Infectious Diseases Strike Communities Where Vaccinations Are ‘Anti-God’

What do Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn and evangelical Dutch Christians have in common?

Two things: Both group respects their god so much, they remain passive when their kids get — and spread — the measles; and both communities are fighting an outbreak right now.

In the United States,

Another infectious disease is running through the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn.  More than 50 children have developed measles this spring — the third or fourth measles problem in the community in the last six years, and following closely on the heels of a mumps outbreak in 2009–10 that affected more than 3,000 people… [T]he cause is quite simple. Kids aren’t getting vaccinated.

And this, from the Netherlands [article in Dutch]:

“God knows what’s good for your child. Vaccination is an expression of one’s lack of trust in Him,” says a Christian mom. …

In the Dutch Bible Belt, the vaccination rate is far below the national average. That makes an outbreak in the region a particularly large risk. Frequently, measles, mumps, and whooping cough emerge and spread at great speed.

If that happens, then everyone is at risk, believers and non-believers alike – at least those who haven’t been vaccinated, and those whose vaccine-related immunity has lessened over time.

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Unlike Tom Lehrer‘s ditty about infection, a measles epidemic is no fun. Adults, especially, can be laid on their backs by the disease. Some die.

Wikipedia says that

…the case fatality rate across the United States was three measles-attributable deaths per 1,000 cases, or 0.3%. In underdeveloped nations with high rates of malnutrition and poor healthcare, fatality rates have been as high as 28%. In immunocompromised patients (e.g. people with AIDS) the fatality rate is approximately 30%.

The Daily Beast reminds us that measles can cause pneumonia and encephalitis, and adds:

None of the current antivirals have activity against the infection. But the measles vaccine is remarkably effective, as good a shot as we have. In contrast to mumps and influenza vaccines, which have predictable failure rates — meaning vaccinated people can still develop the disease, though at substantially lower rates and with milder symptoms. With measles, to be vaccinated is to be safe.

For now, health authorities feel they must tiptoe around the tender religious sentiments, but Beast writer Kent Sepkowitz has no such reservations:

All of these infectious-disease problems — mumps, measles, fatal herpes — occurring in one large population does raise a simple question. And since I am not running for mayor and am thus not in need of the “prized slice of the electoral pie” ascribed to the Orthodox community and because I am Jewish, it is (perhaps) safe for me to ask it: what the f**k is going on in these areas of Brooklyn? How and why does the same group meet time and again with the same calamity of developing quite serious, completely preventable infections?

[S]piritual safety and medical safety never should be at odds. Despite the political cost to current and future mayors, these complicated, tense, and likely unpleasant discussions must be conducted with the affected Orthodox sects of Brooklyn to control not just the current outbreak but to prevent future problems.

The same goes for the Dutch Christian cousins, as far as I’m concerned.

Meanwhile, I keep wondering what the staunch believers in God’s benevolence would do if, heaven forfend, some of of their kids got infected with something more dramatic: say, novel coronavirus, or Marburg hemorrhagic fever. Would they let their brood infect others? Would they pray really hard, just like Catherine and Herbert Schaible did (and still have a couple of small corpses on their hands)?

I don’t always mind it when reason and religion are at odds, as I can appreciate the entertainment. But when religious fervor becomes a grave (ha!) risk for believers’ kids and for people who are made to share that risk but don’t share the superstition, maybe it’s time to truly begin holding the adults accountable.

About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder and Main Mischief Maker of Moral Compass, a site that pokes fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Here’s the thing, though. Even non-Jews should feel free to ask what the fuck is going on those communities that they keep having preventable infectious disease outbreaks. I say that as a Jew and I shouldn’t have to. This isn’t a matter of “those fucking Jews are trying to infect our children.” It isn’t blood libel to ask why that particular sub-community of the Jewish community in NYC repeatedly has this problem. This is a matter of public health, and that should include the entire public.

  • BobaFuct

    Sadly, ignorance/stupidity regarding vaccinations seems to be just as prevalent among the non-religious. While there are some religious sects that don’t vaccinate for specifically religious reasons, I think in general the issue is tied more to conspiracy theorist-type personalities rather than whether they’re religious or not. For instance, my sister is extremely religious, but she’s not one to buy into conspiracy theories…she vaccinated her kids. A friend of my wife, on the other hand, is not religious at all but is kind of a nutjob…no vaccinations for her kids because “omgthey’regonnagetautism!!1!”

  • Tainda

    Well known example, Bill Maher. I LOVE Bill but his anti-vaccination idiocy pisses me off.

  • C Peterson

    Using your brain to solve a problem reflects a lack of trust in God? If that’s how you feel, then I’d argue that if you truly trust your god, it will keep you alive and well if you stop eating and drinking. Indeed, even breathing would seem to suggest you don’t trust God.

    In the meantime, all governments have laws allowing them to establish medical quarantines. I’d suggest we start with these two communities.

  • Regina Carol Moore

    My sister is “spiritual”, not religious, and she believes every conspiracy-theory that comes down the pike. She’s against immunization, but went ahead and had her daughter immunized because the school required it. It’s definitely a certain type of mindset.

  • Jasper

    If it wasn’t for the fact they’re condemning their children, who otherwise won’t know any better, I’d be perfectly fine with these people moving off to their own island. We’ll check back in a few years. Maybe there’ll be survivors.

  • ReasonableRob

    Harsh as it may sound… Natural selection at work :P

  • WoodwindsRock

    “Vaccination is an expression of one’s lack of trust in Him”

    How could one even possibly maintain trust in a God that is behind the cruelty of a world like ours?

  • C Peterson

    And even harsher is the natural selection at work when one of these idiots drags its brood to the supermarket and somebody who is immunocompromised catches measles off of one of them and subsequently dies.

  • BobaFuct

    Except that kids can only get vaccinated at a certain age, so even if you plan to vaccinate your kids, if they play with older kids that aren’t vaccinated or are sick, they will get sick too. So the idiot decision of one parent can have serious repurcussions for others, even starting an outbreak in a community that’s pro-vaccination. That’s one of the reasons why public schools require vaccinations.

  • Hausdorff

    “health authorities feel they must tiptoe around the tender religious sentiments”

    This is definitely the line in this post that stuck out to me the most. And this is exactly the kind of crap that makes me rail against religion. Also, I’ve never heard of Kent Sepkowitz before, but right now I love that guy.

  • Space Cadet

    The survivors will be the ones who have possession of the conch shell.

  • randomfactor


  • allein

    So do they take the kids to the doctor when they get sick or do they trust in God to make them better (after he made them sick, of course)?

  • The Other Weirdo

    In the Bible, God routinely used plagues as a form of punishment. That, or they just naturally occurred and people just ascribed it to God, but what do I know? So, if you get a plague, you deserved it. I guess.

  • The Other Weirdo

    There are enough doctors in the Jewish community that they probably don’t need to take kids far. So it’s probably not even thought of as “going to the doctor”. After all, that stuff’s biblical.

  • Michael W Busch


    Being an anti-vaxxer is not a genetic trait. Nor is it directly heritable. It is simply a very dangerously wrong idea.

