I have read with interest your editorial and appreciate...

Evanston (Ill.) News-Index

I have read with interest your editorial and appreciate the earnest desire to uphold the civil law, as well as your recognition of the action taken by First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Evanston in going into court to resist the order of city officials in closing their church. It was, as you state, not an "endeavor to disregard a law of the city, but rather to test the legality of the restriction laid upon public gatherings by the health authorities."

Christian Scientists are taught to uphold righteous government, and not hesitate to expose the misuse of governmental power. In this case it seemed clear indeed that in the closing of churches in time of epidemic while leaving other public places open, the health commissioner was exercising legislative power. I understand that the law is well settled in Illinois as in other states, that the legislative power cannot be delegated to individuals. Christian Scientists would join in your statement that "obedience to properly established authority is not incompatible with the exercise of their devotions," but cannot accept an assumption of legality as authoritative when it conflicts with constitutional and natural rights.

Above the administering of civil law there is also an important point concerning the efficacy of religion. Many religionists descant earnestly about having faith in God, notwithstanding in times of test they habitually bow to the mandates of medical authorities based on the fear of evil rather than in this faith in God, which is a central fact in the teachings of Christianity. Christian Scientists do not urge anyone who fears contagion to attend their church services; but having proved through years of experience that these services devoted to the worship of God heal both sin and sickness, they desire that this worship which comforts humanity shall freely continue, with welcome to all and for the good of all.

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