Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Jill Carroll

I was raised in a devout Christian Scientist home and went to a pretty strict Christian Scientist Boarding School. The Christian Science Monitor was the first newspaper I ever read regularly.

Being a member of a small, (dare I say) "minority" religion (as opposed to Catholics, Jews, Mormoms, Baptists, Jehovah's Witness's and Scientologists) can really put a target on you. The Catholics were the worst when I was growing up. Sure, I have never been beaten for it or had my house burned down, and since no real violence has ever been perpetrated on Christian Scientists, most folks have absolutely no problem attacking the believers. I have been Chiara Oscuro GRILLED by members of other religions till the wee hours of the morning about the faith I was raised in. Sure, that whole "not going to doctors" thing is odd to most folks, but I have seen Christian Science work. I have also seen it fail. How perfect is your religion? Does anyone recall the name of Jesus's doctor?

No matter what you consider your faith or your principles they will be put to the test one day and you can go "all in;" which can mean losing all of your chips.

I am not a practicing Christian Scientist and have even mocked them myself. Shit, Jackie Mason made a career mocking his religion. I do subscribe to many of their philosophies, it is an unerasable part of me. Whether I agree with them on everything or not is not the the point. They are my people and I will always defend their right to practice as they wish to practice.

There is a Christian Science college as well in Elsah, Illinois. While the rules of Christian Science are expected to be upheld... It's a walk in the park compared to Oral Roberts University.

Some facts about Christian Science:

1.) Christian Scientists have never waged war in the name of Christian Science.
2.) Christian Science is one of three major religions founded in America; to my knowledge the only one founded by a woman. At the time it was founded, this woman was considered VERY
progressive. While Mary Baker Eddy was never directly involved in the suffragette movement, her work would never have been created without the suffragettes. I believe her work had a direct influence on those who did.
3.) Christian Scientists have no official "party line" on homosexuality. It's never mentioned. Not once. However, they do believe that sex should only take place within marriage. From the younger Christian Scientists I know it is now more of a "guideline." The older ones are more tolerant as the years go by. Well, as tolerant as a parent can get anyways.
4.) The Christian Science Monitor is a pretty straight forward newspaper in the classic journalistic sense and is considered one the best newspapers in the world. There are religious editorials. There are op-ed opinions. And the editoralizing is where is belongs... near the back of the paper... not on the front page. You ain't getting that in any newspaper that bears the Catholic, Jew, Muslim, Mormon.. etc by-line.
5.) There is no hell. There is no sin. There are no "holy" people. Jesus was just a man, all of us can rise to his occasion. If God made humans in his image, all humans are the offspring of God. For most of us, it just takes a lot of work to be as accomplished as our know-it-all show off older brother.

From what I have seen, until today there has been very little coverage of the Jill Carroll abduction in Iraq. I can't help but think it is because half the nation "tunes out" when the word "Christian" is used and the other half tune out when the word "Science" is used. Unlike Fox News, The Christian Science Monitor employs writers that are talented, regardless of who they pray too. I guess I could have just written "the Christian Science Monitor only employs talented writers."

Personally I have been trying to find out if Jill Carroll is one of "my people," did she attend the same boarding school I went too? Did she have her first kiss on "the lawn" after a dance? Did she watch the football games? Did she eat a cafeteria diet of MidWestern "you want some more fat with your fat"? I can't find any bio information on her. I can't even find a photo other than "the hostage" photo. And I won't print that.

I don't know, I don't care. Jill Carroll is a person and regardless is "one of my people." She may even be on my team. She is in trouble, and she needs help. I like helping people. If a friend that I haven't spoken to in ten years needs a hand, I will lend it. Regardless of how we left it. No questions asked. In this case, I just wish I could help out. I haven't felt this way about the other hostages that have been taken and flaunted on Al-Jazerra. From now on, I think I will.

I know it doesn't look good for Jill. But what I have been able find out is that she loves people and loves writing. The Marines "never leave a man behind." Let's stop leaving people behind.

Here are a couple of articles she has written.

