Faith-based objections to vaccines may threaten common good

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ST. LOUIS (RNS) Most of the world’s religions share some version of the golden rule of treating others as you wish to be treated. That notion was important to the theology of Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Church of Christ, Scientist in 1879. But another central feature of Eddy’s theology — the belief that […]

  • Tad Blake-Weber

    Dear Editor,

    I would like to comment on this story as both a Christian Scientist and a student of The Principia during the measles outbreak he spoke of in 1994.

    While I was a student at Principia, in my junior year of high school, I had many friends who did get the measles. But I would say all of them came back healed through the scientific prayer that is taught in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

    While it is curious how the author arrived at the notion that Christian Science could threaten “the common good,” I would like to point out two important facts that must be considered before agreeing or disagreeing with Mr. Tim Townsend’s article:

    1) Christian Science healing has been demonstrated and documented, and verified, for over 140 years in the magazine The Christian Science Journal, as well as her sister publication the Christian Science Sentinel. Healings of consumption, to cancer, flu to infected fingers, have all been healed through Christian Science.

    2) Comparing the numbers…Three Christian Scientists died, as Mr. Townsend states, but he didn’t mention how many people face peril through the testing of vaccines, or when cared for in hospitals. If the facts were set side by side, I think the average individual would deduce that a Christian Science is of no threat whatsoever.

    With that said, its important to understand that the Christian Science church, nor does The Principia tell its members, or students respectively, to not take medicine. This is a common misunderstanding. Christian Scientist, as well as students at The Principia, are allowed to make the choice between medical or Christian Science care, should they come to a crossroad, even though it does depart from the practice of Christian Science.

    Also Christian Science and its teachings do not shun the practice of medicine. I myself have deep respect for doctors, nurses, and hospitals. All people who care for those facing disease and difficulty deserve our respect, and our prayers, for they are doing a job that demonstrates The Golden Rule.

    And yes, Mr Townsend is correct, the Golden Rule is central in the theology of Christian Science because it teaches we cannot judge, but must love, support and help anyone in need. Christian Science does not advocate harm or any form of destruction to good, but rather supports the progress of all mankind in the path that leads toward the supreme good, even God, through the demonstration of total freedom from fear, as well as the complete eradication of sickness, sin, and death through the power of divine might, — God’s loving and healing power, as is promised in Psalms and Revelation:

    “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” — Revelation 21:4

    “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;” — Psalm 103:2-4

    Christian Science has healed me of many illnesses including a sore throat that was healed within minutes, just the other day. While I was a student at The Principia and in the 4th grade, I was healed of sprained wrists, in just a few days. When I was at Principia College I was healed of a sprained ankle, an injury sustained from skateboarding, within 24 hours.

    Most Sincerely,
    Tad Blake-Weber
    Waltham, MA