Elections, justice, and mercy

A version of this article first appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, August 20, 2012.

During her lifetime, Mary Baker Eddy witnessed many elections, even the first political primaries when individual parties put up more than one candidate for consideration. She lived through the Civil War, the fallout from three presidential assassinations, and got a good look at national and local leaders of varying political views. All of these observations, plus her spiritual insight into the mental influences that can lead someone to succumb to pride, fear, dishonesty, greed, led to a very clear-eyed view of leaders and governments.

In an address Mary Baker Eddy gave in 1898, she urged her listeners, “Pray for the prosperity of our country, … that justice, mercy, and peace continue to characterize her government, and that they shall rule all nations. Pray that the divine presence may still guide and bless our chief magistrate, those associated with his executive trust, and our national judiciary; give to our congress wisdom, and uphold our nation with the right arm of His righteousness” (Christian Science versus Pantheism, p. 14).

Through the years, many have called for prayer in times of national crisis, and this only reinforces the timelessness and timeliness of Mrs. Eddy’s statement. Given the doubts about United States government and Congress that many Americans have voiced, such prayer can help turn the ship of state into healthier waters. 

October 29, 2012

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