    And the problem is not just limited to the anti-vaxxers themselves, or even to them and to the children they are most directly endangering – it’s the failure of herd immunity that their actions produce, which make them a potential danger to everyone they encounter.

  • islandbrewer

    If your god doesn’t protect you from measles then maybe you shouldn’t trust him.

    Or, maybe the outbreaks are god’s judgement against idiots who won’t vaccinate their kids.

  • sunburned

    My son has leukemia and I fully agree, lucky he was old enough to be able to get most of his shots before onset.

    There are thousands of children that cannot get vaccinated for similar reasons. People who do not vaccinate their children intentionally put others at risk, most often the most vulnerable in the population.

  • Michael W Busch

    no vaccinations for her kids because “omgthey’regonnagetautism!!1!”

    May Andrew Wakefield be convicted of many counts of endangerment for causing that particular bit of nonsense. He was willing to lie through his teeth and trade the health of children for options on future money.

  • islandbrewer

    It was a joke.

    I think we all know that such decisions are not genetically determined.

  • Michael W Busch

    Unfortunately, I have seen enough commenters here saying similar things seriously to say that you are wrong.

  • Gus Snarp

    Not vaccinating children who have no medical contraindications for vaccination is neglect, pure and simple. That’s a crime and religious beliefs should play no role in it whatsoever. Causing harm by neglecting basic care for a child is not justified by religious freedom.

  • Gus Snarp

    If god exists he’s an evil bastard and I still wouldn’t worship him.

  • The Doubter

    For argument sake, I’m going to say that healthier = longer life. It’s a not a great definition, but I’m sticking to it. It doesn’t say what the child mortality rate is among this people group. It might be possible that these kids are healthier. They may have a stronger immune system later in life. Vaccination is suppose to help our immune system, but with the rise in auto-immune disease it makes me question this philosophy Would a person with a 1000 vaccines be more healthy than someone without any vaccines. I have yet seen any evidence that says vaccines = healthy person (not sick != healthy) Someone living in a bubble does not mean they are healthier than someone not living in a bubble. I doubt anyone will take the time to actually look at the evidence. There is too much money at stake.

  • Michael Mock

    Measles… pretty nasty. But there are worse things out there – would it change anything in those communities (or the social/political tolerance for their refusal to undertake basic health precautions) if they had a polio outbreak instead?

  • Michael W Busch

    Anti-vaxxers make me very very angry. No only do they endanger their own health, they endanger that of everyone around them.

    One thing that I do wonder:

    How does the fraction of adults that are anti-vaxxers vary with age? Above a certain age, people will remember from personal experience smallpox outbreaks, measles epidemics, pertussis causing more than small clusters, the effects of polio, people getting Hep A or B. I know a 90-year-old emeritus professor who can still identify pertussis by sound – his reaction was to walk an infectious grad student toward the clinic, waving away anyone with small children as they went.

    With that sort of experience, it should be very hard to have the incredibly distorted perception of how bad the diseases are that anti-vaxxers have. On the other hand, the chickenpox/shingles and HPV jabs are recent enough for most people to see the before and after and we still have people not understanding the consequences of not getting vaccinated….

  • TiltedHorizon

    The week before we vaccinated our son, the Wife & I poured over the evidence for and against it. We eventually concluded the ‘cons’ to be baseless but even in the face of the ‘pros’ we lost sleep over it. The 24 hours after vaccination were the worst, we literally checked on him every 5 minutes, every ‘odd’ or ‘off’ thing was suspect; is he breathing, is he breathing too fast, is he responsive, does he feel hot, why is he not smiling, why is he smiling so much, etc. After going through this emotional paranoia I can understand the hesitation but what I cannot understand is how a parent can choose against it. The consequences to themselves and their community is far too great to ignore, it feels borderline criminal.

  • Gus Snarp

    That’s pure rubbish. First, longer life != healthier. Health includes quality of life as well as length, and getting fewer diseases means higher quality of life in general. But even if it did, lifespans have gotten longer as we’ve improved all facets of medicine, including vaccination. Vaccinated, economically advantaged Americans are likely to live 80 years, many of them high quality. You’re the one who needs to come up with some evidence that not vaccinating reduces that, since those longer lifespans have come right along with increased vaccination.

    You also show a lack of understanding of how the immune system works. All a vaccine does is stimulate the immune system to mount a response to a particular disease organism, enabling it to more quickly respond to it in the future. Again, you’re the one who ought to supply some evidence. There’s no reason to suspect vaccination has any relationship with auto-immune disease, so find me the medical journal articles showing otherwise.

    As for money, you may not realize this, but vaccines are among the least profitable areas for drug companies. It takes a lot of government involvement just to keep them in the business because it’s just not cost effective for them.

  • Michael W Busch

    Such a god has incredibly bad aim.

    Also: don’t use ableist slurs. Anti-vaxxers are simply people who are incredibly dangerously wrong.

  • BobaFuct

    “Vaccination is suppose to help our immune system, but with the rise in auto-immune disease it makes me question this philosophy”

    It’s not philosophy, it’s science. Vaccinations prevent disease.

    “Would a person with a 1000 vaccines be more healthy than someone without any vaccines. I have yet seen any evidence that says vaccines = healthy person (not sick != healthy)”

    This doesn’t make sense. You seem to be be equating “not catching a particular disease due to vaccination” with “never getting any type of illness ever”. The polio vaccine doesn’t keep you from getting cancer, it keeps you from getting polio. At it’s peak in the 1950s, something like 60,000 children a year got polio in the US, leading to their paralysis and early death. You know how many people got polio in the US in 2012? ZERO. So yes, vaccines make us “healthy” in that we no longer catch many of the terrible diseases that once killed thousands, thus increasing our average life span and quality of life.

  • C Peterson

    Well, it’s not wrong. Obviously, no single gene makes somebody an anti-vaxxer, but nobody understands the relationships between genetics and how brains function. There is every reason to believe that ways of thinking can be selected for or against by evolutionary processes. Indeed, there is solid evidence that selection processes are responsible for how we think- both in terms of processes that work, and processes that work against us.

    So yes, while we are largely talking symbolically or joking when we talk about evolution selecting against people who regularly entertain foolish ideas, the fact is, we can’t say this concept is wrong. When the kids of religious people die young because of the foolish ideas of their parents, religiosity may very possibly be selected against in the gene pool. This isn’t something that has been established with sufficient certainty to blindly label “right” or “wrong”.

  • Michael W Busch

    Well, it’s not wrong.

    Yes, it is. It is incredibly wrong.

    No one is born an anti-vaxxer, nor is anyone born religious, or holding any other particular belief. These are all the products of education and environment, not genetics.

  • allein

    One thing with chicken pox is I think a lot of people remember getting some itchy spots and a few days home from school as a kid and think, “what’s the big deal?” Hell, they might have even been purposely exposed to their siblings and friends who had it just to get it over with (my parents didn’t do that on purpose but my brother and a couple of our friends and I did all get it around the same time just because we spent a lot of time together). The worst thing I have leftover from chicken pox (I was 7) is a slightly numb scar on my leg (so far; of course there’s always the possibility of shingles later on). They don’t realize it can be much worse for some kids and even more so for adults. For older diseases like polio, yeah, we have a short memory as a society. I’ve certainly never seen someone with polio in my life; but I like history so I’ve read about such things. A lot of people don’t (which is sad).

