A Defense of Human Rights

The rights of persons who elect to employ Christian Science to preserve or recover their health, do not depend solely upon the constitutional guaranty of religious freedom. For, as Chief Justice Clark has said, "this is a free country, and any man has a right to be treated by any system he chooses." Whoever thinks that spiritual knowledge is more effective and reliable in case of sickness than material knowledge, has the right to act accordingly. Liberty, Mr. Justice Brewer of the United States Supreme Court says, is "simply the right to do that which one deems best, subject to the limitation that it does not interfere with the equal rights of other members of the community." (American Citizenship, p. 87.)

The fact that the practice of medicine is not an exact science, but is confessedly a mere process of experimentation, and the fact that thousands upon thousands of persons—constituting a considerable and a respectable part of the community—hold to the opinion, based on their own knowledge, observation, and experience, and the known experience of others, that Christian Science furnishes the most effective and reliable curative method,—these facts alone, not to mention the other considerations weighing with them, should dissuade the members of legislatures from attempting, by law, to deprive these citizens of their freedom of choice. Any such law, whether attempting the result directly or by indirection, must necessarily be contrary to the spirit of free institutions, and deprive citizens not only of their religious liberty but of their individual liberty as citizens of a free country.

In 1899 Governor Thomas of Colorado vetoed a bill for an act designed to suppress the practice of Christian Science. In the course of his veto message he said:—

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"They shall never perish"
September 26, 1914

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