I am a regular contributor to the Danbury News Times Forum on Faith column, which is also picked up by the Connecticut Post and the Stamford Advocate. Here is today’s article, written this time by my daughter instead of me about her experience on Capitol Hill last summer:
Healthcare Law Doesn’t Accommodate Christian Science
In many ways, I was exactly like every other college student in Washington, D.C., last summer. I interned on behalf of a cause that I care strongly about.
But unlike many other interns thronging the halls of the House and Senate office buildings, I didn’t work for an elected official or an agency, but rather for my church.
Why intern for my church on Capitol Hill, you might ask? What role does my Christian Science faith have in what is happening there?
I jumped at the opportunity to join a team of dedicated, visionary workers when I realized that the new health care law would profoundly affect me and countless others. We often found ourselves one of the few champions for any kind of alternative health care in health care reform.
Christian Science teaches a proven method of spiritual healing which has been time-tested and found to be effective by individuals from all walks of life. In recognition of this fact, it has been accommodated by the federal government in every major health care legislation for over 50 years, with the exception of the most recent health care law.
Christian Science healing is based on understanding of an all-powerful, all-knowing God who is good and only good. In the past, when I have really understood God this way and myself as created perfect by Him, I have experienced freedom from sickness.
This spiritual approach has been very effective for me on all fronts, healing everything from a broken jaw to difficult relationships. It has also been proven effective for countless Christian Scientists and others who have never even stepped foot in a Christian Science Church. This efficacy is well documented and often confirmed by medical doctors.
Growing up attending First Church of Christ, Scientist in Ridgefield, I blossomed under the loving support of my local church community. Though I’ve never been to a doctor in my life, this is not forbidden; it was just never needed. Every concern has been met promptly through prayer as taught in Christian Science.
In the new health care law, there is no accommodation for this system of healing which I have successfully used my entire life. Many lifelong Christian Scientists who have never bought medical health insurance in the past will be required to do so even though it does not provide the kind of health care they depend on.
In other words, Christian Scientists and others who rely on spiritual care will neither be “in” nor “out” of the mandated system. I believe this is a gross injustice impacting not just Christian Scientists but anybody who thinks that there might be more factors to health than physicality.
Spiritual health care is a viable alternative option that I believe deserves to be part of a “universal” health care law.
Many we met with on Capitol Hill did not realize the deep impact that this legislation would have on our underrepresented minority. I was honored to be able to bring our predicament to the attention of those that could do something about it.
I believe this predicament is, at its root, a fundamental issue of fairness. If the universal health care law is truly meant to bring affordable health care to all, regardless of socio-economic background, shouldn’t it also bring health care that works for all, regardless of religious background?
Virginia Castor Early can be reached at VirginiaEarly@me.com.