Something happened this weekend…

Something happened this weekend that really touched me. The eldest son and his girlfriend came over to watch the first Harry Potter movie with us. And when it got to the part where the students were being divided into their different houses, I asked the son about this – did the different houses each represent a different trait or characteristic or something? He said that one house valued intelligence, another courage, a third valued kindness, and the fourth valued ambition. I asked him which house he thought he’d fit in and he said the one that values kindness probably (which was cool to me because the eldest son is brilliant – but he chose kindness over that). He asked me where I’d go, and I said maybe the scholarly one – or the kind one.

And then we sort of mulled over the idea of any of us going to the house that values courage and we decided that, yeah – we’d probably all be okay with that one, too. “I’ve climbed mountains…” I said – trying to blow my own horn  – “and traveled and had adventures…” and then – and this is the part that really touched my heart – the son said, “And you’ve gotten in the middle of a fight and stood up to bullies before.” And his girlfriend asked, “Really?!” – trying to picture me doing that.  And the son said yeah, he’d seen me walk into a ring of gang members before and seen me try to yank one guy off another one.

And this is true. I did do that. I saw a young man sitting on top of another young man, pounding his head into the parking lot pavement when I came out of a movie theater once – and, without thinking, I walked into the ring of spectators watching this happen, and tried to pull the attacker off his victim. I yelled, “Stop it! You’re killing him!” And one of the spectators said, “Lady, you better be careful. This guy could have a knife!” And I turned on him and asked him why he was just watching, why he wasn’t trying to help. And then I put my hands on my hips and announced, “I am a teacher!” – like that was going to make them all stop. And the guy who was smashing the other guy’s head into the pavement sort of paused, and looked up at me for a minute, and then went back to doing what he was doing. Pretty soon the police came out and took care of it all.

But… I didn’t know my son had appreciated me doing that, or had admired it. He’d been watching me from a distance with his friends and their parents – he was only nine or so at the time – and I always kind of wondered what he’d thought about it all. Had he thought I was crazy stupid to get in there and try to break that fight up (which I probably was, in retrospect)? Had he been embarrassed by me?

And last weekend he told me I had made him proud that night.

Isn’t that cool?

Historian Heather Cox Richardson on Trump’s Muslim Ban: “It’s a Shock Event”

Insightful post by Heather Richardson…

the way of improvement leads home

bannonHeather Cox Richardson of Boston College is one of my favorite historians.  I highly recommend her most recent book To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party

Today Richardson gave me permission to publish a piece she recently posted to her Facebook page.

Richardson is probably right in assuming that Steve Bannon is behind Trump’s recent Executive Order on Muslim refugees.  She describes what Bannon is doing as a “shock event.” This is an attempt to throw the country into confusion and chaos so that the administration can present itself as the only entity capable of restoring order.

Richardson explains:

What Bannon is doing, most dramatically with last night’s ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries– is creating what is known as a “shock event.” Such an event is unexpected and confusing and throws a society into chaos. People scramble to react to the event, usually…

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To My Superhero Friends

My dear Humoristian hooligan heroes,

I am inspired by you. Your humor, your courage, you ability to “lol” in the face of threats and intimidation, your willingness to stand up to bullies and bigots without a second’s thought – you are the stuff of Superhero legend. Maybe your arms can’t stretch like rubber, and you can’t burn through metal with your steely gaze – but you’ve got better gifts than those – unstoppable courage, irrepressible joy, pugnacious good humor, and hearts full of love for humanity. Bless you, dear friends. I’m so glad to know each and every precious one of you.

Let’s go out there and save the world!  
Karen

Is this appropriate?

My study of Christian Science has informed every aspect of who I am – it’s had an influence on my family relationships, friendships, career, art, adventures, and politics. I can’t separate Christian Science from any part of me – I can’t compartmentalize it into some box called “religion” and only bring it out on Sundays and occasional holidays, and those times when I might be in need of healing..

