Vaccinations have been a heavily contested issue in the past decade. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Faith is no excuse for skipping vaccines, says med school professor

SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) — For vaccine foes, Dr. Peter Hotez is the enemy.

The anti-vaccination movement is a social movement that Hotez, dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, says is dangerous and fueled by misinformation.

And it’s also growing, as he and his colleagues reported last year in an article in PLOS Medicine. More and more parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children, often for philosophical or religious reasons.

That’s led to outbreaks of measles in places such as Washington state.

Hotez wants that to change, which is why he supports efforts by state lawmakers in Washington and Oregon to remove personal or philosophical exemptions to vaccination rules for school-age children.

“We need a more robust system of pro-vaccine advocacy in this country,” he said. Hotez also wants major internet companies such as Google and Facebook to regulate sites with false information about vaccines.

Dr. Peter Hotez. Photo courtesy of Baylor College of Medicine

 This image is available for web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

In his book “Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism,” he tells his daughter’s story to examine the concerns of the anti-vaccine movement, addresses what he says are conspiracy theories around the issue and critiques the scientific community's failure to effectively communicate the facts about vaccines and autism to the public.

“I started seeing a trend in Texas where thousands of kids weren’t getting vaccinated due to phony nonmedical exemption reasons, so it prompted me to write the book,” he said. “It’s made me public enemy No. 1.”

Currently, 18 states allow philosophical-belief vaccine nonmedical exemptions, known as NMEs. Washington, where there are 66 confirmed measles cases, is one of them.

According to the study in PLOS Medicine, titled “The State of the Antivaccine Movement in the United States,” in 12 of those 18 states, there’s been an upward trend of kindergartners enrolling in school with NMEs since 2009.

Washington was not listed as a state with an uptick in NMEs; however, Seattle and Spokane, as well as Portland, Ore., were identified as "hot spots," meaning they are associated with counties having more than 400 nonvaccinated kindergartners and are vulnerable for an outbreak in vaccine-preventable diseases.

Currently, three separate efforts, two in Washington and one in Oregon, are gaining steam to ban or restrict nonmedical vaccine exemptions. House Bill 1638 in Washington would ban personal or philosophical exemptions specifically for the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. A second bill, in the Senate, would ban personal or philosophical exemptions for all school-required vaccines. In Oregon, a bill is being drafted that would get rid of all nonmedical exemptions, including religious ones.

Heat map of county-level nonmedical exemptions rates in 2016 to 2017. Image courtesy of PLOS Medicine

 This image is available for web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

“Vaccinations don’t just protect the kids who are vaccinated, they protect others in the community who are at risk,” Washington Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, co-sponsor of Senate Bill 5841, said in a statement.

But the measures are being met with plenty of opposition.

Hundreds have turned up in Olympia, Wash., to protest hearings on the bills., including Mary Holland, a New York University Law School professor and activist.

According to The Washington Post, she said her son has a vaccine-related injury and she warned lawmakers that if the bill passes, many vaccine opponents will “move out of the state, or go underground, but they will not comply.”

Devony Audet, a mother of three living in Spokane, said her family won’t comply with new vaccination laws if they are passed.

“No city government or federal government can tell me what medical procedures are necessary for my children. That’s my choice. God made me their mother and I will not vaccinate (for MMR) even if it means my children cannot go to public schools,” she said.

Devony Audet. Courtesy photo

 This image is available for web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

She describes herself as "pro-informed choice," rather than anti-vaccination, and said her children have some vaccinations, but not all of them.

“We weigh the pros and cons. What are the risks of the illnesses versus the risks from the vaccine itself?” she said. “MMR, absolutely not. MMR has more adverse effects, our research found.”

She believes measles and mumps aren’t terribly dangerous and can be treated quickly. The vaccines, she said, are much riskier.

“Make informed decisions,” she said. “God gave you a brain for a reason. Use it.”

Her oldest son, 12, has health issues and would qualify for a medical exemption. However, her other two children, 5 and 8, have nonmedical exemptions. Her family would home-school the children if the Washington legislation passes.

Audet herself grew up without being vaccinated since her church — an Independent Baptist congregation — was against it.

“I never had the mumps, measles, I never had the chicken pox. I didn’t die,” she said. “All three of my children have had the chicken pox now, so I’m not worried. It’s not that big of a deal. We make it a big deal.”

