Christian Science Wins

Christian Science scored a sweeping victory over the medical fraternity in the Oklahoma Legislature, after a sharp, decisive round in the Council, when McElrath's house bill, regulating the practice of medicine, came up for consideration. The bill, as it passed the House, was sweeping in its provisions, and prohibited anyone from administering treatment save graduates of medical colleges, approved by the Territorial Board of Health. In the Council committee of the whole Senator Gandy offered an amendment excepting Christian Scientists from the provisions of this bill, the author of the amendment taking the broad ground that the Legislature had no right to legislate against the religious belief of any citizen. The doctors in the Council, Senators Winkler and Magness, opposed the amendment, as did also Senators Biddison and Thacker. Their opposition was futile, though, against the majority favoring the amendment.

In seconding the amendment, Senator Clark said he was in sympathy with the bill, but he was not willing to strike at the religious belief of some of the best people of the territory. Senator Havens said that he did not understand the Christian Science belief, nor did he believe in its claims, neverthless some of the most reputable citizens and most prominent business men of his county were believers in Christian Science and he thought the Legislature had no right to deny them the right to their belief. Senators Huston and Garrison argued in the same line in support of the amendment, the latter citing a number of eminent people who have discarded medical treatment for the so-called metaphysical discoveries. Not only was the amendment adopted, but the entire bill was afterwards laid on the table.

The Christian Science Sermon
March 23, 1899

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