Conservation of the Public Health

The attitude of Christian Science toward the broad question of health preservation is not as yet well enough known to have gained for it that measure of general approval and cooperation which it is safe to predict will be accorded it in the near future. Indeed, the views held by Christian Scientists on questions relating to public health have at times been so misconstrued that they have been charged with obstructing the efforts made to safeguard the community welfare. This they have never done. They have, however, objected to the activities of an element in the medical profession which has endeavored to pass restrictive medical laws under the pretense of promoting health legislation favorable to the people.

The Christian Scientist believes in good health. He wants it for himself and for his family. He wants it for all mankind, for one reason because he knows that the prevalence of health conditions reduces the liability of disease. The Christian Scientist values good health no less than does his neighbor whose theory and method of maintaining physical harmony are different from his own. Valuing his own well-being and cherishing the health of those dear to him, it is not to be supposed that the Christian Scientist would wantonly expose himself or others to disease, nor would he foster or promote conditions which make for disease. Self-interest alone, if there were no worthier motive, would prompt him to protect himself and his loved ones, and to aid whatever measures give promise of conserving the health of the community.

There is no difference, then, between the opinions of the Christian Scientist and those of all other sensible men as to the advisability of being well and remaining well. The only difference is as to the best method of accomplishing this "consummation devoutly to be wished." The trend of modern thinking indicates that while the necessity for material methods of health conservation is being agitated and the value of these methods greatly overrated in the minds of the people, there are yet hopeful and unmistakable signs that better methods are being considered and approved, and these will inevitably supersede the cruder theories of the past. Years ago Mrs. Eddy foresaw this change of base from a material to a spiritual modus, for she said: "We thank our Father that today the uncremated fossils of material systems, already charred, are fast fading into ashes; and that man will ere long stop trusting where there is no trust, and gorging his faith with skill proved a million times unskilful" (The People's Idea of God, p. 8).

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Comparison of Standards
February 14, 1914

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