  • C Peterson

    There is very good evidence to suggest that spirituality is wired into the human brain. The degree to which it manifests varies, and probably contributes to a person’s susceptibility to religion. Anything wired into the brain is a product of genetics, and of natural selection. The fact that religion is a highly cultural phenomenon does not mean it isn’t influenced by genetics.

    That you are willing to assert, absolutely, that something is “wrong” when that is not established means you are being as dogmatic as any hardcore religious fanatic.

    You do not know, any more than I do, any more than a geneticist or neuroscientist, the degree to which religiosity is influenced by genetics. Do not confuse your opinion on the matter with actual fact.

  • islandbrewer


    It is not an ableist slur. They are idiots, engaged in idiocy. They have all the information to make the correct decision, and their idiocy stops them. They are idiots.

    I will not fucking apologize, and continue to call them idiots. And fuck you for being their apologist to any degree.

  • Michael W Busch

    There is very good evidence to suggest that spirituality is wired into the human brain.

    Over-active agency detection and all the other cognitive biases that human brains have is not the same as “spirituality being wired into the human brain”.

    And, yes, the SLC18A2 gene that codes for the VMAT2 membrane protein has been called a “god gene” because of some possible connection to subjective spiritual experiences – but that supposed connection has been disputed. Nor would there being some innate predisposition to experiences that some identify as spiritual correspond to any particular religious or political belief.

    Do not confuse your opinion on the matter with actual fact.

    I do not. I merely go with the evidence: the distribution of alleles in the religious population is the same as the distribution of alleles in the non-religious one, and the distribution of religious belief changes far faster than the distribution of alleles.

  • Michael W Busch

    I am in no way being an apologist for anti-vaxxers. They are incredibly dangerously wrong.

    But that does not mean they are lacking in intelligence. It is an incredibly scary thing, but smart people can believe profoundly wrong things.

    And idiot is an ableist slur. Stop using it.

  • alexjonesisanidiot

    I have a simple solution to this problem. If a kid comes down with measles, mumps or whooping cough, send Child Protective Services over to visit their parents.

  • Miss_Beara

    “God knows what’s good for your child. Vaccination is an expression of one’s lack of trust in Him,”

    Oh give me a fucking break. Tell that to the children who were given prayers instead of medication to fix their curable illnesses. Oh wait, you can’t. They are dead. Anti vaxxers and faith “healers” make me so angry I can scream.

  • Carmelita Spats

    So we can’t use the word “idiot” anymore. My neighbor likes to say that, “he is as happy as a busload of retards at a Chuck E. Cheese parking lot.” I will definitely correct him. I won’t call him an idiot. I will tell him that a buzzard shit
    him on a log, and the sun hatched him. Thanks!

  • koseighty

    Do these people live in houses?

    Isn’t that “an expression of one’s lack of trust in Him”?

    Surely the godster has created a perfect world, perfectly suited to his divine and ultimate creation man. Only pathetic unbelievers would doubt god’s ability to care for his children by moving indoors and out of god’s elements.

  • Michael W Busch

    It confuses me that people don’t understand the connection between chickenpox and shingles. But my mother is a nurse with a master’s in public health, so I learned that one very early on.

  • JA

    And God spake, “Mine followers are idiot-minded dolts.”

  • Guest

    Nah, they’re definitely idiots. And your political correctness is annoying.

  • MariaO

    You do not have to be that old to see the effects of polio. Beacuse they linger. When we moved into our house a good friend of our neighbours was around 50. She walked a bit slowly but otherwise there was nothing wrong that I noticed. Now she is in a wheelchair since a number of years. She had polio as a child (last epidemic in Sweden was 1950) but “recovered”. However, as for many sufferers the symptoms came back when she got older. This is very common. So, you probably have seen some people in wheelchairs that had poilio 50-70 years ago!
    Btw, recently there was an outbreak of measels in northern Stockholm. We have a gang of antroposophists there, who refuse to vacciniate “as it destroys the natural immunosystem”.

  • Billy Bob

    I like the general idea of political correctness, but people like Busch take it to a whole new level. Almost everything’s offensive to people like him. Also, I doubt anyone is even offended by it. The only reason certain words get so much attention is because a bunch of holier than thou PC police officers scream about them non stop.

    Some people might use offensive language. Get over it! Life will be much better for you and others who now don’t have to listen to your inane babbling.

  • C Peterson

    I merely go with the evidence: the distribution of alleles in the religious population is the same as the distribution of alleles in the non-religious one

    That is a sufficiently extraordinary claim that I’d not trust it without some very solid scientific references. In fact, the subtleties of the genetic basis of behavior would seem unlikely to be detected in something as crude as allele distributions in different populations- especially as examined by what must be, at best, very small samples of poorly defined populations in the first place.

    Sorry, but the fact is, the evidence, such as it is, is nearly non-existent, and doesn’t come close to allowing anybody to confidently say that religiosity does or does not have a genetic component.

    My own view is that, given the rather solid evidence that spirituality has a physical, and therefore genetic basis, I’d be surprised if religiosity (which is pretty likely related to spirituality) does not.

  • Richard Wade

    “God knows what’s good for your child. Vaccination is an expression of one’s lack of trust in Him,” says a Christian mom. …

    Then I suppose…
    brushing your teeth,
    washing your hands after using the toilet,
    washing the dishes,
    looking both ways when crossing a busy street,
    obeying traffic laws,
    learning how to swim,
    using the hand rail on stairs,
    repairing worn-out electric cords
    installing smoke detectors
    locking your door at night
    …and a thousand other daily behaviors are also expressions of one’s lack of trust in God.

    These superstitious urban bumpkins would not live a single day if they weren’t constantly “expressing their lack of trust in God.”

  • Ewan

    “And idiot is an ableist slur. Stop using it.”

    It’s not. Intent does matter, and the archaic origins of the word as referring to people with a disability are not the same as current usage. People using the word today are not using it in a problematic manner.

  • C Peterson

    “Ableist” is a silly word. When somebody uses it, I’m immediately skeptical of their other views. And “idiot” is a perfectly good English word with several meanings, including the one quite correctly being used here.

    If you don’t like it, don’t use it. But you make yourself look pretty silly by challenging everybody who uses a word that steps on your PC sensibilities. If you spend enough time microanalyzing every word people use, you completely lose the substance of what is actually being said.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Bill Maher is an anti-vaccer, really? Based on his other attitudes towards science I wouldn’t expect that.

  • Gus Snarp

    One of my father’s friends had polio. I imagine he could still be alive, I don’t know. But seeing his wasted legs when I was young, and knowing what caused that, certainly affects my view of vaccination.

