Christian Science Treatment, the Practice of Christianity

Objections have been raised against the practice of Christian Science healing, on the ground that it cannot properly be classed as a religious or Christian practice. Attention has been called to the use by Christian Scientists of the word "treatment" in place of the word "prayer," and it is claimed that this denotes a professional rather than a religious act. The conclusion that Christian Scientists are therefore amenable to the laws regulating the practice of medicine is hasty and unwarranted unless the premises can be sustained by fact. No profession, system, method, or religion can claim proprietary use of common words; neither can medical nor other curative systems claim suzerainty over the healing of the sick. Both common usage and human rights are opposed to all such monopoly.

In defining the practice of the Christian religion the court or the legislature cannot accept or be guided by the tenets or beliefs of any particular denomination or organization. To allow equal rights to all, and permit the freedom of religious conviction so sacredly cherished by our forefathers. and guaranteed by the constitution of nearly every civilized country, the only definition that is broad enough to cover every case is that given by the Founder of Christianity as recorded in the New Testament. To deviate from his standard in judging any particular case would be a serious menace to the integrity of any constitution which aims to safeguard the religious freedom of the citizen. The only limitations which can legitimately be exercised are where the peace, safety, or morality of the community is endangered.

First Impressions
November 18, 1905

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