“Those Right-Wing Christians Like Christian Scientists Who Don’t Take Their Children to Doctors…”

In response to the woman who recently referred to Christian Scientists as right wingers who don’t take their children to doctors:

I was raised in Christian Science. My mom took me to doctors, dentists AND optometrists. This was no big deaI. My mom never expressed any concern about God being mad at her, or her church excommunicating her, or losing her CS friends over this. She just did what she felt she needed to do to for her children to keep them safe. I raised my own sons in Christian Science and didn’t hesitate to take them to doctors, dentists, and optometrists, either, when I felt the need. Again, no big deal.

Happily, the need didn’t arise very much, though. I learned, as a youngster, the healing power in knowing God as Love, and learned early in my life how to apply the power of Love to meet the challenges in my life (physical, mental, emotional, financial, professional, social, and etc.). Among the healings I’ve, personally, experienced: bronchitis; a puffed-up hand (blood tests my doctor took indicated rheumatoid arthritis – but the hand deflated to normal size in a couple days and I never needed to start medication or see a specialist); sprained ankles; what my optometrist saw as a melanoma on my eyelid; and a massive mental depression.

As for the “right-wing” part: I have voted for a Democrat for president every year since 1984 (well, except for that one year when I voted for Ralph Nader because I knew William Clinton didn’t need my vote to win, and I really liked Ralph Nader). I was a delegate for Obama to the state convention in 2012. I do not think I could be referred to as a “right winger.”

I’ve learned it’s best not to stereotype whole groups of people and try to stick them under a monolithic label.

Please do not tell me what I believe, feel, and think.
– Do not assume because I am a progressive and tend to vote for Democrats that I don’t believe in God, “hate the Bible,” and want to kill babies and take away your guns.
– Do not assume because I believe in God that I am anti-science, believe the earth is flat and the world was, literally, created in seven days.
– Do not assume that because I’m white, middle-aged and named “Karen” I am racist and want to talk to your manager.
– Do not assume that because I identify as a “Christian” I am conservative, opposed to LGBTQ rights, opposed to women’s rights, travel heavily armed, and voted for Trump.
– Do not assume that because I’m a Christian Scientist, I “don’t like doctors.” Some of my favorite people are doctors: my niece is an anesthesiologist; my brother-in-law is an anesthesiologist; my sister-in-law is an RN; and my nephew is an osteopathic doctor. I love them all. They are good people and I know they work very hard to give their patients the best care possible.

I think if we see others in terms of stereotypes we miss out on some beautiful friendships and kinship with our fellow humans.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Cory Booker and I at the 2012 state Democratic Convention.

Beyond My Fathoming

People who think their opinions/feelings/beliefs/thoughts are the only ones that matter and have no concern for the suffering and challenges of others; people who willfully believe every lie and conspiracy theory that comes through their feed just because it bolsters their own nonsense; people who would violently try to throw aside 81 millions votes because those votes didn’t go for the candidate THEY wanted; people who claim to be “pro life” and yet believe in the death penalty and think it’s perfectly fine for people to openly carry military-style weapons slung over their shoulders as they walk through a supermarket; people who care more for an insentient one-celled zygote than they do for a 10-year-old girl who’s been raped and become pregnant by her step-father; people who force a woman to carry a pregnancy through to labor, even though her life is endangered, and then want to offer no safety net of health care, food, and home for the baby once it’s arrived, but leave the mother and child to fend for themselves – these people are beyond my fathoming.

Let’s Stay to the End

You know what?
I can’t promise things will get better.
I can’t promise that people will care.
I can’t promise that things will be easy.
I can’t promise here will be better there.
I can’t promise we won’t ever go backwards.
I can’t promise we won’t lose what we’ve gained.
I can’t promise our country will heal.
I can’t promise that there won’t be pain.
But if we leave this story in the middle
we won’t know how this story ends.
If we leave this story right now
we can’t be part of helping it mend.

Let’s stay to the end.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

What Does Politics Have to Do with Christian Science?

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.