Mourning Marla (From the Christian Science Monitor via AlterNet)
Letter from from Baghdad: What a Way to Make a Living (From the American Journalism Review)

Good night, Good Luck and God Bless,



Debra said...

Well written, thank you.

totolehero said...

yes.. very well written... and it was really interesting.. i didn't know much about Christian Scientists... hmmm who would've known.... you, a christian scientist.... heheh...

as i meet people and get in deeper relationships with them, i realize how important it is.. and how blessed i am to belong to my faith... and have that special bond with people of the same faith..

will be praying for miss Carroll...

Anonymous said...

I'm praying for her too and I hope they release her. As she supposedly has told her abductors, she's only a journalist and loves Iraq and its people. It's crucial that independent voices like hers survive.

BTW, did you attend the Principia High School in suburban St. Louis?

Crackpot Press said...

Yes I did attend Principia; Class of 87.

If you think you may know me feel free to shoot me an email crackpot@crackpotpress.com

Thanks for Stopping by.

Tina said...

Crackpot: I don't think Jill Carroll is a Christian Scientist, but I can't say for sure. Why? Her sister's blog (called Lady of Arabia-- which documented Jill's experiences in Iraq as well as her life in Cairo where she keeps an apartment) was pulled down immediately after Jill was kidnapped. So, if any source could give us good details about the way she raised (she is an Ann Arbor native), it would probably come from her sister's blog. From Jan 10/05 TIME:

Posted Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2006
When Jill Carroll, 28, a Baghdad-based freelancer for the Christian Science Monitor was kidnapped on Saturday, the tightly knit community of reporters in the Iraqi capital knew of the abduction within hours. But in an almost unprecedented move, media organizations in Baghdad— Arabic and English alike—kept a lid on the news in hopes that a media blackout would give negotiators and rescuers time to win her release. For two days it mostly held, to the point where early reports mentioning her affiliation with the Christian Science Monitor were pulled from Web pages. A blog kept by her sister called "Lady of Arabia," which detailed many of Carroll’s exploits in Baghdad, was pulled down.

"It wasn't just U.S. media, there were various Italian agencies that ran with a lot of details, and a Kuwaiti news agency that ran with it, they all pulled it down," the Monitor’s managing editor, Marshall Ingwerson, told Editor & Publisher. "Basically, everyone who ran with it, once we reached them, was cooperative. I was surprised and very heartened that people were so willing to help us."

There was fear that her affiliation with a paper with the word "Christian" in the title might cause her captors to treat her harshly. After two days however, the Monitor ran a story of its own and other media organizations followed suit. "Jill worked for a lot of newspapers and media from many countries," Ingwerson told E&P. "She is not a Monitor staffer."

Rest assured Crackpot, if Jill were an anti-Muslim/ anti-Iraqi kind of Christian ( ya know... like the kind Hannity, O'Reilly and Limbaugh just LOVE) her religion as yet another "poor persecuted Christian" would be played up to the hilt with the wingnuts so they could scare the bejeebus out of all the "God-fearing, anti-all other religions Christians" in this country.

I agree that her capture has received little notice, but I think it is a case just the Christian aid workers who are still currently held captive: They were not anti-Muslim, anti-Iraqi and they were not spewing BushCo propaganda about the war. They told the truth as they saw it on the ground, often times from the Iraqi persepective. If you are not a War Fan and you happen to get captured, your kidnapping is not made into a big deal back home. If you spout the BushCo talking pts... it gets more coverage by the propganda machines and talking heads.

Oh yeah... by the way... sorry that Catholics have been so mean to you... I would never treat ya like that. But then again, as a Catholic, I get treated pretty badly myself by the Catholic Church for not being anti-gay/ anti-choice.
Maybe if the Pope, bishops, priests and nuns could have normal relationships with sexuality and get married, they wouldn't promote such extreme mean, eh?

.... I know... I am so trapped in Hell or Purgatory for that... sigh.

Greg Mills said...

Nicely done bit, Dave. Congrats on the Raw Story pick-up, you clever monkey.