Archive for the ‘Tolerance’ Category

You can support diversity without fear   Leave a comment

“Scientists have made a powerful discovery that appears able to improve everyone’s life. Reports indicate it works on individuals, families, communities, economies, and nations. Interestingly, it appears that too little of this substance may explain the coarsening of language and the hardening of hearts so evident in politics and the media. Lack of it also might be responsible for everything from substance abuse to the anxiety many people say they feel despite the unprecedented security, better health, and affluence the world is experiencing. And here’s the kicker: It’s free, it’s abundant, and you can’t overdose on it.” (John Yemma, Christian Science Monitor)

And the often disregarded, but indispensable substance?

Brotherly love!

Evidence of this love is discovered in quiet acts of empathy and encouragement demonstrated by caring people from all walks of life. For instance, the mature gent in the queue at the supermarket checkout who steps up to pay the balance for the mother of two pre-schoolers who is caught short. Or the young female social media whiz who creates social change through her dedication to affirming the good while gently dismantling prejudice.

 

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Then there’s the hospice chaplain offering simple words of comfort and walking a patient or family member through a process that aims to help them find meaning according to their own faith, or no faith.

Brotherly love, you could say, is at the heart of chaplaincy, pastoral care and spiritual services. But chaplains are not alone in wondering how extensively they need to demonstrate that care.

That was the question asked at last year’s Spiritual Care Australia Conference. Practitioners representing the world’s major faith traditions, as well as many others, who work at the coalface in hospitals, hospices and prisons came together to grow in their understanding of how best to meet the needs of the diverse groups of people they encounter day-to-day, and to better relate to them and celebrate them.

Just as the broader community are questioning stereotypes and thinking differently about ethnicity, culture, faith, race, nationality, skin colour, age, sexuality and gender, spiritual carers are also challenged by new paradigms. Armed with a similar acknowledgement of a higher power as man’s common source, these carers have something in their toolbox that can help them prayerfully reconsider sincerely held beliefs that might prevent them from embracing diversity wholeheartedly.

In the Christian faith, diversity is championed by its followers. “Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful:” (I Corinthians, The Message)

Hearing the heart-felt stories of individuals representing the transgender, LGBTI community, as well as Multifaith and multicultural communities, greatly enhanced my empathy and compassion for those in the community who have different stories to tell.

In the wider community we may well seem to be different—by reason of race, gender, culture, nationality. But this is a limited view of how to see ourselves and others, when we judge identity from a predominantly material perspective. Beyond that, I’ve learned, we each have a spiritual sense through which we can more deeply feel and experience kinship with others as the offspring of the multifaceted, divine Spirit, and not formed after the pattern of mortal personality, passion and tribalism (as explained in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures).

Divine qualities and ideas are as infinite as their divine Source and so it stands to reason that they can be expressed in an endless variety of ways; yet never deviating from Spirit’s pure and good nature. In fact, we can’t help but express kindness, forgiveness and respect to everyone, as we learn that each individual uniquely reflects divine Love itself. And governed by this Love, we aren’t just safe in relation to one another; we can welcome ever more constructive and beautiful relationships with a broader array of fellow citizens.

The brotherly regard that can be offered at the supermarket, on social media or in the sickroom might best follow the principles of interfaith dialogue: to love our neighbor, regardless of their faith…culture… race…gender practices, and to build not just tolerant relationships, but respectful ones.

The writer of this article, Kay Stroud is working for the Christian Science Committee on Publication for Northern-Eastern Australia. More from this writer: www.health4thinkers.com

This article was first published on the Sunshine Coast Daily.

Love’s Triumph Over Hate   Leave a comment

Silhouette of people watching sunset at lakeOne of mankind’s worst enemies is hatred.  It may be discomforting to be hated, but it’s injurious to do the hating.  One who hates, harboring intense animosity against another, sometimes feels the bad effects physically in tension and other unhealthy stimulation of the body.  These symptoms should warn him of the danger he is courting by hating.

Mary Baker Eddy quotes Hannah More as saying, “If I wished to punish my enemy, I should make him hate somebody.”  And elsewhere Eddy warns:  “Hate no one; for hatred is a plague-spot that spreads its virus and kills at last.  If indulged, it masters us; brings suffering upon suffering to its possessor, throughout time and beyond the grave.”  Yet she also reassures us, “Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you.”

