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Christian Science and COVID-19

EDITOR, The Tribune

I was taken aback after learning of two Grand Bahamian women who are adherents of Christian Science (not to be confused with L Ron Hubbard’s Scientology), a cult based in the north eastern region of the United States. Both women are Black.

Headquartered in Boston, Christian Science was established by Mary Baker Eddy in 1879. She was a disciple of Dr Phineas Parkhurst Quimby – an American cultist, mental healer and hypnotist. Paying lip-service to the Bible, Christian Science practitioners follow the teachings of Eddy in her volume Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. There’s absolutely nothing scientific or Christian about this religious sect, despite coming under the rubric of Christianity.

Consequently, the Encyclopedia Britannica’s designation of Christian Science as being a denomination might be misconstrued by the uninformed that the sect is similar to the Methodist Church or the Lutheran Synod. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Christian God created the physical and metaphysical (or spiritual) realms. In Genesis 1:1, it says that Elohim created the heavens and the earth. In Genesis 1:31, it says that everything that God created was very good. This was before the catastrophic Fall mentioned in Genesis 3. Eddy taught that the physical realm was an illusion, notwithstanding the sheer volume of evidence which undermined her metaphysical presuppositions. Her theological viewpoints would inevitably lead to her rejection of physical ailment as simply a mental impediment that can be overcome with the right mindset. This is why Christian Science practitioners reject medicine and medical treatment when ill. If a female adherent of Eddy detects a huge lump on her breast, rather than getting a mammogram, she would simply dismiss it as a mental illusion.

And if an individual has COVID-19 symptoms, he would do likewise, rather than seek medical treatment and quarantine. Herein lies the danger Bahamian Christian Science adherents are needlessly exposing other Bahamians to. To them, COVID-19, notwithstanding the 600-plus deaths and tens of thousands of documented infections, is an issue of the mind. Nothing more, nothing less. For Ministry of Health officials, any engagement with Christian Science practitioners would have to be theological. Over a century after Eddy’s death, her disdain for medicine continues to have dire ramifications in the United States and to a lesser degree, The Bahamas as well.

KEVIN EVANS

Freeport, Grand Bahama

November 1, 2021.

Comments

jdenisglover 9 months, 1 week ago

The recent letter illustrates the fact that Christian Science is a least known and least understood religion. For example, in the case of an epidemic, Christian Scientists carefully follow preventative measures, especially when advised by authorities. In addition, they are completely allowed to use the services of a physician.

Late in Mary Baker Eddy’s life, Clara Barton, creator of the American Red Cross, declared her the “nation’s greatest woman.” And in 2014 Smithsonian Magazine named Eddy one of the “100 Most Significant Americans of All Time.”

Theologian Karl Barth is reputed to have said that Christians must live their lives with a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other. By that definition, Mary Baker Eddy was a Christian in spades. Brought up on the Bible as a devout New England Congregationalist, she—under dire circumstances in middle age—turned to an intensive study of it and kept the Bible close until her death in 1910.

Two years before, she had founded The Christian Science Monitor newspaper headquartered in Boston! Now a broadened media source.

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jdenisglover 9 months, 1 week ago

A recent letter about Christian Science confirms the fact that it is a little known and little understood religion. For examples, the religion advocates all preventative measures in the case of an epidemic and does not deny its adherents the choice to turn to a physician.

Late in founder Mary Baker Eddy’s life, Clara Barton, creator of the American Red Cross, had declared her the “nation’s greatest woman.” And in 2014 Smithsonian Magazine named Eddy one of the “100 Most Significant Americans of All Time.”

Theologian Karl Barth is reputed to have said that Christians must live their lives with a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other. By that definition, Mary Baker Eddy was a Christian in spades. Brought up on the Bible as a devout New England Congregationalist, she—under dire circumstances in middle age—turned to an intensive study of it and kept the Bible close until her death in 1910.

Two years before, she had founded The Christian Science Monitor newspaper headquartered in Boston! Now a broadened media source.

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