Why I Wrote Collision
During all the years that I was a Christian Scientist I was fully aware that my religion was considered by many to be odd, at the least, and even outright ridiculous. As well, Christian Science received a great deal of negative publicity due to various court cases in which children had suffered and even died apparently needlessly.
My religion seemed to me to be an embarrassment.
At the same time, however, I knew that my family and I were normal people living perfectly normal lives. We all had jobs, worked hard, socialized with people of all faiths and were responsible members of our community. Many Christian Scientists had reached very high positions in the business world and in government. The daily international newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, was one of the most highly respected newspapers in the world and winner of many Pulitzer prizes.
It was a paradox. How could such an embarrassing religion produce such fine, intelligent, upstanding people? I labored over this paradox for many years. Then, books began to appear which took the religion to task, mainly attacking the needless deaths of those children, but also attacking the very foundations of the faith. These books were sad tales written by people who had, for their own reasons been unable to recover from bad experiences that they blamed on Christian Science.
Then there was the question of the foundational belief of Christian Science. The heart and soul of Christian Science is founded on the premise that matter is not real. That which we look at and deal with every day of our lives is an illusion. What we think we see as reality is only a suggestion of the true reality, which is God's perfect reality. If we could see ourselves and everything we deal with in the light of God's perfect creation, we would experience that reality for ourselves.
This claim that the very chair I now am sitting in while typing these words on my very material laptop all is an illusion was difficult for me to understand, no less for someone who was not indoctrinated in the tenets of Christian Science–until I discovered those modern day physical sciences which tell us very explicitly that that which we believe to be solid matter is, indeed, an illusion. This illusion does not hint at a perfect reality as Christian Science would suggest. But it does tell us that we are not seeing things as they are. As I began to discover this illusion concept in these scientific theories I saw parallels with what I had learned in Christian Science. I began to say to myself, “Well, I guess we're not as nutty as I once had thought.”
And so, I decided to write my life story in which I would explain the nuts and bolts of my beliefs and how we all lived our perfectly normal lives with all of their ups and downs while abiding in those beliefs. And I would also explain those parallels I saw in the physical sciences which appeared to indicate to me that the basic dogma of Christian Science was not so crazy, after all.
But I spent more than ten years writing Collision. During those ten years my motivation for writing evolved. So that today Collision includes the story of the evolution of my thought to the point where I left Christian Science.
Still, even though I have left the church, I believe I have fulfilled my original mission–to demonstrate that most Christian Scientists live perfectly normal lives within what they believe to be a dogma, which is completely honorable and reasonable, and need not be so misunderstood.