The report of the case of a child of a Christian Science...


The report of the case of a child of a Christian Science practitioner having attended school while broken out with smallpox has received so much publicity that one naturally wonders if this is the only child that has gone out in public while affected with what the health officer might call contagion. This case has been featured in the newspapers in a way likely to give the impression that only a Christian Science child would do such a thing. Little, however, has been said of where this child contracted the disease, or of the large number of similar cases of contagion that have developed during recent months in Portland. Several schools have been closed and fumigated because smallpox was discovered in them, but these cases have only received passing mention, while the one case affection Christian Scientists has received the widest publicity.

When one case of smallpox is mistaken for a case of poison by a Christian Scientist, large headlines appear in the newspapers. This one case is heralded far and wide, while not a word is spoken concerning the fact that about half of all the diagnoses made in our finest hospitals, under the eyes of the most skilled physicians and under the most favorable circumstances obtainable, are acknowledged by these same skilled physicians to be incorrect.

Now, it is not the purpose of this article to ask special favors for Christian Scientists or to pose Christian Scientists as martyrs. On the other hand, if a Christian Scientist fails to show a wholesome respect for the rights of other people, he should be held to answer for his neglect just the same as any other citizen, but no more so.

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Extracts from Letters
February 14, 1920

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