Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Saddam Hussein and the Future ; A Christian Science Perspective on Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Saddam Hussein and the Future ; A Christian Science Perspective on Daily Life

Article excerpt

It has been several hours since the execution of Saddam Hussein. In some quarters, this event has brought wild rejoicing, in others, profound mourning, and in still others, sober reflection.

One sentiment that is unquestionably needed in every quarter is sympathy and affection for his family. Regardless of what is widely reported as a tyrannical life, he did have a family. Many of those family members must have loved him and been loved by him. Most of them are guiltless, and they deserve humanity's tender solicitude at this difficult period. It is a time for universal affection, not sectarian contempt.

The situation with Mr. Hussein himself seems more complex. He was accused of the most inhumane and merciless treatment of his fellow man. The evidence at his trial seemed unrelentingly unsupportive of his protests of innocence. Is there cause for forgiveness and mercy?

Sometimes society uses the scaffold with meticulous attention to human justice, other times as an exercise of raw revenge. To some today, the jury is still out on the fairness of Hussein's trial.

But is there another use of the scaffold, beyond either human justice or revenge? The founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy, refers to the scaffold as an instrument of discipline (see "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 202) as a way to awaken individuals to their higher natures as offspring of God. The theology of Christian Science clearly teaches the goodness of man as a reflection of the wholly good God. His man never sins or departs from holiness. He is incapable of inhumanity, mercilessness, or self- ignorant remorselessness. He never needs discipline.

Humans sometimes need discipline desperately. Circumstances, as in a police state, can temporarily insulate tyrants from responsibility for their crimes. In fact, don't most of us to some degree believe we can sin without fear of punishment?

But none of us can avoid the justice of God, who is ever-present divine Love, any more than we can void the laws of mathematics. …

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