daughter-to-be?” She simply said, “Well, I just loved her.”

As her husband’s daughter, and as God’s daughter, she has loved this young woman for over a decade now. She and her husband regularly voice that love, and express it in tangible ways, to both the daughter and her partner.

What if we were to see every individual as our divine Parent’s son or daughter, and just love them? Isn’t our willingness to see the unbreakable bond between the divine Mind and all its ideas the right starting point for guiding all our relationships?

By contrast, it’s the carnal mind—the opposite, material belief of man as separate from God—that tears families apart. This false mentality is pictured in the Scriptures as a talking serpent tempting us to act and react based on a false, fleeting sense of man as matter-defined rather than Spirit-created. But we don’t need to listen to the whispers of this serpent. People, in good faith, wrestle with the Scriptures and sincerely arrive at contrasting conclusions about what particular Bible passages teach. But can’t we all unite in praying to support families being havens of love, where we’re all wholeheartedly valued and welcomed, while also being seen beyond every temporal label as the loved, divine idea of God we each actually are?

And if that doesn’t happen? A Bible promise says, “God setteth the solitary in families” (Psalms 68:6). So in cases where families haven’t been the havens we would wish, we can pray to know, as Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures says, “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” (Mary Baker Eddy, p. 494). This applies wherever we are on our journey of understanding and proving the purely spiritual identity that ultimately defines us all. 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.

Tony Lobl


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Ian Thorpe + Thousands Rally For Marriage Equality In Australia Ahead Of Vote

 

Thou art right, immortal Shakespeare, great poet of humanity:

Sweet are the uses of adversity;

Which, like the toad, ugly and veneomous,

Wears yet a precious jewel in his head.

Mary Baker Eddy

(Science and Health, pg. 66)

 

Ian Thorpe has been praised for coming out but the reasons for Australia’s greatest Olympian to be reticent about revealing his sexuality raises disturbing questions about whether being gay still carries a stigma in Australia. First broadcast on the ABC in Australia, 14 July 2014.

 

QUEER VOICES

Thousands Rally For Same-Sex Marriage In Australia Ahead Of Vote

08/28/2017 12:55 pm ET

The issue continues to fracture the nation’s government.

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Thousands of people rallied for marriage equality in Australia’s second-biggest city of Melbourne on Saturday ahead of a postal survey on same-sex marriage which could lead to its legalization.

Australia is one of the only developed English-speaking countries not to have legalised same-sex marriage, despite strong popular support and the backing of a majority of lawmakers.

Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus, of the opposition Labor Party, called on the conservative Liberal Party-led government to do more to ensure the debate did not turn ugly ahead of the postal survey next month.

“I’m particularly calling on the prime minister of Australia to speak out against any bile or hate speech that we might see in this campaign,” he told the rally.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last week urged supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage to show mutual respect as their campaigns turned increasingly vitriolic.

Rally organiser Anthony Wallace from activist group Equal Love said 15,000 people attended the event, making it one of the largest gay rights rallies in Australian history. Police declined to estimate the size of the crowd.

The rally is an annual event, which this year began and ended at the Victorian State Library, where a mass same-sex wedding ceremony was held.

Australians will vote over several weeks from mid-September in the non-compulsory postal ballot on whether to legalize same-sex marriage.

Same-sex marriage is supported by 61 percent of Australians, a 2016 Gallup opinion poll showed, but the issue has fractured the Turnbull government and damaged his standing with voters, now at a six-month low.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/australia-same-sex-marriage-rally_us_59a44823e4b06d67e3395378?section=us_queer-voices

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What does Christian Science say about Christly human activity?

 

Love is not something put upon a shelf, to be taken down on rare occasions with sugar-tongs and laid on a rose-leaf. I make strong demands on love, call for active witnesses to prove it, and noble sacrifices and grand achievements as its results. Unless these appear, I cast aside the word as a sham and counterfeit, having no ring of the true metal. Love cannot be a mere abstraction, or goodness without activity and power. As a human quality, the glorious significance of affection is more than words: it is the tender, unselfish deed done in secret; the silent, ceaseless prayer; the self-forgetful heart that overflows; the veiled form stealing on an errand of mercy, out of a side door; the little feet tripping along the sidewalk; the gentle hand opening the door that turns toward want and woe, sickness and sorrow, and thus lighting the dark places of earth” .

