The majority of our readers have doubtless noted, through the despatches to the press, that President Taft has so modified the wording of executive order of Oct. 14 that it can no longer be construed to prohibit the practice of Christian Science in the Canal Zone. From the time the order was issued, those who have followed closely the administration of governmental affairs under President Taft, were confident that neither he, nor the secretary of war, in whose department the affairs of the Canal Zone are administered, had the slightest intention of discriminating against Christian Science, and that as soon as the phraseology of the order of Oct. 14, which had been passed through as routine matter, was called to their attention, steps would be taken to change it; and results have justified their confidence.

It is only fair, perhaps, to say that Christian Scientists, naturally enough, were alert to the probable interpretation that the order as originally promulgated would receive, but they simply took steps to bring the discriminating effect of such an order before the proper authorities, and relied upon the sense of justice and fairness which has been so manifest throughout President Taft's administration, to correct it. Consistently with the teachings which Mrs. Eddy constantly impressed upon the members of her church, they made no objection whatever to the sanitary rules and regulations laid down for the Canal Zone, and we feel safe in saying that no one will more scrupulously obey these rules and regulations than will they.

What they did object to, however,—and certainly it was justified,—was that which stirs the spirit of the fair-minded and liberty-loving men and women of this free country, and that is the attempt, upon the part of the doctors who undoubtedly inspired the order of Oct. 14, to violate the inalienable right of American citizens to select for themselves the system of healing they prefer, in their zeal to disassociate and debar a system of healing which in the last forty years has proved effective in thousands of cases after medical practice had failed. The founders of the American republic declared the right of its citizens to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," and the Chief Executive of these United States has shown that he will not knowingly countenance what could not be otherwise construed than an attempted infringement of this right.

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December 30, 1911

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