Saturday, October 19, 2013


Obamacare Tramples Christian Scientists

June 30, 2012

by Ron Meyer [lightly edited by FT]

Should Congress be able to force Americans to buy services that go against their religious convictions?
Under the Supreme Court's radical redefinition of the healthcare law, Congress is "taxing" religious groups who refuse to buy products which violate their religious conscience. 
The two biggest examples are Christian Scientists and Catholics. As Health and Human Services officials recently clarified, Catholic institutions must pay for insurance that includes coverage of abortion and birth control. Now, if Catholics follow their church beliefs, they will be taxed.
Even more starkly, Christian Scientists are instructed by their textbook to use "radical reliance" on Christian healing for all their needs, including health, adhering to Jesus's command to "heal the sick." Yet, if Christian Scientists refuse to buy insurance, they will be taxed. The church doesn't force abstinence from medicine, but requiring Christian Scientists to buy medical insurance runs counter to the tenets of the their faith.
Taxing or penalizing Christian Scientists who choose not to buy insurance for religious reasons is a clear violation of the First Amendment's free exercise clause.
Thanks to Chief Justice Robert's rewriting of this law, a religious challenge to the healthcare law should be in play. Both Christian Scientists and Catholics were left out of the Court's opinions and would be free to challenge the law. Some Catholics already have, and Christian Scientists should join them.
Fittingly, Justices Kagan and Ginsburg have already offered some support for the case.
During oral arguments for the healthcare law, Justice Kagan made it clear that Christian Scientists could have a reasonable religious case: "[T]hat would be different, you know, if you were up here saying, I represent a class of Christian Scientists. Then you might be able to say, look, you know, why are they bothering me?"
In yesterday's opinions, Justice Ginsburg clarified that First Amendment objections would make any mandate unconstitutional:
A mandate to purchase a particular product would be unconstitutional if, for example, the edict impermissibly abridged the freedom of speech, interfered with the free exercise of religion, or infringed on a liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause. -- Nat'l Fed. of Ind. Business v. Sebelius, 567 U.S. ___ (2012) (Ginsburg, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part).
This bill interferes with Christian Scientists' free exercise of religion, so according to Justice Ginsburg's analysis the law is unconstitutional. Christian Scientists didn't receive a religious exemption and are being taxed for adhering to their beliefs.
It's important to point out, as Justice Ginsburg implies, that if a bill is unconstitutional for one group, it's unconstitutional for the entire nation. The Supreme Court cannot write in new exemptions into the law. Therefore, if the Court decides this law is an infringement on Christian Scientists' religious freedom, the mandate would be unconstitutional.
This broad impact would be a victory for freedom in America -- and not just religious freedom. America is a diverse nation with many different beliefs and practices, so when Congress tries to act universally, it often does this at the price of someone's liberty. That's one reason why we have a Constitution with limited powers.
Chief Justice Roberts’ decision encourages Congress to use more mandates ("taxes") as a means to their ends. Striking down this mandate would send a message to Congress to stop using coercion as their chosen method and to start using reforms that support freedom.
America's Declaration of Independence and later the Constitution were written to protect religious and individual liberty –– both from the tyranny of a monarchy and the tyranny of the masses.
While the current Supreme Court seems to think that individuals can be coerced for "tax" reasons, even the liberals on the Court believe in religious protections. Christian Scientists, Roman Catholics and liberty-loving Americans need to work together to see this law overturned.

[NOTE: Ron Meyer is a program officer for Young America's Foundation and a graduate of Principia College.]

http://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2012/06/30/obamacare_tramples_christian_scientists.html

42 comments:

  1. Fighting Thugs and LibsOctober 19, 2013 at 8:06 AM

    The following are facts.

    1.Coming to terms with religion’s public role is one of liberalism’s most fearsome problems: how to make their case to religious America? So far, it has been a failure, which is one reason for the hostility of the left to groups such as evangelicals, even though these folks were brought onto the political scene by a liberal, Jimmy Carter.

    a. Gone are is religious wing of liberalism, the prophetic voice of Reinhold Niebuhr, Dorothy Day, Michael Harrington, and, of course, Martin Luther King Jr.

