DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT

THE by-law of The Mother Church which provides that "each branch church shall be distinctly democratic in its government" (Art. XXIII., Sect. 10), refers to the word "democracy" as used in civil government. In modern use this word means "a representative government where there is equality of rights without hereditary or arbitrary differences in rank or privilege" (Webster's New International Dictionary; Cvford English Dictionary). The by-law therefore adopts this manner of government for the branch churches—"distinctly" this. Our Leader has set it forth in these phrases: "Equal rights and privileges, equality of the sexes, rotation in office" (The Christian Science Journal, June, 1904).

In the first place, then, democracy in church government puts all members upon an equality. Old members and new members are on a par. Children, even, unless the state law declares otherwise, after admission to membership have the same voice and vote as adults. Teachers have no greater rights than other members, and they have no right to direct or control their pupils. The basis of democracy is the equality of all men before God.

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TRUE DEMOCRACY
October 29, 1910
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