Disturbing the Waters

Yes, our country needs to unite – but not behind the KKK, the Nazis, or anyone who uses hate groups as a tool.

And yes, Love is the answer. But Love shouldn’t be confused with that fear-based thing where we stop ourselves from doing and saying what we know needs to be done and said because we’re afraid of “making waves” or we’re afraid of confrontation. Sometimes evil needs to be confronted and called out. We need to love. We don’t need to appease. We don’t need to placate, mollify, or pacify. If someone’s feelings are hurt because we happen to disagree with them – that shouldn’t stop us from saying and doing what we know is right. We shouldn’t let ourselves be controlled by others like that. That’s not Love. That’s being a scaredy cat.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

“Neither sympathy nor society should ever tempt us to cherish error in any form, and certainly we should not be error’s advocate…Attempts to conciliate society and so gain dominion over mankind, arise from worldly weakness….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?”
– Mary Baker Eddy

(Originally published in August 2017.)

Confronting Evil

I can’t tell you the number of times, in the last decade, that I’ve been told to not talk about things that matter, to shut up, to stop commenting and posting (on my own wall and in my own groups!). That I’ve been expected to tip-toe around evil and ignore it like it’s not there. That I’ve been told the way to keep harmony and peace is to ignore disharmony and hate. I’m not going to even pretend to play that game anymore. The violent insurrection of January 6th, and the hatred, extremism, and “Big Lie” that led up to it, are evil. Racism is evil. Sexism is evil. Bigotry is evil. Greed and dishonesty and corruption are evil. And to pretend otherwise is evil.

We aren’t going to heal our world until we recognize the evil, strip off its mask, and expose it for what it is.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

“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.”…“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?”…“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.”
-Mary Baker Eddy
, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

 “Many are willing to open the eyes of the people to the power of good resident in divine Mind, but they are not so willing to point out the evil in human thought, and expose evil’s hidden mental ways of accomplishing iniquity. Why this backwardness, since exposure is necessary to ensure the avoidance of evil? Because people like you better when you tell them their virtues than when you tell them their vices.”
-Mary Baker Eddy, Pulpit and Press, p. 15

It Feels Good to Be an American Again

In the week after our midterm elections, I turned on the television to watch my beloved Seahawks football team play the Buccaneers in Munich, Germany. At the beginning of the game, members of the armed services unfurled a huge American flag and held it above the field, making it ripple in waves. And then a Black servicewoman stepped up to the microphone and sang our national anthem. I found myself singing along with her: “…o’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave…” and, for the first time in a long time, I felt the truth of those words. My country has been through a lot in the last six years – the biggest trauma being the day of the violent insurrection on January 6th, 2021. But this week it feels, for me, like my country is finally rising from the ashes of that horrible day.

Later in the game, when the German members of the crowd in the stadium joined voices to sing John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” tears filled my eyes.

It feels good to be an American again.

(The photo below is of Sean and his daughter, Imani, taken by me at a local 2013 Fourth of July footrace – it just feels like it belongs here.)

They Can’t Buy Us Anymore

They can’t buy us anymore.

It was that anti-Patty Murray ad that Our American Century paid for – that ad snarkily mocking Sen. Patty Murray for voting to support LGBTQ+ rights and student loan forgiveness; criticizing her for supporting teaching the history of the Holocaust and slavery; and for denouncing white supremacy in the military – that made me realize how out-of-touch gazaillionaire conservatives are with the rest of us. After seeing that ad I realized that the people who paid for that ad either A) assume that everyone else sees the world the way they do, or B) assume that most American citizens are ignorant and uninformed racist/misogynistic/homophobic/me-firsters and, cynically, play to that group.

There seems to be this assumption made by the people who paid for that ad that we are all naturally inclined to be greedy, fearful, uncaring, and to think only of ourselves. But I don’t think they’re right. I think most people are drawn to what’s true and honest and fair. I think most people want to help others and I think it’s natural for people to be kind.

As Mary Baker Eddy writes in the textbook for Christian Science, Science and Health: “There is but one real attraction, that of Spirit. The pointing of the needle to the pole symbolizes this all-embracing power or the attraction of God, divine Mind.”

I see progress in my country towards equity and fairness. I have hope for America and Americans.

This Ad Makes Me Want to Applaud Patty Murray

This political ad is meant to be anti-Patty Murray, but, frankly, it just makes me want to applaud her. Student loan forgiveness? Awesome! Equality for gays? Fantastic! Believes that we should teach about the inhumanity of slavery in this country? Great!

Re student loan forgiveness: When I was at WSU (1974-1978) my tuition/room and board/fees amounted to under $3000 a year. Today tuition/room and board/fees amounts to over $25000 a year! (Here’s the link.) That’s more than eight times what it cost 45 years ago. And we all know that income did not octuple in the last 45 years.

Re gay rights: Why in the heck would we want ANYone to be denied equal rights with everyone else just because of their race, religion or non-religion, sexual orientation, gender, or ethnicity?! I can’t fathom how anyone could possibly be opposed to equality. Giving someone equal rights doesn’t mean losing your own rights. Equality is infinite and you can’t run out of it.

Re Critical Race Theory: Slavery happened in this country. It’ a part of our history. Blacks were bought and sold and treated as property. We need to be aware of this – and feel the pain and inhumanity of it – to ensure that this doesn’t ever again happen in our country. As Churchill said, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

Re focusing on white supremacy in the military: Duh. There shouldn’t be white supremacists representing our country in the military! The purpose of our military is to protect our democracy and ensure our nation’s security, to defend the US and its interests – and the United States includes ALL of our citizens – no matter the color of their skin – black, white, brown, pink, orange, green, and polka-dotted.

Re hiring more IRS workers: Our IRS has been understaffed and the workers have been over-worked for years. The people who work for the IRS aren’t out to get honest, hard-working people. In fact, the IRS has refunded money to several friends and family members who overpaid their taxes last year. I’m glad more workers are being hired to help those of us who are honest tax-paying citizens.

Re helping new immigrants become citizens: Unless we’re a member of the Indigenous peoples we’re ALL either immigrants or descended from immigrants. Our ancestors all came here to find better lives for their families – they came to escape persecution, poverty, injustice, wars – why would any of us who are descended from immigrants ourselves want to deny others the same opportunities we’ve had? I’ve had students who came to this country as babies – they have no memory of their birth countries – the US is the only home they remember – why, on earth, would we want to deport these young people back to a country that’s completely foreign to them?

Click this link to see the political ad.

“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