In 2015, California removed the personal belief vaccine exemption after a measles outbreak at Disneyland. Vermont did the same.

“That’s what I’d like to see done in Washington and Oregon, and done here (in Texas),” Hotez said. “Any move toward that is welcome.”

He worries that if the measures pass, people will begin abusing the religious exemption.

“If you look at the major religions, I can’t think of any mainstream prohibitions against vaccines, maybe some sects or spinoffs,” he said. “These are important times where religious leaders need to speak out on behalf of vaccines. We need an interfaith statement on vaccines.”


  1. Vaccines cause adults

    Why is the unvaccinated two year old crying?
    -Mid life crisis.

    In what ways are vaccine related injuries more important than death from being unvaccinated?

    Your personal beliefs are no excuse to create a public hazard to yourself and others.

    Unvaccinated Americans and Europeans have created literal body counts. There is no excuse here other than specific medical reasons.

  2. Your google search is much more valid than my medical degree.

  3. “Vaccinations don’t just protect the kids who are vaccinated, they protect others in the community who are at risk,” Washington Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, co-sponsor of Senate Bill 5841, said in a statement.

    Do we have any responsibility to our communities? Can a community act as a community to protect the community? We have laws about vaccinations because it protects all the kids in the community. Having wide-spread vaccinations means that those too young to be vaccinated or those who have a medical reason why they cannot be vaccinated are better protected because the disease can’t get a foothold – an epidemic can’t get started.

    Devony Audet says she won’t vaccinate her children even if it means she has to home school them. I sincerely hope if she does not vaccinate her kids that she will home school them so their getting the measles, mumps, or rubella won’t threaten other kids. Oh, and it would help further if she also doesn’t have her kids join clubs that vaccinated kids go to, go to a local swimming pool, etc. Come to think about it, just don’t take them anywhere, to any grocery store, movie theater, department store – they are the ones who will get the disease and spread it around. Go ahead and go to faith services as long as all the kids who are part of that faith service aren’t vaccinated – at least all the kids are the same (dangerous) space and they only endanger each other – parent’s making similar choices have made the choice to allow children exposed to these diseases to go ahead and get the disease. Fine. I suppose that is what she considers personal freedom.

    But I would like to be able to create a safer environment for kids in my family and my friends families. And my friends feel the same way.

    Maybe your kid isn’t killed by the disease when he/she gets it, but some other kid could die. And we help to reduce the chance of that other kid dying when we assure that all kids who can take the vaccine do take the vaccine. The epidemic can’t get started. Do you have any responsibility to help keep the other kid safe?

  4. Dr. Hotez thinks the answer is “an interfaith statement on vaccines”.

    That won’t work.

    Not every faith group will subscribe to it.

    So it won’t mean anything to them.

    It also won’t mean anything to those who know first hand of the damage vaccines cause to a small percentage of recipients.

  5. If the vaccines actually work and protect vaccinated kids, then only the unvaccinated ones should be at risk. Your vaccinated kids would be safe, no? Or don’t you believe the vaccines actually work?

  6. You don’t have to vaccinate all your kids–just the ones you want to keep.
    Remember: Public health codes are tyranny! Everyone has the right to deny their kids food, shelter, and medical care if they want. Anything else is Slavery to the State(TM). Just ask that role model, Abraham.

  7. The effectiveness of vaccines in curbing and in some cases eradicating diseases has been well established for quite some time.

    “If the vaccines actually work and protect vaccinated kids, then only the unvaccinated ones should be at risk. ”

    Wrong. Immune compromised people are also at risk as well as infants who are too young to be vaccinated or those who can’t be for medical reasons

    There is no rational basis for an anti-vaccination point of view. There is no reason for religious exceptions for it at all.

  8. Or the kids with compromised immune systems. Or the kids who are too young.Or the small number of people for whom vaccines don’t work. Or the people who thought they were vaccinated but were not. Or the people who are so terrified of needles that they don’t get vaccinated. Or the kids and adults in other countries who don’t have a public health system like ours, as bad as it is.

    Your compassion towards the children of others is duly noted.

  9. The religious exceptions were rather boneheaded from the outset.

    “It also won’t mean anything to those who know first hand of the damage vaccines cause to a small percentage of recipients.”

