The Christian Scientist and Citizenship

IN these times, when the democratic system of government has been under unprecedented attack, is it not well for those who enjoy the privileges of democracy to take stock as to their worthiness of the priceless boon of citizenship with free peoples? Ideal democracy, as everyone knows, or should know, is a state of society without class distinction, a government by and for the people. Readily it can be seen, therefore, that the democratic way of life must be the Christian way. Could the revolutionary freedom-bringing message of Christian Science have taken root and flowered in the sterile soil of autocarcy? When the rugged Pilgrim Fathers stepped forth on the famous Plymouth Rock, unwittingly they were pioneering spiritually and preparing the way for the coming of this liberating truth.

In her "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 176) Mary Baker Eddy says, "The Pilgrims came to establish a nation in true freedom, in the rights of conscience." Then she adds, appositely: "But what of ourselves, and our times and obligations? Are we duly aware of our own great opportunities and responsibilities? Are we prepared to meet and improve them, to act up to the acme of divine energy wherewith we are armored?" It is evident from this clear pronouncement of their Leader that Christian Scientists who fail to live up to their duties as citizens of a democratic commonwealth are without excuse. Can a follower of the public-spirited Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science idly sit by, for instance, and fail to exercise that precious privilege of free peoples, the elective franchise?

In the Acts of the Apostles we have an example of Christianity applied to the question of voting. The disciples had met to choose one of their brethren to fill the place of the unfortunate Judas. Two worthy candidates, Barsabas and Matthias, were nominated, and then their brethren proceeded to cast lots—in other words, to vote—for Judas' successor. But before the ballot was taken they prayed—prayed that God would give them wisdom to know which one of these men had received the divine anointing.

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A Fresh Outlook
October 28, 1944

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