In a painful display of arrogance and ignorance, Republican presidential hopeful Rand Paul claims parents “own” their children, and vaccines cause “profound mental disorders.”
Speaking with CNBC anchor Kelly Evans on Monday, Paul suggested that vaccines should be voluntary, claiming that mandated immunization is an example of government overreach.
In an attempt to defend his position on vaccines, Paul cited alleged cases in which vaccines lead to “profound mental disorders.”
“I have heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines.”
Yet despite his claim that vaccines can lead to “profound mental disorders,” Paul went on to offer a half-hearted endorsement of vaccines, saying:
“I’m not arguing vaccines are a bad idea. I think they’re a good thing. But I think the parent should have some input.”
Paul then went on to make another deeply disturbing claim, expressing a common sentiment among conservatives, especially Christian conservatives:
“The state doesn’t own the children. Parents own the children.”
For the record, nobody “owns” children. Children are people, not property.
More to the point, children should not be made victims of their parents anti-science, anti-vaccine, paranoia.
Yet the attitude expressed by Paul and so many others, the attitude that children must be subjected to the irrational and dangerous whims of their parents, is all too common in contemporary culture.
The anti-vaccine movement, which attracts the ignorant and gullible from both sides of the political spectrum, is but one example where children are victimized by parents.
In an interview with NBC News that aired Monday, President Obama said the science behind vaccines is “pretty indisputable” and that “there is every reason to get vaccinated, but there aren’t reasons to not.”
In the face of a growing measles outbreak President Obama is doing the right thing, urging parents to heed modern science and vaccinate their children.
What do you think? Should parents continue to have the right to refuse to vaccinate their children, despite the obvious risks and dangers? Leave a comment, express yourself.