    2. Even while the Democrats scored signal victories in the 2006 election, exit polls showed that some 60% of those who say they attend religious services more than once a week voted Republican, a figure that is consistent with the 2002 and 2004 elections. "....2012 (50% to 48%)1. Obama’s margin of victory was much smaller than in 2008 when he defeated John McCain by a 53% to 46% margin, and he lost ground among white evangelical Protestants and white Catholics. But the basic religious contours of the 2012 electorate resemble recent elections – traditionally Republican groups such as white evangelicals and weekly churchgoers strongly backed Romney.

    3. "The Democratic Party is seen as friendly to religion by 26 percent, while 43 percent say the same about the GOP. That’s a 9 percentage point drop for Republicans since 2008, and 12 points lower for Democrats..
    4. Following the 1960’s the left made the politically suicidal choice of cultural radicalism, which succeeded, over political and economic radicalism, which failed.

    Quoting Peter Steinfels, "American liberalism has shifted its passion from issues of economic deprivation and concentration of power to issues of gender, sexuality, and personal choice.... Once trade unionism, regulation of the market, and various welfare measures were the litmus tests of secular liberalism. Later, desegregation and racial justice were the litmus tests. Today the litmus test is abortion." With God on Our Side? | The Nation
    Thus, the rise of the religious right.

    5. And how have liberals built bridges with religious Americans?

    a. For instance, when Justin Timberlake ripped off Janet Jackson’s top at the Super Bowl performance, liberals tended to mock conservative hysteria over a single barely exposed breast. I did so myself….You don’t need to be a Christian conservative to object to the kinds of cultural messages regularly communicated to children and teens by American entertainment culture….would it be so difficult to pay more attention to the outrages against what used to be called ‘common decency’

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  2. All that is very interesting, Anonymous, and doubtless worthwhile information for us to process, but how exactly does it pertain to the article at hand?

    Please come back and try to tell us how Justice Roberts' decisive vote defining Obamacare as a TAX, is NOT a de facto violation of our constitutionally guaranteed right to the free exercise of any religion we choose?

    Because of the Law's adamant insistence on NON-DISCRIMINATION in the making of ANY statue -- i.e. it MUST apply to EVERYONE equally or be declared invalid and unconstitutional -- how by any wild stretch of the imagination could Obamacare survive a legal challenge by advocates of Religious Freedom?

    The answer, of course, is that it could NOT -- of the Law were not being twisted beyond recognition by the powers that be to suit the demands of what-they-regard-as Righteous Agenda.

    HERE"s an interesting question I hope someone will discuss:

    Should one person's or one faction's interpretation of "RIGHTEOUSNESS" ever be permitted to supersede the Law? Why or why not

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  3. The liberal theologians and religious philosophers you mention, Anonymous, succeeded in supplanting the true Christian Gospel with The Social(ist) Gospel -- the ANTITHESIS of the Christian Message.

    While the motives of such leftist religious figures may be pure, perfectly sincere and well-intentioned, the fact remains that their thinking is a perversion of the true intent of Jesus Christ, which was, is, and always will be an entreaty to transform our lives INTERNALLY -- i.e. change the way we regard the world, and our place in it thus enabling ourselves to function within the world with all its vileness and injustice as free beings protected by our adherence to godly, principled conduct in our intimate relationships and day-to-day transactions.

    Whatever changes for the better Christians may hope to make in their surroundings MUST stem from the effect this INTERNAL TRANSFORMATION has one their conduct.

    Adapting the tenets of Dialectical Materialism and calling it the fulfillment of Christ's True Purpose is downright blasphemous.

    RIghtly understood, Christ teaches of to preach, teach and reform by EXAMPLE.

    We were NEVER supposed to go out into the world to EXTORT, BULLY and COERCE people into adhering to Christian Doctrine "for their own good."

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  4. Anonymous Fighting Thugs and LibsOctober 19, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  5. I politely asked for pertinent commentary - not more boilerplate.

