The RBG Rap

Her name was Ruth
and she stood for Truth
She worked for justice –
the rights of all of us
She was fearless, peerless
a woman of honor
no one on earth
could ever con her

When I grow up I want to be
just like the mighty RBG
– Karen Molenaar Terrell


Unstoppable Truth

You can try to censor Truth –
but you can’t make It go away
you can try to destroy It –
try to stop what people say
try to stop teachers from
teaching and journalists
from revealing what they find,
but trying to stop Truth is like
trying to stop the sun’s shine –
It’ll light the darkest cave;
bounce off the moon onto
the night’s ocean wave;
cross political borders and lines;
fill our hearts and make us brave.
You can’t corrupt It, change It,
or take away Truth’s power.
It stands solid – a rock,
a beacon on a tower.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

“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

Do Not Assume

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 am voting for you-know-who.

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

15th Anniversary of Book Publication

Tomorrow is the 15th anniversary of the publication of Blessings. Whoah. Times flies when you’re having fun… 🙂
(It has 33 reviews and 4.7 stars now! Whoo hoot!)
Here’s the introduction:

“Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it.”
-From Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy

***

Years ago an old boyfriend said to me, “I can’t see that Christian Science has made you any better than anyone else.”

“I know!” I said, nodding my head in complete and happy agreement, “But can you imagine what I’d be like without it?!”

He raised his eyebrows and laughed. What could he say? He was looking at a self-centered, moralistic, stubborn idealist who saw everything in terms of black and white. But I could have been worse. I believe without Christian Science I would have been worse.

Let’s get one thing clear from the start: I am not the best example of a Christian Scientist. I’m not as disciplined as I could be. I have fears and worries and doubts. I’m a little neurotic. I am the Lucy Ricardo of Christian Scientists.

I should probably put in a disclaimer here, too—the views expressed in these pages are not necessarily the views shared by other Christian Scientists. Christian Scientists are really a pretty diverse group of people—there are Democrat Christian Scientists and Republican Christian Scientists, “Green,” and “Red,” and “Blue” Christian Scientists, and Christian Scientists with no political affiliations at all. Frankly, I like that about us. We keep each other on our toes.

I should also tell you that this book is not an authorized piece of Christian Science literature. If you want to actually study Christian Science you should probably read the textbook for this way of life, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

My purpose for writing this epistle is really two-fold (I don’t think I’ve ever used the word “two-fold” in my life, and using it now is making me feel sort of professorial. I like the feeling.):

First-foldly, to introduce you to one Christian Scientist so that if you ever hear someone talking fearfully and ignorantly (feargnorantly?) about Christian Scientists you’ll be in a position to say, “I have a friend who’s a Christian Scientist, and, although it’s true she’s a bit of a nut, she’s also…” and you can go on and talk about how your friend has used her study of Christian Science to try to make the world a happier place.

Second-foldly, I feel the need to acknowledge God’s blessings in my life. I don’t want to be like those nine lepers in the Bible who couldn’t take the time to thank Jesus for healing them. I want to be like that one leper who “fell down on his face at his feet” before Jesus and gave him thanks (Luke 17). Through my study of Christian Science I’ve witnessed some incredible proofs of our Father-Mother God’s love for Her creation in my life. God has filled my life with infinite blessings and it’s time for me to acknowledge these blessings to others.

GunsandGod

Why do folks put guns and God – “gunsandGod” – together in the same breath like they’re somehow connected – somehow equivalent? It makes no sense to me.

Ed Mazza wrote a story in “The Huffington Post” that talked about our president’s attack on his political rival, Joe Biden – an attack that appeared to include the “guns” and “God” equivalency. Mazza relates: “Although Biden is a practicing Catholic who has for years talked openly about his faith, Trump claimed he was ‘against God,’ then launched into a rambling attack on Thursday: ‘Take away your guns, destroy your Second Amendment. No religion, no anything. Hurt the Bible. Hurt God. He’s against God. He’s against guns. He’s against energy. Our kind of energy.’

Mazza continues: “Biden later defended his faith as the ‘bedrock foundation’ of his life.’It’s provided me comfort in moments of loss and tragedy, it’s kept me grounded and humbled in times of triumph and joy,’ he said. He described Trump as ‘shameful’ for the attack. He added: ‘My faith teaches me to love my neighbor as I would myself while President Trump only seeks to divide us. My faith teaches me to care for the least among us while President Trump seems to only be concerned about his gilded friends. My faith teaches me to welcome the stranger while President Trump tears families apart. My faith teaches me to walk humbly while President Trump teargassed peaceful protesters so he could walk over to a church for a photo op’.”

Guns and God. Turnips and God makes as much sense to me. If you love God, you must love turnips, too, right? Or… if you don’t love turnips, you must not love God? Or… if you love turnips you must love guns…and God…? Eesh. Maybe it’s all too deep for me to understand.

Anyway. Here’s some of what The Bible actually says about weapons:
“Wisdom is better than weapons of war.”
– Ecclesiastes 9:18

“They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.”
-Isaiah 2:4

“Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place:for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”
– Matthew 6:25

And here’s what Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, has to say about “the cannon’s mouth”:
“A few immortal sentences, breathing the omnipotence of divine justice, have been potent to break despotic fetters and abolish the whipping post and slave market; but oppression neither went down in blood, nor did the breath of freedom come from the cannon’s mouth. Love is the liberator.”

