Letters to the Editor

Spiritual experience shared

As someone who grew up in Tucson and remembers the joy of seeing the “mousecars” as a kid, the story of Truly Nolen (“From ‘Antcars’ to ‘Mousecars,’ Tucson’s Truly Nolen delivers smiles worldwide,” AJP, 10/25/19) indeed brought a smile. But it might help readers to clarify a point of ethics in regard to Christian Science the faith in which Mr. Nolen was raised — and his experience with polio in the early 1950s. As a 23-year-old, he would normally make his own decisions in such a matter. The practice of spiritual healing in Christian Science is an individual commitment that involves sincere consecration and worship. It would be contrary to our teachings and values to insist that family members — or anyone — turn entirely to God for healing. Even had Mr. Nolen been a younger child whose parents held differing views, Christian Scientists would normally respect the wishes of the other spouse out of love and obedience to Golden Rule ethics. What matters above all is the well-being of the child.

In that earlier era, there were a number of healings of medically diagnosed polio and its effects. One Christian Scientist, telling in a church periodical how prayer healed him as a young man, concluded, “I’m deeply and everlastingly grateful to God.” Perhaps something of that same spirit is what drew Mr. Nolen to Judaism. As the great rabbi and scholar Abraham Joshua Heschel pointed out, Jews and Christians share “an openness to God’s presence.” That comes from Heschel’s essay, “No Religion Is an Island” — a point that reminds people of all faiths that our shared spiritual experience can bring mutual understanding to help heal the religious divisions in our own time. 

— Diane R. Hanover, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Arizona