    Sorry, but boilerplate and all irrelevant commentary is subject to deletion.

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  6. But Catholic universities and other Catholic institutions provided birth control coverage even BEFORE the A.C.A. How does the Church account for that? Some of their own institutions have been doing so since before the A.C.A. How does the "Church" reconcile that and complain at the same time?


    While Republicans and the United Conference of Catholic Bishops claim that the Obama’s contraception regulation represents an “unprecedented” attack on the religious liberties of organizations that oppose the use of birth control, [there are a] growing number of institutions that are already providing the benefit as part of their overall health care coverage.

    For instance, Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and DePaul University in Illinois offer employees the option of receiving contraception and so do Catholic organizations across the country.


    For instance, the New York Times reported in 2002 that the Catholic Archdiocese of New York extended contraception coverage before the state passed its requirement. Catholic universities, Marquette and Mount Mary in Wisconsin were also offering the benefit prior to enactment of the state’s contraception equity clause in 2010.


    (cont.)

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  7. (cont.)

    Once the law passed, Catholics had to provide contraception benefits. But rather than accusing the state of starting a war against religion, the organization left the decision to the consciences of its members:
    “Our employees know what church teaching is. And we trust them to use their conscience and do the right thing,” said Brent King, spokesman for the Madison Diocese, which began covering prescription contraception Aug. 1. [...]

    Diocese of Madison employees, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, sign a document when they’re hired vowing to abide by the laws of both Wisconsin and the church. He said employees would receive “strong pastoral recommendations against” using the contraception benefit, but that the diocese has no intention of policing it.

    Significantly, the Obama regulation exempts churches from including the birth control benefits in their plans and would provide an a new layer of conscience protections for the state. But since most Catholic women rely on contraception, it’s likely that many may still offer the benefit.

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  8. The U.S. government has been arbitrary in how it treats religions. For example, sacramental wine was not prohibited in church rituals during the Volsted Act, but the U.S. government never extended that exemption to the Rastafarians who believe cannabis is a sacrament and brings them closer to God.

    As for the Christian Scientists, you are aware, are you not, that their religion prohibits them from seeking medical help for themselves and their innocent children, who have no say in what their parents impose on them, and which often leads to their unnecessary deaths.

    So the U.S. government does not interfere with a whacky religion that allows innocent children to die of strep throats for lack of medical intervention. But that same religion complains when the government requires medical insurance. BTW, the Christian Scientists do not prohibit dental medical care. If you have a sore throat that turns into strep, you're out of luck, but if your toothache becomes abscessed (a potentially life-threatening situation), the religion allows intervention.

    You figure that one out, I can't.

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  9. Sorry Shaw Kenawe, but you are not very convincing. I have a very good memory and I can remember very clearly what Obama did when he spoke at the University of Notre Dame, and had (not he ORDERED) all the religious symbols covered up.
    Some Americans have very short memories, and the Liberal media counts on that. But I don’t and I remember that very clears as I remember Benghazi.

    I am a religious person and I do not respect bigotry or people who are incapable of RESPECTING anyone or anything, including respecting my religion. .. Obama was completely wrong, as he usually is..

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  10. Shaw:
    You raise an important point, but none of those universities you cite are Catholic in the way that a particular parish is. They are part of the university system, they take federal money, and so while they are nominally Catholic, that's about as far as it goes. Same goes for Catholic hospitals and other social institutions that have been suborned by federal money.

    Take the money, dance to Uncle Sam's tune. That is why the LDS church takes no government money.

    But more to the point: This is not about violating a particular church's beliefs, but about forcing individuals to go against their beliefs.

    Some progressives (not accusing you) want to force a crabbed concept of "freedom of worship," as if it only applies to a building with a steeple or muezzin tower and the activities therein. This is wrong. It applies to all citizens in all aspects of their daily lives, whether going to school, shopping or owning a business.

    FreeThink: Wouldn't it be ironic if the liberal women on the court ended up saving religious liberty from the feral government's clutching claws?