Mary Baker Eddy

(Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 250)

*

 

“If the soft palm, upturned to a lordly salary, and architectural skill, making spire tremulous with beauty, turn the poor and the stranger from the gate, they at the same-time shut the door on progress.”

Mary Baker Eddy

(Science and Health, 142)

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Our cause demands a wider circle of means for the ends of philanthropy and charity, and better qualifications for practical purposes. The latter lack in students of Christian Science is a great hindrance to our cause and it must be met and mastered.”  

This letter embodies the thought that Christian Science does not say about Christly human activity, “Yes, BUT…” It says, “Yes, and…..”

Letter from MBE to Mary Longyear  – Jan. 15, 1906

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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)

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This man has a boat. So he jumped in to ‘go save some lives’ after Harvey

The late Elie Wiesel on the test of faith

Encore

What is racism?  Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on such a belief; discrimination, bigotry.

What is indifference? Etymologically, the word means “no difference”. A strange and unnatural state in which the lines blur between light and darkness, dusk and dawn, crime and punishment, cruelty and compassion, good and evil.

 

Uploaded on Aug 10, 2011

INTERVIEW

Elie Wiesel on the test of faith

From the June 2001 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Kim is an international journalist and former writer and editor for The Christian Science Journal and the Christian Science Sentinel.

 was born in Romania. At the age of 16, he was deported, along with his family, to Nazi concentration camps. He survived, but his mother, father, and a sister did not. Later, he became a voice for victims of the camps, and has written more than 40 works dealing with the Holocaust, Judaism, and the moral responsibility of all people to fight hatred, racism, and genocide. In 1986, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for helping people learn “how not to succumb to despair.”

For  25 years, Professor Wiesel had been the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, where Kim Shippey asked him how, during his time in prison, he had kept his faith.

I don’t think I did, really. I think I was angry. But my anger itself was part of my faith. I think faith that is not sensitive to other people’s pain and one’s own has something wrong with it. . . . In my memoirs and in my first book, Night, I wrote about faith that is tested. Abraham was tested ten times. Moses was tested. We are all tested. I believe this is true of all people who have faith. . . .

After the war, I realized that I had never really lost my faith. I was angry within my faith. I was a rebel in my faith. And I realized that I owe something to those I live with, be they my students, or my friends, or my family, or my readers. I don’t owe them my despair. . . . I owe them my despair. . . . I owe them what I can do with it. . . . Bitterness is self-destructive, as is hatred. If I am bitter, what is the use of my bitterness to other people? What can they do with it?

Do you believe in God?

I have faith in God. Absolutely.

Are you a religious person?

I don’t speak often about religion—mine, for instance, my own religious practice. I don’t want to divide people. To me, a person is a person. But since you ask, I must answer you. I am. I come from a religious background. I am not as religious as I was when I was young, in my little town; and my faith is not as entire, as whole; and my practice is not as I would like it to be, as it was. But nevertheless, I do pray. I do things that I think my father would have wanted me to do.

You’ve also stressed the importance of gratitude.

I believe in the virtue of gratitude. I think, for every person, gratitude is probably the most important response. To be able to say “thank you.” In my religion, the first thing you do in the morning is say “Thank you, God, for waking me, for my being alive.” And I say it to all people. . . . I spend my time it to waiters, drivers, those who serve me. They have my gratitude all the time, and my students even more so.

Do the young people you teach have a faith?

Do they have hope?

I don’t like to generalize, but I can tell that my students are extraordinary. I learn so much from them, and with them, that it’s almost my reward. I don’t need to be paid for teaching. They teach me that I’m still a student. I’m their older student, maybe their oldest. I’m now writing a book called My Teachers and My Friends, and there I speak in general about my concept of friendship, my concept of teaching—of being a disciple.

How have your students enriched you?

I learn from them. I teach them how to listen, and then I listen to their words. I teach them respect. I teach by example. I’ve been a professor for 30 years, and I don’t think anyone has been embarrassed or humiliated in my presence. And that I learned from them. It’s how they are treating each other. It’s not me doing that. That respect is what they have in themselves.

Do you still face tests in your life?

I BELIEVE EVERY DAY for me is a test.

Are you passing these tests?

Who knows? Every line I write is a test for me. Each time I enter the classroom it’s a new test. I know the test is there. Sometimes I feel good about it because I see my students, I imagine my readers, and I think of children . . . and I feel that what I am doing must be useful—otherwise I wouldn’t be able to do it. At the same time, I know it’s never enough. . . . These are very small miracles. Daily miracles.