When I share my blog posts, I am only speaking for myself and my own experience with Christian Science – I am not speaking for any other Christian Scientists. Christian Scientists are not a monolithic group. We don’t all think, feel, and believe the exactly same way about things. We don’t all share the same political views. Some Christian Scientists identify as Democrats, and some as Republicans, and some as something else altogether. And I think that’s awesome.

In the past year a lot of my posts have been political in nature. Again, I’m only expressing my own views – as this particular Christian Scientist. I am living Christian Science as I feel God is directing me to live it – and I make no apologies for this, nor do I expect any other Christian Scientist to live their lives as I feel God is directing me to live mine. We are individual expressions of Love, each fulfilling our own “niche in time and eternity” (Mary Baker Eddy) and I believe we need to allow each other to have these life experiences and expressions without condemnation or judgment. Where God is leading you is none of my business. Where God is leading me is none of your business.

I will never use my blog to tell anyone how to vote. I will never use my blog to try to convince everyone to be Democrats, or Republicans, or any other political party. I will, however, use my blog to address issues that I feel need to be addressed.

Thank you for taking the time to read my posts, and to being open to what I have to share. It takes epic kindness and generosity to listen to others, and try to understand their perspective, and I thank you for that!

(This blog post is in response to a comment from a reader: “I don’t think your comments are appropriate under the heading of Christian Science writings!”)

God loves

 

 

Let’s put this another way…

Okay, let’s put this another way: How much chance do you give the fox in the chicken coop? A week? Two years? Four? Do you let it take over the coop, hoping that it will somehow turn into another animal maybe? Maybe it’ll become a hummingbird or something? Just give it another month and it will become a gold finch?

Is the fox suddenly going to become this really cool upstanding dude who believes in climate change, wants to help protect the environment, wants to allow the press to do its job unhampered, wants to support public education and not privatize it, wants to protect peoples’ health care and give everyone access to the care they need to live, going to help people retire in dignity, going to get off Twitter and actually try to serve the people who elected him…?

 

Something Bigger than Personalities

Whoah. I was just thinking about a conversation I’d had with a friend – we’d been talking about the marches we were both in last Saturday – mostly how epic and inspiring it was to be part of that – but we also got into a debate about the hate signs and hate speech that some people brought with them to the marches. My friend felt one way about that, and I felt another. And as I was thinking about that conversation this morning I had a kind of epiphany for myself – and I know this is something that a lot of you probably realized long ago – but, for me, it was, like, whoah. Here’s what came to me: I’m against hate – whichever direction it comes from, whether it’s from the left, right, or upside down; I’m against hate and mean-spiritedness.

And the corollary – I’m FOR loving kindness. No matter which direction it comes from – left, right, or in-between.

When I brought my “Love rules!” sign into the march it wasn’t to show support for everyone who voted against Donald Trump – in my mind, the marches were about something bigger than personalities. In my mind, this wasn’t an “us” versus “them” kind of thing. When I joined the march it was to stand in solidarity with folks who are working and praying for justice and equality for ALL people – not just people who voted against Donald Trump.

Not sure I explained this at all well. But when have I ever let that stop me from posting stuff? 🙂

“Human hate has no legitimate mandate and no kingdom. Love is enthroned.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Your influence for good depends upon the weight you throw into the right scale. The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

good you do and embody

“The dam bursts…”

“You always had the power, my dear.” – Glinda the Good Witch

My friend, Randy, has given me permission to share his poem. It perfectly captures what I felt yesterday at the Bellingham Women’s March:

The hard and steady tread of feet
on the sidewalk, in the street,
always forward, no retreat,
The dam bursts,
its flood o’ertakes,
leaving miracles in its wake…
– Randy Kercher

I arrived at the Bellingham Women’s March a little earlier than most people. I’d gone by myself and wasn’t sure I’d be able to find anybody I knew there – but no sooner had I parked than a couple of retired teachers from my old school district walked past my car. We all grinned when we saw each other and gave each other hugs, and walked together to the city courthouse, where the march would start. I ended up running into a lot familiar faces there – former students; teaching colleagues; neighbors – some of my all-time favorite people…

I met some wonderful new friends there, too, and saw some great signs…

I stood near the front of the crowd when I first arrived. There weren’t a lot of people then. About a half hour later I started working my way towards the back to get a group photo – and I went back and back and back and still didn’t come to the end. By the time we started on the march they’d had to make the walk longer to accommodate all the people – we were looping ourselves – the people in front were finishing their march and there were still people in the back who hadn’t even started, yet. The estimates are 6,000 people – and that was just in Bellingham!

