Among the Churches

Current Notes

Iowa.—The attitude of the secular press continues in the main friendly and courteous to Christian Science. In many instances attacks upon it have been refused publication. Whenever they were published, corrections were cheerfully printed. A few more corrections were made this year than last. This is doubtless due to the fact that the increase in the number of regular correspondents more fully covers the state. Articles in the newspapers on health laws, in favor of visiting nurses, compulsory vaccination, medical supervision of schools, et cetera, evidence an organized propaganda to create public sentiment in favor of the autocratic methods of political doctors and compulsory medicine. A few broad-minded editors have printed editorials in direct opposition to such methods. To have such articles reprinted in other papers is helpful in combating this propaganda. The religious press, when it mentions Christian Science at all, is mainly unfriendly and unfair. One sectarian paper ran a series of articles attacking Christian Science, and refused to publish any correction. Two of these attacks were, however, replied to in a secular paper in the same town.

The efforts of organized medicine, stimulated by the military power accorded it during the war and by the fear of the so-called influenza epidemic, were greatly increased in Iowa as in all other states. These efforts were concentrated in a veritable flood of proposed bills for compulsory medicine and medical supervision and public health, notably in the public schools, and were backed by every known argument and a regularly constituted lobby in the state legislature. Many of these bills were crowded out and others fell by the weight of their own foolishness. The Christian Scientists of this state rose to the need with appropriate work, letters, telegrams, and personal interviews with legislators. Christian Science was generally recognized as not being medical practice, but nevertheless the general mesmerism in favor of material "health laws" made it difficult to kill or to amend most of the proposed bills.

The Lectures
January 10, 1920

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