Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, spoke out strongly against war as a means of settling international grievances, advocating instead that such grievances must be settled through fair and wise arbitration. And yet she went on to state in her writings entitled Miscellany, “It is unquestionable, however, that at this hour the armament of navies is necessary, for the purpose of preventing war and preserving peace among nations.” (p. 286)
On this November Veterans Day all citizens of theseUnited Statesshould pause to remember and give thanks that throughout our history many Americans have been willing to step forward, put on the uniform of our armed services, and place themselves in harm’s way to guard and defend the liberties that we so casually enjoy. While many nations across this globe still struggle under the tyranny of oppression, this country enjoys a host of freedoms for which men and women have so often paid so fully with their lives. That free citizens continue to come forward voluntarily and put on the uniform is testament to the integrity of the American character that impels a man or woman to fight and die for such an abstract cause as liberty. That integrity of character is vital, for from it emerges the desire to serve others. Lose that desire and the true strength of our country will be sapped. Weapons, ships, missiles, bombs, and all the colossal manufacturing power of the war machine will not defeat an enemy if no American is willing to step forward to defend our way of life. Thank God we have such men and women willing to render their service.
Mary Baker Eddy states on page 40 of her work Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “It is sad that the phrase divine service has come so generally to mean public worship instead of daily deeds.” In this sentence she plays on the words “divine service” while making a poignant point. In her first sense “divine service” refers to the typical public Sunday observance held inside a building perhaps with a preacher delivering a sermon and performing rituals of religious significance for a congregation. But in her second use, the words “divine service” refer to daily actions. Many people in our society perform daily acts of divine service without ever entering a church building, and clearly, the men and women who daily put on the uniform perform that “divine service” of which Mrs. Eddy speaks.
In her book Prose Works, Mrs. Eddy states, “In your peaceful homes remember our brave soldiers, whether in camp or in battle. Oh, may their love of country and their faithful service thereof, be unto them life-preservers!”
Steve Warren lives in Austin TX and is a retired U.S. Navy pilot and high school English teacher who now dedicates his time writing.