Is Val Kilmer refusing medical treatment because of his Christian Science faith?

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I’m going to sound so ignorant here, but I always confuse Christian Scientists with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Christian Scientists don’t believe in many types of medicine, right? And Jehovah’s Witnesses are more medicine-friendly, although they don’t do blood transfusions. Yes, that’s what my internet research has turned up. So, if you’re a Jehovah’s Witness and you want some penicillin, you can have it. If you’re a Christian Scientist and you want penicillin, you’re out of luck.

So here’s something else interesting: I had no idea that Val Kilmer was and is a Christian Scientist. I had no idea about his religion until he had a medical episode a few days back. Some claimed he was diagnosed with a throat tumor, but Val took to his Facebook to deny that diagnosis – you can read his posts here. He claimed that he was in the hospital having tests done and X-rays performed and he was spending time with his doctors, family and a “Christian Science practitioner.” TMZ says that Val is telling lies about his illness and that he hasn’t been getting medical care because of his Christian Science beliefs.

TMZ broke the story … Val Kilmer was rushed to the hospital Monday night after he started bleeding from the throat. Doctors at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica operated immediately and found a tumor. We’re told the surgery was invasive … they needed to enlarge a path to facilitate breathing.

Family members tell TMZ … Val has known about the tumor since Summer. He had trouble speaking and his neck swelled to the point he covered it up with scarves and other clothing items. The family members say they urged Val to seek treatment but he would have none of it because of his Christian Science beliefs. They say he shunned medical treatment and anyone who persisted got cut out of his life.

The family says Val would never confess to pain because it was an admission that prayer didn’t work, but when he started coughing up blood Monday his options ran out. The family is hopeful because Val seems somewhat more receptive to treatment.

[From TMZ]

Ugh, that sucks. If it’s true. After reading Val’s Facebook posts, I kind of think he’s either in complete denial OR TMZ had the wrong end of the stick. Has Val always been a Christian Scientist or is he a convert? I wonder. While I’m spiritual enough to believe that prayers and good vibes can help a person in need, I also believe in actual science and medicine. I hope Val’s doctors are able to talk some sense into him.

PS… I’ve finally realized who Val reminds me of – he’s morphing into a Bridges brother. Doesn’t he look like Beau and Jeff Bridges all of a sudden?

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Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and WENN.

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106 Responses to “Is Val Kilmer refusing medical treatment because of his Christian Science faith?”

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  1. Lilacflowers says:

    He does look like Beau Bridges in that picture.

    The Christian Science headquarters is here in Boston. You can tour the Mother Church, which is beautiful, and the Monitor publishing building, home of the really cool Mapparium. There are little video screens throughout in which people explain the faith. Val Kilmer figures prominently in those little videos. He has been a Christian Scientist for a very, very long time.

  2. NewWester says:

    I think he looks more like the husband in “Sister Wives” in the first pic. What ever his beliefs, coughing up blood is not a good sign. Hopefully he will recover soon

    • Kiddo says:

      +1 on sister-wives guy.

      • Kim1 says:

        @Kiddo
        I just read on TMZ that guy divorced a sister wife but no worries he will marry her younger sister
        SMH

    • qwerty says:

      Hi might not though if he refuses treatment if it’s not too late for that already – saw his recent pics, he looks like hell. Frail and skinny, an always with a scarf/sweater tied around his neck.

  3. Em' says:

    Didn’t even know the Christian scientists existed untill now.
    The variety of christians congregations, especially in the US, will always baffle me

    • FLORC says:

      There are so many. It can be tough to know them all and what they share and don’t share with others.

    • holly hobby says:

      Elizabeth Taylor was brought up a christian scientist – her mother was a believer but as she got older she identified more with the Jewish faith.

  4. snowflake says:

    that is so horrible, I hope he hasn’t refused medical treatment because he believes prayer will fix it. there are some things that if you wait too long, it will have progressed to the point where it is no longer fixable.

