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.

Racial Reliance on Truth

(I thought it was time to bring this one up again. This was originally published on March 22, 2014.)

“The tender word and Christian encouragement of an invalid, pitiful patience with his fears and the removal of them, are better than hecatombs of gushing theories, stereotyped borrowed speeches, and the doling of arguments, which are but so many parodies on legitimate Christian Science, aflame with divine Love.
– Mary Baker Eddy

Recently a fellow Christian Scientist  made a comment on one of my blog posts that got me to thinking (which is always a good thing, right?) 

Don wrote: “Mrs. Eddy pushes us to have ‘radical reliance’ on God–an impossible order if one wishes to be ‘fat and happy’ in matter, too. Consequently, some individuals find ourselves taking a ‘halting and halfway position’ in our religion and at that point begin accepting all sorts of logic that veers away from true Christian Science. Loving our fellowman who has opposing views doesn’t mean ‘getting in bed with him.’ …Medicine is a mind-science. Christian Science is Mind (God) Science. There is a dramatic and opposite difference between the two, and we must be careful to keep both feet solidly grounded in that ‘Science’ which does bless us and the world–in spite of how illogical it seems to the materialist or to those of us who want to ‘play nice’ with the world. It all boils down to our responsibility, and it can’t be shirked forever by any one of us. We must take a stand for Truth (God) if we wish to grow out of mortality using the same conviction as is recorded in Psalms ‘Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” (Ps 20:7)’ “

Don’s post got me to thinking about just what “radical reliance on Truth” actually means. Is  “radical reliance on Truth”  simply a euphemism for “avoiding the use of traditional medical science”? Or does “radical reliance on Truth” mean something else entirely – something bigger, something more?

***

Only through radical reliance on Truth can scientific healing power be realized.
– Mary Baker Eddy

“If we would open their prison doors for the sick, we must first learn to bind up the broken-hearted. If we would heal by the Spirit, we must not hide the talent of spiritual healing under the napkin of its form, nor bury the morale of Christian Science in the grave-clothes of its letter.
– Mary Baker Eddy

I’m thinking that we need to be careful not to bury the talent of spiritual healing under the “napkin of its form.” Whatever means a person chooses to use for healing – whether it’s naturopathy, traditional medical science, Christian Science treatment, or something else – that’s the form, the means, the method. The morale, or essence, of spiritual healing is Love – Love is the power that heals and transforms us. The God I follow – Love, Truth, Life, Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit (synonyms Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, gave for “God”) – isn’t concerned with what kind of treatment we choose to use – Love is going to remain unchanging Love, and Truth is going to remain unchanging Truth, no matter what form or method we use for physical healing. Truth doesn’t have an opinion on which form of treatment is best for treating disease – because Truth doesn’t know anything about disease, to begin with. Truth knows only perfection. And Truth and Love are synonyms, so doesn’t “radical reliance on Truth” also mean “radical reliance on Love”?

***

“Material methods are temporary, and  are not adapted to elevate mankind.
– Mary Baker Eddy

If Christian Scientists ever fail to receive aid from other Scientists, – their brethren upon whom they may call, – God will still guide them into the right use of temporary and eternal means. Step by step will those who trust Him find that ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.’”  – Mary Baker Eddy

Christ, Truth, gives mortals temporary food and clothing until the material, transformed with the ideal, disappears, and man  is clothed and fed spiritually.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

Emerge gently from matter into Spirit. Think not to thwart the spiritual ultimate of all things, but come naturally into Spirit through better health and morals and as the result of spiritual growth.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

When I choose to use Christian Science for healing I know my thought is going to be “elevated” by the experience, I know I’m going to gain a greater understanding of God and of who I am as her child, and I know I will be transformed – not merely healed physically – but transformed.

I choose to turn to Christian Science for healing because it’s simple, natural, uncomplicated – it’s always available to me no matter where I am, or who I’m with, or what scrape I’ve gotten myself into “this time”. I choose to use my understanding of Christian Science to bring me healing because it has been proven to work for me.

My motives for choosing Christian Science treatment for healing have nothing to do with a fear of what other Christian Scientists are going to think of me, or because I’m concerned God’s going to be angry at me, or because I’m worried about being ex-communicated, or because I’m opposed to something else, or because I’m scared of medical science, or feeling angry, self-righteous, or smug. My motive for turning to Christian Science for healing isn’t because I feel the need to take a “stand for Truth” – Truth doesn’t need me to take a stand for it – it’s not in some battle it might lose – Truth was Truth yesterday, and will remain Truth tomorrow – and nothing I do is going to change that. Truth doesn’t need me to side with it to continue to be Truth. 

I use Christian Science because it’s natural for me to do so – it’s natural for me to draw my thoughts close to Love, to wrap myself up in the power of Truth, to free my thoughts to dance in the celebration of LIfe. And it’s natural for me to experience healing by doing so.

And THAT is radical. man! 

***

Students are advised by the author to be charitable and kind, not only towards differing forms of religion  and medicine, but to those who hold these differing opinions. Let us be faithful in pointing the way through Christ, as we understand it, but let us also be careful always to “judge righteous judgment,” and never to condemn rashly.
– Mary Baker Eddy

Love Has No Choice

Love has no choice but to love
Truth has no choice but to be true
Life has no choice but to live
I have no choice but to do
the will of my Creator
to express Love
reflect Truth
manifest Life
all we are comes from God
all we can be is what God made us to be –
happy, whole, healthy, and free
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

An alpine butterfly flits among the flowers on Table Mountain. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.

“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.