Okay, normally I would write this story (Christian Scientists Prepare to Battle Bird Flu With Prayer) off as just some wacky religious folks going about their business. Not my cup o’ tea, but to each their own, I guess. But this part is chilling:
Then there is the question of what Christian Scientists would do if they were prohibited from going to church.
When the Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting people from going to churches and movie theaters in 1918, a handful of Christian Scientists challenged the constitutionality of the law in court. The judge ruled in their favor, saying that the city had a legal right to prevent public gatherings, but that the ordinance illegally singled out churches among other public places like hotel lobbies, stores and streetcars.
Heather Davis, a 44-year-old television producer, said that if a bird flu pandemic struck today and she could not go to church, she would want to go “twice as much.”
“I’d want to pray with anyone then,” she added, “not just Christian Scientists.”
Johnson, the college student, said: “I would go out. I would definitely protest and fight it” in the courts. “As soon as in my thoughts, I accept the fact that by going out and gathering with people, I become potentially susceptible, it’s as if I completely nullify all the work I’ve done.”
Y’know, it’s one thing to practice your religious beliefs in private. Whatever. I may not agree, but I won’t go pounding down your door in protest. It’s another to threaten to go out and potentially expose people to a disease which, even if you don’t “believe” in it, the rest of the world does. Especially if the govenment decides to close public places–can’t you pray as well at home as in your church?
(For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Christian Scientists, they generally refuse modern medicine in favor of faith-healing [skeptic’s view of it here]. As a result, they’ve been involved in several high-profile cases where the parents refused treatment for their child, and the child later died.)