“Christian Science: A Comment”
Johnsen, Thomas C. “Christian Science: A Comment.” Paper presented at Symposium on Medicine and Religion. University of Kansas Medical Center, October 16, 1991.
Johnsen was invited to present a Christian Science point of view in the context of Rita Swan’s work with the CHILD organization. He clarifies that he has no intention to rebut Swan’s presentation or her painful personal experience. He also explains that he is not representing an official church line on the subject of health choices, but he speaks from his personal experience where his healing has brought about a close relationship with God. “It isn’t enough, or even intellectually honest,” he claims, “for the medical community to decide that these healings [through Christian Science treatment] couldn’t have happened” (4-5). The question, as Johnsen sees it, is how to understand and respect the differing points of view. He cites an example of being named as guardian of the children of friends who were not Christian Scientists. His Jewish friends rightly assumed and trusted that he would take them to synagogue, Hebrew school, and the hospital just as their parents would want. “It seems to me,” he concludes, “that this mutuality, recognizing and feeling deeply the full humanity, even of those with whom one has major differences, is the necessary starting point for constructive policy-making” (6).