The 2015 Night at the Oscars with Ethel Baker, A Prayer for LGBT Youth & 2015 Nominees – Saturday 21 February 2015

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You don’t have to wait for anyone to approve who you are or who your children are because they [gays and lesbians] are approved.  They are already fully sanctified by their Maker.

Ethel Baker, C.S.B.

 

 

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The 87th Annual Academy Awards hosted by Neil Patrick Harris and produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will air live Sunday, February 22 at 7pm EST/4pm PST on ABC.

 

 

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“My identity is not the product of how other people see me”

From the August 24, 1992 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

 

 

If you yearn to feel more loved and valued, you’re not alone. Who hasn’t wondered at times whether he or she really matters? Looking to advertising and movies and popular opinion for a sense of our worth, we’re bound to come away feeling we don’t measure up—that we’re just not smart enough or attractive enough or…. The problem is we’re looking in the wrong places! As we look to God, our creator, who is Truth itself, we discover how significant and remarkable and beautiful we really are as the children of God.

 is a student at a university in New York State. During high school she had to face doubts and concerns about her identity and her worth, but she found some answers through her study of Christian Science. Amy has agreed to share her comments with Sentinel readers.

I remember as a freshman in high school being really concerned with the way people saw me. I spent a lot of time worrying about what I looked like, who my friends were, if I had a boyfriend or not. I think a lot of kids are dealing with that. It’s not always a really obvious from of pressure. It’s subtle, I think. It seems that you’re expected to look a certain way or act a certain way, or have a certain number of friends or a certain group of friends. I’ve changed a lot. I think what helped me was just, little by little, realizing that my identity is not the product of how other people see me.

If who you are isn’t the product of other people think you are, then what is it? Who you are, who everyone is, is an idea—or an expression—of God. That needs explaining, I guess. Christian Science teaches that God is Life, Truth, Love, Mind, Principle, Soul, Spirit—and that God created man in His likeness. So true man is intelligent, honest, loving, spiritual. I’ve found that the times when I’ve had the most peace or felt real happiness or a sense of comfort are when I’ve stopped worrying about what people were saying and started just expressing what God is.

Could you talk a little bit more about what being the likeness of God has meant to you? A lot of times, because I was worried about how people saw me, I found myself acting the way I saw them act and not expressing my own ideas but being very shy. And when I started seeing that we’re all unique—such individual expressions of Mind, God—I could see that acting the way others were acting really served no purpose at all. A lot of people say, “Just be yourself.” But really I felt that it was so much more. We need to be who God made us to be, the expression of divine Love.

Knowing that my love for others doesn’t come from me, doesn’t originate in me, but that it comes from God and that it’s God’s love for everyone that counts—really changed a lot of things. I found that I met so many more people and was so much more comfortable around people. I know that this peaceful feeling didn’t come from the fact that I had more friends, even though I did, but was the result of my feeling so much more love in my life. That obviously resulted in happiness.

I found it’s really easy to become self-absorbed and worry about what I’m projecting to other people. But I decided that, in a way, that’s selfish. So I realized that I had to stop thinking of myself so much and start thinking of other people—seeing them as also truly God’s man, the idea, or expression, of Love. I found that if I kept that in mind when I got together with my friends and tried to see all of the wonderful qualities they expressed, then it wasn’t important that I was with only a certain group of people. It was just great to see the joy and the sense of humor and the love everyone expressed. That freed me a lot.

I remember one idea from Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy that really helped me when I first realized that I was actually being selfish in worrying so much about my appearance or how people saw me. The quote is “Love, redolent with unselfishness, bathes all in beauty and light.” We can see the expression of divine Love everywhere—in the beauty and the light and the harmony that’s all around us. Divine Love is what we express every day when we are being unselfish and giving and patient.

If somebody was saying, “What can I do to find the happiness and peace you’re talking about?” what would you say? I have actually been able to share some ideas about Christian Science. I don’t say specifically “These are my religious views.” But when friends have been depressed and have come to me, instead of just telling them I care about them (even though I obviously do) I’ve been able to say that their happiness doesn’t depend on people. I think it helps just to stop and realize that maybe I have been believing that. And I think it helps to start questioning where happiness really does come from. I might not specifically say, “God is the source of your happiness,” but I might point out that love doesn’t originate in people but is expressed by people. I think that has helped the friends I’ve talked to.

For a lot of people there is a great fear of leaving what seems to be the most reliable thing (thing is, to make sure we look good and we get in the right crowds) and saying, “OK, I’m going to depend on my true being as an expression of God, Love, and reflect Love, and that’s going to be all right.” It’s true. When you look around you, you see all the magazines that show these beautiful women that look the way you’re “supposed” to look and the way society wants us to be. Being like those images may seem like the most reliable thing. But when you see all the disappointment and failures and problems that can come from doing what you think you’re “supposed” to do, you realize that physical appearances and so on are the least reliable thing, as opposed to the absolute security of God, who is unchanging and are wonderful when we rely on the absolute power of Love. Love governs them. When we glimpse that, I don’t think we see fashion or popularity as reliable at all.

