In 1987, The Christian Science Publishing Society published a booklet titled, The Christian Science Monitor Owner’s Manual. The first section thereof was titled “Over 79 Years of Journalistic Excellence.” Now it’s been 113 years! The Christian Science Monitor has gone through many changes as may a chameleon on a colorful summer day! I still love reading and holding actual newsprint newspapers, yet I’ve gotten used to the printed magazine format and other electronic options. I also truly enjoy the insight, content and photographs of the Monitor.
This Owner’s Manual begins, “Yellow journalism was at its height when the first issue of The Christian Science Monitor was published on November 25, 1908. Its Founder, Mary Baker Eddy, saw the paper as an answer to the sensationalized reporting of the times.” (Have the times changed that much given the degree of bias, vitriol and purported “false news” of these past years?) It continues, “And with her mandate, ‘to injure no man, but to bless all mankind,’ she set the tone and established a goal of integrity that remain the Monitor’s hallmarks to this day.”
I truly love this foundational basis – “to injure no man, but to bless all mankind.” The world needs The Christian Science Monitor, which continues to stand out as a beacon to a lot of journalism and reporting. I feel confident in saying that this professional news source has never injured man and has blessed mankind beyond measure in its 113 years (though I’ve not been around quite that long). In many ways by uplifting the perspective and thought of readers, this publication has spiritually and practically nursed the nation and the world. In fact, “the analytical style of reporting, an accepted standard in current American journalism, was pioneered by the Monitor.” And, “then, as now, the Monitor reported national and international news squarely and sanely, with remarkable insight and honesty.” (The Christian Science Publishing Society)
At the time in 1987, the Monitor was among the top 10 newspapers in the U.S. and one of the most respected newspapers in the world. The Christian Science Monitor has been awarded seven Pulitzer Prizes for excellence in journalism (in the years of 2002, 1996, 1978, 1969, 1968, 1967, 1950). And, it has won more than a dozen Overseas Press Club awards. The Pulitzer for 1969 was awarded to Robert Cahn for his “path-breaking series [that] charted the future of America’s national parks and ways to help preserve them.” (See https://www.csmonitor.com/Specials/Monitor-Centennial/Pulitzer-Prizes)
This specific series was introduced to me when Bob Cahn and I met and became close friends years ago. Bob and his wife, Pat, also lived in Boulder, Colorado, and were members of the same Christian Science branch church. This was later in his full life. I greatly appreciated our rich conversations and friendship founded on mutual love of the environment and our faith. I believe Bob would write, argue, and appeal that America’s National Parks continue to need our collective support and preservation, maybe even more so than 52 years ago. Each national park is an amazing treasure for all.
I think it’s interesting to note that historical figures of great stature appreciated the Monitor as shown by these quotes:
“The Christian Science Monitor was well known to me during my 27 years in prison. It continues to give me hope and confidence for the world’s future.” – Nelson Mandela
“The Christian Science Monitor has helped set the standard for journalistic integrity. The Monitor’s fair and balanced coverage continues to be an important source of information and I look forward to reading it every day.” – John McCain
“With freedom, fairness and sensitivity, it [the Monitor] has recorded the events of our day and written with clarity of its judgment for the morrow. In its pages are found the facts and opinions upon which intelligent decisions can be firmly based.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
“The constructive service which The Christian Science Monitor has consistently rendered to better understanding between nations is widely appreciated in all parts of the world.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Back to the Owner’s Manual, which included that the Monitor was read in 147 countries, from Argentina to Zambia, and by thousands of university professors and people in governments, including world leaders. What if all world leaders now would read it? I believe injury to men, women and children would greatly diminish and blessings to all mankind would significantly increase. This paper has been praised for its clarity, fairness, and sensitivity.
Years ago, when I began my work as a Christian Science practitioner, opening a public office in a plaza on a proverbial shoestring income, I often turned to the Monitor, especially in that first year, to be alert and informed, and to pray about national and international events. It was a welcome source in my public healing ministry.
Also, whether as a daily or weekly, The Christian Science Monitor has included only one religious or Christian Science perspective article in each edition. Two of these this year were: “Grace to go forward” and “Tune in to God’s messages!” (June 7 and May 11, 2021, respectively.)
Working at Wide Horizon, on the spiritual avenue of Christian Science nursing, requires continually tuning in to God’s messages, listening for Love’s guidance, and heeding divine Mind’s direction. It also demands grace to go forward, particularly when presented with obstacles that attempt to knock one off course. I can honestly say that The Christian Science Monitor and the other publications founded by Mary Baker Eddy, and especially her own writings, have been sources of information, inspiration and healing for me to continue in and fulfill the requirements often presented to me in my role as a steward of or service leader at Wide Horizon.
I’m forever grateful to Mrs. Eddy for her courageous obedience to God’s guidance in founding The Christian Science Monitor – a publication that injures no man, and blesses all mankind.
D. Brian Boettiger