February 4, 1866

On February 4, 1866, the future founder of the Church of Christ, Scientists, Mary Baker Eddy, believed her injured back was healed by opening her Bible and reading scripture. This is the watershed moment that put Mary Baker Eddy onto the path of establishing the Christian Science religion.  The doctor who examined Mary after her fall, Alvin M. Cushing, later testified under oath that he, “did not at any time declare, or believe, that there was no hope for Mrs. Patterson’s (Mary Baker Eddy’s married named at that time) recovery, or that she was in critical condition.” Mary’s belief that her back and spinal cord were injured beyond medical science’s cure was her own drama and statements. Her neighbors, on the other hand, fell in completely about Mary’s miracle ‘cure’, and the fact that Mary was an attractive, and dramatic, woman, launched her new career as the leader and founder of the Church of Christs, Scientists, which taught that prayer and belief in God, was the best way to cure every disease and ailment. People didn’t need medicine for sickness or pain-relief. They didn’t need to vaccinate their kids or animals, as prayer would work better than any science created by man. Mary Baker Eddy became a powerful and respected leader in the Christian Scientists movement, even though there was no science in her movement. There were no double-blind studies to determine if prayer actually healed people. There were no tests and gathering of data to see if a little bit of prayer and belief in God healed a little bit, or was it based on the moral strength of the person praying that determined if they were healed or doomed to death and decay. But people flocked to this new religion and were converted, just based upon the words and testimony of an attractive woman who spoke convincingly about her spinal cord injury cure, even though the doctor who saw her, said there was no real injury. And to top it off, money was sent to this church. A lot of money. Sort of goes to show what it was really about, doesn’t it.

 

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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