The past week, culminating with the rallies in D.C. this weekend, has been noteworthy. I am putting my four-part series about the Science of Mind philosophy on hold for a week to address the way we can use New Thought and the Science of Mind principles to make sense of these current events.
Human rights, environmental and financial issues that could have been tackled long ago are being hit head on in our time. It is no longer laughable to be a “tree-hugger”. Being green is the new “in thing”. Last week I saw a Prius with a Sarah Palin bumper sticker – talk about an oxymoron!
Science and government are finally being more forthcoming and telling us what we need to hear about our environment and our society, not necessarily what we want to hear. The first eight years of the new century provided a false sense of financial security – the pretty bubble finally burst. In the past eighteen months we have had to pay the price for living on credit for so long. We have been buying into slick advertising for years, believing that “it” will make us taller, thinner, sexier, younger or whatever else. One Science of Mind minister, Dr. Raymond Charles Barker, said that prosperity meant being able to do what we want, when we want, with whom we want, and in the style in which we want to do it. That does not have to involve money. Our society has redefined prosperity to mean being able to buy things we do not need with money we do not have to impress people we do not like!
The history of our country is being re-written before our eyes. The far right would have us believe that Christians have the market cornered on principles by which to live. Glenn Beck would have us believe that the principles that built this nation are the sole property of Christians. Yet Judaism, Christianity and Islam all trace their roots back to Abraham, and nearly all other religions in the world have some form of similar edicts for good living.
Too many Americans have come to see Islam = bad, Christianity = good. The Catholics and Jews are tolerated, and the rest of the religions have not been much of an issue (yet) so they are not even mentioned in this debate. It is not Islam that has and does attack us, but terrorists who stain the name of the religion they claim to hold dear, just as the Church stained Christianity when it carried out the Crusades centuries ago, killing thousands of Muslims.
The Founding Fathers were wise beyond the Glenn Becks of the world. They created three branches of government so that there would be checks and balances. They knew the danger of injecting religion into the Constitution. They prudently crafted a document that separated church and state so that freedom of religion – all religions – would be the right of every citizen.
So how do we deal with misinformation, anger, and accusations of “if you’re not Christian you’re not American!”? New Thought teaches that we are responsible for our situation. Our culture has brought these issues to a climax in our time. Ultra-conservative politicians out for their own gain get people to believe that we can return to better times, where families had both a mother and a father with sparkling clean children, just by being Christian. News flash – The “Father Knows Best” and “Leave it to Beaver” families were creations of Hollywood, not Jesus. The 1950s and 1960s were prosperous times, but that “everything is wonderful” attitude covered over alcoholism in the home and abuse because “we just don’t talk about those things”.
New Thought also teaches that we can change, but change is scary to many people. At least if things continue the way they are we sort of know what to expect. What if the change makes things worse? If you have seen your retirement fund lately you know it would be difficult to get worse. But with change (even for the better) comes resistance. Dodge is running ads that basically say, “Drive the big truck! You deserve it! It’s your right!”, though it is plain we need to downsize, not supersize, our transportation vehicles.
When we hear the Dodges, the Glenn Becks and the Ann Coulters of the world we must keep mindful of what we want for our future, not cower in fear just because someone is telling us what it means to be an American, a Christian or just a good person. New Thought teaches action. Not action that harms others, lies about others to get our way or denies others their human rights, but action that is in line with the highest good for all concerned. Action that can mean leading a nation or simply helping a neighbor. Works that can be organizing a city or organizing our own homes to be more in line with holistic harmony.
Above all, do not let those who would scare you into following their lead cause you to react instead of act. Remember, too, that inaction is also action – we are still acting by choosing something, even if that something is doing nothing. Examine the facts, remain objective and level-headed, and then take action that is in line with what is right for you.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,Dr. Terry