On July 8, 2011, Mitch Horowitz wrote a column for The Wall Street Journal titled “When spirituality kills.” In response, Russ Gerber, spokesperson for the Christian Science Church, submitted a letter to the editor, which has been published.
In “When Spirituality Kills” (Houses of Worship, July 8), Mitch Horowitz refers to Christian Science and alludes to its safety. While the track record of its practice over the last 140 years isn’t perfect, any connotation that the cumulative record suggests it is inherently unsafe doesn’t square with the facts.
For successive years for over a decade, the intent to use prayer to improve health has been on the rise in the U.S., as many surveys have shown. Acceptance is growing. It’s mainstream now. That’s not to suggest that people are abandoning Western medicine, but rather that they are choosing alternatives, and prayer is one of the leading ones.
That’s no excuse for irresponsible practice of spiritual care, under any condition, but it is to say that the average man and woman, on the front lines of health-care decision-making, seems to be finding prayer to be a safe and effective alternative.
The First Church of Christ, Scientist