Christian Science AND Medical Care?

This article was posted today in an ex-Christian Scientist Facebook group I am in, and it is an interesting read. It dates from 2010, and I recall reading it when it first came out. It was written with the blessing and cooperation not only of a Christian Science practitioner or two, but also of Church officials. Oh, how the Church tries desperately to stem the tide of decline and remain relevant in a world that seems to leave it in the dust more and more!

The article talks of the Church’s apparently new openness to those who seek medical care. The Church claims that it has never discouraged Christian Scientists from going to the doctor, and that may be true, but any former Christian Scientist will assure you that the peer pressure to not seek medical treatment is incredibly strong. Those who seek medical care often face ostracism, and outright scorn. My own father received extreme scorn from holier than thou Christian Scientists when he on occasion wisely sought medical care.

It’s much the same way that believe it or not, the constitution of the old Soviet Union actually guaranteed freedom of religion, but in practice, that was absolutely not true. Anyone who was alive during the Cold War or who is a student of history well knows that the Soviet Union was an ardently atheist state. Anyone who openly practiced religion faced severe repercussions. It’s much the same way for Christian Scientists who seek medical care–in theory you can, but you’ll suffer consequences if you actually do. If anyone tells you otherwise, they’re a’ lyin’ to ya! Oddly enough, dental and vision care are ok. I think it’s because Mary Baker Eddy (the ‘discoverer’ of Christian Science) sought such.

I can say with a fair bit of certainty that this new openness on the part of the Church has, as the article somewhat implies, much to do with dwindling membership and a need to reverse that trend or risk certain demise. The Church is trying desperately to be and/or remain relevant by now presenting itself as “alternative health care”. I don’t think it will last. I hope it doesn’t.

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8 thoughts on “Christian Science AND Medical Care?

  1. The Church claims that it has never discouraged Christian Scientists (CS-ists) from going to the doctor, and that may be true,

    but NONE of the institutions that “align” themselves with CS allow people who are not 100% RADICALLY RELYING on it to participate – see Prin & all CS-nursing facilities.

    • Yes, that is tragically true. That’s where very real damage is being done. It’s fundamentalist Christian Science belief/practice. Fundamentalism never leads to good results.

  2. Pingback: placating the masses & getting govmt. money | kindism

  3. Excellent post, EG. Even if the Christian Science stigma of sneaking off to a doctor has lifted somewhat, the legal damage done by this church to state laws (rewriting them to permit parents to opt out of medical care for children as a religious exemption) now protects dozens of other cults who don’t mind sacrificing their kids.

    I also have to add that my CS practitioner used my childhood “healing”–medically untreated bone disease that left me with a leg so badly scarred it was eventually amputated, not to mention PTSD–in an address to other practitioners about children successfully shielded from medical interference while being healed. As of a year or two, he was still teaching CS parctitioners.

    • I really doubt the stigma of seeking medical treatment will ever really lift very much. Kindism’s comment above serves as a good reminder of how many of the CS affiliated organizations remain very conservative/fundamentalist. These organizations are under the sway of very conservative donors, so I don’t see change happening. The peer pressure also is incredible. I was scolded quite soundly myself when I took my own father to the hospital for treatment at the end of his life by someone very close to both of us. I still boil a bit at that memory.

    • Oh, and I only have one thing to say about your practitioner’s pronouncements about your “healing”…bullshit! Absolute bullshit! I guess since it didn’t kill you, I suppose it’s a healing eh? Nevermind the ensuing mental health issues you’ve dealt with…oh…and something about a leg amputation?

  4. Christian Science ruined m mother’s life. Denial and the myth of “thinking right” as the answer to everything in the family life made for a conflicts that were unimaginable for my mom, hatred for CS by my father, confusion for everyone and eventually, alcoholism which took the lives of 3 family membes. All the while, “knowing the truth”, denying disease, and even refusing medical care when dying was what I had to witness. I am an expert on Christian Science today and laws should protect children who must live in this sadness, abuse and confusion.

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