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"None of the above"

From the January 1991 issue of The Christian Science Journal


"I have an extremely painful back," the patient told the Christian Science practitioner. "The cause of it may be strain from too much gardening or a sense of burden from preparing for my daughter's wedding, which will be quite a large affair. Or it could be my son's ponytail!"

When the practitioner hung up the phone, she laughed at the picture that came to her thought. Multiple choice! A test consisting of a statement followed by a number of possible answers, where only one is supposed to be correct. How many times she had taken those tests in school. She remembered, too, the instructions always read "Circle one." To remove any element of chance, some tests also included the answer "None of the above."

The practitioner knew that Christian Science treatment, or prayer, in no way resembles a test in which one is hoping to guess the supposed "cause" of an illness. In fact, just the opposite. As Mrs. Eddy explains in Science and Health, "Spiritual causation is the one question to be considered, for more than all others spiritual causation relates to human progress." Science and Health, p. 170. Then, the scientific answer to the patient's interesting list of possible causes would have to be "None of the above"! For surely none of the supposed reasons offered even remotely suggested spiritual causation.

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