I so appreciated the police officers who were at the march. They were friendly and smiling and supportive. At the end of the march, I said to one of the officers, “We did good today, didn’t we?” And he smiled back and said, “Yes, you did!”

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

It was awesome to be in the midst of thousands of people all working together for a better world. There was an amazing power in that. I left the march feeling grateful and hopeful for humanity.

Mary Baker Eddy: A Voice for Progress

In preparing for the Women’s March today,  I’ve found myself drawn to the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science church. Her words are as timely today as they were when she first began her exploration of Christian Science 150 years ago. She talks of women’s rights, oppression, social injustice, and the need to protect freedom of speech, and freedom of the press. She writes that “Progress is the law of God…” and writes, “… there is never a retrograde step, never a return to positions outgrown.” Her words bring me hope and help prepare my heart for the journey that lies ahead for us – not just today, but in the coming months. 

Here are some of the thoughts from Mary Baker Eddy that have inspired me this morning:

“The conclusion cannot now be pushed, that women have no rights that man is bound to respect. This is woman’s hour, in all the good tendencies, charities, and reforms of to-day.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings, p 245[

“Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, p 393

“The weapons of bigotry, ignorance, envy, fall before an honest heart.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, p 464

“The inaudible voice of Truth is, to the human mind, ‘as when a lion roareth.’ It is heard in the desert and in dark places of fear.” – Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, p 559

“It requires courage to utter truth; for the higher Truth lifts her voice, the louder will error scream, until its inarticulate sound is forever silenced in oblivion.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, p 97

“Love for mankind is the elevator of the human race; it demonstrates Truth and reflects divine Love…” –
Mary Baker Eddy

“Covering iniquity will prevent prosperity and the ultimate triumph of any cause.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, p 446

“Bloodshed, war, and oppression belong to the darker ages, and shall be relegated to oblivion.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“To my sense, the most imminent dangers confronting the coming century are: the robbing of people of life and liberty under the warrant of the Scriptures; the claims of politics and of human power, industrial slavery, and insufficient freedom of honest competition; ritual, creed, and trusts in place of the Golden Rule, ‘Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.'”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“It is the pulpit and press, clerical robes and the prohibiting of free speech, that cradles and covers the sins of the world, – all unmitigated systems of crime; and it requires the enlightenment of these worthies, through civil and religious reform, to blot out all inhuman codes. It was the Southern pulpit and press that influenced the people to wrench from man both human and divine rights, in order to subserve the interests of wealth, religious caste, civil and political power.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“When the press is gagged, liberty is besieged; but when the press assumes the liberty to lie, it discounts clemency, mocks morality, outrages humanity, breaks common law, gives impulse to violence, envy, and hate, and prolongs the reign of inordinate, unprincipled clans. At this period, 1888, those quill-drivers whose consciences are in their pockets hold high carnival. When news-dealers shout for class legislation, and decapitated reputations, headless trunks, and quivering hearts are held up before the rabble in exchange for money, place, and power, the vox populi is suffocated, individual rights are trodden under foot, and the car of the modern Inquisition rolls along the streets besmeared with blood.” – Mary Baker Eddy

“Error giveth no light, and it closes the door on itself.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“The time for thinkers has come. Truth, independent of doctrines and time-honored systems, knocks at the portal of humanity. Contentment with the past and the cold conventionality of materialism are crumbling away.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, p vi

“Who is telling mankind of the foe in ambush? Is the informer one who sees the foe? If so, listen and be wise. Escape from evil, and designate those as unfaithful stewards who have seen the danger and yet have given no warning.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, p 571

