There’s this belief among some in our culture that we should avoid talking about politics with each other. Frankly, I think that’s part of the reason our society is in the trouble it’s in right now – we don’t talk about stuff with each other. We’re afraid: We’re afraid of losing friendships; or afraid someone might question our long-cherished beliefs and make us actually think about them; or we’re afraid – horror! – that people might disagree with us.
But I think sharing our thoughts with each other is important to maintaining a healthy democracy. We can’t function as a democracy if we’re all living in our own vacuum, you know? We need to be able to see other people’s perspectives, and we need to learn about other people’s challenges in order to be compassionate, informed voters. We need to be able to listen to each other and learn from each other, and share our concerns and aspirations with each other in order to move forward as a nation.
My teaching major at university was history, and, maybe because of that background, I’m comfortable moving around in the world of Big Ideas. A large part of my studies involved discussing politics in class. This is how my classmates and I learned from each other – we debated and stretched our thoughts, listened and learned and saw different perspectives. Having my beliefs questioned, and being put in a position where I had to defend them, was so helpful to me! It was like sticking a rough hunk of rock into a rock-polishing machine, grinding away all the ego, nonsense and misconceptions, and pulling out a shiny agate at the end.
The belief that talking about politics is taboo exists among some of my fellow Christian Scientists, too. I was recently asked by one of my fellow CSists what politics has to do with Christian Science and why I had posted a link about the January 6th hearings in a group I had created with “Christian Science” in the title. Here’s my response to that:
For many of us, Christian Science informs every part of our human experience – we apply our understanding of God to heal broken relationships, physical challenges, mental and emotional challenges, our human governments, the environment, oppression, inequity, sexism, racism, and etc.
Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “A sinner is not reformed merely by assuring him that he cannot be a sinner because there is no sin. To put down the claim of sin, you must detect it, remove the mask, point out the illusion, and thus get the victory over sin and so prove its unreality.” Eddy writes: “If you venture upon the quiet surface of error and are in sympathy with error, what is there to disturb the waters? What is there to strip off error’s disguise?” She writes: “Though error hides behind a lie, and excuses guilt, error cannot forever be concealed. Truth, through her eternal laws, unveils error. Truth causes sin to betray itself, and sets upon error the mark of the beast. Even the disposition to excuse guilt or to conceal it is punished. The avoidance of justice and the denial of truth tend to perpetuate sin, invoke crime, jeopardize self-control, and mock divine mercy.”
I know that these kinds of discussions are uncomfortable for some people, and I totally understand if you want to scroll past posts like this and move on to other posts. But, from my perspective, these kinds of discussions can be really healing if we keep Love and Truth at the “helm of thought.” Mrs. Eddy writes (p. 201): “The way to extract error from mortal mind is to pour in truth through flood-tides of Love.”
I don’t believe that it’s helpful to anyone to just let error sit there, unexposed and ignored.