    • sistaknoxy says:

      I guess its his choice which is more faith than most people have.

    • Sarah says:

      I find that the problem with many religions is that they were created so long ago that many of their teachings just arent relevant in modern society. They were probably very apt in the year 1000 or 13000 or 18000 but life has changed immeasurably since then.

  5. Yes, he totally looks like “the dude” (or his younger brother) in the upper picture!

  6. Crocuta says:

    Well, I disagree with “pray the illness away” idea but he is a grown man and has the right to choose his treatment, as long as he knows all the possible outcomes.

    It enrages me more when every now and then we find parents who refuse treatment for their children because of their faith. That’s a whole new issue.

    • Josephine says:

      It does make me sad for his kids, though. If he refuses medical treatment and passes, they are left without their dad. I don’t understand the religion at all, but I do find it interesting that so many of these huge stars make some extreme choices in life; Hollywood is not good for the soul, and the sensitive folks really seem to get beat up.

    • Kitten says:

      Agree with both parts of your comment-his life, his beliefs, his decision. Different story entirely if kids are involved.

      • Kiddo says:

        The doctors performed surgery on him, so maybe he changed his mind? Unless there is a caveat for procedures that are diagnostic versus treatment? I wonder if they allow palliative measures. I’m just curious. He can do whatever he wants.

      • FLORC says:

        Kiddo
        Not speaking as a Christian Scientist (because i’m not), but as a medical professional.
        I’ll see patients come in for medication, er visits, checkups, and operations or varying severity that are CS. They’ve explained it to me as this.
        They follow their beliefs that pray and God will heal you. Modern medicine for numerous reasons isn’t all that great (and they’re right on that to a degree).
        And that they do not have a private line to their lord and understand how he works. If he is working through a Doctor or Nurse or some form of treatment thay must be humble enough to accept that. Not to act like they know what god is thinking and doing. So, primarily treatment is left until it’s accepted that it’s needed.

        Disclaimer:
        Now, my sources are only those who came into the hospital or Doctors office. Not all think this way and still practice. And this is how I have come to understand it in a shortened verrsion. Not all the little details involved. It’s a very complicated issue. There are still many who practice this is a strict fashion.

      • Kiddo says:

        Thanks FLORC, I agree with the limitations of modern medicine, and that the scorched earth approach to treatment until the end, instead of weighing quality of life is, itself, at times barbaric. But I thought the headline seemed so contradictory in that he was strictly avoiding treatment, but then had surgery which discovered the tumor. I’m not making a judgement on the belief, I was just confused. But like any religion, I guess people’s adherence varies widely.

      • FLORC says:

        Kiddo
        Agree to how closely some people practice their faith. T a certain degree I think faith gets set aside by the need of self preservation.

        Some CS do take it to extremes, but others understand medicine isn’t what it use to be. This headline is misleading.

        I’m trying to find out what his condition actually is and what treatments have been offered/refused/accepted. These are facts that can change opinion greatly.

    • funcakes says:

      Yeah, it worked out well for Jean Harlow and Jim Henson.

      • FLORC says:

        Hensons have some mystery heart condition that people could only speculate what it was. Sometimes medicine can’t give you an answer. And sometimes treatment not only won’t help, but shortens your life and reduces quality. And you might be shocked to find out CS live on average long lives.
        smh

      • funcakes says:

        I’m not being confrontational but I just worry for the children that have no say in this matter. Where I live there was a couple that was just sent to jail because they let their second child die without seeking medical treatment because of their beliefs.

        While I believe they have a right as adults to not seek medical treatment, it is there responsibility as the adult, and most importantly the parent, to make sure there child is in the best possible health no matter the cost. when the child is of a certain age to make decisions for themselves, then they can make the choice of refusing medical help.

        But I have to admit when an adult make the choice not to seek medical help knowing that they have young children that depent on you it also is baffling.