“If you launch your bark upon the ever-agitated but healthful waters of truth, you will encounter storms. Your good will be evil spoken of. This is the cross. Take it up and bear it, for through it you win and wear the crown.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, p 254

“It is a wise saying that ‘men are known by their enemies.’ To sympathize in any degree with error, is not to rectify it; but error always strives to unite, in a definition of purpose, with Truth, to give it buoyancy. What is under the mask, but error in borrowed plumes?”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Divine Love is our hope, strength, and shield. We have nothing to fear when Love is at the helm of thought, but everything to enjoy on earth and in heaven.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Peals that should startle the slumbering thought from its erroneous dreams are partially unheeded; but the last trump has not sounded, or this would not be so. Marvels, calamities, and sin will much more abound as truth urges upon mortals its resisted claims; but the awful daring of sin destroys sin, and foreshadows the triumph of truth.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, p 223

“Philanthropy is loving, ameliorative, revolutionary; it wakens lofty desires, new possibilities, achievements, and energies; it lays the axe at the root of the tree that bringeth not forth good fruit; it touches thought to spiritual issues, systematizes action, and insures success; it starts the wheels of right reason, revelation, justice, and mercy; it unselfs men and pushes on the ages. Love unfolds marvellous good and uncovers hidden evil. The philanthropist or reformer gives little thought to self-defence; his life’s incentive and sacrifice need no apology. The good done and the good to do are his ever-present reward.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Casting out evil and fear enables truth to outweigh error. The only course is to take antagonist grounds against all that is opposed to the health, holiness, and harmony of man. God’s image.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Truth and Love prevail against the dragon because the dragon cannot war with them.” – Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, p 567

“Success in sin is downright defeat. Hatred bites the heel of love that is treading on its head….Conflict and persecution are the truest signs that can be given of the greatness of a cause or of an individual, provided this warfare is honest and a world-imposed struggle. Such conflict never ends till unconquerable right is begun anew, and hath gained fresh energy and final victory….Certain elements in human nature would undermine the civic, social, and religious rights and laws of nations and peoples, striking at liberty, human rights, and self-government — and this, too, in the name of God, justice, and humanity! …History shows that error repeats itself until it is exterminated.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“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.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Follow that which is good… Peace is the promise and reward of rightness. Governments have no right to engraft into civilization the burlesque of uncivil economics. War is in itself an evil, barbarous, devilish. Victory in error is defeat in Truth. War is not in the domain of good; war weakens power and must finally fall, perced by it own sword… Whatever brings into human thought or action an element opposed to Love, is never requisite, never a necessity, and is not sanctioned by… the law of Love.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“So secret are the present methods of animal magnetism that they ensnare the age into indolence, and produce the very apathy on the subject which the criminal desires.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, p 102

“Love fulfills the law of Christian Science…”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, p 572

“What has an individual gained by losing his own self- respect? or what has he lost when, retaining his own, he loses the homage of fools, or the pretentious praise of hypocrites, false to themselves as to others?”

– Mary Baker Eddy

“Ignorance, pride, or prejudice closes the door to whatever is not stereotyped.” 

– Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, p 144

“Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you. The cement of a higher humanity will unite all interests in the one divinity.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, p 571

“Innocence and Truth overcome guilt and error.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, p 568

“In Christian Science there is never a retrograde step, never a return to positions outgrown.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, p 74

“Progress is the law of God…”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, p 233

 
 
womans-hour
 
 
 
 

The Sleeping Giant Awakes

My dear Humoristian hooligans,

Fear not! No one can take our joy from us! And now is our chance to prove it. Let us march forth into battle against greed, hate, me-firstness, indifference, ignorance, arrogance, fear, pride, pomposity, spite, smugness, stodginess, complacency, and bossybritches bullying and bigotry, with rainbow flags flying and really cool pussy hats affixed to our heads, A “sleeping giant” has awakened and it is filled with a “terrible resolve” (Isoroku Yamamoto). Ooh baby. The world ain’t seen nothing, yet. 🙂

Yea and verily, let’s go out there and make the world a better place than it was yesterday.

xoxoxo
Karen

my-joy