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Catching good health, not swine flu

A Christian Science perspective.

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Debate continues to swirl around the topic of the H1N1 virus. Polls indicate that on the one hand people are concerned about the projected pandemic of swine flu, but that on the other hand they're not convinced the vaccine is effective and safe.

Others point out the role of people as "carriers" of disease, and view the "vaccine versus no vaccine" dilemma as a tug of war between personal interests and the welfare of society. While we all must look into our hearts to answer these questions for ourselves, some have found that a different kind of protection has proved effective.

Projections about impending plagues have overtly and covertly sown seeds of fear since time began. In biblical times, many people greatly feared leprosy. In more recent years, AIDS, bird flu, tuberculosis, as well as the swine flu, have generated fear. Many people have found that prayer can effectively quiet that fear and bring about healing.

One of the things I love about prayer that's based on the principles of Christian Science is that it starts with God as Spirit, and with the man and woman He created as His image and likeness. This completely changes the way one responds to disease.

As the idea of Spirit, one isn't a material being who can be attacked by, or the host and carrier of, disease. Further, as not just a good God but as good itself, God would never create any painful or destructive element such as a virus. The book of Genesis, recounting the perfection of God's creation, declares, "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" (1:31). And since God made the whole universe, a virus must be a counterfeit view of what's true – in short, a belief with nothing to back it up. Prayer enables us to prove this to be the case, even in the face of the threat of disease.

Through her study of the Bible and her own healing work, Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, was able to prove that disease has no foundation in God. She wrote in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" that "disease arises, like other mental conditions, from association. Since it is a law of mortal mind that certain diseases should be regarded as contagious, this law obtains credit through association, – calling up the fear that creates the image of disease and its consequent manifestation in the body" (p. 154).

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