        Then on the other hand if your alone in the world with no one to care for you, I would also like to think that a person would do everything possible, medically if need be, to make sure you are in the best possible health. But one should have the choice to choose their fate no matter how unpopular.

        I can see why this faith is so controversial

      • Sam says:

        I’ve seen reports that say that Jean Harlow would have died regardless due to the serious nature of her illness and her refusal of care was a moot point – but those are only the reports I’ve seen.

      • beetle says:

        @funcakes:
        I am a lifelong Christian Scientist and the media usually gets our religion wrong and I understand how confusing it sounds when one doesn’t have all the facts. Christian Scientists are free to get medical treatment whenever they feel like it and there is absolutely no pressure or shaming from the church. Yes, we turn to God in prayer for healing but if there is not progress then many Christian Scientists will seek medical attention and not just when it gets to a crisis situation. The reason a lot of Christian Scientists stick with prayer is that they have seen it work effectively. I myself have had several physical conditions reversed through prayer alone and these healings were documented by doctors as my husband is not CS and asked me to get an x-ray, medical opinion, blood work, etc.
        In one case when I broke my elbow, the orthopedic surgeon with whom I consulted asked me to come back into his practice to explain CS to his colleagues after taking a second x-ray a week after my injury and being incredulous that the break had healed and I had full range of motion with the joint. In another situation, an ER doctor gave full credit to God and prayer and told me that nothing in her medical training could explain why my son survived a horrific car accident with no broken bones or internal injuries.
        Christian Scientists are not martyrs and do not enjoy suffering. They use prayer because they have seen it to be effective. I have three children and they all get vaccinations and checks ups with a pediatrician and I don’t hesitate to take them to the doctor or hospital if they are sick or injured. Please don’t assume that Christian Scientists are idiots who hate doctors and force their children to suffer. We think that doctors are noble and doing important work; we have just found prayer to be effective as well. And I, nor any other CS parent I know, would allow my children to suffer in pain for even one hour.

      • funcakes says:

        @beetle
        Thank you for some insight into you beliefs. I belong to no particular faith, but like to learn from others about theirs. I did scan through some articles only to learn what you just summarized.

      • LizzyFizzy says:

        Jean Harlow’s mother–also named Jean–was a Christian Scientist, but according to what I’ve read (Jan Golden’s great biography, Platinum Girl is my favorite) she made sure that Jean got medical treatment, once they realized how seriously ill baby Jean was; she had been misdiagnosed at first. The difficulty was that there were no kidney transplants then, so nothing could be done for her, even though she was very young. By all accounts, it was a terrible death.

        http://www.amazon.com/Platinum-Girl-Life-Legends-Harlow/dp/1558592148

      • FLORC says:

        Funcakes
        I did get short with you. Sorry. Was just frustrated reading some really ignorant comments.
        Agree with Beetle. The news often gets it wrong and puts a spotlight on the extreme cases. That type of coverage leads to many not understanding the religion.

        And for what it’s worth there’s a science to their “science”. Positive attitude (laughter is the best medicine) has been linked to improving health. Years ago in school I read a stufy that a man had cancer. He was given months to live. He spent is final months without treatment (because treatment wouldn’t do him much good) and laughed. Months later his tumors shrinked down and he went into remission.
        Personally I don’t think this is God. I think there’s just so much we don’t understand about the body.

    • michelle says:

      For his children’s sakes, I hope that he changes his mind and seeks treatment. They are grown now, but they still need their dad.

  7. scout says:

    Never heard of this religious sect before but it’s sad that grown men and women believe in all this and deprive themselves of medical treatment. Worse is when they refuse to treat children and let them suffer unnecessarily. Hope he gets medical help before it’s too late.

    • FLORC says:

      You’re pretty wrong on your assumption here.
      I suggest your educate yourself on this topic with not just the far leaning information that has a strong bias in how they tell you the details.
      This topic is far more in depth than what you’ve skimmed over in this thread.

