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Eliminating the roots of terrorism

From the October 21, 1996 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

The other night I heard a reporter on television's Hard Copy make this comment: "The message is clear. There is no place on earth where you can be safe and protected from terrorism."

It would be well to consider the authority of God's power to quell what would terrorize. The Bible offers many examples of this divine power. For instance, once, when Christ Jesus was preaching, his listeners, stung by his remarks, "were filled with wrath, and rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong." The account continues, "But he passing through the midst of them went his way" (Luke 4:28–30).

If Jesus had heard that reporter's comment about terrorism, how might he have responded? He would certainly have wanted everyone to know that, as his experience with the mob proved, spiritual-mindedness can free from fear and violence. But how does one have (and maintain) a Christlike state of thought? How can we pray about terrorism? In order to pray effectively, we need to address what is behind a terrorist act.

"Is it not clear that the human mind must move the body to a wicked act? Is not mortal mind the murderer? The hands, without mortal mind to direct them, could not commit a murder," writes Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (pp. 104–105).

In order to prevent wicked acts, then, we need to bring the power of God to bear on the thoughts that are behind terrorism. When the deranged thought is corrected, the terrorist act does not take place. It is our responsibility not only to cleanse our own thoughts of wickedness but also to understand that God, good, governs man—and that includes everyone. God, Love, alone determines the thoughts of His creation and causes each of us to express the brotherly love that nullifies blind extremism and revenge.

God's creation is ever present and completely spiritual. This spiritual creation is the sole reality of existence, and God is the sole power. Because God is the only entity causing man, the nature of man is determined always by the action of God. God is good; God is supremely good, in fact. Therefore, the nature of God's spiritual man must be entirely good.

Regardless of their appearance, the people around us are, in their true nature, the likeness of infinite Spirit. Recognizing this has a healing, protecting effect. Such prayer helps to annul unnatural thoughts and motives, and to a greater extent man's pure, spiritual nature shines forth. This doesn't happen because you just hope that people will behave. It happens because God's goodness and power, when realized, transform consciousness.

These two verses from the Bible's Old Testament are especially encouraging as we pray about violence: "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear" (Isa. 45:22, 23).

"Unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear" is such a powerful statement. Just think of it. Every knee—even that of the would-be terrorist—must ultimately bow to, or worship, God, for "there is none else." True worship of God entails complete submission, unconditional compliance with the divine will. It involves bringing our thoughts, motives, and actions into accord with Him. God's creation is infinite. There is in truth, therefore, no possibility of an impulse or an opinion that would conflict with God's goodness and love. The fact that "every tongue shall swear" unto God further underscores the impossibility of asserting the existence of any power other than His.

Let the truth of these statements permeate your thought. They will then naturally permeate your experience. "At all times and under all circumstances, overcome evil with good. Know thyself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil. Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you. The cement of a higher humanity will unite all interests in the one divinity," Science and Health says (p. 571).

Yes, that cement will "unite all interests in the one divinity," and that is done through prayer. Each of us plays a part in proving that terrorism isn't inevitable and that safety and brotherly love are natural to God's man. In fact, they're the law of his being. And this law is impelling us all to progress spiritually and to be at peace with everyone on this small planet. Stepping back from the media pictures, gaining a spiritual perspective, and proving, step by step, that terrorism isn't sanctioned by God and, therefore, has no basis in His man, moves us forward to the time when the fears of and the fears behind terrorism will be eliminated.

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