What I’ve been Reading: Measles, the Dead & Healthcare Access

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Christian Science: Lobbying It or Living It?

A Christian Scientists perspective on Congressional Lobbying over healthcare and exemptions for Christian Scientists. Beautifully put and well worth the read.

Adventures of the Madcap Christian Scientist

The letter of Science plentifully reaches humanity to-day, but its spirit comes only in small degrees. The vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science, is Love. Without this, the letter is but the dead body of Science, – pulseless, cold, inanimate. – Mary Baker Eddy.

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In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy defines “Church” as the “structure of Truth and Love” and says the role of Church is to rouse “the dormant understanding… to the apprehension of spiritual ideas…” 

Lately some members of the Christian Science church have been busy lobbying their politicians for exemptions for Christian Scientists from health insurance and laws regarding child neglect. And I’m sorry, but I have to ask – how is exempting Christian Scientists from health insurance laws and child neglect laws in any way going to help rouse anyone’s…

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Ms. Eddy’s Inspiration Round 3

Welcome Ms. Eddy’s Inspiration Round 3 (for all posts on this topic see the MBE Inspiration tag). Answers to Ms. Eddy’s Inspiration Round 2 are now up.

As noted in Rounds 1 and 2, Ms. Eddy claims Science and Health with Key to the Scripture was divinely inspired and that her only source was the Bible, I have drawn from a variety of sources to compile the passages below. What work is hers? I’ll let you try and sort that out.

  • Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy (the 1875 and 1994 editions)
  • Quimby Manuscript by Horatio Dresser
  • The Leiber Document found in Mrs. Eddy Purloins from Hegel (1936) by Walter M. Haushalter

** Please note I have temporarily allowed “anonymous” commenting. All first-time comments will be moderated. **


1) The time will come when the true God will be worshipped in spirit and truth, for God is a Spirit and not a man.

2) Matter is not the medium through which Spirit acts, or is manifested. Spirit is never individualized, and there is no medium for it. Spirit is infinite, because it is Intelligence, what then can limit it? Again, to Spirit Intelligence alone is Substance, and there is no matter. If the body was intelligent, it could never return to dust, for mind dies not, and Intelligence never developed from matter.

3) Jesus’ parable of “the sower” shows the care our Master took not to impart to dull ears and gross hearts the spiritual teachings which dulness and grossness could not accept. Reading the thoughts of the people, he said: “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine.”

4) The unity of God and man is made real by Spirit.

5) He travelled all through the land curing all sorts of diseases, preaching the kingdom of Science, and His fame went everywhere. Great multitudes followed Him and He went up into a higher state or Science and opened His mouth to them in truth or parables.

6) The beauty of matter passes away fading at length into decay and ugliness. But beauty itself is a thing of Life exempt from age or decay and to be this is must be a thing of Spirit.

7) Disease is the offspring of error

8) Matter and its claims of sin, sickness, and death are contrary to God, and cannot emanate from Him. There is no material truth. The physical senses can take no cognizance of God and spiritual Truth.

9) there is no truth, substance, life or intelligence in matter; all is infinite Mind. Thus matter has no reality; it is only the manifestation of Spirit.

10) That Spirit propagates matter or matter Spirit, is morally impossible.

UPDATED: Calling your Congress People on Religious Exemptions

As a general rule, I try not to get involved in politics, but I don’t feel that religions should be exempted from anything — they should pay taxes, they should have to enroll in health care. As Jesus reminded them, render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. Jesus also said “suffer the little children” (Matthew 19:14) but he didn’t mean from untreated osteomyelitis.

Christian Science has a long history of lobbying congress to get their way, and of carefully controlling PR pieces to put them in a positive light.

While The Mother Church and Christian Science may be more carefully controlling their story, there are other religious groups that are using legislative loopholes lobbied for by Christian Scientists. The one currently making the rounds in the news are the Followers of Christ Church, and thy are already making an impact: in May of 2011,

the Oregon state Senate voted to end legal protection granted to parents practicing religious faith healing. The legislation ends legal protection for parents who choose faith healing to the exclusion of modern medicine in treating their children’s health. (1)

I don’t think Christian Scientists — or any religious group — should have special exemptions. They should all be treated fairly under the law. Would non-religious parents who let their child die similar circumstances be held accountable under the law? Yes. Why should religious parents be held to a different standard? Either the child is healed INSTANTANEOUSLY, or the child should get medical attention. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse, ignorance of the need for medical attention should not be be not one either.