    • sistaknoxy says:

      Most Christian Scientists I know take their kids to the doctor from my knowledge. I should know since I grew up going to the church. Once kids are older, they choose whether they want to do the CS route or the doctor route. I’m no longer CS but I do believe prayer works and hate when people immediately assume its BS and doesn’t work.

      • Jag says:

        There actually are studies that show that prayer works, even when the person being prayed for doesn’t know about it. Also, studies showing that prayer and meditation can help a person heal their body and be healed. I have been healed of Meniere’s Disease by prayer, and my mother was healed/survived some incredibly scary side effects when she was in clinical trials for metastatic breast cancer. (If you read the warning labels and there’s a mention of a weird, life-threatening side effect, that was probably my mother.)

      • FLORC says:

        Those studies are flawed and full of improperly logged information. All that were published and out for people to read have all been discredited. Somebody states something and people want it to be true so they accept what they’re told.

        I’m not belittling your beliefs. Just that those studies are complete BS from a scientific view. It’s on par with how sloppy the doctor who tried to say vaccines cause DS. Too much information was made up.

  8. Dawn says:

    I used to love this guy but I just can’t with these Scientology people anymore. I am sure he does have medicle issues but is simpy taking vitamins. I wish someone would just blow the roof off these Scientology clowns. What a scam.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      He’s not a scientologist. He’s a Christian Scientist. Very different faith, founded by Mary Baker Eddy in the late 19th century. It’s Mother Church is in Boston and it publishes the Pulitzer Prize winning Christian Science Monitor.

    • michelle says:

      Christian Scientists are not Scientologists. They are completely different religions or maybe I should say faiths?

      ETA: Christian Science is a Protestant Christian denomination founded in the 19th century. Scientology was created by the science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard in the mid-20th century and has nothing to do with Christianity.

    • Cannibell says:

      Dawn – Christian Science isn’t Scientology. It’s a lot older. It was founded by a woman named Mary Baker Eddy in 1879, before medicine had advanced to the point where it is today. A lot of horrible things happened back then in the name of medicine (pre-antibiotics, etc.) so it’s not entirely surprising that a religion would have eschewed medicine.

      Scientology is based on the writings and beliefs of L. Ron Hubbard. His book, “Dianetics” was published in 1950.

    • Arock says:

      Full disclosure- I had been waiting all thread for this to happen. Also anticipating a climate change naysayer because “Christian scientist”. ::crosses fingers::

    • FLORC says:

      *Facepalm*
      This thread. Is it about discussing a topic or stating an opinion you base on almost nothing? Rhtorical question. This is too complex an issue for the majority here and I have to go to work. Where only recently I had a patient that willingly admitted themselves in for treatment and is CS.

  9. Ginger says:

    He does like Kody from Sister Wives in the first photo and a Bridges brother in the second! Well, if he’s a Christian Scientist then people should respect his beliefs. But I understand that his friends and family are still going to urge him to seek medical help. If he is really cutting them out of his life when they beg him to go that’s kind of cruel. They just want to help him after all. This reminds me of a patient that came into the E.R. when I worked in a hospital many, many years ago. He had accidentally scraped his head on a rusty car door. He was a Christian Scientist as was the rest of his family so he never cleaned the wound or sought medical help until it was too late. The scrape became infected and turned gangrenous. It ate a hole in his head and affected his brain to the point that he could no longer walk or talk. The doctors could only put a plate in his skull and check him into the ICU at that point. The family did allow some treatment but it was too late. They gathered around his bed every day in a circle and prayed over him. It was so sad. I still remember it all these years later.

    • FLORC says:

      Cleaning a wound is different. That’s an extreme. They wash their hands. shower. Why suddenly do they not clean something else?
      I guess it can be seen as a sign of faith, but it’s an extreme case and should not represent the bulk of those who practice the religion.

