A fun “blast from the past” arrives on YouTube – “Becker” and Christian Science…

I had a friend who would joke that ‘Christian Scientists are not “the people who don’t believe in doctors”, we are the people who doctors don’t believe in!’

I am glad to say the opposite has often been the case. I have met many people who found Christian Science because their doctor recommended they give it a go when medicine was unable to meet their need.  And many doctors today are taking notice of the essential role of spirituality and prayer can play in healing.

However, a decade ago, a fun Becker episode called “The Pain in the Neck” portrayed a doctor who wouldn’t entertain the notion that medicine could mean anything other than what he was taught at Harvard Medical School. Now it has found its way on to YouTube, via the ComedyChanneIUK.

Written by Perry Rein and Gigi McCreery, directed by Randy Carter and starring Ted Danson – who played Sam Malone in “Cheers” – as Doctor John Becker, the 108th episode of the successful sitcom series has three interweaving plots, one of which features a patient who chooses Christian Science healing over medical care. In their portrayal of the  interaction between doctor and patient, the Becker team proved how possible it is for TV to represent a Christian Scientist sympathetically and still end up with a really funny show.

My thanks to all involved in the production of this episode.

Update on January 1, 2014: Apologies to readers, but this video appears to have been withdrawn from the public domain.

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Categories: Christian Science

Author:Tony Lobl

I write on spirituality and health for a diversity of online media outlets, from my perspective as a Christian Science practitioner. I have been published by the Independent, the Washington Post, the Guardian, E-Hospice, MindBodyGreen and The Christian Science Monitor and I post regularly on the Huffington Post UK and BuzzFeed. In addition to writing and broadcast appearances I enjoy engaging with journalists, academics, health professionals and government officials about the possibilities for improving health outcomes through a greater emphasis on spirituality in healthcare and social care. I've also greatly valued the many opportunities I have had to travel globally for my church and to meet people around the world. My wife Jenny and I spent 10 years in Boston, USA, before returning to London in 2002, to take on a role as the media and legislative liaison for Christian Science in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. 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 “A fun “blast from the past” arrives on YouTube – “Becker” and Christian Science…”

  1. August 19, 2013 at 12:08 am #

    Oh, that was great!

  2. Wendy Abdollahi
    December 31, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

    Why can’t I find the Dr. John Becker 108 episode on youtube anymore? Would love to show it to a friend. Thanks for posting it in the first place. Wendy

  3. January 2, 2014 at 1:19 am #

    Thanks for alerting me to this, Wendy. You are right, the whole series – not just this one – seems to have been removed from YouTube and I can’t find it anywhere else on the web. That’s a shame. I hope it returns. In the meantime, I am glad we at least had a window of opportunity to view it, even if we can’t currently share it. Cheers.

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