My attention has been called to several letters in your...

Manistee (Mich.) Daily News

My attention has been called to several letters in your columns in which Christian Science has been dragged into the discussion. Inasmuch as misapprehension of the real position of Christian Scientists with regard to "medical freedom," compulsory inspection of school children, sanitation, hygiene, etc., seems to exist in the minds of the writers, I beg the privilege of explaining the same to your readers.

In the first place, Christian Science stands for common sense. It stands for pure air, pure food, and pure water. It stands for a clean body, and above all for a clean mind, for to the latter belongs the origin of a clean and healthy body and a pure and honest life. Contrary to one critic, Christian Scientists neither teach nor exercise any "suicidal views" toward themselves or others. They cheerfully submit to rigid quarantine in cases of contagion and infection, and they are taught to be obedient to existing statutes governing such diseases. Should an exception occur, it would be simply on a par with the many cases of mistaken medical diagnoses by good physicians which have occurred from time to time, records which I have on file in my office.

One writer says that "if Dr. Ellis' objections hold good, we should not teach physiology in our schools, because it does not agree with the principles of Christian Science." This in itself is not a good argument, for very many besides Christian Scientists, even well-read physicians, are awake to the deleterious effect of filling a child's mind with thoughts about his body. This is so marked in cases of supersensitive children, that they are constantly watching to see if they cannot detect some symptoms of every prevailing disease. The result is, that the child becomes a bundle of fears, which sooner or later bring about physical disorders. Illustrations of this statement were never more clearly marked than in the effects of the pictorial lectures on tuberculosis given in Grand Rapids last summer, where one young lady fell unconscious and others had to be led from the room. Similar experiences have occurred in other cities, until the loving parent begins to wonder whether he really has any rights in the case, or whether we should go back to the dark ages of which the critic speaks and put our children out as "wards of the state" as soon as they are born. There is a vast difference between cruel, indifferent, filthy treatment, the housing of children by ignorant parents, and the general public whose boys and girls are a part of themselves, and for whom nothing that is right is too good.

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March 29, 1913

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