      And everytime I see Val I think Jim Morrison.

  10. M.A.F. says:

    I’ve always thought Christian Science was Christianity but with a science background. Go figure it was the opposite.

  11. Willa says:

    Hope he will be alright. I just watched Willow last night and he was hot in that movie!

  12. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    He has the right, as we all do, to his beliefs, but I just don’t get it. Why would God want you to die when there was a treatment that could save your life? It just doesn’t make sense to me.

  13. beep says:

    He doesn’t look like that anymore because he lost a bunch of weight.

    • Hautie says:

      It is the massive weight loss, that makes me suspect that Kilmer’s family is correct.

      So I would not be surprise if there is a significant health issue.

      It saddens me that there is so much that can be solved, by early treatment.

  14. Mom2two says:

    I hope he gets the treatment he needs. He’s been a Christian Scientist for a long time. Another famous Christian Scientist ( not sure if he still is these days) was The Monkees Michael Nesmith. His first wife was also one and back in the 60′s she was in a serious car accident and they opted for her to recover at home despite the fact her injuries could have used medical attention.

  15. Adrien says:

    Pssst, Val. God answered your prayers. He’s telling you right now to seek medical treatments.

  16. Toot says:

    I think he’s been CS since he was a child. I hope whatever is going on with him he survives.

  17. Zooey says:

    I think he looks like The Wonder Year’s older brother, Wayne, in the second photo!

    Hoping he does get treatment. Sounds like there are at least people in his life who are trying to convince him.

  18. GingerCrunch says:

    Give this guy a Darwin Award! Next.

  19. OSTONE says:

    Not sure if it was true, but I always heard that the Tex-Mex singer Selena could have survived had her parents approved of a blood transfusion when she was at the hospital, but since they were Jehova’s Witnesses, they didn’t let the doctors and Selena died.

    • Sam says:

      That wouldn’t have happened. Selena was over 18 at the time of her death. The doctors would not have asked her parents to authorize a transfusion. When an unconscious patient comes in and they are over 18, the doctors presume that the person would consent to all life-saving measures. There would have been no reason to consult her parents.

      • PinaColada says:

        I’ve heard that too, oston. I could be wrong but I’ve read a lot about it. She was married so maybe they consulted him, if she gave him those decision-making powers? Maybe she had a living will? But she was JW and I do think a transfusion was rejected.

  20. LAK says:

    Religion! Who will have it?!?!

  21. Lilacflowers says:

    Totally off-topic but Val Kilmer is the only movie Bat man so far who has not been nominated for an Oscar. Keaton, Clooney, Bale, and Affleck have all had Oscar nominations of some sort or other.

    • FingerBinger says:

      He hasn’t been in anything Oscar worthy. Every movie he has done in the last 5 years have been direct to video.

      • Josefa says:

        Yeah, he’s not very talented. Even if Clooney did the worst film, I think Val’s the worst Batman.

        Anyway… I hope he gets better.

      • Bored suburbanhousewife says:

        But you know he was just sooooo hot back in the 80s– the Heath Ledger of his day. He was Ice Man! And I still love the movie Willow. wtf happened to him??

  22. Lucretia says:

    Just going to thrown some old school Val love in here to add to the Willow reference above thread — I loved him in the 90s, in Heat, and as (sickly!) Doc Holliday in Tombstone.
    “I’ll be your huckleberry.” Yes.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      “I’ll be our huckleberry” just killed me.

      • Olenna says:

        My favorite line, too! Used to have the biggest crush on Val and I adored him as Doc. Hope he is well and this tumor business is just all a bunch gossip.

  23. Sam says:

    As somebody raised Christian Scientist and who still has a great affinity for the Church, try to let me explain it:

    CS is a religion that believes in the duality of the human being – that you have a physical form and a spiritual form. The spiritual form exerts incredible influence on the physical form. Thus, physical illnesses may be a symptom of some form of spiritual or mental sickness or malaise. Hence, CS healing is basically a form of therapy that tries to root out and address spiritual and physical challenges that might be impacting your physical well-being.

