“Vaccination: What did Eddy Say?”
Mary Baker Eddy Library, The. “Vaccination: What did Eddy Say?” Released 20 December 2020.
Massachusetts had been one of the few states with laws authorizing compulsory vaccination when threatened by smallpox in the early 1800s. Mary Baker Eddy’s first published reference to it was in an 1880 sermon where she noted the anomaly of using a virus from an animal to inoculate a human being. In the following decade, the topic surfaced more often and became increasingly controversial within Christian Science communications. In 1900, seven Christian Science children from Leavenworth, Kansas were kept from school due to noncompliance with vaccine law. Eddy was consulted, and her response became a key component of future statements by the church. In essence, she recommended compliance with the law and affirmed that one could also safely submit to the providence of God. Shortly afterward, Eddy’s son George instigated a lawsuit, opposing mandatory vaccination for school children. But Eddy also suggested to him and in a public statement about it that he vaccinate his child and turn to the gospel to prevent any harm. Around the same time, other groups of Christian Scientists, both sympathetic to and opposed to vaccination, mounted crusades against vaccination, but Eddy repeatedly affirmed that it was right to allow vaccination in compliance with the law.
View this resource on The Mary Baker Eddy Library website.
See also annotations:
“Measles Outbreaks in Religious Groups Exempt from Immunization Laws” by Thomas Novotny, Charles E. Jennings, Mary Doran, C. Ralph March, Richard S. Hopkins, Steven G.F. Wassilak, and Lauri E. Markowitz
“Alan Rogers. The Child Cases: How America’s Religious Exemption Laws Harm Children” by Rennie B. Schoepflin
Annotations related by category:
- Availability: Online - Free
- Controversy: Child Cases
- Official Christian Science Publication: Yes
- People: Eddy, Mary Baker
- Publication Date: 2011-2020
- Resource Types: Article
- Subjects: Church Manual, Governance, Leadership
- Subjects: Church Practices
- Subjects: Healing and Health
- Subjects: Legal and Constitutional Issues
- Subjects: Medicine