Among the Churches

Current Notes

Minnesota.—Compared with the experience of recent years, an unusual number of articles appearing in the various newspapers and periodicals concerning Christian Science have required attention during the past six months.

The past session of the legislature in this state was perhaps the most active in the history of this office, and we have occasion for much gratitude for the excellent work done by Christian Scientists. In the early portion of the session a bill was introduced with the apparently innocent purpose of consolidating the health activities of the various counties of the state. On examination, however, it was found that the bill, if passed, would create a political ring of doctors covering the whole state, dominated by the state Health Department, and in addition it provided for compulsory examination and treatment of all children of school age. A vigorous campaign was immediately launched to defeat this bill, and on the night of the hearing before the House committee the House chamber was filled to overflowing with Christian Scientists and others protesting against its passage. The demonstration was so effective that the author of the bill in the House repudiated it and the proponent of the bill in the Senate agreed to amend it to conform to our views and to eliminate all undesirable features. The ultimate result was that the bill was entirely defeated.

Following this was a bill which would have prohibited Christian Science nurses from practicing in the state, and another which would have forbidden Christian Science treatment in dental difficulties. The former bill was amended to meet our requirements, but never passed the Senate. The dental bill was passed with an amendment recommended by us, exempting from its provisions Christian Science practice. A bill, local to Minneapolis, for the establishment of a public welfare board having charge of the health activities was amended, after acceptance by us, to extend the powers of the board over schoolchildren to an unreasonable degree. Prompt action upon the part of Christian Scientists in Minneapolis resulted in eliminating the objectionable amendment. The principle and interesting part of our legislative program was the introduction of a bill to prohibit compulsory examination and treatment of all persons, including children. The bill passed in the House, but due to peculiar legislative conditions and congestion of the calendar was not brought before the Senate for consideration before adjournment, although it passed unanimously the Senate committee on public health in spite of vigorous opposition thereto.—Committee on Publication.

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The Lectures
August 23, 1919

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