I’ve been unpacking some of the topics covered by the Get Wise webinar with Bob & Judy Pardon, and (heavily paraphrasing here) somewhere along the way they talked about how destructive systems*, like Christian Science, make the abnormal appear totally normal.
This normal/abnormal issue pops up fairly regularly, I often find it triggering in the context of a medical visit, when I’m already hopped up on adrenaline and anxiety, but in casual texting with a friend it makes me want to educate people more.
I recently was texting with a never-CS friend about a totally unrelated issue, and the following chat unfolded, I have shared it below, with a few redactions for privacy, slight edits for clarify, and several embedded links for the curious.
Friend: You know how they do (or did) scoliosis screenings at school?
me: I was exempted on religious grounds luckily my spine is OK (as far as I know)
Friend: Is even checking the spine not okay with The Teachings? it’s medical It’s a gym teacher touching your back, I mean… It’s less medical than an eye exam?
Friend: I know consistent internal logic isn’t really the strong suit for cults so I’m unclear on the rules
me: those things were ALSO ESTABLISHED EVIDENCE BASED MEDICINE IN THE 1800s**… and beloved leader partook in them b/c reasons, she hadn’t ascended yet? “Suffer it to be so now”
Friend: But not all obstetrics. so just 1800 midwifery?
me: beloved leader preferred you not die in unaccompanied childbirth babies are tricky things to manifest she’s weird about husbands
Friend: So you can die if accompanied?
me: yes that way it isn’t the religions fault
Friend: Then it’s the OB/midwife’s fault?
me: YEP or the mother’s fault for not doing it right, I presume they failed their demonstration They will have to work on that in their next plane of existence
Friend: I would be so bad in a cult…
me: OR SOMETHING I wasn’t great at it
When I was deep in CS, I never really gave medical exemptions much thought, beyond my mother’s yearly mad scramble to get the paperwork in on time (that wasn’t abnormal). We didn’t participate, everyone else did. It was normal to us, and very much not normal to everyone else.
*You’re welcome to disagree, however, I have left CS and found it to be destructive.
** For more of the Historical Context of Christian Science, check out this series of posts at the ExCS site, or any number of unauthorized (and authorized) works about MBE’s life and works.