    Now, here’s where it gets tricky and CS members diverge. Some of the more “Orthodox” contingent believe that ALL sickness can only be cured through spiritual healing. That’s it. They are the ones who shun all medicine. From the stories I’ve heard, Val is fairly orthodox in his belief system, so this doesn’t surprise me. There are CS theologians who argue that while physical illness may be linked to mental and spiritual wellbeing, there is nothing wrong with treated physical conditions with physical means. They point out that the physical world exists and acts upon us, and that a physical injury being treated by physical means isn’t really wrong. Most CS members use a combination of physical and spiritual healing. That’s what I do. I try to be extremely fitness and good health-oriented to try to head off most physical conditions, but if I’m really sick, I’m going to take my medicine.

    In whatever case he chooses, I wish Val the best. I don’t know if he is secure in his faith or having a bit of a crisis, but I wish him well and I hope he is able to discern what it is he feels best with.

    • Cannibell says:

      Thank you, Sam, for such a well-written and clear explanation.

    • siri says:

      Thank you for your explanation, it’s truly interesting. I can follow the idea of physical illness being linked to our mental/spiritual wellbeing. I always wondered if a physical condition we encounter perhaps started out as a disbalance mentally/spiritually. On the other hand, having a physically already manifested disease might in turn influence your mental and spititual wellbeing- that would be a reason for me personally to seek out help (whether from a doctor, or a practitioner of some kind) for physical problems. I hope Val finds the right balance for himself.

  24. Isabelle says:

    the recent weight loss sure doesn’t give comfort TMZ is lying. Hope they’re lying but Val is a little ‘kooky’ always has been, so could see him into a religion.

  25. krastins says:

    I am shocked to see how many people actually think prayer can heal. No doctor prescribes it, nor have their been any studies to show that it helps beyond the placebo effect. It’s a shame that grown adults believe this, even if everyone is free to believe what they want. At some point ignorance and/or stupidity rears its head.

    • sistaknoxy says:

      Really? Love to see your research. Many doctors have even admitted prayer does work. There is research out there. One shouldn’t discount it completely out of ignorance.

    • jwoolman says:

      The brain directs the body. Prayer is one way to tap into that control. You don’t have to be a believer in religion to see that. The so-called placebo effect is another example. Visualization therapy likewise.

      Modern medicine is actually rather primitive- there is so much that we don’t know. We pick up bits and pieces of understanding every now and then, but the standard of care today may be rejected tomorrow. Then add human error to the mix and the risk of both financial ruin (in the US at least) and oopsie moments by a surgeon or bad reactions to medication and other treatments and inaccuracy of expensive lab tests and the poor record of doctors with certain chronic conditions – well, there are plenty of reasons to not instantly run to a doctor for many things. We don’t live in a Star Trek universe where a doctor can point a Tricorder at you and not only instantly diagnose you, but also fix you. And in the US, a minor injury or illness can push you into debt for years and strain you financially even more because the insurance company will jack up your premiums and deductible. Ask me about my $15,000 UTI sometime…. It’s really awful here unless you have loads of money or unusually good insurance (hard to get without the loads of money part, but sometimes people have splendid insurance through an employer).

  26. Jen says:

    Omg, I have ALWAYS thought Christian Scientist and Scientology were the same thing! I’m totally confused now lol

  27. JenniferJustice says:

    He has become so weird in the last couple decades. He was a good actor. Loved him as Doc Holiday in that Wyatt Earp move – “I’ll be your huckleberry…”

    After that, he just went odd on us.

    To each their own re religion, but I still have a hard time accepting anybody’s religious constraints that completely conflict with characters they’ve played. It’s not okay to use medicine as a Christian Scientiest but it is okay for same Christian Scientist to play a role where the character is a profuse drug-user (The Island of Dr. Moreau)? I can’t grapple with the idea that something be so profusely forbidden but still okay to promote in theatre. Just seems way too hypocritical and misprioritized.