  • The Doubter

    You say you want science. Your claim is vaccinations prevent disease. Do you want to know what else prevents disease: fruits, vegetables, plenty of water, clean hands, taking showers/baths and all the other things that are done now that weren’t done 60 years ago. Remember, the elderly were around when there wasn’t in-door plumbing. When my grandfather (88) was young, he helped run the pipes for in-door plumbing to whole towns. I want to caution you on the Ludic fallacy. Many of these scientists had good intentions and wanted their work to matter. Some of those results many have confirmation bias. There are many contributing factors and assigning the effect to one change is narrow sited at best. Other countries like England didn’t vaccinate for polio until much later yet the had the same decline as seen in the US.

  • islandbrewer

    He caught a lot of flack for it, and has curbed his anti-vaxxy statements as a result, but yeah. I’ve always found that Maher was funny, but not always the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to critical thinking.

  • allein

    True; perhaps I should rephrase that; I’ve never known anyone to have polio. I very well may (probably) have seen some.

  • The Doubter

    One thing the non-vacs say is that vaccines are a contributing factor of autism. Numerous studies have said that vaccines are not a factor of autism yet I cannot find what the rate of autism is for the non-vac community vs the vaccine community. When I look at the studies they say that increase amount of thermisol will not increase the autistic rate. What is the rate and please provide where the information comes from?

  • allein

    I’ve been seeing commercials a lot lately for some shingles treatment or something, so it’s on my radar recently from that. Though I did already know it’s caused by the same virus.

  • Hat Stealer

    I don’t understand how these people claim to read the Bible and follow it in its entirety, and yet still trust God. If there’s one thing that the Bible shows beyond all possible interpretation, it’s that God is supremely untrustworthy.

  • Hat Stealer

    They should all just close their eyes and walk blindly forward 24/7. That would REALLY be expressing their trust in God.

  • Spuddie

    I love it when they bring up “it just means profit for Big Pharma”. It is so supremely idiotic.

    How would drug companies really benefit from a drug which only needs to be taken once and fairly early in one’s life?

  • Hat Stealer

    Whether or not spirituality is hardwired into the human brain, I think it’s fairly safe to say that Orthodox Judaism is not hardwired into the human brain. The idea that an unwillingness to get vaccinated is somehow genetic is absurd. This is entirely a cultural thing.

  • islandbrewer

    You forgot “using seat belts.”

  • C Peterson

    I don’t think the idea that an unwillingness to get vaccinated has a genetic component is absurd at all. The idea that there is a gene that makes one an anti-vaxxer is absurd. The idea that predisposition to conspiracy theories has a physiological component as well as a cultural one is certainly credible. (I have little doubt, however, that even if there is a genetic component, the cultural one is almost certainly far more powerful. But I take exception to Busch’s use of absolutes with respect to ideas for which not enough evidence exists to use them.)

  • BobaFuct

    “Do you want to know what else prevents disease: fruits, vegetables, plenty of water, clean hands, taking showers/baths and all the other things that are done now that weren’t done 60 years ago.”

    Yep, these things help prevent illness. However, I wouldn’t stand next to someone with whooping cough if my only defense was having washed my hands and eaten my veggies. Care to try it?

    “Remember, the elderly were around when there wasn’t in-door plumbing.”

    My house was built in 1939…fully equipped with indoor plumbing, two toilets, two bathroom sinks, and a shower. My previous house was built in 1891…also equipped with indoor plumbing, toilet, and bathtub.

    “Other countries like England didn’t vaccinate for polio until much later yet the had the same decline as seen in the US.”

    Citation needed. A quick google search seems to indicate this is an outright lie.

  • The Doubter

    I love it when people are so short-sited when it comes to their money. Those pay-day loans are a good deal…right? There is no health care, at least in the US. There is only sick-care. The “health-care” system aka Big Pharma is only there for “sick” people. Big Pharma wants you sick because they get paid more. You can’t deny that. I want to see good data why vaccines are better for me and will make me healthier. (it’s my health, not yours) I’m not shooting a chemical into my body for your good. I haven’t seen good evidence yet. Maybe you can provide some good data on the side effects of vaccines and why the current medication for existing condition is better than the side effects of vaccine. Otherwise, you are trusting a chemical company that has a conflict of interest.

  • Glasofruix

    Washing hands (and personal hygiene) will prevent yourself from picking some nasty stuff, true, but it’s not a protection against someone coughing in your face, that’s what vaccination is for.

  • Michael W Busch

    Intent matters, but is not magic. Just because someone doesn’t intend a word to be bigoted doesn’t mean that it isn’t.

  • Michael W Busch

    This is not about political correctness or political incorrectness. This about not contributing to a culture that stigmatizes mental illness and disability by pervasive harmful patterns of speech.

  • Spuddie

    I am sure this will be said to you by others, but your post was really stupid. You aren’t even trying to be consistent with your own tortured logic.

    If Big Pharma wants to keep you sick, vaccinations don’t really help that goal. You only take them once, at a time when you don’t have a long medical history and you never need them again for the rest of your life. When used on a massive scale they lead to the complete eradication of a given disease. There is no profit to it. No repeat business, no lifetime customers. A dead end with marketing.

    If you haven’t seen good evidence for vaccines its because you aren’t bothering to look it or be honest with yourself. The resurgence of diseases which haven’t been seen in some communities in generations is proof enough of the harm in avoiding vaccinations.

    Its not just your health, its the health of everyone around you. Libertarian idea do not give you an excuse to pose a public hazard to others. Vaccines are given for diseases which are easily communicable. If you chose to make yourself vulnerable, you put others at risk as well since its not just your body the diseases will stay in.

    Maybe you can give us a compelling reason not to consider you a risk to the public. Provide some data to convince us that you are not some self-interested, deluded sociopath who doesn’t care about creating unnecessary public health risks.

  • Michael W Busch

    Almost everything’s offensive to people like him

    That is not true. It also is irrelevant if I personally am offended or not. The goal is to prevent bigotry – both intentional and unintentional.

    Some people might use offensive language. Get over it!

    That is nothing more than a way of saying “shut up!”. It is a silencing tactic, not an argument.

  • Michael W Busch

    I will tell him that a buzzard shit him on a log, and the sun hatched him

    Your creative insults are pretty good. You could also call him on his ableist speech, since “retard” is a more severe ableist slur than “idiot” is.

  • Hat Stealer

    I can’t even tell if you’re serious at this point. Are we no longer allowed to call people idiots? Really?

    Would you care to give us a list of insults we’re allowed to use?

  • rtanen

    Pretending for a moment that the guy could be right (check all sources of information at the door), if I could somehow exchange all of my reduced chances of disease for being neurotypical, I would not. Much, much better being autistic rather than dead.

  • Michael W Busch

    “Ableist” is a silly word. When somebody uses it, I’m immediately skeptical of their other views.

    That is a failing on your part. Ableism is a form of bigotry, and like all other forms, should be given no sanction.

    And “idiot” is a perfectly good English word with several meanings,

    None of which apply to anti-vaxxers, and one of which is an obsolete term for a particular set of mental disabilitys. That’s why it is an ableist slur.

  • Michael W Busch

    I can’t even tell if you’re serious at this point

    I am quite serious.

