The Christian Scientist deals with neither medicine nor...

Fairbanks (Alaska) News

The Christian Scientist deals with neither medicine nor surgery, and his practice is not accompanied by the dangers which belong to a practitioner of medicine or surgery. His requisites consist of a clear and unmistakable understanding of Christian Science and a high degree of spirituality. The power which he uses is made operative, not through drugs, but through prayer. Prayers necessitate no regulation, for it is quite popularly conceded that if, from a skeptic's view-point, they do no good, they certainly will do no harm. If, however, for any reason the State should assume the responsibility of granting individual license to pray, it should at least observe the doctrine of equal rights to all its citizens. All Christians pray for the sick, but some accompany their prayers with drugs because they think their prayers would prove inadequate without them. Christian Scientists, however, find their prayers preclude any necessity for drugs. If there is a difference between the prayers of a Christian Scientist and those which have been offered in past years without the knowledge of Christian Science, it may be seen in improved results, but the mere fact that prayers avail more now than they did formerly does not seem to be an intelligent reason why medical knowledge should be demanded of those who pray.

There should be no discrimination against the prayers of Christian Scientists on the basis that they are of a quality to insure an answer, or that they heal sickness as well as sin. A prayer which destroys bodily ills is no more dangerous and no more in need of regulation than a prayer which overcomes sin only. Therefore, if a law exists which provides that Christian Scientists must be examined as to their qualifications to pray for others, this same law should be applied to all other praying people. How many clergymen would remain in the ministry if they were compelled to have a four-years medical course before being permitted to pray for their parishioners? Not only our good clergymen, but all laymen, according to the proposed regulation, should be required to obtain a State license before entertaining a desire or prayer that God shall guide and sustain and protect and heal their neighbors. Why is it that the requirements of medical knowledge as a qualification of safe prayer had not been thought of until Christian Scientists appeared in the arena of human affairs? All Christians pray for the sick, whatever may be their afflictions, but no legislative body or medical association has ever concerned itself with the kind of prayer that is offered by any other religious sect.

It would be quite as unreasonable to require Christian Scientists to pass an examination in materia medica as it would be to require M.D.'s to pass an examination in Christian Science. If it is proper for the State to require any qualifications from a Christian Scientist, it should require those qualifications which enhance the practice of Christian Science. There is no constitutional provision to prevent the Christian Scientist from practising within the bounds of that which he professes, and thus far in the history of our country a man's right to practise his religion has never been made contingent upon medical knowledge, nor the question as to whether he was to be compensated for his service.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.