This Sunday is a bit of a reconnaissance mission for me. I come from a big family of Christian Scientists whose church membership ended with my father’s generation. I’ve never been to a Christian Science church before, in spite of the fact that my own Grandmother was a reader and she was one of my favorite people ever.
What, you ask, is a reader? It’s basically a Christian Scientist Pastor/Priest(ess), the person who conducts the services and reads from the Bible and Science & Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. Especially now that I’m working on this project, I regret never seeing her read. I’m sure it would have been a beautiful thing, but religion was off the table so we never even talked about it and it never occurred to teenage me to go see her in action. Grandma Ardie died in a car accident when I was 19, about a month before I was slated to be the Spanish translator on her church-lady trip to Costa Rica. She was 80.
I’m still not over it.
I want to understand this religion. We all know about its obvious dangers – rejection of modern medicine – but what, if anything, is good about it? How does it work? What are the services like? Is it really a cult? Who are the members? What are their stories?
But most importantly – is Christian Science scientific?