    I will not attempt to set limits on the list of acceptable insults. What I will say is this: no one should say “You are lacking in intelligence” when what they actually mean is “You are wrong”. The problems of ableism aside, that is also a way of not holding people responsible for their actions (e.g. saying “you can’t know better” rather than “you should know better”).

  • Hat Stealer

    That is exactly what political correctness is. Trying to change attitudes about groups of people through language. Personally, I prefer actually doing something as opposed to self-censoring to a ridiculous degree.

  • Feminerd

    You do what you have to to survive; pikuach nefesh.

    EDIT: Not the the idea doesn’t have appeal, but the fact that the conch is treif doesn’t mean anything.

  • Hat Stealer

    Well fortunately for me, I consider the people in this article to be both.

  • Michael W Busch

    No. Current political correctness includes many things that enable ableism, sexism, and many other forms of bigotry. That is: some things that are politically correct are bad, and some things that are politically incorrect are good. And some things that are politically correct are good and some things that are politically correct are bad.

    And it happens that language does matter to people’s attitudes. This has been tested experimentally.

  • Michael W Busch

    You are wrong to consider anti-vaxxers as lacking in intelligence. What they are lacking in is accurate education.

  • Feminerd

    I often agree with you, but this time I don’t. Idiot has moved past its origins as a word to describe people, especially children, with mental disorders. It is an all-purpose insult meaning a general lack of intelligence and good sense now.

    Ableist language is definitely a problem- in my opinion, this is not an example of it.

  • Miss_Beara

    Yeah, eating your fruits and veggies is really going to help ward of polio and measles. 60 years ago? 60 years ago is 1953. I am pretty sure they ate, drank water and bathed on a regular basis. My former house was about 120 years old when I left it 7 years ago and, shockingly enough, it had indoor plumbing.

  • rtanen

    What if autism somehow, against evidence, was caused by vaccines? Then I, as an autistic person, still would not want to be unvaccinated. If the kids don’t get vaccinated, some of them will die. Do you really think dead is better than autistic? Try asking Amanda Baggs, who is in a wheelchair, uses assistive technology to communicate, and is definitely not suicidal what she thinks about that attitude.

  • Tainda

    Stop saying “ableist”. It offends me. I have OCD and it looks weird (Is that word allowed?) and makes me want to rearrange the letters.

    And if you think I’m joking, you need to be more sensitive to sufferers of OCD.

  • Spuddie

    How about you look at the rate of severe health issues and death caused by diseases nearly eradicated by use of vaccines. You have great examples in those communities which are rejecting vaccination.

  • Michael W Busch

    The rates are identical.

    The test goes like this: you compare the autism rate in a population before and after vaccine uptake, with a few-year time lag and appropriate corrections for any changes in what fraction of children are evaluated for autism-spectrum behavior.

    This has been done repeatedly, in many different countries, over the past 15 years since Wakefield did his Big Lie. The results are always the same: increased vaccination usage is not associated with a change in the incidence of autism. Here is one reference from Canada: . Google will yield you similar work in the UK, the US, and a number of other places.

  • Michael W Busch

    I merely use the dictionary spelling.

  • Miss_Beara

    Do you take medication when you are sick? Does your fear in “Big Pharma” prevent you from going to the doctor and getting medicine? Perhaps all medication should be abolished because being sick just lines the pockets of “Big Pharma.”

    I have had two bad cases of pneumonia and chicken pox once in my lifetime. If it wasn’t for getting antibiotics and other medicines from “Big Pharma” I would have died before my second birthday. Or i could have died when I was 8 or when I was 22 when I developed pneumonia again. When I get older I will be getting the shingles vaccine, not to pad “Big Pharma”s pockets but to reduce my chances of getting shingles.

    If you haven’t seen the evidence for vaccines, you are not looking at all.

  • Feminerd

    Some chemical? We know exactly what goes into vaccines; they’re the most transparent things ever. We know the binding agents, the medium in which the viruses are grown, everything. They’re not under patent anymore, after all.

    So you aren’t shooting “some chemical” into your body. You’re shooting dead or extremely weakened versions of a virus into your body so that your immune system learns to recognize the viral proteins of that particular bug. Then, if your body ever encounters the full strength version, it can kill it before you get sick and before it even becomes infectious enough to spread to those around you, including those too young or too immuno-compromised to get vaccines. Even if you can fight whatever disease off, being young and healthy, you’ll still be infectious for awhile. I’ll put it bluntly; when you don’t vaccinate, you kill babies and people with cancer and the elderly. You kill the most vulnerable among us.

  • Miss_Beara

    Maybe you can give us a compelling reason not to consider you a risk to the public. Provide some data to convince us that you are not some self-interested, deluded sociopath who doesn’t care about creating unnecessary public health risks.

    Exactly. It is the “I am fine, I don’t give a crap about anyone else” syndrome.

  • Feminerd

    They’ve had pertussis outbreaks too, I think. Pertussis (whooping cough) is pretty awful from what I understand. Coughing for months, so hard that people have been known to break ribs.

  • BobaFuct

    Admittedly not autism-specific:

    “In their study, the authors compare the occurrence of infections and allergies in vaccinated and unvaccinated children and adolescents. These include bronchitis, eczema, colds, and gastrointestinal infections.

    The evaluation showed that unvaccinated children and adolescents differ from their vaccinated peers merely in terms of the frequency of vaccine preventable diseases. These include pertussis, mumps, or measles. As expected, the risk of contracting these diseases is substantially lower in vaccinated children and adolescents.”

  • Miss_Beara

    Those type of people never seem to care about people like your son and others, children and adults, like him.

  • islandbrewer

    Bullshit. Cite me some evidence that they’ve never had a doctor or a concerned neighbor try to explain why vaccines are good. Hell, from the article, it sounds like they know full well that the majority of the population thinks they’re wrong and why. They live in the US and the Netherlands, have just as fucking much access to information as I do.

    What they’re lacking in is the ability to make rational evidence based decision, despite information showing that they’re wrong. Or in today’s common parlance, they’re idiots.

  • Tom

    You really don’t have any clue how vaccines actually work if you think they put your immune system into a “bubble.” That’s virtually the exact opposite of what they do.

  • islandbrewer

    I know absolutely no one who associates the term idiot with mental illness or disability. Hell, I know more people who associate the term “dumb” with being mute.

  • trj

    When I look at the studies they say that increase amount of thermisol will not increase the autistic rate.

    Well, that’s correct in the sense that there’s never been shown to be a link between autism and thimerosal, no matter the dosage or the number of vaccinations.

    But thimerosal has been phased out of vaccines in most of the Western world over the last couple of decades. Most of our common vaccines no longer contain thimerosal at all.

    Not that this prevents anti-vaxxers from still freaking out over it. Plenty of them complain about how children are being poisoned by thimerosal, despite the fact that it’s not being used in the vaccines they complain about.

  • Michael W Busch

    These cases, the anti-vaxxers have also been repeatedly told by their religious community that vaccines are bad and they have been taught to ignore the evidence even when it is presented to them. That’s a failure of education.