You’ve told us about how some things have changed in your life, and I think a natural question that comes up is, “How did you learn about these ideas?” I’ve been going to Christian Science Sunday School ever since I can remember. I was raised in Christian Science, so I’ve been able to learn more about who I really am by reading the Bible andScience and Health by Mrs. Eddy. Sometimes I resisted going to Sunday School, and a lot of times I didn’t get as much out of it as I could have. But I’ve found that the times I’ve learned the most and the times answer it’s meant the most to me are when I’m searching for an answer to something—not necessarily when I have a problem, but when I’m trying on my own to learn more about what it means to be God’s child. I’ve also found a lot of things that have helped me from reading Sentinel articles. It’s helpful to me to see how other people have gone through experiences that are similar to mine and to read about the ideas that helped them and how they prayed.

And I’ve learned from reading the weekly Bible Lessons [outlined in the Christian Science Quarterly]. If I read the lesson first thing in the morning, the ideas are with me throughout the day whenever I need a comforting thought. But my experience has been that I have to practice what I’ve read. Sometimes I’m all prepared to start my day, seeing the truth of man’s being and seeing all the good qualities that everyone expresses. But then at some point I’ll forget that I’m supposed to be seeing what’s really true about God and His creation. And I’ll get caught up with a problem or lazily accept the thought that mistakes can be made. I’ve found that I always need to go back to God. At times I’ve been frustrated and thought, “Why can’t I remember to see the truth?” But it doesn’t have to be frustrating; it can be inspiring to know that you always can go back to Love and Truth and see things the way they really are.

I think a lot of times, when I’m trying to work out a problem, it seems like such an individual effort and so easy to get frustrated in thinking, “I have to do this” and “I have to work this out.” It seems like a real burden. But Christ Jesus said, “I can of mine own self do nothing.” He also said, “Then Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do.” And that really helps me, to know that God is the source of all good. God will help me to expressHis love to everyone.

 

The 2015 Oscar Nominees:

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Best Picture

  • American Sniper
  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Selma
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Whiplash

Best Actor

  • Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
  • Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
  • Michael Keaton, Birdman
  • Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Best Actress

  • Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
  • Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
  • Julianne Moore, Still Alice
  • Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
  • Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Best Supporting Actor

  • Robert Duvall, The Judge
  • Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
  • Edward Norton, Birdman
  • Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
  • J. K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress

  • Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
  • Laura Dern, Wild
  • Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
  • Emma Stone, Birdman
  • Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Best Cinematography

  • Birdman
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Ida
  • Mr. Turner
  • Unbroken

Best Director

  • Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman
  • Richard Linklater, Boyhood
  • Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
  • Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

Best Original Screenplay

  • Boyhood
  • Birdman
  • Foxcatcher
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Nightcrawler

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • American Sniper
  • The Imitation Game
  • Inherent Vice
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Whiplash

Best Foreign Language Film

  • Ida, Poland
  • Leviathan, Russia
  • Tangerines, Estonia
  • Timbuktu, Mauritania
  • Wild Tales, Argentina

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

  • Foxcatcher
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Guardians of the Galaxy

Best Original Score

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Interstellar
  • Mr. Turner
  • The Theory of Everything

Best Costume Design

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Inherent Vice
  • Into the Woods
  • Maleficent
  • Mr. Turner

Best Documentary Feature

  • Citizenfour
  • Finding Vivian Maier
  • Last Days in Vietnam
  • Salt of the Earth
  • Virunga

Best Documentary Short

  • Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
  • Joanna
  • Our Curse
  • The Reaper
  • White Earth

Best Film Editing

  • American Sniper
  • Boyhood
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Whiplash

Best Animated Feature

  • Big Hero 6
  • The Boxtrolls
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • Song of the Sea
  • The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Best Original Song

  • “Lost Stars,” Begin Again
  • “Grateful,” Beyond the Lights
  • “I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
  • “Everything is Awesome,” The Lego Movie
  • “Glory,” Selma

Best Production Design

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Interstellar
  • Into the Woods
  • Mr. Turner

Best Animated Short Film

  • The Bigger Picture
  • The Dam Keeper
  • Feast
  • Me and My Moulton
  • A Single Life

Best Live-Action Short Film

  • Aya
  • Boogaloo and Graham
  • Butter Lamp
  • Paraveneh
  • The Phone Call

Best Sound Editing

  • American Sniper
  • Birdman
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • Interstellar
  • Unbroken

Best Sound Mixing

  • American Sniper
  • Birdman
  • Interstellar
  • Unbroken
  • Whiplash

Best Visual Effects

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Interstellar
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past

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