    Which is why there is a vaccine injury relief fund funded by the pharmaceutical industry. To cover those infinitesimal numbers of people harmed by vaccines and not let them be the pretext for the huge percentage of people harmed or potentially harmed by failing to vaccinate.

    The argument against vaccination from a medical POV is boneheaded as it gets. Somehow the remote chance of injury is considered better than DEATH OF A CHILD AND OTHERS?????

  10. There are kids who can’t take the vaccines for medical reasons. There are also kids who are too young to have had any vaccine yet or have had only one dose and are waiting to have the second one. Some children can still get a mild case of one of the diseases even though having been vaccinated.

    Keeping an epidemic from occurring protects those who can’t be vaccinated or are not yet fully vaccinated, or for whom the vaccine does not offer full protection. It really is community protection at work – it is each of us doing what we can to protect not just ourselves but also our community.

    Vaccines work. They just aren’t full proof. If we all do our part, we save lives and protect health with vaccines. Just look at how MMR were almost unheard of for all those years until we started having too many people not get the vaccines and we are having a spread of the disease again in some places. Kids are put at risk. Don’t know if any have died in the latest regional epidemics, but kids have died in the past. Those deaths can be prevented now. Shouldn’t we do that?

  11. Generally speaking the anti-vaccine parents will be convinced only when their child dies, unfortunate though that is. They are a group analogous to those who believe their age and general good health to date means health reform is not necessary. Or to those not yet affected by lax gun laws.

    And, again in broad terms, they are a group with little if any concern for how their decision could affect their neighbors in particular or society in general.

    They are not going to be convinced. They are going to dig in and then get angry at comments such as mine. In short, they are closed minded and selfish, which is indeed their right to be, but possibly at a terrible cost — to them, and to others.

  12. Whether there are religious reasons for vaccine exemptions would be for those religious to decide, not you. You have no standing to tell any religion what they are to believe. Are you now setting yourself up as some kind of Pope who can dictate the beliefs of the world’s religions?

  13. Your lack of concern for those harmed by vaccines is duly noted.

  14. Many anti-vaccine parents have become so because they are aware of the life-long damage vaccines have caused both their own children and those of others they know.

  15. No religious reasons are worth considering at all. One does not have a right to force others to be human sacrifices to their religion. Unvaccinated people are a risk not only to themselves but others.

    Vaccination is a public need which is far more compelling, rational and necessary than an arbitrary religious motive.

    One’s faith is not pretext to harm the rest of us.

  16. They are rather stupid that way.

    Life long damage is still far better than DEATH or death of others.

    Anti vaccine parents are short sighted and have zero regard for the effect of their agenda on everyone else.

  17. I have a great deal of concern for them, but no medication is perfect, free from side effects, or free of unintended consequences.

    No-vaccinations are vastly imperfect, as the measles outbreaks in the US, the Philipines, and several other countries show. The side effect of no-vaccinations is well known– people that didn’t get them die, and people who wouldn’t get sick now can, with all kinds of deleterious and unintended consequences for them.

    But hey! I’m sure your google search of propaganda websites is worth far more than the FDA or one of those elitist university’s opinion on the subject.

  18. Some of these anti-vax nutters, whatever their excuse, will refuse to recognize the foolishness of their conceit until they lose their own kids. That’s too bad.

  19. Those who are actually at medical risk from vaccines depend on the rest of the herd betting vaccinated to lessen the chance of infection.

    It is extremely irresponsible to put those people at greater risk.

  20. Your religion stops at your door. Putting others at risk over one or another myths shows a complete lack of morals.

  21. Reread my previous comment and get it through your head that I was talking about YOU, in that comment, Not about vaccinations.

    You do NOT have any right to dictate to any religious people what they are or are not to believe. They are free -unless a totalitarian like yourself gain power here – to believe what ever they want in their religions. You cannot dictate to the rest of us what to BELIEVE in our faith, unless you are God. And believe me, dearie, you’re NOT.

    Whether any religious reasons are worth considering is a totally separate question. But religious people DO have the right to hold any opinion they want about it, regardless of whether the government grants them any exemptions or not.

    Personally, I do not have any religious objections to vaccines.