    That would restore some of my faith in our system and convince me that these women do indeed put classical liberal principles (upon which this nation was founded) above progressive statism.

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  11. http://www.foxnews.com/story/2009/04/16/religious-symbols-covered-up-when-president-obama-spoke-at-catholic-university/

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  12. And again I say to you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Matt 19:24 sounds like one of those liberal theologians.
    ...wait Jesus said that.

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  13. Shaw,

    If you were actually familiar with the case you would know that the churches and institutions oppose the use of abortifacients, not birth control.
    Barack is, indeed, interfering with their first amendment rights by forcing them to act against their faith.
    Insofar as parents of sick children are concerned. It truly is none of your business what religion they follow or how they treat their child's illness.
    It seems liberals have no problem telling others how to live although their so-called solutions are born of ignorance.

    Andie

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  14. "Elizabeth King, a 12-year-old in Phoenix, developed a tumor near her knee in the fall of 1987. Her parents called in a Christian Science practitioner. By the time the local authorities learned of the girl's condition, the tumor had ballooned; one nurse compared it in size to two watermelons. She died four weeks later. Her parents pleaded no contest to a charge of reckless endangerment.

    Natalie Middleton-Rippberger of Santa Rosa, Calif., 8 months old, exhibited influenza-like symptoms on Nov. 25, 1984. By Dec. 2, she was warm to the touch and her eyes were constantly crossed. By Dec. 6, she had continuous convulsions. On Dec. 9, she died of meningitis. Her parents, Susan and Mark Rippberger, were convicted of felony child endangerment; the case is on appeal.

    Amy Hermanson, 7, of Sarasota, Fla., took sick on Sept. 22, 1986. A week later, after her parents had returned from a Christian Science conference on healing in Indianapolis, her condition had worsened. The authorities learned of her condition and hastily scheduled an abuse hearing for the next day. Amy, who remained at home, died during the hearing; the cause of death was determined to be diabetes. Her parents, William and Christine Hermanson, were convicted of manslaughter; their conviction is being appealed.

    Death From Diabetes

    In late April 1989, Ian Lundman, 11, of Independence, Minn., developed a fever and began losing weight. By May 8, he had grown incoherent and incontinent, frequently gritting his teeth and suffering facial spasms. On May 9, he died. His mother and stepfather, William and Kathleen McKown, were charged with manslaughter. A judge dismissed the charges; that case is under appeal.

    The appeal is supported by Douglas Lundman, the boy's natural father, who left the Christian Science faith. ''My son's life should have been protected by the Constitution of the United States and the Minnesota State Constitution, and I would hope that those instruments are upheld,'' he said.

    Symptoms Proved 'Unyielding'

    As for Robyn Twitchell, he began crying, then screaming and vomiting, after a light supper on the evening of April 3, 1986. Despite home visits from a practitioner, who prayed for him and sang a hymn, his symptoms persisted. By April 8, he was having spasms, his eyes rolled up and he lost consciousness. That night, he died of what doctors diagnosed as a correctable bowel obstruction.

    Shauntay Walker, a 4-year-old in Sacramento, Calif., developed a fever on Feb. 21, 1984. Within four days, she was vomiting and had a stiff neck. When her aunt visited on the afternoon of March 8, Shauntay was unresponsive and staring into space. The next morning, she died of meningitis".
    ..CS can be very hard on little kids. Would a conservative, so
    worried about personal rights, deny even life to a child?

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  15. BB,

    I'll wait while you gather information for your list on the number of children killed by doctors and medical practitioners.
    While you're at it, get the stats from the number of children killed or disabled by vaccines.
    Not everyone has your childlike faith in the medical-pharmaceutical complex.

    Andie

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  16. This is from Forbes Magazine:

    For starters, all churches—or any other type of house of worship— are expressly exempted from the requirement that they offer health insurance to their employees that includes any provision for contraception. The issue under discussion involves whether other entities owned and operated by a church should be obligated to do so under the law.


