The Manager of the worldwide Christian Science Committees on Publication, Phil Davis (also a regular “On Faith” blogger for The Washington Post) recently went with two colleagues to meet with a reporter from The Wall Street Journal. This is his grateful take on what took place:
Last Wednesday, two colleagues and I met with Jonathan Rockoff from The Wall Street Journal. He began our meeting with a question: “Considering all the reporters you’ve met with, what is it you’d most like them to understand about Christian Science?” What a great way to start a discussion on our religion!
It gave us pause for a moment, but what we focused on was individuality and choice. And now that I think about it, I’m glad we focused on that.
We live in an age where a minority religion with a different theology is immediately suspect of being extremist, dogmatic, and/or having unthinking followers with a charismatic leader. Just the fear of such a prospect can lead us all to stereotyping. Reporters are not immune to this.
But a question like this from Jonathan gave us the opportunity to explain why people like us in this modern world would freely, individually and intelligently turn to prayer instead of conventional medical treatment for healing. And we did it by talking about what we have seen through our own eyes—both with our own healings and others we’ve witnessed personally. It means a lot for me to be able to say directly to someone sitting across from me that I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for Christian Science—it saved my life!
A lot of health care reform discussions hinge on choice of physician, choice of HMO, choice of treatment. How about the choice between medical and spiritual treatment? I’m grateful to Jonathan and other reporters like him who ask such open questions and are willing to thoughtfully hear our answers.