Book of the Week #52

Faith on Trial: Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Science and the First Amendment by Peter A. Wallner (Concord, NH: Plaidswede Publishing, 2014.)
"In the category 'truth is stranger than fiction' is the case of Eddy v. Frye, argued before the Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord, New Hampshire, in 1907. Ostensibly, the case was about who should care for an eighty-five-year-old woman: her estranged son and adopted son, or the people who has surrounded her for years. But in reality, this was a heresy trial in civil court. The plaintiffs int he case were more concerned about discrediting the religious doctrine of the old woman, Mary Baker Eddy, and the religion she founded, Christian Science, than they were about caring for her in old age. In fact, the case was brought before the public by a great newspaper, litigated by a well-known progressive politician, and promoted by such famous Americans as Mark Twain, Willa Cather, and Joseph Pulitzer. The last heresy trial in the United States would test whether a new religious movement would be banned for teaching a reportedly dangerous doctrine, or whether the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution truly protected the right of every American to believe and practice what religion they chose." (p. ix)

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