It is hard to feel anything but pity for the writer of a recent vitriolic, malicious, grossly biased, and almost entirely inaccurate and misleading article on Christian Science in the New York Times. One feels disgust that a once passable newspaper would lower itself to the level of a garbage-sniffing rag by publishing such effluvia. Unless the article satisfied a need to satisfy some pathologic hatred of Christian Science, the motive of the writer is puzzling.
The wishy-washy unguent Ms. Trammell applied to the inflammation did more, in my opinion, to support rather than assuage detractors. Yes, she was trying, feebly, to justify the need to cover Christian Science treatment under the new beatific health care bill--apparently it isn't--but what benefit accrues to Christian Science when she makes the muzzy statement that Christian Science is most effective when used alone? That's a statement that could really give one the fantods. So it's now two aspirins and a C.S. treatment and a call us both in the morning? Such mealy-mouthed backing and filling has become necessary because of semi-official compromises with the medical comunity which began formally with the revised "Standard of Christian Science Healing" in the December 1999 Journal. It came in two almost simultaneous and equally feckless versions. What part of S&H 167: 30-31 is so hard to understand? Perhaps the Church sahibs are indulging in a bedraggled Clintonian sophistry about what the meaning of "only" is. Maybe all those horoscopes, eriscopes, and coffee klatches with MD's have muddled their thinking.
Another issue raised by the article was that Christian Scientists are unloving, little more than inhumanly cruel Torquemadas who permit the torture and murder of their children with the same unconcern they would use in applying crab-grass killer to their lawns. The translation of this canard is that if you have any meaningful standards you exclude or offend somebody and are, ergo, unloving. Did not Christ Jesus speak of separating sheep and goats? Moral compromises have weakened the Church and individual Scientists and, until corrected, will continue to do so. Christian Science does not require human goodness and love, but an understanding and expression of spiritual goodness and love. Immorality and disobedience to God wish to be loved and coddled on their own human terms, but as the adage goes, when you lie down with dogs you had better be prepared to get up with fleas.