"Ludicrous, pathetic, and dangerous all at once" is...

Fresno (Calif.) Republican

"Ludicrous, pathetic, and dangerous all at once" is Christian Science in its "explanation of the facts of natural science," says a critic. While it may so appear to him, yet to the man who has been released by Christian Science from the torment of some disease pronounced incurable by natural science, or who has been lifted out of the degradation of some evil habit after all other reformative means have failed, Christian Science seems wonderfully consoling at least; and to the man thus liberated the attempt of some individual who knows nothing about this religion, except that it runs counter to his opinions, to discredit it and thereby put a stumblingblock in the way of others, may seem pathetic, or even ludicrous, but certainly not dangerous. Christian Science has firmly established itself as a health system, so that efforts spent in trying to stem the tide of its beneficent influence might better be employed in trying to understand and apply its fundamentals to the bringing about of a better condition of affairs in the world.

Why should this gentleman regard Christian Science as dangerous? Presumably because it alienates people from medicine. But do not the physicians themselves agree that the less medicine used the better? In fact the critic quotes a distinguished doctor as saying that "with one and possibly two exceptions physicians do not and cannot cure disease with drugs." Drugs are gone, or rather rapidly disappearing, because the human faith in them, which invested them with the only power they ever seemed to possess, has been shattered. The same fate is overtaking them in the world of therapeutics that already has overtaken idols in the realm of religion.

It is not long ago that people purchased immunity from contagious disease by wearing a red cloth about the wrist or hanging a piece of asafetida around the neck. Not the device, but the belief in it, of course, afforded the fancied protection. To-day the human mind, less unsophisticated than in times gone by, demands something more studied or mysterious, and therefore has seized upon vaccines and serums. The belief in these things will go out some day, just as it has departed from the red cloth and asafetida; and when it has, their effects, deadly as well as prophylactic, will be no more.

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