More on the Followers of Christ Church

More on Faith Healing & Legislation

What YOU CAN DO to make a difference — March 11, 2014

Dear CHILD Members and Friends,

The Christian Science church has scheduled a “national call-in day” on March 11 and is asking all members to call their federal legislators that day and urge votes for HR1814 and their bills exempting everyone with “sincerely held religious beliefs” against “medical health care” from the mandate to buy health insurance.

HR1814 has 216 co-sponsors; S.862 has 31. They are in the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees but have not been scheduled for hearings. With so many co-sponsors and with this national call-in day, they may get pushed through Congress.

We urge you to contact your Congressperson and Senator in opposition to these bills either on or close to March 11. There are 177 minor children and stillborns buried in one cemetery used by the Idaho Followers of Christ. We believe that at least some of those children would have gotten medical care if their parents had been required to carry health insurance for them.

These bills will be a great burden for governments to enforce and may involve the state in unconstitutional investigation of a person’s beliefs—whether they’re really religious, whether they are sincere, and whether he objects to all medical care or just some forms of care. Maybe the state will just accept anyone’s word that he has sincere religious beliefs against some medical care, which will be financially convenient for many people to claim.

It is likely that some will claim the religious exemption to save money but later get medical care at the public’s expense. While the law provides that doing so forfeits the exemption, the provision will be hard to enforce and the cost of the medical care they get may be more than the penalty for not having insurance. Furthermore, they can claim the exemption again for the next year after forfeiting it for one year.

Please voice your opposition to HR1814 and S.862. They increase the risk to children in faith-healing sects and the cost to the state if the children do get medical care.

Sincerely, Rita Swan

UPDATE (March 10, 2014) This came out this morning!!

Dear CHILD Members and Friends:

We’ve just learned that HR1814, the bill to give everyone an exemption from buying health insurance if they have “sincerely-held religious beliefs” against medical care, will go to the House floor tomorrow under suspension of the rules. It is bypassing the House Ways and Means Committee.

Wikipedia says “suspension of the rules is a procedure generally used to quickly pass non-controversial bills [such as naming of post offices]. . . . Once a member makes a motion to “suspend the rules” and take some action, debate is limited to 40 minutes, no amendments can be offered to the motion or the underlying matter, and a 2/3 majority of Members present and voting is required to agree to the motion.”

“A suspension motion sets aside all procedural and other rules that otherwise prohibit the House from considering the measure—but the motion never mentions the specific rules that are suspended.”

This is not right. This bill is not a non-controversial bill. No fiscal impact analysis has been performed. There is obviously a cost to allowing a substantial number of people to opt out of getting health insurance. And there is the cost to the children, who are permanently harmed or lose their lives because their parents did not get health insurance for them.

The Christian Science church has scheduled a national call-in day tomorrow, so there will be thousands of Christian Scientists calling their members of Congress on March 11 just as HR1814 goes to the floor.

Please call your U.S. Congressperson and urge a vote against HR1814.

Thank you.

Rita Swan

The Legislation in Question

  1. http://www.examiner.com/article/religion-oregon-senate-rejects-faith-healing-legal-defense?fb_comment=33526101

Update: fellow former-CS blogger Emerging Gently has a great piece about this issue as well! http://emergegently.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/call-to-action/

Ms. Eddy’s Inspiration (Round 2)

Welcome Ms. Eddy’s Inspiration Round 2 (for all posts on this topic see the MBE Inspiration tag). Answers to Ms. Eddy’s Inspiration Round 1 are  now up.

As with Round 1, while Ms. Eddy claims Science and Health with Key to the Scripture was divinely inspired and that her only source was the Bible, I have drawn from a variety of sources to compile the passages below. What work is hers? I’ll let you try and sort that out.

  • Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy (the 1875 and 1994 editions)
  • Quimby Manuscript by Horatio Dresser
  • The Leiber Document found in Mrs. Eddy Purloins from Hegel (1936) by Walter M. Haushalter

** Please note I have temporarily allowed “anonymous” commenting. All first-time comments will be moderated. **


1) science brings to light truth and its supremacy, universal harmony, God’s entirety, and matter’s nothingness.

2) Embryology affords no instance of one species producing another; of a serpent germinating a bird, or a lion a lamb.

3) What is the weapon that destroys this life or disease? Science. This is eternal, and that destroys all other life. This is to the animal life, death. So Science to the natural man is nothing that contains life. But this Science is a Principle. This is the only living and eternal life. This Science is what rose from the dead or natural life.

4) Mind is universal, the first and only cause of all that reality is.

5) To separate the truth from the error is a Science the knowledge of which teaches how to correct an error or disease, and in this knowledge is eternal life.

6) Therefore the divine Principle of Science, reversing the testimony of the physical senses, reveals man as harmoniously existent in Truth, which is the only basis of health; and thus Science denies all disease, heals the sick, overthrows false evidence, and refutes materialistic logic.

7) The difference is not as great between the opposite species as between matter and spirit, so utterly unlike in substance and intelligence. That spirit propagates matter or matter spirit, is morally impossible.

8) Wisdom is the true man and error the counterfeit.

9)  The optical focus is another proof of the illusion of material sense. On the eye’s retina, sky and tree-tops apparently join hands, clouds and ocean meet and mingle. The barometer, — that little prophet of storm and sunshine, denying the testimony of the senses, — points to fair weather in the midst of murky clouds and drenching rain.

10) What is disease? It is false reasoning. True scientific wisdom is health and happiness. False reasoning is sickness and death; and on these two modes of reasoning hang all of our happiness and misery.

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Ms. Eddy’s Inspiration (round 1)

Ms. Eddy claims Science and Health with Key to the Scripture was divinely inspired and that her only source was the Bible (see below).

With that in mind, I will now inform you that the passages below come from the following sources:

  • Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy
  • Quimby Manuscript by Horatio Dresser
  • The Leiber Document found in Mrs. Eddy Purloins from Hegel (1936) by Walter M. Haushalter

I challenge you, dear readers, to sort out who wrote what — please share your answers in the comments. The correct answers will be shared in due time.

Please note I have temporarily suspended the requirement for a name/e-mail address when commenting so that “anonymous” commenters may speculate freely on the passages below. All comments will be moderated.


1) The contrast of good and evil is destroyed in God who is the only true reality. Since nothing is real and eternal, nothing is Spirit, but God and His Idea, evil has no reality. If God is admitted to be the only Mind and Life, there ceases to be any opportunity for evil.

2) Man is the expression of God’s being. If there ever was a moment when man did not express the divine perfection, then there was a moment when man did not express God, and consequently a time when Deity was unexpressed – that is, without entity.

3) Thus it is set forth that man is the supreme Idea born of Mind.

4) Eternal life is Christ or Science, this teaches us that matter is a mere shadow of substance which the natural man never saw nor can see, for it is never changed, is the same today and forever.

5) Since, then, man is the Idea of His principle, and the image and likeness of intelligent life, substance, and Spirit, he is beyond the reach of death. In the Science of Being nothing can harm or destroy him.

6) Man’s true consciousness is in the mental, not in any bodily or personal likeness to Spirit. Indeed, the body presents no proper likeness of divinity, though mortal sense would fain have us so believe.

7) Truth, Life and Love are God, the Soul of the universe and man, and the only substance of intelligence.

8) As disease is in accordance with the laws of man, a penalty is attached to every act so that everyone found guilty must be punished by the law.

9) God is infinite, the only Life, substance, Spirit or Soul, the only intelligence of the universe including man.

10) One of these elements is governed by Wisdom, the other by error, and as all belief is in this world of darkness, the truth comes in and explains the error.


For more on those claims, you can read the article entitled Mary Baker Eddy: Author by Peter J. Henniker-Heaton, From the June 1966 issue of The Christian Science Journal, http://journal.christianscience.com/shared/view/144gukeifl2?s=cs

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