  22. Perhaps some religious people oppose the use of vaccines because their use vividly demonstrates how prayers accomplish absolutely nothing as a means of preventing disease.

    And more generally, over just a few hundred years science has produced a vast multitude of valuable benefits for humanity, while over thousands of years religion has produced virtually nothing of value for humanity. We know that scientific claims have a very high level of legitimacy because we can literally see and experience the results they lead to, whereas religion’s claims have a virtually nonexistent level of legitimacy . . . for example, there has never been any legitimate evidence that a prayer has ever been answered.

  23. Oh, so you think some religious people are not allowed to believe what they like, that you, like Spuddie, can dictate to all the religions of the world what they are to think and believe? What totalitarians you people are, dictators-in-waiting!

    I did NOT say their religious objections were valid, NOR did I say their objections should be honored by the government. But by golly, they are entitled by the Constitution to hold whatever beliefs they want, and folks like you and Spud cannot tell them they have “no reasons” to have any religious objections to vaccines when their religion may tell the otherwise.

    I myself have no religious objections to vaccines. My concerns lie elsewhere.

  24. I have never google searched the topic. My concerns come from personal experiences. They have taught me not to trust the alliance of Big Pharma and the FDA.

  25. I have no religious objections to vaccines.

    My concern is with the SERIOUS LIFE-LONG DAMAGE -AUTISM, CRIPPLED KIDS IN WHEEL CHAIRS,etc., – that I have observed resulting from the vaccines, problems that the alliance of Big Pharma, FDA, and the Medical community turn a blind eye to.

  26. A typically cold-hearted statement, Commissar Spuddie.

  27. Many anti-vaxers have become so because they have observed the damage of vaccines to their own kids, and the kids of those they know.

  28. I couldn’t care less about one’s belief on this subject. It is not a concern here. You are not raising a relevant point worth discussing.

    “Whether any religious reasons are worth considering is a totally separate question. ”

    Its the only question that matters here.

  29. So you lack even a remotely informed opinion, just your “personal experiences”.

  30. There is no freedom to harm people by being stupid.

    Cold hearted is blithely and intentionally creating a mortal hazard to others out of panic, lack of concern and ignorance.

  31. Your concern is half baked and genuinely stupid. Considering the alternative is death of children, crippling and permanent damage is a small price to pay.

    In what way is autism worse than DEATH?

    You really are completely unconcerned with dead children. Unsurprising.

    Your observations are rather infantile. What you aren’t seeing is the huge benefit the rest of society has gained from not having to worry about these vaccine handled diseases. You aren’t seen by the body count unvaccinated people are piling up.

    As for Big Pharma, vaccines are not profitable in the least. If not for the vaccine injury fund, few companies would even bother making them. It is one of the few times they genuinely benefit society.

    You have your opinion, but it is worthless. It is without support by facts or even basic common sense.

  32. Ten Religious Reasons to Not Vaccinate:
    1. Production of some vaccines involves the use of aborted fetal cells.
    2. The vaccine manufacturing production involves the use of material from other species (cows, pigs, chickens, monkeys, etc) creating the potential for contamination with the DNA of other species.
    3. The 6th Commandment prohibits killing. Vaccines can kill. More than 600 vaccine deaths have been compensated under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Act. The potential connection between vaccination and SIDS has never been adequately studied.
    4. The 5th Commandment instructs society to honor fathers and mothers. Substituting the beliefs of “the state“ over the religious beliefs of parents dishonors them and is in violation of the fifth commandment.
    5. The 9th Commandment prohibits bearing false witness against your neighbor. Drug companies, public health officials, and the media routinely bear false witness by exaggerating the benefits of vaccination and minimizing the risks.
    6. Vaccines as a product are legally classified as “unavoidably unsafe.” Vaccine manufacturers have liability protection because their products are an voidable he unsafe. Yet the pharmaceutical industry and the government bear false witness, marketing vaccines as “safe and effective.“
    7. Measles is not a “deadly“ disease in the United States. No one has died in their US from measles since 2003. But pharmaceutical industry marketing campaigns create false media hysteria around “deadly“ measles to scare legislators into taking away important religious freedom rights.
    8. Evidence of vaccine safety is utterly lacking. CDC whistleblower Dr. William Thompson said five years ago that the culture of corruption at the CDC “set (vaccine safety) research 10 years behind.“ Into 2019, the false witness by the CDC has set safety research 15 years behind.
    9. Vaccines can cause regressive autism in an unknown number of children. Vaccines can also cause seizure disorders, MS, brain damage, and auto immune and cardiac injuries. Omitting these risks bears false witness.
    10. Mandatory vaccination violates the principles of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, which states that the individual takes priority over the state and that prior, free and informed consent are required before administering a vaccine. Drug companies bear false witness by omitting this information in the pursuit of increase sales.
    For citations visit First Freedoms Org