    Nobody is, in any way, obligated to acquire or use contraceptive devices. The regulation applies only to what insurance companies must offer-not to who must take advantage of the benefit. Thus, if your religious belief bars you from using contraception, then nothing will get in the way of you and your religious beliefs. You may have the benefit available to you in your insurance coverage, but nothing is going to require you to take advantage of the benefit.


    The law does not require medical care providers to prescribe contraceptives. If the religious belief of a physician or other health care worker is such that they do not believe in contraception for religious reasons, nothing in the law –or the regulations-would require a doctor or care worker to prescribe a contraceptive device.

    Drugs, such as RU486 that cause a woman to abort a pregnancy, are not included in the law or regulations. Nothing would require a health insurance company to include this in their policy offerings and, certainly, nothing would require anyone to take such a pill.


    It’s not like this is something new as over 50 percent of Americans already live in states that require health insurance companies to provide contraception in their policy offerings. Further, states like California, New York and North Carolina have the identical religious exemptions as have been promulgated by the Department of Health & Human Services while some states (Wisconsin, Colorado and Georgia) provide no religious exemption whatsoever. Thus, one wonders why religious organizations in these states have not previously raised a fuss.

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    1. But I would like to hear it,,, pretty please

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  23. Shaw,

    I was being polite.
    You and your ilk disgust me beyond words.
    Whatever you have "gone through" I am certain you deserved.
    With that, I will no longer lower myself to your depths.

    Andie

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  24. "The fact is that the PPACA legislation does not specifically exclude any particular religious groups from its provisions. The bill contains a general "religious conscience" section which sets forth guidelines under which religious groups who have established conscientious objections to certain forms of insurance may seek exemption from its health insurance requirements:
    RELIGIOUS CONSCIENCE EXEMPTION — Such term shall not include any individual for any month if such individual has in effect an exemption under section 1311(d)(4)(H) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which certifies that such individual is a member of a recognized religious sect or division thereof described in section 1402(g)(1) and an adherent of established tenets or teachings of such sect or division as described in such section.
    For members of religious groups to qualify for this exemption, they would have to be adherents of a religion or sect "described in section 1402(g)(1)" of the Internal Revenue Code, which governs exemptions from the payment of Social Security and Medicare taxes on self-employment income. In general, persons seeking a health insurance exemption must belong to a religion (or sect thereof) which has been in existence since 1951 and has an established history of spurning participation in insurance programs ..."

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  26. Thanks for that clarification, Ducky.

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  27. Silverfiddle said:

    "Take the money, dance to Uncle Sam's tune. That is why the LDS church takes no government money."

    That only works when the recipients are conservative. Look at all the welfare leeches living life as they darn well please.

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  28. We have a few different confusions going on here.

    Whether parents have the right to withhold medical care from children is a legitimate topic of debate. If someone's religion required throwing children in volcanoes, I doubt even the staunchest libertarian would criticize the state for declaring the practice illegal and punishing perpetrators.

    However, this has nothing to do with government telling people what kind of insurance they must provide to others, and that is what Obamacare is doing. Think I'm wrong? Go google Hobby Lobby Obamacare.

    The very fact that the grotesque bureaucratic tangle known as Obamacare must parsel out narrow religious exemptions is self-condemnatory.

    Only those whom government decrees exempt may claim an exemption. That flies in the face of our constitutionally-protected liberties.

    The government is forcing businesses to procure abortions by proxy against their consciences, and that should disturb all Americans, regardless of where you stand on the issue of abortion.

    This is government bending people to its will and forcing them to participate in activities that go against their moral beliefs.

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  29. When think of the hundreds of millions who have been killed directly or had their lives blighted, stunted, aborted and shadowed in misery and deprivation as a result of Marxian initiatives, whatever may have been tragically misunderstood or misapplied by the Christian religion or by the strict adherents to our American Constitution pales into insignificance by comparison.

    The medical establishment effectively kills many thousands of patients every year, and many die protracted deaths in mortal agony at its hands, yet no one would ever dream of suggesting that the practice of medicine should be considered invalid, unworthy and belongs in the realm of crackpot superstition. When a child dies during surgery, or when conventional medical treatment fails to save save a life -- as it so often does -- no one ever dreams of calling in the authorities to have its parents -- or the doctors -- arrested for abuse and neglect because their decision to have the child treated resulted in its death.