    That does not make them lacking in intelligence. Nor does it mean “they’re idiots”. It means that there is a community of people that is teaching others wrong ideas. As I said, intelligent people can and do believe very wrong things.

    Fortunately, evidence-based critical thinking is a learned skill and people can and do learn it – even when surrounded by a community that discourages it.

  • The Doubter

    BobaFuct – It didn’t take me long to find the evidence. England polio vaccination program started in the 1960 and US in the 1955.

    I know people here don’t really want to see any evidence to say that vaccines may not be doing much and the side effects may be worse than any benefit. You could have overwhelming evidence that vaccines are bad and you are not going to stop thinking that vaccines are good. Does that sound familiar? Now, you are going to say, “That’s not me. I would never do that.” Both side are not that different. We cannot look at evidence without our own bias. In the end, please stop the “since I’m pro-vac, everyone should see the evidence as I see and anyone who isn’t should be forced.” You can’t fix stupid. Both sides are saying the same thing.

    Here is some more evidence your bias can affect the outcome of your decision thinking.

  • Disbelief

    Would they let their brood infect others?

    Yes, yes they would because in their arrogance they probably see no difference between measles and marburg or for that matter probably wouldn’t care if the kid came down with Ebola. Disease is all the same to these people – something that’s strictly up to God and nobody else.

  • Gus Snarp

    If you haven’t seen the evidence, you haven’t looked. Try the CDC or just talk to a doctor instead of Natural News and you might learn something. It’s clear that you’ve chosen sources of information on this that are dishonest and have no intention of giving you accurate information and now you’re parroting them. Your response is likely to believe that the legitimate medical sources are all lying. In fact, you’ve already taken the Big Pharma gambit to the far reaches of conspiracy territory with this comment, which basically implies that the entire medical community is complicit in a plot to inject people with vaccines to intentionally make them sick and profit from this later. If you can’t see that that’s irrational, you’re certainly not interested in any evidence.

    For the record, the side effects of vaccines are rare, and the ones that are actually severe are extremely rare, so rare that causality really can’t be confirmed in most cases.

    And they prevent disease and save lives, but obviously you don’t believe that because you’ve already dredged up the false notion that polio was eliminated in most of the world through cleanliness, which it absolutely was not.

  • islandbrewer

    For future reference, your concern is noted.

  • islandbrewer

    I really want some conch fritters, now.

  • Michael Mock

    Yeah, that’s another good example – can be fatal, especiially to children under 1 year old.

  • Gus Snarp

    Here I thought these cases were perfect evidence that vaccines are really preventing these diseases instead of other factors, so at least it will be one more nail in the anti-vax coffin and here you are spouting the very argument that the story in the OP provides evidence against: a population that has chosen not to vaccinate its children but otherwise lives a fairly modern life in a western industrialized democracy with good nutrition, sanitation, and cleanliness sees a resurgence of the diseases those vaccinations are intended to prevent – that’s evidence that vaccines are preventing the diseases in the rest of the population, not nutrition, sanitation and cleanliness.

  • Jayn

    And the rates of diagnosis are still going up even after it’s been removed. I think the conspiracy du jour is that it’s the number of antigens or something along those lines, but the evidence is pointing towards simply having better awareness and detection–there’s a lot of adults who were missed as children who are only now getting diagnosed.

  • Gus Snarp

    I’m afraid that you don’t understand what constitutes scientific evidence and how enormous the mountain of scientific evidence in favor of the efficacy and safety of vaccines actually is. Your equivalency is false. One side has facts on its side, yours has anecdote, conjecture, demonstrably falsified research, and a misunderstanding of statistics.

  • Richard Wade

    I knew there was one obvious one I was forgetting. Thanks. I am alive today because just last July I was using a seat belt and therefore expressing my lack of trust in God. My trust in Isaac Newton was greatly strengthened that day, because as he warned us, “A body in motion tends to stay in motion.” Since then, I often repeat that like a sacred litany as I drive on the freeway.

  • Gus Snarp

    If Big Pharma wants to keep you sick, vaccinations don’t really help that goal. You only take them once, at a time when you don’t have a long medical history and you never need them again for the rest of your life. When used on a massive scale they lead to the complete eradication of a given disease. There is no profit to it. No repeat business, no lifetime customers. A dead end with marketing.

    Sadly, I don’t think that’s what The Doubter is claiming. I think they’re actually claiming that Big Pharma is intentionally creating vaccines that knowingly make people sick with long term diseases so they can later sell them drugs to treat their symptoms (but of course never to cure them).

    Your view is that the argument is simply incoherent. Mine is that the argument is a paranoid conspiracy fantasy.

  • randomfactor

    CLOTHING is an expression of one’s lack of trust, too.

  • Michael W Busch

    Yes, anti-vaxxers are to blame for a number of (although far from all) recent outbreaks of pertussis (e.g. ).

    And pertussis is particularly bad because the vaccine is only 85% effective (although vaccination makes symptoms less severe in those people who are not completely immune), and because immunity fades after a decade or so.

    All of that makes herd immunity even more essential, and even a relatively small fraction of people not being vaccinated will cause the number of cases to go way up from the small clusters pertussis is limited to in a completely-vaccinated group.

  • Spuddie

    I was running with his line

    “Big Pharma wants you sick because they get paid more.”

    Your view makes more sense. In all fairness his rant was a bit incoherent. I admit mine was not great in that department either. I tend to vent.

  • Michael W Busch

    I would not care to compare the relative nastiness of measles and polio. As Terry quoted, the death rate for measles without adequate nutrition and supportive care is up near 30%. That’s higher than the death rate from polio – but polio often leads to permanent and extensive nerve damage.

    It is enough that both are very bad, and that we know how to kill them.

  • Tom

    A rickroll? Evidently you’re just a troll. Congratulations on deliberately making us think you were an ignorant fool. One thing I’ve always wanted to ask such people: how, exactly, does it benefit you to trick people into thinking you’re an ignorant fool? Is this “winning” somehow? Does it reflect badly on us that we responded to ignorant statements as if they were ignorant statements? How does it benefit you to deliberately destroy your own social and intellectual standing in a group that would otherwise have been perfectly happy to talk to you?

  • Gus Snarp

    I think the conspiracy fantasy is just so wild that your thought process just wouldn’t even process what was being said. I almost didn’t realize it until I was writing about it. It really is hard to believe someone would actually make that argument, so maybe I’m wrong.

  • Henriette Wesselman

    Trust me Holland has it fair share of idiots. In the passed the majority of these zealots emigrated to the USA.

  • Michael W Busch

    There also is some evidence that rates may be increasing somewhat due to people having children later in life. But that is a much smaller effect than more people being evaluated.

  • pagansister

    Our family physician highly recommended the shingles vaccine—both my husband and I had it. I’m old enough to have had measles, however and did as well as mumps, and chickenpox. The polio vaccine was discovered in my early teens and I remember having it on a sugar cube!


    If the god they worship is responsible for the things they say he is then, it seems a poor way to repay the gift of reason. Stupidity, carried out in the name of religion, is still stupidity.