  33. Making them idiots. Considering the damage from not being vaccinated us easily death to their children and others.

  34. 1. False. Long debunked a while ago
    2. Ridiculous. People aren’t supposed to take any products derived from animals?
    3. Not vaccinating kills far more and is more likely.
    4. Parents are not allowed to kill their kids in service of their faith.
    5. False. The eradication of former epidemics proves its effectiveness
    6. Risk to onesself and others is far greater without vaccination.
    7.39 dead from unvaccinated tourists in Costa Rica and half a dozen deaths in WA state last month say otherwise.
    8. Completely False citation please
    9. Vaccination causes adults. Not vaccinating causes death.
    10. No it doesn’t. Public health has always been far more important than individual ignorance. One has no right to endanger others.

  35. “Faith is no excuse for skipping vaccines” – THE C.I.A. IS.

    “[In 2011, Pakistan] Dr. Shakil Afridi … was working for the CIA when he led a hepatitis B vaccination campaign that helped U.S. agents learn where [Osama] bin Laden was hiding. … The exposure of the CIA’s role in the vaccination effort … became a major setback in the efforts to vaccinate Pakistanis against another highly contagious disease: polio. … [In] a report written by the Abbottabad Commission … Afridi claims he was approached by an Australian from Save the Children who then introduced him to ‘Kate,’ an American woman who operated the agency’s vaccination campaigns in the tribal region along the Afghan border. … [And he told] Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) … that he was recruited by the CIA through USAID. … Save the Children has denied working with Afridi and the CIA. … The Abbottabad commissioners concluded that Save the Children lacked ‘the internal mechanisms’ to detect that it had been ‘infiltrated’ by the CIA. … National Geographic made several attempts to seek further clarification from Save the Children about its alleged ties to Afridi, but the charity declined to comment.”

    Source: Alexander Mullaney and Syeda Amna Hassan, “He Led the CIA to bin Laden – and Unwittingly Fueled a Vaccine Backlash: Pakistani doctor’s role in health campaign sparked local suspicions that efforts to fight polio were part of a Western plot”, National Geographic, February 27, 2015. Cf. Scientific American, May 2013, “The Spies Who Sabotaged Global Health”. And Chelsea Conaboy, “Boston physician: CIA’s vaccination scheme in Pakistan undermined global public health efforts”, Boston Globe, February 28, 2013.

  36. Shaming the religious into vaccinating their loved ones – is there no end to Secularist Madness?!

  37. A cut and paste troll congratulating another cut and paste troll.

  38. Spuddie,
    What a great anti-abortion statement: “Life….. (EVEN WITH DAMAGE), is BETTER than death…..

    Well said my friend; well said.

  39. $ Cha Ching $ “Big Pharma” $

    How to vaccinate the human race against Them, is what I’d like to know

  40. I would consider it irony except I already know the anti abortion position has nothing to do with concerns for life anyway.

    So killing babies, people, those born actually isn’t at odds with the belief of fetus worshipers at all. Go figure. 😀

  41. Democrats sacrifice children on the altar of “Women’s Rights”.

  42. Dude – you were in law enforcement AND you have a medical degree?!

    Please tell. How did you get into both professions?


  43. So you depend on google for your “informed opinion”, LOL.

    That explains a lot.

  44. You really have trouble understanding what others say to you.

    You just go on with your little spiel, even if it’s not what the other person is talking about.

  45. See; so you do care about life.
    Now; if you can adjust your scope a bit, you’ll be able to make a breakthrough and land on the right side of the issue.

  46. It’s as if you never even heard of death as a result of vaccines.

    Keep chugging the Kool Aid, Spuddie.

    Big Pharma loves you!

  47. As if you never heard of deadly epidemics? How stupid and short sighted are you?

    Remember when people used to worry about polio or smallpox?