Forcing Their Will on Us

There are two men sitting on the Supreme Court who have been accused of sexual misconduct towards women. Those same men were among those who voted to end the right for a woman to have control over her own body. It feels, to me, like what those two men were accused of doing to individual women, they are now doing to an entire collective nation of women – forcing their will on us. And it seems to me they are among the LAST people who should have been given that kind of power over others.

I Found Hope Yesterday

I was feeling discouraged this morning. No, “discouraged” is an understatement for what I was feeling – what I was feeling was something beyond that. As I was posting on FB, my friend, Kathy, commented that she could use a hug and said she’d be working to register voters at the Mount Vernon YMCA. Coincidentally, I needed a hug, too. I also needed to get some groceries. So I got in Rosalita Ipswich O’Molenovich and drove, first, to the supermarket, and then to the YMCA.

When I got to the supermarket, I saw a man standing on a corner with a sign indicating he was in need. And the thought that came to me was, “I maybe don’t want to be on this planet right now, but maybe I can do some good while I AM here.” So I parked and walked over to the man and asked if I could get him something in the supermarket. He said he was really hungry, so I asked him if I could get him a sandwich, and he said yes. I bought my groceries – including TWO quarts of Paul Newman virgin lemonade – and then picked up a sandwich for the gentleman on the corner.

When I brought him his sandwich, I realized he was probably pretty thirsty, too – it’s hot here today – and I realized the second quart of lemonade was for him. He smiled and thanked me and took the sandwich and lemonade from me.

I was already feeling much better.

After the supermarket, I drove down to find Kathy at the YMCA to exchange a hug, and met a whole lot of other really cool people, too. There was young Roran with his rainbow drawings, a woman who helps victims of domestic violence, a couple people who work with Planned Parenthood, and folks from PFLAG of Skagit County. And meeting these people – brave and compassionate and caring people – has given me back my hope.

It’s Too Big for Words

I know.
I can’t find the words.
It’s too big for words.
So much seems too big
for words these days.

It’s hard to wrap my head around
the fact that we live in a country
where we are all at the mercy
of other people’s religious beliefs.

Just know you’re not alone.
You have a world of mothers,
and fathers, aunts and uncles,
and sisters and brothers
standing right there with you.

-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Why Watch This?

Why watch this? That’s a fair question. It’s caused some self-reflection here, and that’s always a good thing, I think.

Why did I watch?

-I still feel traumatized by what I saw on television on January 6th. I saw heroes in capital police uniforms holding the line at risk to their lives to keep our democracy alive. I saw a Republican vice president and the Republican senate majority leader make the choice to stand by their oaths of office and finish the job of counting the electoral votes right after their lives and the lives of other other legislators had been in peril. I saw bullies and thugs trying to force what THEY wanted on the rest of us (the majority of whom elected Biden president in a legal election). I saw bullies and thugs chanting to “hang Pence” and threatening the lives of public servants who were just trying to do their jobs.

– I wanted to see the heroes publicly acknowledged.

– I wanted to see the bullies and thugs publicly exposed for what they are.

– I wanted to see the liars and cheats publicly confronted with their lies and cheating, and I wanted those who blindly believed in them to finally come to see they’d been misled.

– I wanted to see the insanity and terror of January 6th publicly addressed.

The United States should not be run like it’s some organized crime syndicate by a mob boss who expects his “underlings” to “find him 10,000 votes” – and is surprised when they don’t go along with his insanity.

It Is Time, My friends

My dear Humoristian hooligans –

It is time, my friends. It is time to blast the world with over-the-top joy. It is time to roll out our big cannons of jocularity and good will and rain humongo missiles of love and kindness upon the mental landscape. It is time to step up to the front and lock arms with one another and protect the battered, bullied and beleaguered with the unbreakable shield of Love and Truth. We are in control here. With Love leading the charge, we are not the beaten, but the unbeatable. May the bullies, bigots, and busybodies be transformed by your unbreakable courage. May the stodgy and stingy be transformed by your irrepressible good will to all.

The time for the kind-hearted has come!
Amen.
Karen

 “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. Evil is not power. It is a mockery of strength, which erelong betrays its weakness and falls, never to rise.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“At all times and under all circumstances, overcome evil with good.”
Mary Baker Eddy

Flower Doodle by Karen Molenaar Terrell