Some evidence of the importance of a religious education…

Apparently a Nazi spy made a bad error of judgment based on a lack of religious education, and was trapped by a more faith-savvy United States infantryman – George O’Connor – on duty in Italy, in World War 2.  The spy was disguised as a Catholic priest, and took out a Bible to prove it, according to Mike Marshall’s article in The Huntsville Times.

However, the Bible was signed by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science movement.

Nothing unusual about that.  Mary Baker Eddy loved the Bible.  The healing theology of Christian Science that she uncovered and articulated in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures is rooted and grounded in the Bible.  And she amassed and studied quite a collection of different versions of the Bible over many years…the signature might well have been genuine.

But while her theology is catholic in the broader sense of the word – that is, “All inclusive; pertaining to all mankind” (Wiktionary) – her Christian roots were firmly Protestant, not Roman Catholic.  And what George O’Connor probably knew, was that the Catholic Church had not welcomed Mary Baker Eddy’s ideas, which she saw as a return to “primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing” (Manual of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts, p. 17).

Recognising the resulting unlikelihood of a Catholic priest being so openly a member of Mary Baker Eddy’s fan club, George O’Connor realised that the man was in fact a German spy, nabbed his man and prevented the exposure of the presence of “442nd Infantry Regiment, a unit of Japanese Americans from Hawaii, Guam and California”, who had secretly reinforced his own 92nd Infantry.

Christian Science is indeed all about uncovering and confronting evil by the light of God’s omnipotence.  Despite the Mary Baker Eddy connection, however, in this case I think the credit should go to the smarts of George O’Connor, and the lesson learned might be that a religious education can prove a sound investment!


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Author:Tony Lobl

I write and speak on spirituality from my perspective as a Christian Science practitioner. I am also an Associate Editor for the Christian Science periodicals. I studied at the University of Surrey earning a BSc Hons Degree in Modern Mathematics before the impact of spirituality on health caught my attention and re-shaped my career.

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3 Comments on “Some evidence of the importance of a religious education…”

  1. Jim Fisher
    June 14, 2010 at 8:12 pm #

    Great story! Thanks.


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  2. Some evidence of the importance of a religious education… :: Christian Science Texas - June 15, 2010

    […] Tony Lobl, District Manager of the Christian Science Committees on Publication in the UK and the Republic of Ireland,  writes: […]

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