With its membership dwindling and reputation in tatters, the church of Christian Science has finally decided that doctors aren’t so bad after all. Church leaders tell the New York Times that they’ve been encouraging members to consult physicians when necessary for over a year now. They’re trying to reposition their prayer-based healing as a supplemental treatment, which they argue should be covered by health insurance companies and health care legislation.
The church teaches that disease is a “mistaken belief” in the “power of ill health.” The Times spoke to one practitioner who explained that when a patient came to him with a lump under his arm it was “a manifestation of fear, not a lump.” But that philosophy has made the church famous for denying care to people, especially children, who then die. “The church of today would not let that happen,” says a spokesman. (Read more Christian Science stories.)