    • Sam says:

      Why – it happens all the time. Do you question why Daniel Radcliffe, who is atheist all the way, played a character that deals with mysticism and witchcraft? I don’t – I get that he’s an actor who takes roles and those roles are not the people. It’s make-believe.

    • siri says:

      Hmmm…I don’t really think acting a drug user/dealer means promoting drugs. It’s a matter of choice to take a part like this, but it’s a role, and a paid job after all. Besides, most actors have experienced drugs of some kind- I would be surprised if Val was an exception. And if you only want to act roles that reflect your own principles, or at least don’t go against them, you might better try some other source of income, or artistic expression. I get your point, but THEY obviously don’t have a problem with this.

    • SamiHami says:

      It’s just acting, portraying a character. It’s not okay to commit murder, either, but lots of people portray murderers in movies and TV shows. Does that make those actors hypocritical?

    • JenniferJustice says:

      I understand it is acting and that it’s their job, but if your religion is so strict, I would think they would not want their members promoting anything they are against and so, yeah, don’t be an actor. My curiosity is for the church – not the actor. I wonder what they think of it – not him. My cynical guess is they don’t really care because he’s able to tithe a lot.

      • Sam says:

        Most churches don’t keep such close tabs on their members. Did the Catholic Church speak out against Anthony Hopkins (who is quite devout) when he played, on multiple occasions, a cannibal serial killer (things I’m pretty sure the Church looks down on)? No – because it’s make-believe. He didn’t actually do anything wrong. Most religions figure that people can tell the difference between reality and fantasy.

      • Beetle says:

        @JENNIFERJUSTICE: I am a Christian Scientist and we don’t tithe. There is a $25 annual fee to be a member of the main church in Boston but that’s it and that membership is purely optional. At Sunday services there is a collection but there is no pressure and lots of people don’t give. Those that do, give nominal amounts (usually less than $20).

        The church also doesn’t care what roles a CS actor takes. Val Kilmer is not the only CS actor in the history of the church. Robert Duvall is another who was a CS growing up and for some of his adulthood and has talked about it in interviews.

  28. Shelley says:

    Just go read about Jean Harlow’s horrifying death.

  29. beetle says:

    I am a lifelong Christian Scientist and the media usually gets our religion wrong. Christian Scientists are free to get medical treatment whenever they feel like it and there is absolutely no pressure or shaming from the church. Yes, we turn to God in prayer for healing but if there is not progress then many Christian Scientists will seek medical attention and not just when it gets to a crisis situation. The reason a lot of Christian Scientists stick with prayer is that they have seen it work effectively. I myself have had several physical conditions reversed through prayer alone and these healings were documented by doctors as my husband is not CS and asked me to get an x-ray, medical opinion, blood work, etc.
    In one case when I broke my elbow, the orthopedic surgeon with whom I consulted asked me to come back into his practice to explain CS to his colleagues after taking a second x-ray a week after my injury and being incredulous that the break had healed and I had full range of motion with the joint. In another situation, an ER doctor gave full credit to God and prayer and told me that nothing in her medical training could explain why my son survived a horrific car accident with no broken bones or internal injuries.
    Christian Scientists are not martyrs and do not enjoy suffering. They use prayer because they have seen it to be effective. I have three children and they all get vaccinations and checks ups with a pediatrician and I don’t hesitate to take them to the doctor or hospital if they are sick or injured. Please don’t assume that Christian Scientists are idiots who hate doctors and force their children to suffer. We think that doctors are noble and doing important work; we have just found prayer to be effective as well. And I, nor any other CS parent I know, would allow my children to suffer in pain for even one hour.

    • sistaknoxy says:

      Thank you for explaining!

