Legislation and Christian Science

Chicago Evening Post

Physicians and lawyers in a number of American cities have been discussing with much animation the advisability of organizing a crusade against Christian Science, and demanding drastic legislation prohibiting its practice. It is practically settled that in New York and Pennsylvania a determined effort will be made to procure such legislation from the next legislature. But the success of these efforts may well be doubted. Enlightened public opinion will not sustain compulsion and paternalism in matters of this delicate nature.

Those who scornfully and bitterly denounce Christian Science as a superstition or fad have a right to express their opinion, but they have no right to mistake personal beliefs for demonstrated truths which the state ought to enforce as essential to public health and safety. An able and impartial article in The American Lawyer warns them against the course they contemplate. It is of the opinion that "the case seems one where each individual may be permitted to act as he or she thinks best about calling a Christian Science healer, and any legislation which would tend to restrict this would be far too paternalistic to deserve anything but failure." It would be outrageous and tyrannical, one may add.

Christian Science History
July 27, 1899

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