Recently, this news story came across my Facebook newsfeed courtesy of one of the ex-Christian Scientist groups I’m in. I ask that you give it a read before continuing with this post. Go ahead…I’ll wait.
There–finished the article? Great! What did you think? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments, via e-mail–or if you’re up to it, go ahead and write a guest post. I’ll take a few moments now to share some of my thoughts, since this is my blog, after all.
Christian Scientists, as Linda Osmundson does, blithely ignore the 800 pound gorillas in their rooms all too often. In this case, as it often is, it’s a very visible and hideous growth on their face or some other part of their body. Throughout my childhood and adult life in Christian Science, I remember many older men and women with unsightly growths on their faces and bodies. I know first-hand of one who definitely died as a result of the growth on her face. In her latter days, I remember this growth consuming well over half of her face, obstructing her eye and ear. Even as a Christian Scientist, when I’d see these growths, I could not understand why the people didn’t just at least get them removed. But, I was always more of a ‘CS-lite’ as many of my ex-Christian Scientist friends call those Christian Scientists who are not overly radical reliers on Christian Science.
What truly puzzles me with Osmundson is that she has a diagnosis of what the growth is. She doesn’t share it, so we’re left to speculate. I’m certain it’s a form of skin cancer, as many such growths are. I also know that most skin cancer, if caught early enough, is usually treatable. A relative of mine had a melanoma removed from his back over a year ago, and is doing perfectly fine. I regularly check myself for anything that seems awry, and don’t hesitate to raise any concerns with my doctor if something alarms me. Better to ask a dumb question than suffer and regret later.
Osmundson is very obviously living in a deep state of denial and delusion, and the comments on this story reflect that perception on the part of readers. It saddens me to see her going down with the ship this way, and down she will likely go. This thing isn’t going to get better, no matter how much she denies the reality of the lump consuming her face. You can’t pray it away. It’s only going to get worse. She also completely ignores the gravity of her other symptoms, which she mentions, but seems to just skip merrily on.
Linda Osmundson is as bad an advertisement for Christian Science as there possibly could be. She openly ignores, denies, and glosses over something that is truly alarming to almost any normal human being. On the surface, she appears to be in a deep state of delusional denial. It really is sad. This is not the public face (pun not intended) that the Christian Science Church wants, but this is the true face of Christian Science. This is the unvarnished truth of what this horrible religion is and what it makes people do. If Osmundson has done one service by her public exposure, it is to lay wide open for all to see, the real truth about Christian Science and how it clouds the mind to reality, and causes people to do such horrible things to themselves, and in some cases, others. While Osmundson is an adult and entitled to her own choices, tragically, many children fall victim to the delusions of their Christian Scientist parents. Don’t believe me? Check out this link.
Over and above what Linda Osmundson is doing to herself, one thing I find truly sad about this whole story is how Osmundson’s condition and the distraction it causes, has–at least in the context of this news story, distracted from the cause that she and the organization she leads serves–the protection and provision of services to battered women. Osmundson is a survivor of domestic violence, and could be an incredible spokesperson and advocate for this important issue, but I’m afraid most people will find it difficult to see past the very obvious ‘800 pound gorilla’ on her face. This is one of the two tragedies in this story.
Dear reader, I ask you to educate yourself on the issue of domestic violence, recognize the signs of domestic violence, and learn how to act when you encounter it. Support organizations in your area that help the victims of domestic violence if you feel moved to do so. Be an advocate, do whatever you can, or find other ways to help your community. You can start with the links I provide below.
- Community Action Stops Abuse (St. Petersburg, Florida, USA)–the organization led by Linda Osmundson
- Hot Peach Pages – a worldwide listing of agencies supporting victims of domestic violence
- National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (United States)
- Domestic Violence Hotlines (United States)
- Domestic Violence In Gay Couples (United States)
- Women’s Aid (United Kingdom)
- Women’s Link Worldwide (Spain & Latin America)
- UN Women (United Nations)