BY MARY LANGWORTHY
In the 1960s, pre-women’s lib, I overheard a couple of men talking about Christian Science. One said to the other, “I wouldn’t trust any religion founded by a woman.” Sixty years on, and many physical, financial, and family healings later, I can think of many reasons not to trust a religious movement, and that’s not one of them. But I was young and thought, “Oh my! Should I be concerned?”
So I thought about what I’d learned in Christian Science Sunday School. Mary Baker Eddy, the woman the men were discussing, wrote the textbook I studied along with the Bible every Sunday. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she talks about God as Father-Mother. Pretty standard fare today. But she wrote it in 1875.
I was taught to love God and my fellow man – “the sons and daughters of God” (Science and Health, p 515). To love my enemies. I was taught I could trust God and that I could prove that truth in my daily life – which I did. I was also taught that I was not to follow the teachings “just because” or through blind faith. My faith was to be based on understanding spiritual, demonstrable principles.
Mrs. Eddy was laughed at in 1875 (and in some quarters still today) for asserting that there is a metaphysical science with defined, demonstrable theses, based on the teachings of Christ Jesus, the apostles, Moses, and the prophets, and on the inspired word of the Bible. She asserted that as Jesus promised, the works that he did, his followers would do also. And this promise included healing.
The thing is, she healed. Readers of her textbook were healed. She founded a church based on Christian healing. Christian Science churches span the globe with records of Christian healing going back 140 years. She also founded two religious magazines and the Pulitzer Prize winning Christian Science Monitor newspaper. By 1910 when she passed on, she was arguably the most famous woman in America.
Eddy was a remarkable woman. In honor of Women’s History month, the Christian Science Society in Los Alamos is inviting the community to learn more about this Christian Healer by reading a biography of her. A book group will be meeting at noon on Tuesday, March 29, at the Christian Science Reading Room to discuss her life.
We invite you to join us. Biographies are available to read, borrow, or purchase at the Reading Room at 800 Trinity Drive, in the Mari Mac Shopping Center. We hope you’ll stop in.