The Turning Point in My Life

In high school I became increasingly involved with a young man who was very much opposed to Christian Science. Although I had been raised in Christian Science and had always attended Sunday School, I had never felt the need to use what I had been taught. There were rarely any problems, and if a difficulty did arise, it was quickly and quietly eliminated through prayer by loving parents.

When I went away to college (the same college as my boyfriend), he confronted me with questions and arguments expressly designed to turn me from my "inherited religion." I was not equipped with the answers or even the desire to resist the suggestion to reject this religion, which claims man's perfection in what seems to be an imperfect world. He forbade me to attend Sunday School, threatening, "It's either your church or me, but you can't have both." A snap decision did not seem difficult at all, and you can probably guess which I chose—an exciting social life, which was sure to lead to marriage to the best-looking and coolest fellow on campus, rather than a prudish, Sunday morning activity that would help lonely, unfortunate, and sick people. At least that's the way it looked to me.

During the rest of this freshman year there was only a slight twinge of conscience when I went home on vacations and attended Sunday School and answered discussion questions as I had always done. The feeling of hypocrisy was soon forgotten when I was with my friend again. His influence was so great in every aspect of my thinking that it seemed I didn't need to think for myself—almost as if I were under hypnosis! If there was a problem, he solved it; and a beautiful make-believe world was inhabited by just the two of us. I thought I really didn't need Christian Science, because I had not used it or lived it and still everything was fine. There was no sickness or depression, and grades in school were no problem either. I had security and happiness in him, and that was all that counted.

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Sex and the Christian Scientist
November 7, 1970

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