29 September 2011

Is it Quote-worthy or Just Crazy?

I have one of those standard day-a-page calendar things on my desk at work, and every date is emboldened with some quote or words of wisdom from one source or another. Generally they are interesting, sometimes they are inspiring, but some days I really wonder if the people compiling this list are really putting thought into it, or are they just grabbing anything that sounds quoteworthy, in order to fill the required 365 days of a year.
Take today’s instalment for instance:
 “Health is not a condition of matter, but of mind” – Mary Baker Eddy
At first I thought this interesting, perhaps it was a take on perception, or the true meaning of health. But then the more cynical side of me won over, and I began to wonder what came of old Mary, and would she have still shared this view if her health had failed her.
A quick glance at Wikipedia seemed to confirm my wariness; she was the founder of the Christian Science religion.
Now I am an atheist, and quite critical of religion in all its guises, but don’t think that I am being too quick to judge here solely on her Christian nature. Christian Science is at best a ridiculous superstition, and at worst a dangerous and immoral practise.
The crux of Christian Science ‘thinking’ revolves around the fact that Jesus didn’t use drugs, or employ any hygiene measures in promoting health, and as such they must not be necessary. Eddy and her sect instead believe that all illnesses can be overcome through proper knowledge of God, hence the quote about health being a condition of the mind.
Sit there and think about a god, or read your holy books, and magically you will get better; it is a laughable concept, especially given that this lady was living only just over one hundred years ago, and clearly had hundreds of years of medical theory available to her.
Pictured: Mary Baker Eddy
Not pictured: Sanity
Here is an example of the ‘Science’ she employed, in a passage straight from one of her texts:
“It is plain that God does not employ drugs or hygiene, nor provide them for human use; else Jesus would have recommended and employed them in his healing. … The tender word and Christian encouragement of an invalid, pitiful patience with his fears and the removal of them, are better than hecatombs of gushing theories, stereotyped borrowed speeches, and the doling of arguments, which are but so many parodies on legitimate Christian Science, aflame with divine Love.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, 143:5, 367:3)
This religious resistance to medical advances is a constant theme in history, as even things like the vaccination of people against the plague was derided by zealot individuals as being against their gods will.
It should be noted that Mary once claimed to have healed herself of an injury using this method, however her local homeopath went on the record as saying that the injury itself was not chronic, and its disappearance was unremarkable.
You just know it must be humbug when even a homoeopath thinks it bunk.
It is also worth noting that though Mary claimed dot have been a sickly child throughout her life, there has also been suggestions that this was more psychosomatic than anything, and just goes to show that some illness is all in the mind, but should nevertheless be treated through medical, and not magical, means.

But let’s not forget that laughable though it is, it is also a dangerous practise. It is a practise that encourages parents and loved ones to forego seeking medical help, and to wait around, affording whatever ailments afflict them more time to do damage. It is no surprise that these Christian Scientists have found themselves in courts multiple times on charges of neglect, and failure to seek medical aid.
Isn’t it bad enough that we have religious nuts out there in this day and age that strap their 13 year old daughters to chairs and drown them trying to exorcise evil spirits, or likewise cause the death of a four year old boy by smothering his face in the dirt in the name of exorcism?
Not only do these atrocities happen, but we still have to apparently tell parents that the best hope for healing their children is medicine, and not prayer (read: sitting around doing nothing). I mean prayer is easy enough to supplement on the side, so why not simply do all you can for your child, and get a doctor around also?

And that in closing, is why I think this quote was not worth printing.......
There, rant nicely tied up.

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