    Of course you don’t, because vaccines eradicated them from the developed world.

    I can’t even pretend you have an intelligent thought on this topic.

    Btw Big Pharma makes next to nothing off vaccines. There are no repeat customers in it. You have to be truly ignorant to look in that direction.

  48. This message brought to you by Spuddie, “the Queen of denial”.

  49. Your sole concern is control of others. So fetus worship and actual baby killing apparently fits nicely in your views.

  50. I understand ever you have to say, it just isn’t relevant in the slightest degree.

  51. Not at all. Children are born. They are people. Republicans hate people.
    You hate people.

    In this case Republican Rick Brant actually advocates killing children.

    I doubt you are an anti vaxxer. This is just trolling.

  52. Sorry, but I am not, in point of fact, a Republican.

    Just another one of your failed attempts at mind-reading.

  53. Call this, TRIVIA TIME FOR TRIVIAL ATHEISTS & AGNOSTICS around here … starting NOW. (And you pay attention too now, “Dr. Peter Hotez … the enemy.”)

    (1) “Agnostics/atheists in Italy … are less likely than Roman Catholics … to report that vaccines are important.”

    (2) “Agnostics/atheists in Italy and Romania … are less likely to agree that the MMR vaccine is important than Roman Catholics and those subscribing to Russian/Eastern Orthodoxy (respectively).”

    (3) “In Germany … Muslims and Protestants are much more likely to report that the seasonal influenza vaccine is important than atheists/agnostics.”

    (4) “In Austria and the UK … due to the ambiguity in the way atheists/agnostics may respond to … question it is difficult to interpret … findings when atheists/agnostics form the baseline group”.

    Source: “State of Vaccine Confidence in the EU 2018: A report for the European Commission by Prof. Heidi Larson, Dr. Alexandre de Figueiredo, Emilie Karafllakis and Mahesh Rawal”, Publications Office of the European Union, 2018.

  54. You have always repeated conservative canned positions. It is not mind reading, just plain reading. You are pretty clear what your position is on given subjects.

  55. “And if rap gets JEALOUS ’cause I rock heavy / It don’t worry me if m’aa ******* don’t get it / Yo, if rap gets JEALOUS, words that were admitted / I used to be a public enemy, don’t forget it / And if rap gets JEALOUS ’cause I rock heavy / It don’t worry me if m’aa ******* don’t get it / Yo, if rap gets JEALOUS ’cause of where I’m headed / Aggression, obsession, we’re pain in the gain”
    – K’naan, “If Rap Gets JEALOUS” (2005), DEDICATED TO CRUDDIE.

  56. 900 people dead from a measles epidemic since September.

    During 2000-2017, measles vaccination prevented an estimated 21.1 million deaths making measles vaccine one of the best buys in public health.

    Who is in denial here?

    Sorry Rick, but the anti-vaccination position is just plain dangerous stupidity. You are entitled to your opinion here. But it is entirely wrong and you can’t support it in any reasonable fashion.

  57. ‘YO CRUDDIE – Wanna know how IN-significant or use-LESS or LAUGH-able 3% is? WATCH THIS:

    (1) “ONLY 3% of American shoppers regularly buy groceries online”, CNN, February 7, 2019.

    (2) “ONLY 3% Of Technicians Are Certified To Work On Electric Cars”, InsideEVs, November 28, 2018.

    (3) “ONLY 3% of Russians say they believe Moscow poisoned Skripal”, Euromaidan Press, October 31, 2018.

    (4) “ONLY 3% of Gaza water is fit for human consumption”, Near East News Agency, June 17, 2016.

    (5) “[Of] the proportion of Americans who call themselves ‘unaffiliated’ … [ONLY] 3% of the total population … call themselves atheists”, The Economist, May 16, 2018 (“The elusive phenomenon of churches without God”).

  58. This episode of Sesame Street is brought to you by the number 3

    That post was brought to us by happy hour drinking

  59. Born children are born. Unborn children are unborn.

    You’re getting your shell game confused.

    The spiel is “persons are born”.

  60. Actually in the USA religion does not stop at one’s door.

  61. “They are going to dig in and then get angry at comments such as mine. In
    short, they are closed minded and selfish, which is indeed their right
    to be, but possibly at a terrible cost — to them, and to others.”