-Karen Molenaar Terrell

(Photo of cannons at Antietam by Karen Molenaar Terrell.)

 

Talking Politics Isn’t a “Bad” Thing

A friend said something in a comment that got me to thinking. (And that’s a good thing, right?) She said that she didn’t know a conversation she had participated in was going to “devolve into politics.” I understand where she was coming from with that – I know not everyone is comfortable discussing politics. But I’d like offer a different perspective.

The implication in my friend’s comment was that discussing politics is a bad thing – maybe an uncivil thing? When something “devolves” it “degenerates” – “deteriorates, declines, sinks, slips, slides, worsens” (Google definition).

And I think it’s a real tragedy that participating in a discussion about political issues and concerns – sharing our thoughts about things that matter to us, our community, our world – is considered a bad thing. I learn so much from these dialogues! If we live in a vacuum – separated from the thoughts and perspectives of others – how are we ever going to be able to know the problems and challenges our fellow earth-travelers are experiencing? How are we going to be able to reach out and help each other? How are we going to learn from each other and understand each other?

I know these kinds of discussions aren’t enjoyable for everyone. And that’s okay. I don’t think anyone should be FORCED into sharing their beliefs. But I also don’t think people should be made to feel they’ve somehow done something wrong by sharing their thoughts about stuff. I’m not going to apologize for wanting to talk about things that matter to me. The freedom we have to share our ideas and beliefs with each other is a part of what made America a place my grandparents wanted to immigrate to.

Dangling “to” – and I ain’t apologizing for that, either. 🙂
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

I Am Tired, My Friend

Message to a friend –
Plato told us to “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” I know some of the battles my friends on here have been through that you know nothing about. I’ve been through my own battles that I don’t feel comfortable sharing on a public thread. I’m going to assume YOU are going through your own battles, too – probably dealing with stuff that I know nothing about – and that is what is giving me some restraint here. I am busy enough dealing with my own flaws and foibles and don’t have time to spend working on someone else’s.

But some of the things you’ve said on my threads have, frankly, horrified me – you seem to think it’s alright for federally-funded storm troopers – people my tax dollars have employed! – to round up innocent protesters, beat them, and detain them unlawfully – and that is… I can’t even wrap my head around it. You have implied American citizens should stop using their constitutional rights because federal thugs have become violent towards them. And no – what should happen there is that the federal thugs should be the ones removed from the streets – not the protesters. In my mind, you have it backasswards – the thugs shouldn’t be in control; the law-abiding citizens should.

I am tired, my friend. Worn down by the insanity. After reading your comments and other comments by other friends on other threads, I am losing hope for my country. The last three years have exposed to me things about the people I consider “friends” that… I am, frankly, shocked and disheartened by the callous disregard for other people; the hate-mongering and fear-mongering; and the fact that some of my friends are okay with storm troopers in our streets, bullying my fellow citizens.

What has happened to common decency? To caring for one another? To reaching out a hand to those in need of support? To standing up together against bullies and bigots and thugs? What has happened to the Golden Rule?
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Our Prayer for the World

Let’s do a prayer for the world together. I’ll start, and then you all can add on with your own prayerful thoughts. Let’s keep this non-political. Let’s keep this kind. You don’t have to belong to any particular religion – or any religion at all – to participate. This is just going to be about embracing the entire world in a big ol’ loving hug. ❤

Here we go –
I feel the presence and power of Love enveloping each and every one of us – protecting us, guiding us, sheltering us, providing refuge and sanctuary, giving us direction. I feel Love filling the universe with light – there isn’t the teensiest tiniest nano space that isn’t touched by Love. No one is out of the reach of Love. No one is out of the reach of Truth. No one is out of the reach of harmony and peace, kindness and honesty. NOTHING can separate us from Love – not fear or anger or hate or confusion or ignorance or guilt. We are RIGHT THIS MOMENT where we need to be, doing what we need to be doing, supplied with everything we need. We are worthy. We are deserving of good. Every moment we are new. We are meant to be here.

Okay, your turn… 🙂

The Need to Share What Matters

Four years ago, during the last election season, strangers would suddenly appear and comment on my public Facebook posts and they would say things with weird phrasing and syntax – stuff like “you are a big banana butt” and “you are a person brainless” – and sometimes their names were spelled with characters that are not used in the English language (μονοσε πουλι). These strangers would tell me to fu#& off and wished harm to me and my friends. It was an odd and interesting time.

I blocked those people (to block the names with weird characters I had to do a copy and paste – my keyboard doesn’t include weird characters on it) and learned from that experience to disallow commenting on my public posts from people who aren’t my friends.

I’m pretty sure now – looking back – that these strangers were not fellow citizens of my country. (Duh, right?) I’m not even sure that they were actually human beings.

I don’t want my posts to be divisive – that is not my intent. I don’t want to see my friends ganging up on each other and calling each other names. I don’t want to promote hate. I don’t want to let myself or my posts be manipulated or used to create havoc and confusion.

But.

I also have a real need to share things that matter to me; to share things that are important to me; to share the things that give me hope, and the things that feel like a punch in the gut, too; and to share things that might help us learn from each other.

I am struggling with how to proceed on Facebook. Honestly, sometimes the hate and mean-ness I encounter there is so overwhelming that I feel the need to leave. And sometimes I just get bored with myself – yada yada blah blah blah – and realize I have nothing more to add.

Anyway. We’ll see how it goes…
– Karen Molenaar Terrell