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Safety for the First Lady's motorcade

From the August 2003 issue of The Christian Science Journal


During the years that I served in the United States government, I often traveled in the police-escorted Presidential motorcade. On one of these trips, the motorcade was scheduled to carry the American First Lady through Memphis, Tennessee, a city in the American South. Death threats against her had been sent to a local television station. They indicated a specific location where the crime would be committed. Although death threats against public officials are not unusual, the agents responsible for our safety took this threat seriously enough to suggest canceling the trip. After a careful review, and with extra police protection, we decided to proceed. Because the threats were ongoing, and because efforts to apprehend the person making them had been fruitless, however, I felt that more than police protection was needed.

I decided to pray. And I asked a Christian Science practitioner to pray with me. The practitioner brought my attention to this idea from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "... those who discern Christian Science will hold crime in check. They will aid in the ejection of error. They will maintain law and order, and cheerfully await the certainty of ultimate perfection." Science and Health, p. 97.

Mary Baker Eddy, the woman who wrote those words, felt strongly about the individual's ability to help stop crime. Her attitude was based on an understanding of the mental nature of existence, which explains the root of all criminal activity as mental. This led her to propose several penetrating questions in Science and Health: "Is it not clear that the human mind must move the body to a wicked act? Is not mortal mind the murderer? ... Can matter commit a crime? ... Can you separate the mentality from the body over which courts hold jurisdiction?" And she went on to state: "Mortal mind, not matter, is the criminal in every case; and human law rightly estimates crime, and courts reasonably pass sentence, according to the motive." Ibid., pp. 104–105.

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