I have a new post up at Her.meneutics, the Christianity Today women’s blog (apparently its most ungodly post yet!) called “Love Your Neighbor. Get Your Vaccines.”And that’s pretty much the point: getting vaccinated is not just about keeping yourself (& your kids) safe. It’s about keeping everybody safe.
The thing about writing a post praising vaccines is that most of us who like vaccines, or, at least, regard them as something we all gotta do, are pretty quiet about it, while those who think vaccines are from Satan loudly proclaim it.
The other thing about writing a post praising vaccines is that people are going to say things like:
- “You’ve obviously drank the Kool-Aid from the pharmaceutical industry shills.”
- “Your [sic] either lying or haven’t researched this properly.”
- “Vaccines have dead babies in them!!!” (I’m paraphrasing.)
But then, there are other comments like this:
“This is a problem cause because the success of modern medicine. If millions of people were dying every year from the flu, then no one would be worrying about the fact that some might die from the vaccine. That is no to say we shouldn’t worry at all about it. It is just to say that many people are worried about one part of the problem and ignoring the larger effect of their personal choice–as is the problem with most issues like this.”
(Thank you, Adam.)
“What if the issue was seat belt use instead of vaccines? There are a tiny, tiny number of deaths that occur BECAUSE of wearing a seat belt. But seat belts have saved untold millions of lives in crashes.
Should we then protest against seat belt laws, and counsel young parents to not put their baby in a car seat? Should we share our stories of seat belt-related injuries in order to reveal how terrible they truly are?”
Plus? Last night I went to eat an ice-cream sandwich with Mrs. S. (who was an Army RN in WWII) and we talked about polio. She remembers people on Long Island getting polio. All I’m saying is that: it might be worth lengthening our memories, and considering whether the luxury of debating vaccine safety is just that: a luxury afforded us by vaccine’s efficacy.
I don’t know if PBS counts as “lamestream media” (which, according to one commenter, is where I must get all my information!) but these two documentaries–one on the influenza epidemic of 1918 and one on the search for a polio vaccine–are very worth your time. It might just be me, but I find that looking at history often clarifies present questions.
One final thing. A major element in my thinking behind the vaccine post was the question of loving one’s neighbor, which is pretty central to the Christian scriptures (Jesus kinda said so) and of broadening care and concern beyond the boundaries of the nuclear family. This is a place where we could learn from other cultures, from ones in parts of the world where diseases now eradicated in the US are still rampant. We could learn the truth that “there is no me without you.” We could learn that “I am because we are.”
(If you’re still interested in reading the article, you can find it here.)