Recycling…

This was posted in an on-line group I’m in, and I thought it was funny. All over the world, old Christian Science churches are being re-purposed as this moribund religion shrinks away to its ‘native nothingness’ (to use a well-known phrase from Mary Baker Eddy). Some have become condominiums, many have found new life as theatres, and others have become homes to congregants of different religions.

However, the former home of First Church of Christ, Scientist in Houston, Texas has found a very interesting new purpose, for the upcoming Super Bowl. In its normal life, it’s a nightclub, but…well…read for yourself. While I think it’s funny, I doubt Mary Baker Eddy would approve…

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7 thoughts on “Recycling…

  1. You have every right to say what you think, as does the party venue have a right to hire out a building. My tears and hurt come from praying and trying so very hard to reflect what I was learning in C.S. injust such a church. What about your parents? Are you laughing at their efforts as well? Is it easy to just mock all of us who were trying so hard to do our best? Your words sadden me.

    • I understand and acknowledge how you would feel about this article and how this church has been re-purposed. I realise that if I were still in CS, I would probably feel the same way. I was finding this funny not so much in a ‘ha ha’ kind of way, but more in the sense of irony in how the use of this building has so radically changed, and its metaphorical representation of a religion in deep decline. Honestly however, after experiencing what CS and its practice did to me and members of my family, I now have little sympathy for CS and no respect for it, to be honest, other than to feel the deepest sadness for those who are still deluded by its false promises as I once was.

      As I see it, the decline of CS is a ‘natural selection’ of sorts that weeds out that which has no validity and casts it to the dustbin of history. I see my parents’ efforts in and their dedication to CS as being something tragically in vain, and it condemned them to a fate I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Their dedication to CS and what it eventually did to them actually fuels my dislike of CS, and my efforts to share with the world what this religion does to people. My parents and so many others foolishly chased the ever-elusive ‘healing that was coming’ like those who chase pots of gold at the end of rainbows. I dearly love my parents, but their dedication to a completely fallacious system of healing was foolhardy, and it killed them–painfully and slowly.

      I do deeply appreciate your comments and participation in my conversation here. I have had very few opposing words here, and hearing reasonable arguments on all sides of an issue are what bring a richness and balance to the conversation that I think is important. You always make me stop and think about what I say, and that’s a very good thing. I just hope you do not chase the pot of gold to a tragic end.

  2. In its own little way, it’s a bit of poetic justice. This religion has caused divorce in countless marriages, through meddling practitioners encouraging one or both of the spouses to give up on intimacy…”You’ve been in that long enough. You need to work out of it.”

    You have to look no further than the comments of Ellen Degeneris, whose mother lived in a nearly sexless marriage, because her father was “busy working out of it.” Ellen has spoken about how she had a less than great time being raised in C.S., and apparently her mother was left alone and in the lurch by her father quite a bit of the time, as well.

    I always thought…even before I left Christian Science… that sexual compatibility makes for a good marriage. And being out of the religion for many years, I believe it now more than ever.

    So glad to be out of a religion where married couples brag about how they’ve been celibate for years…

    When I was in a Christian Science “org” in college, I met a guy who was around 19, 20 or so, who informed me that he “had no need for sex”, he’d already “worked out of it” quite some time back. Boy, with “credentials” like that, he would have had a real future ahead of him, if he became a practitioner, breaking up marriages…

    That is not to say that every practitioner does that, of course. Many of them are thoughtful people who would never inject themself into other people’s private lives. But it is known in the Church…if less spoken of…that many divorces have been caused by meddling practitioners.

    Sex is a very important part of life. We were never meant to “annihilate” it, or to “work out of it.” It is definetly not “the curse on man”, as Mrs. Eddy so hurtfully labelled it.

    Sex after marriage is the ideal way to experience it. Outside of it, less so, perhaps, but I’ve never seen sex outside of marriage to be the absolute nightmare/chamber of horrors Mrs. Eddy always saw it aa being.

    And that doesn’t even address sexual issues relating to LGBT individuals.

    I don’t think many gay and lesbian youth today want to be told, as they would be, in Christian Science, that “God’s man is perfect. He could never make a homosexual.” Or that Christian Science can “heal” homosexuality, as I’ve heard said. They wouldn’t perceive themselves as needing to be “healed” of it. Such teachings would drive them out of the Chirch, adding to the.numbers of young people already leaving it, as young people today are not that thrilled by Christian Science, in any event.

