World Awakening To Equality – The Time Is Now

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Shane

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World Awakening To Equality

By Gulu Sam Thanawala with contributions from Gulu Thanawala

From the November 13, 1989 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

 

When a developing nation like my own is bursting at the seams with technical advancement in many fields, it can be sad to see that some segments of society remain largely untouched by such progress.

Many problems seem complex and strongly entrenched in the very nature of society. One of the most complex—for developed as well as developing nations—is the role of women.

While physical veils may have been lifted from the faces of modern woman, many fearful hearts and minds remain heavily veiled.

In one country, women must fight sexual discrimination to obtain equal wages. In another, they are struggling for inheritance rights denied to females. In yet another, unborn females are aborted because their society does not believe them to be productive. And in still another country, a woman may be killed for not bringing in enough dowry.

How can concerned, compassionate individuals help? Obviously, government laws and social reforms are important. Yet something more is ultimately needed: perhaps an approach that though our turning to God in prayer begins to discern His governing laws—laws that are so much more basic than either human justice or legal codes could ever be. Many women, and men, have found that Christian Science brings fresh insights into God’s spiritual laws and that this enlarged spiritual understanding has effectively ameliorated conditions of inequality and oppression they were facing.

In fact, Christian Science offers a profound vision of people’s equality, whether they are men or women, rich or poor, old or young. This scientific religion begins with the Bible’s opening passages, where God’s spiritual creation includes both male and female. “God created man,” the Bible declares, “in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”1

So how have we lost sight of the essential equality of all people? Might there not be a clue in the Bible allegory in the second chapter of Genesis, where man is said to be formed from the dust of the ground and then woman’s beginning supposedly comes from Adam’s rib? This story is often taken as a strong symbol of woman’s subservience to man.

Christian Science explains that the Adam and Eve legacy contrasts sharply with the spiritual reality of God’s children as His image and likeness from the first chapter of Genesis. In the beginning, all was viewed as good because God is the sole creator. Yet in the second story of creation, everything appears materialized, limited, and fatally flawed.

Doesn’t the contrast of these two views carry the deeper lesson that as long as we limit God, accept merely materialistic bondage to various aspects of such beliefs?

One of these enslaving aspects is the impression that there is a built-in, inevitable conflict between men and women. The impression supposes that men must dominate women and that women must mislead men and that both are punished endlessly by the mere presence of their relationship.

Yet a clearer, freer perception of each individual’s true selfhood as God’s spiritual image and likeness provides a very different starting point, and this has practical effects in human experience. Here we’re really talking about the process of spiritual liberation. By choosing a radically different starting point, and living in accord with it through following the teachings of Christ Jesus, we are uplifted to see the great naturalness of equality and lack of conflict between men and women.

For example, as I was growing up, I lived in fear of a relative who dominated the family scene. Though I felt a great sense of injustice at his arbitrary discrimination, our traditional values kept me, as a girl, from voicing my opinions, however correct. Even normal and legitimate activities were often forbidden me, and whatever I did had to be discreet. This sense of subjugation stayed with me in later years, making me wary of men in general. But after I found the chapter entitled “Genesis” in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the spell of fear was broken. The spiritual sense of justice and equality superseded human injustice. This resulted in many fine friendships and a marriage based on equality. I also experienced a total lack of discrimination during the past twenty-nine years of my work in the field of transportation.

Isn’t it essentially a lack of spiritual education that underlies harmful sexual discrimination and impedes humanity’s progress? But as this lack is overcome through spiritual understanding of God’s law and reality, progress can proceed more and more quickly. It is interesting to see Christ Jesus’ own description of this process of spiritual leavening in his saying “The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.”2 Leaven eventually transforms or changes completely what it is placed in. Certainly, profound changes will come to human thought as mankind increasingly understands the truly spiritual nature of man as God’s image and likeness. Global thinking about the nature of womanhood has to be lifted up, and spiritual leavening has to go on.

Spiritual truth has a broad leavening effect. Our willing, humble, and courageous witness to this truth on behalf of all mankind—all our brothers and sisters—can help to a world.

Gulu Sam Thanawala

Gulu Thanawala is District Sales Manager for an airline in Bombay, India.

I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee. … That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones,