Re: terminology

Blaine D. McArthur (bjmcarth@pacbell.net)
Sat, 13 Feb 1999 09:42:11 -0800

JackUTM@aol.com wrote:

> We could emphasise the difference between Christian Scientist and
> Christian
> scientist.

I tend to agree with Jack.

My thoughts on this matter may be explained by the following.

My wife is Japanese-American. I am a bit of a mongrel myself. I have
friends who consider themselves Irish-Americans, and other who consider
themselves Asian -Americans. Still others consider themselves
Christian scientists, Etc. etc. etc.

My wife and I work with a ministry that reaches out to international
students who are attending one of the two ESL (English as a Second
Language) schools here in Fresno. We are acquainted with students from
Japan, China (PRC), Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia,
Philippines, Switzerland, Hungary, Russian, Kazahkstan, Ukraine, and
Brazil.

I will single out Brazil for a reason. An asian student came to one of
the Friday night meetings. When I learned his name, I discovered that
he was "Japanese." I decided to try out my Japanese on him. He just
stared at me. "Nao entendo." (Portugese for "I do not understand".) He
was was from Brazil. I explained that my was was Japanese, or
"Japanese-American" that is. He did not understand. He said in his
country he just considered himself Brazilian. He did not understand our
need to categorize into XXX-American. A number of other Brazilian
students have also independently made the same comment.

My point is I do not think we should make such a big deal about this
terminology thing.

I usually just tell people I am a Christian. (I am not yet a scientist,
so I can not tell them I am a scientist, but that is what I will do.)
Depending on the context, I may have to make a statement regarding
"Christian scientists." I think the context will usually supply the
meaning. If there is a misunderstanding, I explain, beginning with the
first part......Christian...... What an opening!

OK, maybe it is a litle simplistic, but it works for me.

Blaine D. McArthur