Pitting politics against religion by Kate Johnson The Star Democrat (Maryland) 3-15-17

A recent letter, (“GOP does more harm . . .” Feb. 7), pitted politics against religion in a way that oversimplified the relation between the two. In the case of my own faith as a Christian Scientist, this left a false stereotype.

Spiritual healing is a way of life for most Christian Scientists, but it can’t rightly be approached in a dogmatic spirit, nor is it something Christian Scientists try to impose on others. Individual members decide for themselves on matters like the Affordable Care Act — the church doesn’t dictate political positions — and there are members on both sides of the political aisle. We ask respect for our religious practice where this is consistent with the rights of others, but we recognize this is a two-way discussion that requires responsibility and mutual cooperation, including with public health officials.

As for the practice of spiritual healing in our families, this, too, doesn’t fit the stereotype of harsh religious dogma blindly followed. Though we normally turn in a spiritual direction for healing, we aren’t “against” what doctors do for those who turn to them. Our perspective comes from the experience of actual healing in our lives, including in cases of serious medically-diagnosed conditions. We’ve seen healings of children after medical treatment was unsuccessful, so the issue isn’t one-way. We believe profoundly that God’s love and God’s will are always for healing, but each member is free to do what he or she thinks best. What matters most to us isn’t doctrinaire, but seeing our children safe and whole — and the Golden Rule lived in our families and communities.

KATE JOHNSON

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