      • beetle says:

        You’re welcome. I also forgot to add that my closest friend is a medical doctor and we have equal respect for each other’s beliefs. Christian Scientists never try to convert people to their faith and are respectful of all views on physical and mental healing, including psychiatry and psychology. I have friends of all different faiths: Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Buddhists, Hindi, Muslim, Agnostics and Atheists. That is why Christian Scientists tend to cringe when the public confuses us with Scientology which does not seem as accommodating of all belief systems.

  30. CatJ says:

    I wonder if he and Tom Cruise had any discussions regarding their “faiths”, Christian Science vs. Scientology. I always get the feeling that Tom tries to convert anyone he works with……

    • holly hobby says:

      Tommy wasn’t a Sci yet during the filming of Top Gun. Mimi converted him after his career took off.

  31. Malificent says:

    I used to date a guy who was raised in a pretty strict Christian Scientist family. He was fine with treatment of acute injuries and such. Where we diverged in everyday practice was my use of birth control pills, which he considered to only have value as a placebo. I told him to be glad that my @99% monthly faith in their efficacy was good enough to keep him from becoming a daddy.

    On the other hand, years later, he got a vasectomy when he and his long-term gf decided not to have kids, so his opinion or interpretation must have changed at some point. Or, he was happy to humor her too.

  32. Sarah says:

    There was a storyline in Nip Tuck where a girl was hit by a car and was badly injured and would probably go blind but her mother wouldn’t allow surgery because they were Christian Scientists. I think in the end they got child services to intervene and grant custody to her doctor who performed the operations and saved her. Before that, I had no idea such an outlandish faith existed!

    • sistaknoxy says:

      Wow! If only you had quoted something other than a TV show for your information. There are no words.

  33. anne_000 says:

    God I hate Xtian Scientist ideology and any other religious ideology that keeps adults and children from getting medicine. Of course these adults are making their own decisions about their own health, but then some of them decide these things for their children, ending up in dead kids who’ve suffered before their deaths.

    I saw a documentary of sorts in which a particular church had a cemetery with a high number of children’s graves. Why? Because while the parents’ own parents had given them medical care while growing up, they didn’t do that for their own children.

    This is just one of the many reasons organized religion infuriates me at times.

    • sistaknoxy says:

      I think people are confusing the religion with individual choice. The CS religion doesn’t force people to use prayer over medicine. It’s an individual choice and no one is shunned or pressured by church members if they proceed with the medical route. I don’t think the religion should be blamed for individuals that choose to only to use the prayer route. Again, its the individuals choice and not the church telling them what to do. Why do people assume those involved in some form of “organized religion” are fanatics?

      • anne_000 says:

        It’s part of some organized religions’ ideology. If these religions were responsible and rational, then they would have discouraged this type of thought instead of offering it up as an acceptable option.
        …..
        “Why do people assume those involved in some form of “organized religion” are fanatics?”

        Every religion is organized. Obviously I didn’t say all organized religion has this type of creed.

      • Beetle says:

        @sistaknoxy:

        Well said. There are individuals exhibiting different behavior in every religion. Some people, upon hearing I’m CS, say, “Oh, you’re the baby killers, right?” I would never, ever deny a baby or a child medical attention.
        Nor would I say to someone upon learning he’s Catholic, “Oh, you’re the ones who let your children be molested by priests.” Ridiculous in generalizations and rudeness.

      • anne_000 says:

        @Beetle – It’s not part of Catholicism’s creed to molest children.

        BUT…. it is part of some organized religions’ creed to promote denial of medicine to those in need of it.

        Big difference.

  34. Beetle says:

    @anne_000:

    Nowhere in the “creed” of Christian Science does it preach denial of medicine to those who need it. In fact, Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the religion wrote that if your confidence in prayer is not there, you should indeed seek medical treatment. We are taught to either use prayer or to use medicine as treatment. Employing neither is neglect and CS is vehemently against that.

    Big difference.

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