  • allein

    I was born in ’75; little young for the shingles vaccine yet. Polio was always just a history lesson to me. I know I had all the usual vaccines when I was a kid; no shot for chicken pox then. And I had a tetanus, etc. booster a few years ago (tdap? I know there are two different versions of it; I forget which is which).

  • Spuddie

    I think the real answer is they don’t give a flying crap about anyone else. If some heathen dies, they are in a better place.

  • C Peterson

    Only if you consider it to be for protection from the elements. Crazy Christians believe that it was invented to cover up the bits that suddenly assumed naughty status after Eve ate the fruit. How are you ever going to have a rational dialog with people who believe that sort of thing?

  • Hat Stealer

    Copied straight from Merriam-Webster:

    Definition of IDIOT
    usually offensive : a person affected with extreme mental retardation
    : a foolish or stupid person

    In this case, we are using the more common second definition to indicate that we find the actions taken by these individuals to be both foolish and stupid. If you think that people are being offensive when they use the words “idiot” “stupid” “half-wit” or “chucklehead,” then I’m afraid you’re going to be offended quite a bit, and for no good reason in my opinion.

  • Rachel Warner

    So, what happens next when this starts an epidemic outside of their conclaves ?

  • C Peterson

    Copied straight from Merriam-Webster

    Exactly. Personally, I worry a lot more about people who deliberately choose to interpret words in the most offensive possible light (even when they obviously aren’t intended that way) than I do people who might use a word that happens to have an alternate definition that is offensive.

  • Tak

    You know I work with mentally ill and disabled people professionally and I can tell you that I have never met a mentally ill or disabled person who a) would be offended by most of the words I’ve observed you calling ‘ableist slurs’ and b) don’t use those so very offensive words themselves.

    I have to conclude after watching this behavior for some time that you are either the parent or relative of a differently abled child or a slightly mentally … special (running out of euphemisms) adult who is in need of attention. Either way, I am not telling you to shut up.

    I am saying that your whining comes off as misguided and even a bit insulting to the people you claim need protection from mean words.

  • wmdkitty

    At times… yeah… it does. I’m sick of the euphemism treadmill.

    If the word choice changes due to further research and increased understanding, and helps clarify a diagnosis or subset of diagnoses, that’s good.

    If the word choice is designed (and this is done often by those not actually disabled themselves), uh, if a word choice is made just to feel all warm and fuzzy and aren’t-we-so-enlightened-and-sensitive-to-your-needs, and accomplishes nothing beyond giving the Normals warm-fuzzies? Totally a Bad Thing.

    Call me a cripple, a gimp, disabled, handicapped, I’m cool with that.

    Call me “differently-abled”, “special”, or any other warm-fuzzy-inducing euphemism, and prepare to get an earful and an education.

    Deny me access, refuse to make the minimal accommodations? You’re gonna get real intimate with the ADA.

  • Rich Wilson

    conspiracy du jour

    Vaccines are a plot by the world government to kill off poor people. And one of the proofs is that when confronted with this fact, Bill Gates denies it.

  • wombat

    Vaccines aren’t perfect, and some people who have been vaccinated will get sick – do those parents need CPS knocking on their door? It’s pretty rough being under CPS investigation, especially when you did nothing wrong.

  • grindstone

    Measles can leave behind some nastiness, too. Ask my grandmother, but speak loudly…..she’s deaf. Yeah, measles.

  • Rich Wilson

    What they are lacking in is accurate education.

    Usually not even that. I think it’s several things, including a desire to separate oneself from the majority. It’s confirmation bias, but I think it’s driven by the idea that the majority is less likely to be right, and the minority more likely to be right.

    Of course something isn’t true based on how many people believe it. But our confidence in some should increase based on how many knowledgeable people hold the same view.

    For some people, the expert consensus to confidence correlation is inverse.

  • Rich Wilson

    You realize that you’re going to effect change by presenting a good argument, not by making demands.

    I agree with you in that claiming that someone who does not agree with you is evil, stupid, or just doesn’t understand is almost always faulty and counter productive.

    But you haven’t sold me on ‘idiot’ being an ableist slur, just a usually incorrect one.

  • Michael Mock


  • Michael Mock

    Good point. I think of polio as being worse, but that’s a matter of immediacy rather than studied analysis: my mother can’t move her legs, and gets around on crutches and braces (and, increasingly, in an electric wheelchair – getting older is *not* helping). Because of polio.

  • Wynne Sin

    The ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.
    They aren’t applying it. Its a lack of intelligence being used there.
    Lacking intelligence.
    (1)A stupid person. (2)(assuming this is what you’re angry about) a mentally handicapped person.
    How about giving us a synonym instead of getting your knickers in a twist, or just.. Jee I dunno assume that not everyone wants to comply to the feelings of others. You can put whatever name on it you want but its still the same outcome: The people you’re talking to right now don’t care or find it offensive.

  • Matt D

    It’s not a “ableist slur” unless the anti-vaxxers are recognized as mentally retarded, and the definition of “idiot” is still appropiate in this case, since it’s used informally.

  • dc1811

    You could try telling the deluded that their god meant there to be vaccinations..that it’s ‘his gift’. Hey…it worked on Family Guy. Personally..I’d prosecute the parents for allowing a disease to spread. Send ‘em to prison

  • Dr. Heath Motley

    Vaccines cause Chromosome Changes
    Leading to Mutations, Leukemias and
    Lymphomas, Auto-immunity, Diabetes, Nervous System Changes, Autism,
    Demyelination, Seizures, Convulsions, Epilepsy, Brain Swelling, Unexplained Diseases, Another Vaccinal Disease like Paralytic Poliomyelitis, tentanus, smallpox, etc. Following Inoculation, Death of course, metabolic problems, deafness, kidney disorders, skin disorders,abcesses, shock, and more. Have the studies to prove it.

  • Dr. Heath Motley

    Also see:

    Highly contaminated vaccines

    MMR Vaccine Contaminated

    Cancer linked to monkey viruses in vaccines

    You’ll soon realize that there not safe and the manufactures can’t make them
    safe and don’t bother to try.


    Dr. Heath Motley

  • stu777

    Attack on Christianity continues, expect nothing different from a site named friendly atheist. Vaccines are poison, part of the New World Order plan to depopulation and keep us sick. God in all his wisdom, knows far better.

  • Angela Bell

    There would be a record though, of said vaccination…so, no legitimate worries there…

  • jackie

    I don’t vax. I aint religious. Im just not a sheep injecting my child or myself with toxins. Ps. Are you all up to date on your adult vaccines?

  • noone special

    its child abuse to not vaccinate god created antibodys for us so we could conquer over these horrid deseases

  • whocares

    Most people that don’t vaccinate their reason has zero to do with autism lol if any of you actually listened. Ignorant sheep people

  • mvpel

    one day a man was in his boat sailing in the ocean when all of the sudden the wind tipped him over and the boat sank.

    a big boat passed by and asked the man ” do you need any help?” and the man said ” no thank you, God will save me” and the sailor went on his way.

    another big boat came by and asked the man the same thing, the man replied ” no thank you, god will save me”

    later that day the man had become to exhausted and finally drowned.

    he arrived in heaven and said to god. ” God! why didn’t you save me?!”

