Many people are up in arms about the recent Associated Press story on vaccines and religion, which highlights the fact that the number of people refusing vaccines on religious grounds is rising. This has caused a large number of people to chastise the benighted ignorance and superstition of Jesus freaks and other backward-thinking peoples.
To demonstrate exactly what's going on, let's take a look at two vaccines: HPV and chickenpox.
Now, many people have heard parts of this story swirling around their homes, their schools, their places of work. Is it not the case that even those who cannot articulate their opposition to a stupid vaccine may still rightly reject it?
Is it the fault of religion that the government mostly only allows refusal of vaccines on religious grounds, and won't allow you to refuse the vaccines on the grounds that the relevant scientific studies demonstrate certain vaccines are stupid?
It's another case of government controlling the conversation. I can't walk into most schools in the US and say, "As a certified medical professional who has studied the relevant medical literature on the subject, I find Vaccine X to be a taxpayer boondoggle designed to line the pockets of pharma companies." Nope, that won't cut it. Other "health professionals" opinions trump mine, for no particular reason other than they have billions of dollars backing them and I don't.
Instead, I have to walk into that school and say, "God told me this was wrong." THAT'S the only way I can keep the needles out of my kids' flesh.
So, when a reporter asks me why I don't want the vaccine for my kids, am I going to publicly say anything but what the government requires me to say? NO, I am not.
If I've heard rumors that the medical community is not united on the subject of Vaccine X, can I point to that and opt out? No, I can't. I have to say "God told me it was wrong."
What's the point of even doing the research on the vaccine if I know none of it will matter anyway? All I have to say is, "God told me it was wrong." And if someone I trust has already done the research and tells me the vaccine stinks, then I know my lines: God told me it was wrong.
The problem with government mandates is they create a path of least resistance that doesn't involve learning anything. You just look for the loophole and jump through it.
And how is this the fault of religion?
The way things work now, government isn't the fall guy for buying tons of stupid vaccines with taxpayer money. No, religion is the fall guy. We don't question the vaccine, we look at the Jesus freak and cluck sadly.
Nice work, if you can get it.