“Let us serve instead of rule…”

“Let us serve instead of rule, knock instead of push at the door of human hearts, and allow to each and every one the same rights and  privileges that we claim for ourselves.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings, p. 303.

From a Facebook dialogue –
Ray – I have great respect for all you sacrificed for our country and for that I will ‘like’ your comment regarding your sacrifice. Thank you for sharing your feelings about our flag and anthem. I understand your feelings, and believe you should have the right to stand for the anthem – just as I understand the feelings of those who choose not to stand for the anthem, and believe they should be allowed to practice their rights, also. God bless America. God bless our Constitution. God bless those who stand, and those who kneel. God bless the whole world – no exceptions.

Here’s where I am with it: How does it help anyone – how does it help our country – if we force other people to stand against their own conscience and pretend to feel and believe what we want them to feel and believe? If all these players who were kneeling now stand for the anthem because we force them to stand – how does this fix anything or make anything better? Would that really make you happy – knowing people were doing something against their own will and integrity? Are we really honoring veterans like my dad – who served in the South Pacific in WWII – by denying our citizens the freedoms they’re given in the Constitution of our country? No, I think we honor our veterans by using the freedoms they risked their lives to protect. And that includes using our First Amendment rights.
– Karen

“…you have the rights of conscience, as we all have, and must follow God in all your ways.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings, p 236.

God bless

“Unconstitutional and unjust coercive legislation and laws, infringing individual rights, must be ‘of few days, and full of trouble.'”
Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings, p. 80.

Advertisements

On Politics, Voting, and Separation of Church and State

“Do the unexpected. Take 20 minutes of your day to do what young people all over the world are dying to do: vote.” – Rick Mercer (Canadian Wit Extraordinaire)

“Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy has always believed that those who are entitled to vote should do so, and she has also believed that in such matters no one should seek to dictate the actions of others.” – from Prose Works by Mary Baker Eddy

I appreciate that in the Christian Science movement there’s no official authority telling its members how to vote on issues, or which politicians they should try to elect.  Members are expected to vote as individual conscience and understanding dictate.  And this, I believe, is as it should be.

Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science church, was a strong believer in separation of church and state.  She writes, in Miscellaneous Writings: “Progress, legitimate to the human race, pours the healing balm of Truth and Love into every wound. It reassures us that no Reign of Terror or rule of error will again unite Church and State, or re-enact, through the civil arm of governments, the horrors of religious persecution.” (No and Yes, p 44) And, warning against the tendency of religious institutions to try to dictate the workings of government, she writes: “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.”

Although there’s no one within the Christian Science church telling its member which political candidate should get their vote, Mary Baker Eddy did describe, in Prose Works, the type of individual I want representing me: “The upright man is guided by a fixed Principle, which destines him to do nothing but what is honorable, and to abhor whatever is base or unworthy; hence we find him ever the sane, – at all times the trusty friend, the affectionate relative, the conscientious man of business, the pious worker, the public-spirited citizen…He assumes no borrowed appearance. He seeks no mask to cover him, for he acts no studied part; but he is indeed what he appears to be, – full of truth, candor, and humanity. In all his pursuits, he knows no path but the fair, open, and direct one, and would much rather fail of success than attain it by reproachable means.”

My conscience and understanding lead me in the direction that points towards individual freedom and choice. One of the guiding questions for me, as I vote on ballot issues, is: “Is this any of my business?”  As the Bible says, we all need to work out our own salvation. We all need to be allowed to have our own experience, and to make our own choices – so long as those choices do not cause harm to others.

In the Bible, Peter had pretty strong words to say towards those inclined to be a “busybody” – putting it in the same category as “murderer” and “evildoer”:  “But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.” – I Peter 4: 15

(Whoah, right?)

And when considering the workings of politics, and separation of church and state, I’ve always found these passages in The Bible helpful:

When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.” – John 6: 15

“Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

“ But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?

“They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

“When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.”

–   Matthew 22

Amen.

I love this!:

http://www.upworthy.com/this-is-what-theyre-teaching-the-kids-in-schools-these-days?c=upw6

Our Right to Freedom

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

***

I love Martin Luther King’s rousing thoughts about liberty and freedom. His words stir us to lift ourselves from a place of fear, limitation, and hate, emboldening us to go to a place of confidence, love, and freedom.

There’s no reason for us not to have success and freedom in life.

Freedom is our right.

As expressions, manifestations, and reflections of Life, Truth, and Love, we are never for a moment separated from Good. We bring it with us, wherever we go.  Joy, hope, confidence  –  fearless living  – are ours to claim. Right now. This moment.  Here.

So buck up, my friends! Take your stand right now against everything that would enslave you, bind you, and take away your freedom and liberty!

You are freeborn!

***

“The history of our country, like all history, illustrates the might of Mind, and shows human power to be proportionate to its embodiment of right thinking. A few immortal sentences, breathing the omnipotence of divine justice, have been enough 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. .. Discerning the rights of man, we cannot fail to foresee the doom of all oppression. Slavery is not the legitimate state of man. God made man free. Paul said, ‘I was free born.’ All men should be free. Citizens of the world, accept the ‘glorious liberty of the children of God,’ and be free! This is your divine right.”- Mary Baker Eddy

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson