We have commenced a new year, which happens to be the centennial year for Arizona statehood. There will be many celebrations throughout the State, at museums, at the Statehouse (as reflected in the speeches to begin the opening of this legislative session), at schools, at private functions, etc.
For a century, Arizona has maintained a very Western feel. Yesterday I was driving through the city of Scottsdale and saw two ladies astride quarter horses walking down a suburban street alongside parent carpools en route to typical school activities. You can still eat dinner at the Pinnacle Peak Patio and have your tie cut off. Coyotes, javelinas, and bobcats co-habit with golfers chipping out of sand traps. We all have to pay attention to where we walk when snake hibernation ends.
But most evident to me is the continuity of a feeling of independent thinking and acting. Sometimes that results in certain anachronisms, like some residents carrying six-shooters. But there are outcomes from this pioneer spirit that I truly appreciate and which, I believe, help the public.
In general, the laws of the State are supportive of those who are people of faith. Also, they usually support giving individuals choices as to how they will manage their health. Residents, including children, cannot be forced against their will to submit to a medical exam or treatment, with some limited exceptions. Parents, provided they are informed about what the medical professionals consider could be risks, may choose, by reason of personal beliefs, to forego being educated in certain diseases, to decline inoculations, and to raise their children reasonably without state intervention. These may seem like small matters but to those who have an effective and sanitary means for reasonably caring for their family, it is an aspect of freedom and choice that is greatly appreciated.
We have a number of grown children and all of them were raised in a way that minimized intervention, except where required by law or where it seemed unreasonable not to seek the aid of physical care. Having that choice of relying on spiritual means as a foundation of parenting alleviates much fear and anxious thought. Such reliance has been wonderfully effective. The documented record, maintained for more than a century, of such reliance on spiritual healing and its healthy outcomes can be found in the Christian Science Reading Rooms throughout the State. These public rooms invite all individuals to study this record of health for themselves. Good to know that such a healing history is included in Arizona’s centennial.