Exercising our ‘inalienable right’ to better health

This weekend’s Fourth of July holiday is a great time to consider our innate freedom from tyranny of all types, including suffering.

© iStockphoto.comSchulteProductions
© iStockphoto.comSchulteProductions

PETALUMA, Calif., July 3, 2015 – Tony Kushner can write. In fact he writes so well, he has received a Pulitzer Prize, two Tony Awards and an Academy Award nomination for best adapted screenplay (“Lincoln”).

Tony Kushner also recognizes good writing.

During a radio interview to promote the West Coast premier of his latest play, “The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures,” he made a point of praising the prose of someone whose work features prominently in the play’s title: Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science Church and author of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.”

“Mary Baker Eddy was a really wonderful writer,” said Kushner. “And she writes gorgeously. [“Science and Health” is] endlessly quotable. And I sorta fell in love with it. I didn’t become a Christian Scientist, but I found it tremendously moving.”

Can we be scared into being healthier?

To commemorate this weekend’s celebration of our nation’s independence, here’s a timely sample from “Science and Health” that relates both to humanity’s continued quest for freedom and, as Eddy puts it, our “inalienable right” to less suffering and better health:

“The voice of God in behalf of the African slave was still echoing in our land, when the voice of the herald of this new crusade sounded the keynote of universal freedom, asking a fuller acknowledgment of the rights of man as a Son of God, demanding that the fetters of sin, sickness, and death be stricken from the human mind and that its freedom be won, not through human warfare, not with bayonet and blood, but through Christ’s divine Science.

“God has built a higher platform of human rights, and He has built it on diviner claims. These claims are not made through code or creed, but in demonstration of ‘on earth peace, good-will toward men.’ Human codes, scholastic theology, material medicine and hygiene, fetter faith and spiritual understanding. Divine Science rends asunder these fetters, and man’s birthright of sole allegiance to his Maker asserts itself.

“I saw before me the sick, wearing out years of servitude to an unreal master in the belief that the body governed them, rather than Mind.

“The lame, the deaf, the dumb, the blind, the sick, the sensual, the sinner, I wished to save from the slavery of their own beliefs and from the educational systems of the Pharaohs, who to-day, as of yore, hold the children of Israel in bondage. I saw before me the awful conflict, the Red Sea and the wilderness; but I pressed on through faith in God, trusting Truth, the strong deliverer, to guide me into the land of Christian Science, where fetters fall and the rights of man are fully known and acknowledged.

Can you cure your body with your mind?

“I saw that the law of mortal belief included all error, and that, even as oppressive laws are disputed and mortals are taught their right to freedom, so the claims of the enslaving senses must be denied and superseded. The law of the divine Mind must end human bondage, or mortals will continue unaware of man’s inalienable rights and in subjection to hopeless slavery, because some public teachers permit an ignorance of divine power, — an ignorance that is the foundation of continued bondage and of human suffering.

“Discerning the rights of man, we cannot fail to foresee the doom of all oppression. Slavery is not the legitimate state of man. God made man free. Paul said, ‘I was free born.’ All men should be free. ‘Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.’ Love and Truth make free, but evil and error lead into captivity.

“Christian Science raises the standard of liberty and cries: ‘Follow me! Escape from the bondage of sickness, sin, and death!’ Jesus marked out the way. Citizens of the world, accept the ‘glorious liberty of the children of God,’ and be free! This is your divine right.”

Eric Nelson writes each week on the link between consciousness and health from his perspective as a practitioner of Christian Science. He also serves as the media and legislative spokesperson for Christian Science in Northern California. Read similar columns on his website and follow him on Twitter @norcalcs. This column was originally published in June 2014.

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  • Jeremy Bowers

    Here’s a quotable quote from Mary Baker Eddy: “Only through radical reliance on Truth can scientific healing power be realized.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 167). This quote, and unfailing adherence to its message and the rest of what’s stated in Science and Health, has led to the gruesome and untimely deaths of many a ‘radical relier’ on Christian Science for healing of disease and injury. According to Eddy’s philosophy, all disease is an illusion, kind of like the lake you see in the desert. Don’t worry about the hideous growth on your face, it’s not real. Yeah right, it’s not real until it kills you. I’ve seen it happen. I grew up in this fanciful cult, and watched first-hand the painful deaths of family members who were earnestly praying for a healing that never came. Christian Science is fallacious in each and every one of its claims, and to choose Christian Science is to play a horrible game of chance with your health and your life. Don’t be swayed by nice quotes.

    Chances are, Eddy didn’t really write some of these quotes anyway. Science and Health went through more than 400 revisions, and during that process, Eddy hired the services of one Rev. James Henry Wiggin. Until his involvement, Science and Health was poorly written word-salad at best. He extensively edited this book that was supposedly dictated to Eddy by God. Eddy was a horrible writer, and a masterful plagiarizer. Much of what underlies Christian Science can be found in the teachings of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, German philosopher Georg Hegel, and others. In fact, her much-vaunted ‘Scientific Statement of Being’ (Science and Health, p. 468) is an almost word-for-word rendering of Hegel’s own ‘Scientific Statement of Being’; yet, Eddy claimed original authorship of her Christian Science teachings, claiming they were given to her by God. No, they were given to her by other human beings, and edited by other human beings. I personally don’t believe there is much originality to Eddy’s teachings.

    • Sharon Andrews

      Hmm……been searching Hegel’s impenetrable prose for his statement of being. Gotta source for that?