A press despatch quotes a prominent Unitarian minister...

Memphis (Tenn.) Commercial Appeal

A press despatch quotes a prominent Unitarian minister as declaring Christian Science to be "a menace to the country and to national life" and "a fanaticism." Such a far-fetched denunciation of a sister religion is particularly surprising coming, as it does, from a member of a nomination which was only recently compelled to resent similar charges made by narrow ecclesiastics in connection with Mr. Taft's presidential candidacy, he being a Unitarian. How the nation (regardless of politics) resented such bigotry is a matter of history, though this critic seems not to have profited by its lesson.

The strength of a nation can be measured only by the strength of its citizenry, and the true strength of the individual citizen can be gaged only by his ideals. Thus that nation is the strongest whose people have the highest standards of morality and living. If Christian Science destroys these ideals, it is indeed a "menace;" but if it upholds them, it can only be a tower of strength to any nation, and its influence on the individual units composing that nation must inevitably tend toward every essential element of greatness. Can any person truthfully charge Christian Science with making worse citizens of its adherents? Its ideal government is comprised in the golden rule, and no higher standard has ever been placed before men, nor indeed can be. During momentary excitement some of the brethren of other faiths seem ofttimes to lose their perspective, and thus to conceive the loosening grasp of some particular creed to mean the crumbling away of Christianity itself. Such critics fairly epitomize Sam Jones' scathing analysis of those who confuse "churchianity with Christianity."

The charge of "fanaticism" was shopworn in Paul's time, and Tertullus called him a "pestilent fellow" and charged him with being a menace to the government. Jesus was maligned because misunderstood, and misunderstood because of that element of self-righteousness which was determined to maintain existing institutions at all hazards—right or wrong. The apostles experienced a similar storm of Pharisaical abuse, and each succeeding generation has witnessed this repetition of history. But for these lessons one would sometimes wonder why some who claim to be advocates of Christian teachings should traduce the one religion which is attempting to follow the Master all the way in the healing of both sickness and sin, consistently maintaining that the command to preach was never given without its correlative command to heal, which is every whit as binding. If the calm, unostentatious teaching and doing of these things constitute a menace and promote fanaticism, then Christian Scientists indeed plead guilty; but if otherwise, what justification has a professed Christian minister for making such charges? Jesus prescribed a test that is good for all ages, and by it Christian Scientists are willing to stand or fall: "By their fruits ye shall know them."

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