Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Nigerian Election: Taking the High Road

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Nigerian Election: Taking the High Road

Article excerpt

This weekend Nigerians will be voting for a new president despite pre-election violence that as of this writing has claimed the lives of more than 21 people. "I would like to see that I have a government that's trusted and credible," says front-runner Habiba Yar'Adua. "And that can be so, if we have proper respect for law and order" (Monitor, April 16).

Whether or not Yar'Adua becomes the next president, that aspiration for a government based on the rule of law is a worthy desire, and one that everyone's prayers can support.

Each one has the right to be free of the violence, political corruption, and cronyism that have marred previous elections and were evident in the statewide elections held recently.

What I find very helpful is this passage on human rights by Mary Baker Eddy, who founded this newspaper. In her book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," she wrote: "Discerning the rights of man, we cannot fail to foresee the doom of all oppression. Slavery is not the legitimate state of man. God made man free.... 'Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty'" (p. 227).

This "Spirit of the Lord" is the Christ, Truth, that Jesus gave to humanity through his teachings and his life-example. It is Christ that enables us to speak boldly in the face of corruption and also helps us to lead someone toward healing, not condemnation. It brings people into the larger picture instead of freezing them out.

To be free of violence

The Apostle Paul is a wonderful example of the transforming power of Christ. Here was a man who had indulged in violence against the early Christians. Saul - as he was named then - was on his way to Damascus to hunt down more Christians, when a huge mental breakthrough occurred. He suddenly realized that Jesus' ministry was actually true and empowered by God. This insight turned him into a powerful and fearless advocate for the love and truth that Jesus had taught. …

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