As murder rates fall

The topic may be grizzly. The news is definitely good. Murder rates are down. For the first time in half a century, murder is not among the top 15 reasons for death in the United States. The numbers appear to be headed further down. Why? Theories abound. Police work is getting better. It is stopping bad outcomes before tragedies occur. Society is getting older. (Younger people tend to be the perpetrators and the victims of this most irreversible of all crimes.) Fatally abusive relationships are decreasing. Better interventions and timelier outreach are making a difference. Whatever explanation one accepts, are there useful steps that caring bystanders—nonexperts—might take? We at the Sentinel think spiritually scientific prayer could help the trend continue. We’re inviting you to join in.

It is native to us all to move toward that which is peacemaking, and shift away from that which is violence-fostering.

For starters, look closely at God’s law—particularly the Sixth Commandment—“Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13). Truth be told, His law is written in the heart and the inward parts of each one of His offspring. That means all of us. Think of this statement of law as not just a command from God, but also as a promise from Him. It is as if He said: “I promise you, it is not in you to kill. It is not your nature to do so. It is only in you to be like Me.” In truth, we each include divinely derived love, forgiveness, and innocence. We are all expressive of Life, harmony, and the kind of self-control that stems from the Divine and is so needed to neutralize powder kegs of explosive emotion. As today’s prayer-based problem solvers realize that spiritual facts such as these emanate from God, they see these facts as true of themselves and of others. They nurture the best within themselves. They support the best within others. They squelch what is foreign to a person’s genuine nature—such as hatred and revenge. With those negatives stifled, the divine strength from God that impels us to do the right thing shines through.

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March 19, 2012

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