Is it really admirable or edifying, though, to insist on lists of rules of what one must “never” say? Do these lists get at the heart of the matter — that all of us, in our words, should strive to “speak unto others as we’d like them to speak to us?” Do these lists leave room for grace?
Yet another reason to push back — hard — against anti-vaccine scaremongering: at least seven babies have been admitted to Vanderbilt University’s Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital with cases of VKDB — Vitamin K Deficiency bleeding, which can cause brain damage, intestinal hemorrhaging, and death. It’s a relatively rare disorder. It’s also 100% preventable when injections of Vitamin K are administered routinely at birth, as they have been in this country since 1961. But, in a trend that seems to be closely aligned with the anti-vaccine movement, more parents fear the Vitamin K vaccine and have refused it on behalf of their newborns. Babies don’t have enough Vitamin K in their systems: not enough of it crosses the placenta or via breastmilk (though infant formula does contain the blood-coagulating vitamin) so an injection is given at birth to eliminate the risk of potentially fatal bleeds.
What is lost when we turn funerals into parties that actively deny the finality of death? In seeking to alleviate pain by posing dead people in ‘lifelike’ poses, do we not save up a different kind of pain for later?
I do believe that how we seek to do justice matters as much as the justice we seek, but believe it is messy world, and the Perfect is too often held up as the enemy of the Good Enough or even the Less Bad.
What would happen if we could unhitch ourselves from such identity games and celebrate the freedom of thought that is supposed to be a cornerstone of American identity? What if facts were not perceived as grave threats but as invitations to ongoing inquiry?