    I happen to be a long time student of Christian Science, though I never joined the church officially. I have found Christian Science to be of enormous help to me during many crises medical and otherwise. I have tremendous respect for the movement.

    It's simply not true, Ms Shaw, that seeking traditional medical treatment is "forbidden" by the Christian Science Church, and there are no consequences dire or otherwise for church members who -- for whatever reason -- seek help from materia medica. I know that for a fact.

    I see a typical brand of perverse logic being applied here against things for which some have a natural antipathy and against which a deeply ingrained prejudice.

    Anyone may build an, apparently, strong case for-- or against -- just-about anything by citing "facts" that either flatter or defame the object in question while blithely ignoring contradictory information.

    People of all stripes indulge in this kind of distortion all the time. That does not make either accurate or morally tenable.

    The POINT underlying this entire argument is that the heavy hand of GOVERNMENT has taken it upon itself to COERCE many thousands, perhaps millions, to participate in a policy that countermands the dictates of many an individual conscience.

    As the proponents of leftist initiatives ALWAYS do, they firmly believe "the ends justify the means" and to hell with the Constitution, the law, established customs and mores or anybody's cockamamie religion which if they had the sense they were born with the wouldn't follow anyway.

    The leftist position is ALWAYS "We know what's best for the everybody, and we are going to ram it as far down your throat and up your anal orifice as we deem necessary to make sure you see it OUR way -- OR heavy fines, loss of liberty -- and eventually DEATH for Crimes Against the State will be your portion. Of the threat of incarceration and death ALWAYS lies at the root of leftist beliefs and practices for who do not conform.

    There are many things worse than death. Loss of liberty heads the list.

    I'd much prefer to put my trust in Almighty God than in the hands of an Almighty State.

    The growing power of government on the domestic front is THE greatest threat we face.

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  30. "The government is forcing businesses to procure abortions by proxy against their consciences, and that should disturb all Americans, regardless of where you stand on the issue of abortion."

    How do you reconcile that when a state government that uses tax money for the death penalty when the official Catholic teaching and the Catholic Church are against the death penalty. That is forcing Catholic citizens to involve themselves in capital punishment by proxy.

    And the same forcing by proxy is there when the federal government, through taxation, forces Quakers and other religions that are conscientious objectors, to support wars.

    What do you say about those instances where government bends people to its will and forces them to support and participate in capital punishment and war-- serious issues that go against their moral beliefs?

    What should the role of government be in those cases in exempting the tax-paying citizens from these things?

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  31. Typical liberal argument:

    But everyone else is doing it!

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  32. Free Thinke,

    What you reported about Christian Scientists now allowing traditional medical treatment is, from what I've been able to research, only recent:


    "Since the founding of their church 131 years ago, Christian Scientists have been taught to avoid doctors at all cost. It is a conviction rooted so deeply in church dogma that dozens of members have endured criminal prosecution rather than surrender an ailing person to what they see as the quackery of medical science.

    But faced with dwindling membership and blows to their church’s reputation caused by its intransigence concerning medical treatment, even for children with grave illnesses, Christian Science leaders have recently found a new tolerance for medical care. For more than a year, leaders say, they have been encouraging members to see a physician if they feel it is necessary.

    “In the last year, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been called to pray at a patient’s bedside in a hospital,” said Philip Davis, 59, the church’s national spokesman, who has been tending to the sick for three decades as a Christian Science practitioner. The church trains and registers its practitioners to help patients with their prayers.

    His credentials as a practitioner consist of a friendly Midwestern manner and a certainty that sickness is the manifestation of a conflict between “correct” and “incorrect” thinking. He does not believe in germs or the existence of illness, which they consider a dreamlike state.

    The faith’s guiding textbook forbids mixing medical care with Christian Science healing, which is a form of transcendental prayer intended to realign a patient’s soul with God.

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  33. Oh dear! I hate it when people I like and respect are unkind to each.