Just as a man cannot live without dreams, he cannot live without hope. If dreams reflect the past, hope summons the future.

Elie Wiesel
Nobel Peace Prize
Acceptance Speech,
December 11, 1986

 

 

Inclusiveness and Equal Rights for All Australians with Marriage Equality

 

“Marriage should signify a union of hearts.”

Mary Baker Eddy

 

Huff Post

QUEER VOICES
.
08/23/2017 12:26 pm ET

MTV Will Go Dark To Encourage Australians To Register For Marriage Equality Vote

Are you registered?

MTV Australia will go off the air for 12 hours on Thursday in a move meant to encourage viewers to make their voice heard in the country’s upcoming vote on same-sex marriage rights.

Instead of normal programming, the network will air an automated message encouraging Australians to register to vote from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, which marks the deadline for voting registration Down Under.

“As a leading youth entertainment brand that supports inclusiveness and equal rights for all Australians, MTV wants to encourage young Australians to get out and do their part in ensuring their voices are heard in the Australian Marriage Law postal vote,” said Simon Bates, Head of MTV Asia Pacific, according to NewNowNext.

MTV has a history of encouraging the right to vote over the last 27 years. The American branch of the network teamed up with non-profit “Rock The Vote” in 1990 to launch voting PSAs ― including a very memorable one starring Madonna wearing just a bikini and wrapped in an American flag ― and has been working with the group ever since.

Same-sex marriage is still not legal in Australia, which lags behind the majority of other developed nations around the globe in terms of marriage equality.

The conversation about same-sex marriage rights has sparked polarizing debate throughout the nation, with opponents resorting to a horrific “stop the fags” campaign to encourage Australians to vote “no” on the initiative.

Surveys will be mailed out to registered Australians who are registered to vote beginning on Sept 12. Those interested in having their vote count in the marriage equality debate will then have until Nov. 7 to return their surveys. The result of the vote will be announced on Nov. 15.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mtv-australia-go-off-air_us_599d9117e4b0d8dde99a58fc?

Marking the perfect man

 

With its superb acting and directing—not to mention its outstanding production value and array of Depression-era props and set pieces—it is no surprise that The Butterfly Circus took the top prize. Rebecca Pahle. –MOVIEMAKER MAGAZINE

Imaginative, beautifully shot…I’m very proud to be giving this award.  -Clint Eastwood

An artist friend of mine called this one of the best short films ever.  Hopped over to YouTube to view it and instantly agreed. Written, produced, and directed by Joshua Weigel, with a strong cast and solid production values, this film got a limited release in 2009 and moved into wider release this year. But most of the flurry around “Butterfly Circus” has been online, that new frontier of indie movie release, where it has been going viral. To date, TBC has reportedly gotten 3 million views. It also won Doorpost Project’s $100,000 grand prize in a 2009 short film competition.  -Patricia Nell Warren

How did the 2010 Oscar nominations for best short film, live action, miss this gem? -DoorPost Project

It’s the week-end, so I figured we could chill a while. Here’s a 2009 short film titled “The Butterfly Circus” that’s a must-see. Directed by Joshua Weigel starrng Doug Jones, Nick Vujicic, and Eduardo Verastegui, this film reminds me of that HBO short-lived series “Carnivale, but “The Butterfly Circus” is more hopeful and beautifully shot. Rama’s Screen

 

 

Marking the perfect man

From the August 21, 2017 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

 

How do we behold—see—God’s perfect man? By starting with God. God is infinite Spirit, divine Love, spiritual Truth, pure Soul, eternal Life, the all-knowing and all-good Mind, and the ever-operative and harmonious Principle of the universe and man. And God made all that was made—and that includes everyone.

Knowing that God made man in His own image and likeness—spiritual, pure, perfect, beautiful, upright, whole, and complete—is a healing prayer. It leads us to uphold goodness, to act rightly. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes about this in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “When we learn the way in Christian Science and recognize man’s spiritual being, we shall behold and understand God’s creation,—all the glories of earth and heaven and man” (p. 264).

How grateful I am to know that Christian Science teaches us how to turn away from false, aggressive suggestions and to recognize and discern our true spiritual identity. Christian Science certainly makes evident what we need to give our attention to in our prayers, what thoughts we need to correct with spiritual understanding. Christian Science treatment gets to the root of disease and sickness by dealing with fear by awakening our thought to God’s powerful and gentle presence and love for all His children.