The question of the application of the law prohibiting the...

St. Louis (Mo.) Post-Dispatch

The question of the application of the law prohibiting the practice of medicine without a license to Christian Scientists must be settled by the courts. It is proper for the authorities to test the law by obtaining evidence that fees are received by them for religious teaching and treatment. But why malingering spies and detectives and other paraphernalia of crime detection in prosecuting practitioners? Why should gentlewomen, officers of a church, openly teaching and practising what they believe to be Christian truth, be inveigled into false cases by a spy, arrested on the street, dragged to the police station, disrobed and searched like a thief or a murderer? What did the police expect to find on Miss Reichenbecher—dangerous Bible texts on the divine power to heal without medical license? Or heretical maxims by Mrs. Eddy concerning spiritual grace as a hygienic and curative agency?

These people make no secret of their convictions or practices. They will admit their religious methods of curing disease and will doubtless supply ample evidence of the charge of receiving pay for their work. Whether right or wrong, their professions are candid. Laws to prevent quackery and dishonest practices in medicine are weakened by the exercise of such brutal stupidity as that exhibited in Miss Reichenbecher's case. Nothing would be more disastrous to sound legislation than to arouse public indignation by turning prosecution into persecution.

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December 30, 1911

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