Chris­tian Sci­en­tists strive to re­spect vac­ci­na­tion views

The Buffalo News - - OPINION - Van Driessen John Klepfer Rev. Charles Amico, Ph.D. Jack Hai­land Anthony Il­los Wal­ter Kop­er­ski

The edi­to­rial, “End re­li­gious vac­cine ex­emp­tions to boost stu­dent health,” makes an im­por­tant point about the “del­i­cate bal­ance be­tween re­li­gious free­dom, per­sonal choice and pub­lic health con­sid­er­a­tions.” Since the edi­to­rial men­tioned Chris­tian Sci­en­tists, I wanted to as­sure your read­ers – our neigh­bors – that we re­spect the need for this bal­ance, too.

A re­cent church state­ment put it this way: “Grate­ful as we are to live in a state where hon­est differences can be re­spected, Chris­tian Sci­en­tists are also mind­ful of the obli­ga­tions all ci­ti­zens have to re­spect the rights of oth­ers in their com­mu­ni­ties….

“For more than a cen­tury, our denom­i­na­tion has coun­seled re­spect for pub­lic health au­thor­i­ties and con­sci­en­tious obe­di­ence to the laws of the land, in­clud­ing those re­quir­ing vac­ci­na­tion…. We see this as a mat­ter of ba­sic Golden Rule ethics….”

The prac­tice of heal­ing through prayer has meant a great deal to us through the years, so we’ve ap­pre­ci­ated the vac­ci­na­tion ex­emp­tion and sought to use it con­sci­en­tiously and re­spon­si­bly when it has been granted, here in New York as else­where.

Our church does not dic­tate the de­ci­sions of in­di­vid­ual mem­bers in these matters, how­ever, nor are our de­ci­sions mo­ti­vated by fear of vac­cines. As the church state­ment con­cluded: “What­ever the right leg­isla­tive an­swer may be for our state at this time, Chris­tian Sci­en­tists hope that their long ex­pe­ri­ence as a re­li­gious mi­nor­ity work­ing in co­op­er­a­tion with so­ci­ety’s ma­jor­ity might point to the pos­si­bil­ity of a res­o­lu­tion based on mu­tual re­spect and un­der­stand­ing in the best in­ter­est of all.”

Chris­tian Sci­ence Com­mit­tee on Pub­li­ca­tion for New York

Take a break from pol­i­tics, go see Wil­son art ex­hibit

With all the non­sense go­ing on in this coun­try these days I’d like to of­fer a way to for­get about all of it for a few peace­ful hours. To that end, I would en­cour­age the peo­ple of West­ern New York to see the cur­rent Im­pres­sion­ist Ex­hi­bi­tion at Al­bright-Knox Art Gallery in honor of Ralph Wil­son’s 100th birth­day.

In con­junc­tion with the Detroit In­sti­tute of the Arts, the ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tures some the very best Im­pres­sion­ist art from the mid-19th to the early-20th cen­turies. You will never see a show this good in Buf­falo again, ever.

Please take the time and en­joy this ex­cep­tion­ally beau­ti­ful vis­ual ex­pe­ri­ence.


St. Joseph’s Ta­ble cus­tom ex­tends from the Mid­dle Ages

A re­cent MyView beau­ti­fully de­scribed a “St. Joseph’s Ta­ble.” How­ever, I would add men­tion of an in­te­gral as­pect of the tra­di­tion, in fact, its very ori­gin.

The cus­tom dates from the Mid­dle Ages, when a se­ri­ous drought in the Si­cil­ian re­gion of Italy threat­ened to de­stroy crops and live­stock, with par­tic­u­lar suf­fer­ing of the poor. St. Joseph be­ing the spir­i­tual Pa­tron of Si­cily, prayers were lifted to the Saint, with the prom­ise of a spe­cial cel­e­bra­tion in grat­i­tude. In­deed, the drought ended and the landown­ers opened their homes to the poor with a sump­tu­ous ban­quet. Since then, a tra­di­tion grew of turn­ing to St. Joseph for other needs and of cel­e­brat­ing a fes­tive meal in thanks­giv­ing on March

19, the Church’s litur­gi­cal ob­ser­vance. An in­te­gral fea­ture of the feast is the pres­ence of some needy per­sons, es­pe­cially chil­dren, or an equiv­a­lent prac­tice like en­cour­ag­ing those present to make a do­na­tion for a char­i­ta­ble cause.


The ar­ti­cle on page one, City & Re­gion, yes­ter­day dealt with in­creased costs for the col­lec­tion of grass clip­pings in the Town of Lan­caster. This begs the ques­tion of why grass clip­pings are col­lected at all, any­where. The ar­ti­cle goes on to in­di­cate how ben­e­fi­cial the clip­pings are for the lawns. I would hope most peo­ple are al­ready aware of this fact. Let’s start to mulch, mulch, mulch, both res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial, and stop adding more and more to our land­fills.


Trump’s pro­posed deep cuts to so­cial safety nets will hurt

How can a pres­i­dent who claims to be­lieve in the sanc­tity of life con­sider elim­i­nat­ing the Af­ford­able Care Act and slash­ing Medi­care?

Life is still sa­cred af­ter be­ing born and our se­nior ci­ti­zens who need spe­cial care should re­ceive the same con­sid­er­a­tion as the un­born.

More than 20 mil­lion par­tic­i­pate in the Af­ford­able Care Act. Cut­ting or elim­i­nat­ing these pro­grams re­quires the ac­tions of a cruel and evil man.


Bills should draft Metcalf as tight end in Gronk image

If I were the Bills, I would draft Ole Miss Rebels wide re­ceiver D.K. Metcalf and turn him into a tight end. He looks like he could be a car­bon copy of Rob Gronkowski.


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