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Christian Science in the news

Below are articles in the news primarily written by Christian Science Committees on Publication. Please support the Press Room by sharing these articles.

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I had an adventurous time in Maine last weekend.  While driving around the Moosehead Lake area I noticed a sign saying “B-52 crash site”.  I had never been there before but remembered hearing of this place for many years.   So my wife and I and friends traveled the several miles of dirt roads to the remote site at a place called Elephant Mountain.

Memorial at a crash site

As a young adult I served in the U.S. Air Force and worked on the missiles that were carried by this enormous bomber.  Having spent many hours around these planes I was intrigued to find this place. I was not disappointed, although, there was an eerie feel to the place.  Wreckage was strewn about over several acres and it certainly did not look like it had been there nearly 50 years!  One piece of wreckage had a large slab of slate next to it with the names of the seven who perished in the crash.  It caused me to take a moment in prayer.

Man reading newspaper

Last week I read one book and quickly thumbed through another and at first saw no relation between the two. The book I spent a couple of hours with was Stephen Prothero’s ‘God is not One,’ an engaging discourse on the distinctiveness of the major religious movements in the world. The other book was on how to win an argument. Maybe I should read that one, too. In the public arena, Prothero feels, religion is too often portrayed as one group pitted against another. “So there is no shortage of religious (and anti-religious) name-calling.” In an atmosphere where everything is framed as a battle, he has tried to be a less-quarrelsome, more instructive voice.

The Chile miner's after being rescued

Hugo Infante/Chilean Government Photo

The successful rescue of the Chilean miners is a story still aglow, not just from the light it brought into people’s lives but from traces of heat.

If you circled back to reader’s reactions to headlines attributing the rescue to the faith and prayers of those above and below ground in Chile you saw contentious comments such as this one in the Seattle Times: “Those men were rescued due to the hard work, intelligence, perseverance and engineering talent of people, not a deity.” Or this one on “Prayer is just something people do with no direct influence on events or circumstances. The miners were trapped by a cave-in of Earth’s interior and saved by human intelligence and modern technology.”

While secularist’s overall dismissiveness of God is seen as a challenge to people of faith, and stings when done with hostility, I see how the push back can be beneficial.

The producers of PBS’s ‘God in America’ series are thinking big.  Not only have they put together a six-part documentary series on religious life in America, but on their website they’ve given everyone an opportunity to share their own meaningful spiritual experiences.  They call it Faithbook.

It’s a chance online to talk about your faith, your faith history, how you practice your faith, or how difficult it is to practice your faith.  When was the last time the public square encouraged that kind of deep discussion?

Hudson Valley Times (New York) October 7, 2010
By Violet Snow, Staff Writer

Two venerable Woodstock religious institutions are observing important anniversaries this year, and both happen to be holding celebratory events, open to the public, on the weekend of Saturday, October 10 and Sunday, October 11. The Christian Science congregation, formed 100 years ago, will host an art show and a concert by former Metropolitan Opera soloist Osceola Davis at its church on Tinker Street. The Catholic parish of St. John’s was created 150 years ago and now meets at its church in Holly Hills, off Route 375, where a gala dinner will be held, with dancing to a live swing band.

The histories of the two churches are entwined with the economic and social evolution of Woodstock and the surrounding area.

Janine Mower and Doris Bridges Soldner, Ph.D., have updated a history of St. John’s Parish that was published on the 125th anniversary. “Both Doris and I like to study people and their habits and hobbies,” explained Mower. They drew material from an 1872 business directory, a history of Hurley, newspaper clippings from local residents’ private collections, and information about the Catholic Church found on the Web.

Welcome to Healesville Sancturary with trees in the background

My visit to Victoria in Australia wouldn’t have been quite as special without the day trip I took to a wildlife sanctuary in the town of Healesville. Kangaroo and koalas are not everyday sights to me, so my camera was in turbo drive during my walk through the park.

One photo in particular stands out. It’s of the sign at the entrance to the park—and the name Healesville.

This article regarding spiritual care and health insurance in the Denver Post yesterday sparked many responses (150 so far!), signaling quite a controversy. Some responders indicated that they were astounded by the idea that spiritual care might be considered legitimate enough to be included in our country’s health care system. Interestingly, religious nonmedical nursing facilities have been included in Medicare since 1965, partly because Christian Science has long history of healing – a 140 year track record. Most of the commenters to the article may not know anyone that practices Christian Science personally, so they haven’t heard the experiences of healing like the one shared. However, just to be clear, Christian Scientists choose for themselves what form of health care they use, and they don’t generally “flee” from emergency rooms if they find themselves there (contrary to what the article indicates about a patient who was later healed of burns).

Here’s the article: Christian Scientists push for health insurance that covers spiritual care

Vanity Fair has invited everyone to email a brief get well message to this author, speaker — did I mention, atheist — who recently announced he has a terminal illness.

Hitchens admits he’s received just about every kind of response imaginable since making the announcement, from the well-meaning clergy who say they’re praying for his salvation to the unwell-wishers who think this is simply divine punishment from the Deity whom Hitchens denies.

I like the idea of an all-access get-well message. It intrigues me, and I’ve been thinking about what I would say to him.

On Faith Panel
The Washington Post, September 15, 2010

Q: Mideast peace talks resume this week, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveling to Egypt and Israel for negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Is religion helping or hurting the attempt to forge peace between the Jewish state and the Palestinians?

By Phil Davis, Manager, Christian Science Committees on Publication

I feel my answer needs to focus on the potential of religion for bringing peace through both prayer and action.

Mary Baker Eddy, who founded my church, wrote: “One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself;’ annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, — whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed.”

They are just words, but words like this can form the basis of prayer

It’s a question that TIME Magazine’s Amy Sullivan says has stumped the faithful for centuries: ‘Why does God allow suffering?‘ Is He to blame for unhealed suffering? Are we? Our answer may have a greater impact on our lives than most of us realize.

Thinking this through I’m drawn back to the young men who followed Jesus with an enormous curiosity as to how he as was able to heal suffering. They saw suffering end and healing happen again and again, and they had lots of questions.

Then they encountered a man who was born blind and you see the blame question begging to be asked. Tell us who blew it. Or, or as they put it, “Who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Jesus’ response is, well, Tweetable:

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