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A word about this blog

Daily News and Prayer is inspired by The Christian Science Monitor, one of the most important (and most underappreciated) newspapers in the world. Posts are usually (but not always) responses to articles in the Monitor about events and trends that call for prayer.

The blog's aim is to help strengthen humanity's collective confidence that we can triumph over even the most deeply entrenched evils, in ourselves and in the world.

Notifications: If you would like to be notified about new postings, please send an email to kscollins@gmail.com, with "Blog mailing list" in the subject line. I'll be sure to let you know each time a new item is posted.

Note on submissions: If you would like to contribute to this blog, I would be happy to consider your submission. It should be 500 words or less, well written and fit the topic. Read several postings to get an idea of the subject matter and tone. It should also fit the audience, which is general, international and non-denominational.

Please email your submission to me at kscollins@gmail.com. I will get back to you as soon as I can. Please be aware that, while I appreciate the interest and efforts of anyone who wishes to write for the blog, publication is not guaranteed. If I feel your piece is promising but needs revision, I will let you know. Nothing will be published without your seeing the final copy.

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Thursday
Jun182015

News from the Christian Science perspective

Before getting back to addressing issues in the news, I’d like to mention something that I think throws a lot of people off about The Christian Science Monitor.

Readers of the Monitor often see the column called A Christian Science Perspective as an add-on, not intrinsically part of the newspaper but a separate religious message, inserted by the church that publishes the paper. And they may see the column as a glimpse into what they conclude is the real nature of the Monitor: a secretly proselytizing religious publication.

That view is not only untrue – the Monitor does not proselytize, although it does have a bias toward hope – but it misses the larger point of the column.

Most days the column addresses an issue that either overtly or subtly has a role in the news. It could be an event, such as the earthquake in Nepal in April; a holiday, such as the US Memorial Day; a broader problem, such as the Islamic State’s call to violence; or a specific Monitor article or editorial that has just run, such as the recent cover story on being single in America.

Or it could deal with an issue that is in the forefront of debate at the moment, such as climate change. Today’s article, called “Climate change, politics, and prayer,” is written by Allison Rose-Sonnesyn, a policy adviser with the Committee on Science, Space and Technology in the US House of Representatives.

The article describes how Rose-Sonnesyn used prayer to help write and then build support in her committee over many months for legislation dealing in part with climate change, and then to deal with a sudden threat to destroy the bipartisanship she and others had worked to achieve.

“I quietly expressed gratitude to God for all the good work that had been accomplished in the interceding months,” she writes. “I reviewed all the spiritual truths I had prayed with, and declared that those were laws of God that could never be overturned. I also refused to take the situation personally and applied the golden rule – instead of responding cynically, I acted kindly. Once I did, the answer presented itself, the deadline was met, and the bill passed with complete bipartisan support.”

We see here the spirit behind the Monitor asserting itself in a number of ways: in the life of a reader, in the workings of her government, in the content of the Monitor itself. The way of thinking she describes is also similar to that of many Monitor reporters and editors. It’s a window, if you will, into the soul of the Monitor. That makes the column an invaluable piece of the news operation, even though it will never win a journalistic prize.

The Monitor is unusual among news organizations, in that it depends on deep, spiritual engagement by both readers and journalists to make it fly. That’s a big reason why, after more than a hundred years, the paper is not only still publishing but still growing.

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