The Christian Science Monitor Weekly

January 14, 2019

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Love for God and man. That was the notable distinction attributed to the 41st notable distinction attributed to the 41st president of the United States, George H.W. president of the United States, George H.W. Bush, at his memorial service in Washing Bush, at his memorial service in Washing - ton, D.C., last month. It was clear that he ton, D.C., last month. It was clear that he and his family wanted his legacy to include and his family wanted his legacy to include a message to all: Everyone can and should a message to all: Everyone can and should feel joy and make a difference through feel joy and make a difference through honoring God and doing good. honoring God and doing good. As we strive to do that, it is helpful to As we strive to do that, it is helpful to consider the example of Christ Jesus, the consider the example of Christ Jesus, the ultimate model for loving God supreme ultimate model for loving God supreme - ly and blessing humanity. Jesus taught, ly and blessing humanity. Jesus taught, " 'You shall love the Lord your God with all 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great com your mind.' This is the first and great com - mandment. And there is a second like it: mandment. And there is a second like it: 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' The whole of the Law and the Prophets The whole of the Law and the Prophets depends on these two commandments" depends on these two commandments" (Matthew 22:37-40, J.B. Phillips, "The New (Matthew 22:37-40, J.B. Phillips, "The New Testament in Modern English"). Above all, Testament in Modern English"). Above all, Jesus wanted his followers in all ages to ad Jesus wanted his followers in all ages to ad - here to these rules because they are para- here to these rules because they are para- mount to us more fully expressing our true mount to us more fully expressing our true nature as God's children – to manifesting nature as God's children – to manifesting health, harmony, and purpose. health, harmony, and purpose. Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this newspaper, understood that a fruitful life, newspaper, understood that a fruitful life, peace on earth, and the cause of Christi peace on earth, and the cause of Christi - anity itself are contingent upon following anity itself are contingent upon following Jesus' teachings. She included this directive Jesus' teachings. She included this directive as one of six tenets of the Church of Christ, as one of six tenets of the Church of Christ, Scientist: "And we solemn Scientist: "And we solemn - ly promise to watch, and ly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure" ("Science and be merciful, just, and pure" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 497). Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 497). I cherish this guidance. For several years I cherish this guidance. For several years I have been striving to do a better job of I have been striving to do a better job of keeping that promise daily, knowing that keeping that promise daily, knowing that the more faithfully I reflect the Mind of the more faithfully I reflect the Mind of Christ, the more of a healing influence I can Christ, the more of a healing influence I can have. To me, striving to be more merciful, have. To me, striving to be more merciful, just, and pure is not only about how I treat just, and pure is not only about how I treat people but also about how I think of them. people but also about how I think of them. If someone seems to be ill, sad, or in lack, I If someone seems to be ill, sad, or in lack, I pray to know that divine Love would nev pray to know that divine Love would nev - er put us in such a state. Should I witness er put us in such a state. Should I witness dishonesty or unkindness, I mentally reach dishonesty or unkindness, I mentally reach out to divine Principle to better understand out to divine Principle to better understand that as God's spiritual offspring we are all that as God's spiritual offspring we are all fair and compassionate. If I detect sin, I af fair and compassionate. If I detect sin, I af - firm the innate innocence and goodness firm the innate innocence and goodness of all of God's, Spirit's, creation and strive of all of God's, Spirit's, creation and strive to express those qualities more myself. The to express those qualities more myself. The results from this sincere endeavor have results from this sincere endeavor have been tangible: more joy, been tangible: more joy, healing, and opportu healing, and opportu - nities to help others. No nities to help others. No question, persistence is question, persistence is required. What I'm find required. What I'm find - ing, though, is the greater my commitment ing, though, is the greater my commitment to doing this, the more rewarding my day. to doing this, the more rewarding my day. This is a way in which any of us can This is a way in which any of us can make it a priority to draw closer to God, make it a priority to draw closer to God, to improve our thoughts, words, and to improve our thoughts, words, and deeds. The world could benefit from kind deeds. The world could benefit from kind - er thoughts and interactions. Our families, er thoughts and interactions. Our families, friends, communities, even ourselves, all friends, communities, even ourselves, all need the goodness we have to share. need the goodness we have to share. Our love for God is evident in our love Our love for God is evident in our love for others. It's what we're here to do. In his for others. It's what we're here to do. In his homily, the Bush family pastor, the Rev. Dr. homily, the Bush family pastor, the Rev. Dr. Russell Levenson Jr., said it well: "Love God, Russell Levenson Jr., said it well: "Love God, love your neighbor – there is no greater love your neighbor – there is no greater mission on planet earth." mission on planet earth." – Ellen J. Wolf – Ellen J. Wolf 'No greater mission' than loving God and man A CHRISTIAN SCIENCE PERSPECTIVE Tracking down the origins of 'witch hunt' President Trump tweeted about a witch hunt more than a hundred times last year. It is debated in the news and across social media: Is the Russia investigation a witch hunt or is it not a witch hunt? I was hearing "witch hunt" so often that a few weeks ago I experienced semantic satiation, in which repetition causes a phrase to lose meaning and be perceived as nothing but empty sounds. Then I began to wonder, what is Mr. Trump actually saying when he uses those words? Obviously, the term refers to real, historical hunts for witches that occurred sporadically across Europe and later in America from the 15th to 18th centuries. Like wildfires, anxieties about witches would flare up in this period, following a rough pattern. Misfortunes would happen in a village, and some women on the fringes of society – an old herb - alist who lived alone; in Salem, Mass., the slave Tituba – would be accused of causing them through magic. These women would be imprisoned, sometimes tortured, and asked to name their accom - plices. Sometimes they could prove their innocence by undergoing a "trial by ordeal" – being thrown into a pond to see if they sank (innocent) or floated (guilty) – but often they were executed without opportunity to refute the charges against them. The self-proclaimed witchfinder gen- eral of England, Matthew Hopkins, was responsible for one of the largest witch hunts, executing more than 300 suspects in the 1640s. He preferred to say that he "discovered" witches, however, and witch hunt only became the term of choice in the late 19th century. George Orwell, author of "1984," was one of the first to use the term metaphori - cally: In the 1930s, he called "trumped up accusations" by one group of communists against another a witch hunt. The idea of political witch hunts spread quickly in the 1950s. Investigations by Sen. Joseph McCarthy and others to discover secret communists in the US government, in Hollywood, and at universities were frequently denounced as witch hunts. Use of the term implied that the fear of communism in the United States was in fact hysterical and overblown, and that, like alleged witches in the past, suspect - ed communists were unjustly accused, unable to defend themselves fully, and forced under great pressure to reveal the identities of others. Is the Russia investigation a witch hunt? Is the metaphor appropriate? In a sense it doesn't matter. Sometimes hearing words over and over doesn't turn them into meaningless syllables, as with semantic satiation. Instead, it makes them seem true, a phenomenon known as "the illusory truth effect." The more the president repeats "witch hunt," the more likely it sounds, whatever the facts. r By Melissa Mohr THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR WEEKLY | JANUARY 14, 2019 43

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