To stereotype someone is to put limits on him or her. The most obvious kind of stereotyping is racial and ethnic. It is at the root of conflict and war—Arabs and Jews, Croats and Serbs, Kurds and Iraqis. Closer to home it may surface in terrible, delimiting opinions about Irish, Blacks, Asians, or Mexicans. And there are even plenty of assumptions about bosses and employees, or elderly and adolescents.

How can we do better? We can ask God in prayer to help us see more of the truth of God's expression of His man. This kind of prayer is potent. ...

"Stereotyping," Julia Rissler reminds us, "is a symptom of ignorance of God and of man's true, spiritual selfhood as His image and likeness." David Reed A correction was made in the December 30, 1991 Sentinel: "We regret an error in the "Inside: looking into this issue" of the October 21, 1991, Sentinel. David Reed, whose article "Seeing beyond racial stereotypes" appeared in that issue, is not a judge as was stated."  tells how he sought to identify each person he saw with at least one spiritual quality. He notes honestly how "materialistic concepts about some of the people pulled at my thought as a magnet pulls on a piece of iron." Scott Thompson, in "What do Christian Scientists mean by 'animal magnetism'?" adds to our understanding of how to deal with this underlying cause of both hatred and disease. As an editorial in this issue reminds us, spiritual defense is "the strengthening, rewarding, everyday work of scientific Christians." Who knows, we might even overcome our own stereotypes of ourselves!

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October 21, 1991

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