This article, Love’s Triumph Over Hate by Naomi Price, was originally published in the Christian Science Journal.  It is currently available on-line at JHS-online.  In it she examines the question:  How can we love when others hate? 

Hate Loses Power   1 comment

shutterstock_90543814Daily Lift by Skip Phinney

Governments around the world are adopting very different strategies to deal with a growing sense of the differences between us.  Many of these strategies exaggerate the differences and diminish our similarities, and fear is often the outcome.

In this 3 minute talk Skip talks about how valuing the good in each individual and appreciating our common worth breaks down barriers and promotes the kind of peace and security we are all looking for.

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Conversation in a Taxi   Leave a comment

shutterstock_71230366by Kari Mashos

My taxi driver at busy Heathrow Airport met me with a friendly greeting, followed by an announcement that he was Muslim.  At first, I was unsure why he would feel the need to share his religion with me.  But then, sensitive to the fact that there were those who might feel fear and hate toward those of his faith in a climate of heightened security in England (and elsewhere), I reciprocated his handshake with a sincerely warm and friendly greeting.

…  At his prompting, we spoke of the urgent need to demonstrate the brotherhood of man.  Together we acknowledged God as the Father of all—making us all brothers and sisters. We spoke freely of our love for God, our children, and of our mutual desire to treat everyone as we would want to be treated.

Our conversation was evidence to me that despite the hatred and violence so often depicted between those of differing beliefs, there is a spiritual impetus that operates universally, ready and willing to impel every receptive heart to love. Read more

This article, Conversation in a Taxi, was originally published in the a June 2016 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.   It is also available on JHS-online.   In it Kari talks about how a pure love of God  unites rather than divides mankind.

Healing Persecution and Discrimination   Leave a comment

shutterstock_75022426Healing Persecution and Discrimination – Readings from the Bible and the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

Have we not all one father?  hath not one God created us?  why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother? (Malachi 2: 10)

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar:  for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen how can he love God whom he hath not seen? (I John 4: 20)

Every Wednesday at 6.00 pm a Testimony Meeting is held at the Christian Science Church in Canberra.  Each meeting begins with readings selected from the two books designated as the Pastor of Christian Science:  The Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.  A new topic for the readings is selected each week.

At the conclusion of the short readings the congregation is invited to share thoughts on this topic and relate how they have used the principles of Christian Science to solve life’s problems and bring physical healing.

If you are in Canberra on any Wednesday please join us.  Everyone is welcome.

This recording represents the readings on the topic:  Healing Persecution and Discrimination.

Our Prayers to Embrace the World and Prevent Violence   Leave a comment

shutterstock_138359420by Jenny Sawyer

When tragedies such as the most recent attacks in Beirut, Lebanon, and Paris occur, what can we do? Across the world, there have been calls to pray for these cities and their people. To pray for peace. And certainly our prayers are needed.

In addition to embracing all those affected by terrorism in my prayers, I have been grappling with how to extend my prayers to prevent future devastation.

In a world that seems constantly at the mercy of terrorism and random evil, it might appear naive to think that we can have any kind of preemptive impact.  But through my study of Christian Science, I’ve learned that prayer that yearns to feel and understand the allness of God—of divine Love itself—is like turning on a light: Where light is, darkness simply can’t exist.  The light of ever-present Love, expressed, leaves no place for the evils of hatred, fear, cruelty, or pain.

I’ve wondered how praying like this can really make a difference.  Then, earlier this year, Read more

This article, Our Prayers to Embrace the World and Prevent Violence, was originally published in the Christian Science Sentinel.  It is now also available through JHS-online.  In it Jenny shares her reasoning as she answers the question:  How can my prayer have an impact on this world that seems so troubled?

Radical Love   Leave a comment

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Daily Lift by Chet Manchester

In this 3 minute talk, Radical Love, Chet talks about the only kind of love that can bring lasting peace.  A spiritual love that refuses to hate even in the face of hateful acts.  He gives a real-life example of the healing power of this kind of love.

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