Extracts from Reports of Christian Science Committees on Publication for the Year Ended September 30, 1929

The committee's work in press matters touching Christian Science was greater than usual during the past year. A significant feature of the year's activities was the attitude toward Christian Scientists of a few members of a certain branch of the English Judiciary, whose opinions were given much publicity in the local press, calling forth from this committee no less than ten letters of correction, seven of which were published. For a little while it seemed that the right of Christian Scientists to rely wholly upon their religious convictions for healing was being challenged in the Coroners' court; but the overturning of judicial thought—which was precipitated to some extent by the dissemination of propaganda hostile to Christian Science—found final utterance in the following very gratifying remarks of the District Coroner at Sunbury, England. He said, as reported in the local press: "It is not for me to go into the merits or demerits of Christian Science.... This lady had a right to her own opinion and religious convictions, and I shall record a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence." The medical evidence stated that "no doctor could have saved the woman's life."

The combined efforts of two clergymen of different denominations, residing in the same village in a neighboring county, to conduct a campaign of exposure (so called) of Christian Science, furnished the necessity for writing six corrective letters to the local press, five of which were published. This attack, which included the publication of a hostile pamphlet, had for its objective the exclusion of Christian Scientists from positions of authority in the Girl Guide movement in the north of Ireland. An interesting outcome of the attack was the ruling of the Chief Scout, Lord Baden-Powell. It appears that the following question was addressed to him: "Is it a possibility necessary under the constitution of the Girl Guides that a local company, or even a district, may come under the control of those professing the views of Mrs. Eddy on matters of religion, hygiene, and medicine ... ?" The Chief Scout replied: "Our rules admit of the appointment of anyone who believes in God to become an officer, provided she also fulfills certain other technical qualifications, and does not use her position for proselytizing or for going against the wishes of the parents in her instruction of the girls."

Under the heading "Making Christian Science Better Known" in my previous annual report, I mentioned that permission had been given by the Manager of Committees on Publication in Boston to offer and furnish to editors short reports of our Sunday services, and also that these reports were being accepted by one of the local editors for occasional publication. In the meantime two further editors have agreed to accept these reports. One editor is publishing them weekly, and the other fortnightly. The reports mention the subject of the Lesson-Sermon and the Golden Text in the Christian Science Quarterly, and give a suitable quotation from the Bible together with a correlative passage from our textbook. This silent broadcasting of a portion of our Lesson-Sermon through the press must be productive of much good, and is undoubtedly aiding powerfully in the removal of outside ignorance and unconscious prejudice. Reaching many readers, these reports carry an impression of our services which cannot but be enlightening.

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Discovery of Christian Science
October 4, 1930

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