    God Replied…

    “I sent you two big boats you dummy!”

  • mvpel

    Even Moses had to raise his staff and extend his hand before God parted the sea for him. Did that mean he didn’t trust God?

  • TCC

    This is pretty much a textbook example of an argument from ignorance. “We don’t know what the relationship is between genetics and brain development, so you can’t say that beliefs aren’t genetic.” That’s a fundamental burden of proof error. If you think that certain beliefs are inherently emergent properties of the brain such that they can be heritable, the onus is on you to demonstrate that.

  • GaryLayng

    it is time to tell them, “Enough already!” This is NOT a case of religious freedom – they’re affecting me and my loved ones very directly, and their right to not vaccinate ends with my loved ones’ right to not be infected by homicidal maniacs who deliberately leave themselves and their luckless children not immune.

    Force the issue. If they believe that voluntary immunization is testing their invisible ceiling cat’s sense of mercy, then make it mandatory, so it falls under the heading of “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”.

  • rblevy

    For those who trust in their god so much, do they cross the street without watching out for traffic? In a way I hope that they do so that these cretins will be removed from the gene pool.

  • Damien Skye Knight

    pastor told us that one except it was a man in a flood and he denied both a fireman in a boat and a helicopter when he was trapped on a roof.

  • wmdkitty

    Religious freedom is fine and dandy right up until it’s putting other people in danger. While I’m lucky enough to be able to get the vaccinations, and thus protect myself, a lot of people aren’t so lucky. A lot of people are immune compromised (AIDS, cancer patients), a lot of people have allergies to the ingredients (mainly eggs), and some people (elderly and infants) who, due to their age/condition, can’t be vaxxed.

    It’s my responsibility to vaccinate to protect them.

  • squall3d

    Can this be considered a form of natural selection as well?

  • Nelson

    Let natural selection deal with them. There’s way too many people on this planet..

  • Sander Brandriet

    I live in the Dutch bible-belt, and I have been asking the same question for most of my life. I was raised a christian, but my parents never gave in to this bullsh*t, much to the dismay of our fellow christian community. I am now an atheist my parents are not, but they are supportive. I can only appreciate their open-mindedness and be thankful at least a few christians have common sense.

    When religion becomes a threat like this we should deal with it accordingly, allthough I have no idea if it would be viable to impose mandatory vaccination. It would make for an interesting debate to see if religion is allowed to put people at risk of dying, if yes, nothing has changed that much since the dark-ages.

  • Sieben Stern

    this is funny cause i saw a rabbi catch a little girl as she was running out into the street. Apparently god doesn’t help with cars. Must be the iron chariot wheels.

  • Sieben Stern

    You actually have to get some adult vaccines when you live in a dorm, so, yeah, I am.

    Ps. Enjoy the smallpox.

  • Sieben Stern

    Yes… yes… *stroking hair* god will protect you… shhshhh shhhhh…. it’s the vaccines that will kill you, not the diseases… go ahead and not vaccinate children of the religious… maybe they won’t make it to reproducing age and their religions will die off with them.

    Stu, you deserve a darwin award.

  • Feminerd

    They won’t get smallpox, that’s been eradicated. We don’t vaccinate anyone for it anymore.

    The measles, pertussis, and diphtheria, on the other hand … those are no joke and they are still with us.

  • Lady Saera

    This is just plain crazy, cruel, and dangerous, and also abuse to the minors at the very least, terrible thinking going on here, harkening back to the superstitious dark ages. There really should be a point where laws intervene. This is truly ignorant.

  • Tsaett

    I’m curious Hement. Did the ‘Firma’ family really name their son ‘Terry?’ I’d like this post to be taken seriously but I’m afraid to link to it for fear that it will be dismissed because it was penned by someone who for some reason needs to remain anonymous.

  • Hemant Mehta

    It’s a pseudonym :)

  • Sciolist

    “Victims of religion.”

  • Kelley Christian

    God created man with a brain to use to love and help their fellow man. Preventing epidemics is not ungodly. Don’t think that every Christian is like those who refuse to get vaccinations based on a handful of people.

  • wildnette

    But why does god allow innocent children and animals to be harmed?? Please answer.Sexual and physical abuse is rampant, but by god, vaccinate your kids with mercury, weird viruses and other assorted chemicals.

  • Icebiker3

    Unfortrunately, Public Health no longer exists. It has been starved out of existance since 1982 and Reagan.

  • Icebiker3

    Fundamentalist Fruitcakes have been a problem ever since the invention of religion. Their power waxes and wanes, and with any luck humanity comes out of the end better than before. Somehow, the same people keep coming back and doing the same stupid crap over and over.

  • nadd

    This is BS look up the National vaccination information center! I am not a Christian and do not feel vaccinations are safe nor are they effective in ending this kind of disease. what they are good at is lining the pockets of the Big Drug Biz and Pharma Biz! These illnesses eventually run their course on out naturally.

  • Tsaett

    Yeah, I got that. S/he’s a scared little wimp.

  • Rich Wilson

    Ah Scott, name calling. The last bastion of those with nothing better to say.

  • JohnnieCanuck

    There is at least one blog where you will be threatened with banning if you tell that for something like the thousandth time. It was about the time three different people repeated it in the same long chain of comments.

    Tends to happen every time there’s a flood or earthquake or something and some clown has been quoted in the media as thanking God for sparing them and their pet while destroying everyone and everything else in the vicinity.

  • Kevin Worldsavior

    In any case the war against cancers and infectious diseases on Earth can be considered won. Because any cancers and infectious diseases on our planet can be wiped out immediately (everybody being his/her own Jesus) just by doing an exercise (incredible as it may seem) – the Immunizer – the greatest discovery in more than 300,000 years of humankind on the planet – the only and most natural way on Earth to cancers- and infectious diseases-proof our bodies. The discovery is the weapon of unlimited power to fight and destroy any cancers, bacteria, germs and viruses, known or unknown on Earth and to prevent or cure diabetes. The weapon is by far more powerful than the immune system itself, keeps it intact, while vaccines devastate it by adverse side effects. If humans on Earth start doing the immunizer, everybody will become and stay as healthy as God in 10 days, regardless of age, environmental and occupational exposure and lifestyle (like smoking, diet, sex life, stress, sexual orientation, obesity, etc.). That is just a simple exercise for a minute a day for kids and adults as the full prevention of any diseases – from the common cold to cancer. If done for 3 – 4 minutes a day, the immunizer will guarantee a very fast recovery from any viral and other infections and any forms of cancer. Guaranteeing everybody the Iron Constitution, the immunizer guarantees a much longer life, for it reverses aging to a great extent, once your body does not have to fight cancers, bacteria, germs and viruses. No killer viruses, bacteria, germs and cancers on Earth got any chance against the tremendous power of the immunizer – they just die the moment they touch you.

    The price to disclose the Immunizer to the whole world is 2,25 Trillion US Dollars, or BP, but can be negotiated with the appropriate political, financial and medicare institutions worldwide.

  • wmdkitty

    I want what he’s smoking…