    You just described the readers of National Catholic Reporter perfectly.

  62. Like everyone else on the planet, I use google to FIND information.

    Maybe you don’t. It explains a lot.

  63. It was a joke. I wasn’t referring to me personally. I was “playing” a doctor trying to explain something to someone who thinks that a google search is equivalent to a medical degree.

    But yes, I was in law enforcement. No, I don’t have a medical degree. I do have a masters in public health. My original concentration was epidemiology.

    But that wasn’t my point.

  64. Ensured I got proper medical care, for one. How about yours?

  65. Actually, it does. Nobody dictates what people can believe, but the law absolutely can affect what people DO. And refusing basic medical care to your children is a crime, regardless of what beliefs drive it. Just ask the Christian Scientists who pray over their dying kids instead of taking them to a hospital.

  66. So they’re operating on anecdotal experience rather than proven science. That’s what we call ‘stupid.’

  67. Wow, I didn’t realize you were also a conspiracy nut. Never mind, there’s no point exposing you to logic and evidence.

  68. Ten rational reasons to not be religious:

    1. Going to church can kill. Many people have been killed or severely injured while driving a car to or from churches.
    2. The primary reason that organized religion exists is to impose power and control over people, . . . and obtain money from them.
    3. For religious beliefs to be firmly instilled in people, they must be trained to reject thinking that involves reason, evidence, or logic.
    4. Convincing people about the “power of prayer” is a way to make them believe they can literally communicate with a god.
    5. The “power of prayer” as nothing but a fantasy becomes obvious when compared to the power of vaccines.
    6. Essentially, church buildings are superstition indoctrination centers for the weekly reinforcement of instilled beliefs.
    7. The valuable scientific discoveries in recent centuries would have happened much earlier if not for the resistance of religion.
    8. The Instilling of fear and guilt is a sleazy tactic for forcing people to live in accordance with the demands of power-mongers.
    9. The Bible is consistent with the widespread ignorance of its time-period, and is filled with fantasy/delusion/fiction, and/or fraud.
    10. After thousands of years there is still no legitimate evidence to believe a god exists . . . but we must believe or else go to hell.

  69. Tina WISE?????? Hahahahahahahaha.
    I assume this is a parody. but if not:
    1). No.
    2) you had better stop eating. You might turn into a carrot.
    3) Never stopped anyone, including the hyper religious state of texas and our undeclared wars throughout the middle east, support by Christian conservatives. Meanwhile, 600 people died due to vaccine use. How many died without vaccine use? Smallpox used ot be a major killer.
    4) Nothing to do with honoring THY father and mother. Leave out that crucial word, you can say anything you want. And you did.
    5) projection. They have evidence. you don’t.
    6) You should read what’s in blood. The worst chemical is dihydrogen monoxide. and formaldehyde. and Cadmium. all poisonous.
    7) That’s because people get vaccinated. but that’s changing. Cheer up!?!?!?
    8) Evidence of vaccine danger is that it is miniscule, especially when compared to the lives saved. How many people have died form small pox?
    9). no. Those dirty drug companies, always trying to sell stuff. Stop taking medications. Please
    10. No.

  70. Flagged – beyond the pale, even by your low standards.

  71. HpO: “Source: … National Geographic … Scientific American … Boston Globe”.

    Brian Curtis: “Wow, I didn’t realize [National Geographic, Scientific American, Boston Globe] were also a conspiracy nut. Never mind, there’s no point exposing [National Geographic, Scientific American, Boston Globe] to logic and evidence.”

  72. People who oppose vaccines seem to come from generations that had no experience of communicable diseases.

    If you think diphtheria is harmless, talk to someone who suffered an attack and survived.

    If you think mumps doesn’t matter, speak to a man who lost a functioning testicle to this disease.

    If you think chicken pox is simply harmless, talk to someone who suffered from shingles.

    Vaccines sparre unnecessary suffering and save lives.

  73. The anti-vax movement is nothing but religious people lying again about another real subject.

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  75. Vaccination is not basic medical care.
    Not taking your child to the hospital or doctors when they have a high fever for more than 2 days is denying basic medical care.
    Not taking a child to the doctors when they have an injury or infection is denying a child basic medical care.

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