    Rather than take sides or go into a long sing and dance, let me make one brief quotation from the Bible:

    "A soft answer turneth away wrath."

    When feeling run high, it's all too easy to get carried way by one's passionate convictions, and make intemperate remarks we might -- or should -- regret later.

    My father often quoted the following. It was for him a life motto:

    "THE SOBER SECOND THOUGHT IS SELDOM WRONG."

    Jesus asked His Father to forgive His torturers and murderers, because He knew they had no real idea of what they were doing.

    If He could do that, surely we owe each other the benefit of every possible doubt, and should not, therefore, judge each other too harshly.

    'Nuff said.

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  34. FreeThinke is right.

    Shaw, I apologize for my harsh words. It is your ideologies I despise. Not you.

    Andie

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  35. @ Shaw: How do you reconcile that when a state government that uses tax money for the death penalty when the official Catholic teaching and the Catholic Church are against the death penalty. That is forcing Catholic citizens to involve themselves in capital punishment by proxy.

    Aha! False equivalency.

    Every taxpayer indirectly contributes to something he or she finds morally objectionable. We live in a democratic republic, the founders anticipated this, and considered it a trade off. Most importantly, the constitution does not forbid it.

    This is not equivalent to the government forcing a business owner to provide a certain kind of insurance coverage that violates his beliefs.

    To anticipate your next jump: Yes, I am saying that there is a difference between the government taking my tax money and paying for abortions, and government making me provide the direct means to do so to my employees.

    Your Christian Science argument is an irrelevancy and a distraction.

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  36. Ms Shaw,

    My involvement with Christian Science goes back more than sixty years. I would trust no outsider's analysis or attempts to define or explain the motives behind something they have not experienced and of which they have no real understanding.

    Serious Christian Scientists would never submit to the belief that they are abusing or neglecting ANYONE by attempting to care for them through the use of Christian Science.

    Outsiders just assume that CS has to be poppycock -- of no real value -- an illusion -- the product of superstition and wishful thinking, etc. That may the way it appears to those who have no real knowledge or understanding of the movement, but -- as with everything else -- popular opinion and popular will are rarely in harmony with the Truth, which is the very reason why "direct democracy" is one of the greatest evils on earth.

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  37. K. E., Atlanta, GeorgiaOctober 19, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    Studies show that more-intelligent people are more likely to be Conservatives. They are also more likely to say they go to religious services. I have no desire to purposely offend those of you who are liberals who may be reading this so I’ll throw in something that might be looked at as something positive... a
    Liberals are boasting that they successfully stopped President Obama’s plan to launch air strikes on Syria.

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  38. FreeThinke,

    I removed the offending posts. I was wrong and I am sorry to have posted such vitriol on your page.

    Andie

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  39. Good morning, Andie,

    I understand you went to her blog and apologized to Ms Shaw. I know she was very touched, so I thank you for that.

    HOWEVER, you haven't done anything I, myself, haven't done also from time to time. We all lose our temper from time to time. The issues are extremely provocative, and arouse great feelings of anger, resentment and personal insecurity. I've said far worse things online over the years than you did here, but that doesn't make it right for either of us -- and it is never wise to lose control of one's temper.

    I was surprised seeing that from you of all people, because I have always known you to be a person with a sunny disposition filled with an extraordinary degree of positive, creative energy.

    Please try to let this go, and don't waste time with too much self abnegation.

    None of us is perfect, and we must accept ourselves warts and all ;-) lest we become paralyzed with self-doubt.

    I love this bit of homely popular verse, because it contains much truth:

    We're only here for a little stay
    Don't worry. Don't hurry
    Just be sure to stop
    And smell the flowers along the way.


    There always have been many more weeds than flowers, but it's foolish to let the presence of weeds stop us from enjoying the many beauties growing among them.

    Look at the beautiful thing you've made of your own life after having had a terrible start. You've already lived in such a way as to work out your own salvation. Please don't let what others say and do spoil any of that for you.

    "BE CURIOUS; NOT JUDGMENTAL"

    ~ Walt Whitman

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