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A DEMAND FOR JUSTICE

From the September 1930 issue of The Christian Science Journal


IN a few states of the United States, the practice of Christian Science is not recognized as completely legal. Christian Scientists are indirectly forbidden to charge for their work. Thus, they are indirectly forbidden to engage in the practice of their religion as a vocation. In these states, the medical profession has obtained the enactment of a law so framed that any service for health, not rendered gratuitously, is regarded as the practice of medicine and surgery, for which a license, based on study of this material system, is required. It is plain that such a device is the opposite of a just law: it is a mere artifice calculated to confer a monopoly on the medical profession. The only purpose of forbidding Christian Science practitioners to collect compensation is to keep Christian Scientists, especially men, from devoting their lives to the practice of their religion. In effect, such an enactment invades not only the rights of Christian Scientists, but also the rights of all people, and such a subterfuge does the further harm of inculcating general disrespect for law. Surely, no friend of good government should be on the side of such results.

The Founder of the Christian religion commanded his followers to heal the sick. See Matthew 10:5-10, 28:16-20; Mark 16:14-18; Luke 10:1-9; John 14:12. He also taught that "the labourer is worthy of his hire;" and he said this to his disciples when sending them forth to heal the sick. See Matthew 10:5-15; Luke 10:1-9. This Christian precept has become a legal rule: for any accepted service, not intended to be gratuitous, the law of every jurisdiction implies an obligation to pay fair and just compensation.

There is no reason for anybody's confusing the practice of Christian Science with the practice of medicine or any material system. The difference is both comprehensible and substantial. Everybody admits that the so-called human consciousness is partly false and partly true. This admission is required by universal experience. How is false consciousness to be distinguished from true? This question is vital to human welfare. Christian Science answers it by declaring the Principle of true consciousness, by declaring the source and substance of true thought. This religion and Science declares that absolute consciousness, true thought, is derived from God, from the divine Mind, the infinite Soul. This teaching declares that every item of consciousness, every instance of thought, can be tested by its correspondence to the divine nature, by its reflection of divine Life, Truth, and Love. In particular, Christian Science reiterates the test furnished by Christ Jesus when he said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). In short, the false element in human consciousness is material; it is material sense. True consciousness is spiritual; it is spiritual sense.

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