What About Behavioral and Spiritual Arguments Against Vaccines?

What About Behavioral and Spiritual Arguments Against Vaccines? September 4, 2014


PIC vaccine

As we can see from Tuesday’s post and the response to it, it’s not necessarily clear what we mean when we say “science” or “medicine.” So let’s put science and medicine aside entirely for a moment, and let’s focus on two arguments against vaccines that I keep hearing — arguments which don’t appeal to science at all, but which are spiritual and behavioral.

Read the rest at the Register.   Note: any snark, condescension, lack of charity, arrogance, self-pity, logical fallacies or otherwise insufferable behavior in this post is unintentional. If you think I’ve missed the mark, please pray for me and respond with as much kindness as you can, because I really am trying here.

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  • I’ve never before heard of the first objection to vaccines that you discuss. My first thought was to wonder if those who put forth that argument have any children who are medically fragile or have compromised immune systems. And couldn’t that argument apply to pretty much any medical intervention? No insulin, because it means you don’t trust the God-created pancreas to work? No pace maker, because it means you don’t trust the heart to regulate itself?

    The second argument, specifically against the HPV vaccine, I have heard, and I think you did a great job of explaining why it might be a good thing.

    • Rebecca Fuentes

      I’ve seen the argument–I’ve even seen it applied to eyeglasses (if you start wearing them, your eye get worse and worse. Don’t wear them and your eyes will naturally strengthen themselves. Uh, no. I’ve seen it applied to wearing bras too–I can’t write about that without wanting to kick someone, or cry,or laugh.) Like Simcha says, there’s this thing called The Fall . . .

      I spent a lot of time and too much energy researching and worrying over vaccines, whether to feed my kids grains, Etc., last year. I’m glad I’m out of it.

      • $1028912

        Wearing BRAS?!?! I would understand that if there were muscles supporting them, but there is nothing there to develop. Gravity will take its toll over time whether you choose to support them or not.
        (Also, I can proclaim that their strategy simply does not work. I just walked the dog without wearing one, and I had to take care not to trip on them.)

        • Rebecca Fuentes

          Oh, it made the rounds last year. A poorly designed study with no parameters claimed that wearing bras increased sagging. Then looking at correlative data proved that wearing them caused breast cancer. I call bull-pucky on both. I’ve been reading national geographic for a long time, and those topless African women were not all plucky and perky, and the areas of the world that don’t wear bras also probably don’t have a slew of environmental factors that might contribute to breast cancer. I’m a fluffy girl and have breast fed four children. I keep these girls locked and loaded for comfort and fashion.
          (I am so glad I was not drinking anything when I read your final sentence. LOL)

          • $1028912
          • Eileen

            I think it’s older than that. My grandma was born in 1909 and she believed bras hindered breast muscles AND possibly caused cancer. She hated bras and called them harnesses. Refused to wear one and her breasts literally sagged down to her belly button.

      • One of the benefits to my lackadaisical approach to parenting is that I don’t have to worry about the latest parenting trends. 🙂

  • oregon nurse

    The big difference between HPV and all other vaccines is that all the others are for
    diseases one catches unintentionally. Most cases of HPV are contracted via intentional sexual acts. Not to say 100%, but let’s face it, states haven’t mandated it for the benefit of the few who get it from unintentional behavior.

    • $1028912

      It’s likely, though, that MOST people will have sex — some people wait for marriage, but then most of them will participate in intentional sex acts.
      I was on the fence about whether to get it for my daughter when it first came out, and my devout Catholic friends told me, “If you raise her right. she won’t need it.” So I told them about a relative of mine who developed HPV-related anal cancer after her husband cheated on her. I’m raising my daughter, but alas, I am not raising her future sexual partner(s).

      • IRVCath

        Not to mention that things like rape are unfortunately with us. It’s as if they seem to think that if they do all the right things, nothing bad will happen. It’s a disease I see most prevalently among Americans – a Calvinist legacy? Certainly even conservative Catholics aren’t immune from assimilation?

  • Anna

    Can I just say how much the Register comments make me want to bang my head against a wall due to people’s total lack of reading comprehension? You went out of your way to say you aren’t saying anything one way or the other about the HPV vaccine as such – and here are all sorts of people addressing an argument you didn’t make (“but there are potential side effects!”) or, just as bad, going on about how you’ve convinced them that their kids should definitely get that vaccine. And plenty of comments that, despite the “this isn’t the post about side effects, effectiveness, or science behind vaccines” disclaimer, keep banging on about just that.
    I know one argument for using science and medicine and eyeglasses and such is that God gave us an intellect which he presumably wants us to use – but then I read those comboxes and I think “Well, maybe they don’t get that argument since intellect doesn’t appear to be in their particular tool box.”

  • herewegokids

    I don’t think there *are* any valid non- medical arguments against vaccination. But i do see a good bit of science and medical reasons to question their efficacy and safety.