Note: my understanding of Christian Science’s take on sickness in humans is primarily based on conversations with a couple of friends who were raised in a CS home but long ago gave up practicing. If I’m wrong about any of my assumptions, it’s my own damn fault.
OK, as I understand it (simplistically), Christian Scientists believe that people become sick because they’re “under the belief” that they have an illness. Christian Science and prayer can cure illness when it helps people remember that they are spiritual beings, like God, rather than physical beings.
Basically, then, disease is a trick of the mind, or a tricking of the mind by the physical world.
Why, then, according to Christian Science, do animals get sick?
Are they, unlike human beings, imperfect creatures that are naturally prone to physical ailments? (A Cartesian division between humans and animals – we are spiritual beings, animals aren’t?)
Do they, in their way, believe in their own illness?
According to CS teachings, can prayer help cure animals? Is that an acceptable use of prayer?
Is there a tension between CS practice and taking your animal to the vet the same way there’s (sometimes) a tension between CS practice and going to the doctor?
Is “veterinarian” a hunky-dory job for a devout Christian Scientist?