The question of independence for Scotland
A Christian Science perspective.
It isn’t very often that an electorate is faced with a vote on a single question that will actually determine much about the future of that country.
On Sept. 18, the voters of Scotland will be faced with just such a referendum when they vote on the important question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”
A “yes” vote would mean significant change: Scotland would become a nation independent of the British government, thus radically altering a political, cultural, and social relationship of more than 300 years. A “no” vote would mean that Scotland will continue to fill its niche in the complex, interrelated identity of countries that make up the United Kingdom, i.e., England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
When the future course of an entire nation might be in question, how can voters be sure that they are rightly guided and that the result will be the best for all concerned? For Scottish voters and for all world citizens, is it possible to do one’s part to prayerfully support the wisest decision for Scotland on Sept. 18?
We learn from the Bible, and Christian Science reiterates, that prayer is effective. Prayer that reaches out to the truth of God’s government is a way of supporting the democratic process. Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy encouraged her followers to pray over concerns regarding the well-being of nations. In her book “The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” she described this ideal: “To coincide with God’s government is the proper incentive to the action of all nations” (p. 278). Her statement doesn’t imply a religious agenda but an unselfish desire to help nations proceed wisely and in the best interests of their citizens.
A starting point for prayer to support a right decision in the Scottish referendum is the realization that God, divine Mind, is the source of all true government and the source of all wisdom regarding government. As Isaiah says, “[T]he government shall be upon his shoulder” (Isaiah 9:6).
The divine Mind is the source of all intelligence. Man – meaning all men and women – is God’s expression and naturally reflects divine intelligence. Therefore we can pray to affirm and understand that each and every citizen, being the spiritual expression of Mind, is under the government of Mind, and therefore each one has the innate, God-given ability to discern the truth and wisdom of what is being asserted by both sides in the debate.
In the Christian Science textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mary Baker Eddy states: “God makes and governs all” (p. 532). In reality, God, Mind, alone governs all harmoniously and completely with no fluctuations or uncertainty.
With many contradictory assertions surrounding the referendum, the prayer that asks God for right guidance can bring intuitions that result in a decision by voters that will be best for Scotland. Although the human mind is often unable to discern right action in a complex situation, the divine Mind knows all, and our leaning on the allness of Mind can reveal wise human action in national dilemmas, resulting in a future in which the stability of God’s government is demonstrated in good for all.
A hymn in the “Christian Science Hymnal” indicates that God provides divine guidance to those who open their thought to discern it, and we can trust that fact:
Plain shall His guidance be,
If thou but seek the right;
Clearly thy pathway thou shalt see,
A line of purest light.
(Elizabeth C. Adams, No. 70).
Scotland’s unique identity as a modern country of five and a half million people amounts to a lot more than its tourist image of tartans, kilts, and bagpipes. In our interrelated world, what is best for Scotland will be best for Britain, Europe, and the wider community of nations, including the United States. True wisdom from a divine source will help produce a referendum result based on what is best for Scotland’s future and security. But this needs to be demonstrated through spiritually enlightened prayer. The inspired prayer that acknowledges God, divine Mind, as the source of all wise action will support the best result in the Sept. 18 vote.