Faith on Trial: Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Science and the First Amendment
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 Eddy in her old age: her estranged son and adopted son, or her "next friends" (that is, plaintiffs who attempt to gain guardianship over an incompetent person, in this case fellow Christian Scientists). But, in reality, this was a heresy trial in civil court; the plaintiffs being more concerned about discrediting Christian Science than they were about caring for her in old age. The case tested 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 whatever religion they chose. William E. Chandler was senior attorney for the next friends, and Frank S. Streeter was Eddy's lead attorney.--Preface.
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