    But getting back to the point of your post…

    Most people outside C.S. don’t know about some of the stranger aspects of it relating to sex. They just know about Christian Scientists not going to doctors. So, again, this is sort of poetic justice, with the Playboy Suprt Bowl party being held at the former location of the Houston Christian Science Church.

    Also nice how the headline of the peice announces it.

    • Chris, I must have bypassed( happily) all this idea of sexless existence as a virtue. As a convert some 45 years ago, I just never ran into this viewpoint. Mrs. Eddy says specifically to ” leave other people’s’ marriages alone.” Misc. Writings. She also says that absolute Christian Science may not be practiced during the sensual ages, p.254 Science and Health. Since eating , drinking, sleeping, and sexual activity are still seen as central to humanity, that pretty much covers it.
      Far more problematic, is the treatment of theLGBT community as “other.” I cannot see where Christian Science addresses this directly, but the grand posturing that this community is in need of healing, is rather like taking a married couple and “healing “them of their sexual expression. In short, it’s audacious.
      Christian Science is still in my head, and emotional center. It reminds me of loving someone or something, even though you see the flaws.
      As a convert of many years standing, I can remember the chill when I first viewed such lack of compassion expressed for those who finally elected medical care, or for the screaming in pain, as others were admonished to” make their demonstration.” Where’s the logic in accessing a dentist, and having your pet receive vet care, as you cover over a facial cancer so no one will know it is there. It took me forty years to see I couldn’t mend the tears in this fabric any longer.

      • Leslie: Thank you for your response. (It took me a little while to get back to you)…

        I’ve met other former Christian Scientists who have had the same experiences as you, regarding their impressions of sexuality, and it’s relation to Christian Science. And I met other Christian Scientists, when I was still in Christian Science, whose sex lives and experiences didn’t interfere at all with their study and involvement with Christian Science. Sexuality, and it’s relation to Christian Science, is really not something the outside world, or non-Christian Scientists, are particularly aware of, or focused on. The outside world most generally and readily associates Christian Scientists with avoiding medicine, and not going to doctors. And, occasionally, some other lesser known, aspects of the religion, such as some of it’s adherents not celebrating birthdays.

        I’ve already written about my growing up in Christian Science here, in a two-part post, written probably a year ago. I didn’t really go into it at the time, and I won’t go into it now, but sexuality was an area that I was, quite literally, terrorized over by my mother. She seemed to be terrified that I would become sexually involved with girls, in my teens, and did some fairly bizarre things in an effort to try to prevent it from happening. She totally flipped out once, after I had gotten my first car, and announced that I was going to a dance during the summer. The prospect of my meeting girls…possible sexual involvement, you know…was something that seemed to terrify her.

        I felt uncomfortable inviting girls over to the house, for instance. But some of them knew where I lived, and when they came by anyway, her presence and behavior made for an uncomfortable experience.

        I really don’t know what my mother’s issues were, but I do know that Mrs. Eddy had a discomfort with sexuality, and resented what she referred to in her writings as “the bad desires of men.” Mrs. Eddy also had fraught relationships with men much of her life, when you read “God’s Perfect Child”, by Caroline Fraser. And my mother was, in her own way, something of a Christian Science zealot. So I think she used the sex-negative aspects of Christian Science, the “war with the senses”, sensuality, et. al, as the basis for some of the things she did to me.

        Anyway, there was quite a bit of damage, but, for what it’s worth, I’ve gotten much counseling, therapy, etc., over the years. (“God’s Perfect Child” really helped), and I’m really in a much better place than I was at an earlier time.

        Thank you. Hope this helps.

  3. I just wanted to add a few more words…

    I never mean to trample on the feelings of other people. After I made this post, I read what Leslie Saunders had to say. I didn`t mean to sound flippant in my post. I’m sure there are many people who attended that Church in Houston, who have nice memories of it, and felt sad at it’s closing…or relocation. To have a Playboy Superbowl Party on the very same location as the same one the Church once belonged to, may feel like a latter day besmirching of a location and memories that may have held great significance to the people who had earlier attended it.

    I may be out of the Christian Science church, but I take no amusement in the distress the people who had earlier attended it may feel.

  4. Sad, I wonder what Mrs. Eddy would do these times, pertaining to Church. Leaving structure of CS, all the activities such as what you can and cannot read, the CS Board of Directors, and changes made to favor them. In BIO. she didn’t want to establish Church, as her healing methods were so factual, she thought everyone could be a Christian Scientist after class instruction. I have in my travels, watched as a member struggles, only to be shunned … Only you and your practitioner need to know.

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