THE TWO CONVERSATIONS appeared to happen in parallel universes.

The first conversation occurred at a book fair, where Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy was on sale. A man stopped by to talk, explaining upfront that he was an atheist. Given the past century's advances in scientific medicine, he asked the booth worker, "How can you [meaning any Christian Scientist] risk relying solely on prayer for healing?"

His subtext may well have been, Isn't it delusional to rely on something as unknowable as God for healthcare, especially when humans have devised a thorough system for treating bodily ills?

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July 24, 2006

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