Using the threat of cancer to promote chastity is not ‘pro-life’

Using the threat of cancer to promote chastity is not ‘pro-life’ October 29, 2012

A lot of Christians were upset about and opposed to the HPV vaccine because they were sure that protecting young girls from one day getting the cancer-causing virus would make them slutty.

They were wrong. “American girls who receive the CDC-recommended HPV vaccination at age 11 and 12 aren’t any more likely to turn up pregnant, STD-infected, or on birth control pills three years later.”

So now those folks will have to come up with some other ethical guidance for their daughters other than “OMG! Abstain until you’re 30 or you’ll get human pappilomavirus and die!”

Maybe, just maybe, fear of disease isn’t the optimal core of good character or the optimal basis for good behavior.

And maybe, just maybe, preventing cancer might be more “pro-life” than scoring cheap tribal political points by anti-science fear-mongering over anything and everything having to do with ladyparts.

* * * * * * * * *

Pat Boone records a birther attack on Obama.

Apparently this is not his first such foray into birtherism. I knew Boone was conservative, I didn’t realize that he has quite a history of loopy, racist WorldNetDaily-type stuff.

The racism doesn’t harm Pat Boone’s status as a beloved “evangelical Christian” celebrity. He’s anti-abortion and anti-gay and isn’t accused of adultery, so he’s OK with the tribe. No matter how enthusiastically Boone disgraces himself, he remains in the good graces of evangelicalism.

That tribe still doesn’t seem to realize that no one will ever begin to trust it’s moral judgment on adultery, sexuality or reproductive health until it begins to display better moral judgment on racial justice.

* * * * * * * * *

Speaking of pop stars and religion, it’s been 20 years since Sinead O’Connor was wrongly condemned and mocked for tearing up a picture of Jerry Sandusky on Saturday Night Live.

Many people were appalled and O’Connor’s career in America never recovered.

Sandusky was a respected official, after all, and she had a lot of nerve criticizing him and suggesting that there was something rotten at the core of the revered institution he represented.

Kris Kristofferson was almost alone in getting it right. (Bob Dylan got it wrong. And he still hasn’t apologized for that. He needs too.)

Related: Former Sen. George McGovern died this month. He’s famous for opposing the Vietnam War and getting trounced by Richard Nixon.

(The common thread there is that you can be forgiven for almost anything except for being right about something very important years before everyone else comes around.)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • I like this analogy, and would like to help you build on it. Encouraging people to wait until they’re married to have sex is like encouraging them to wait until they’re a carpenter or woodworker to learn how to use a lathe.

  • Coldbeer4thesoul

    Maybe under the next administration, but a retirement plan manager who invests the funds of his retired clients in high-risk funds without notifying his clients is morally wrong is legally liable  even if the risk actually pays off.

  • aunursa

    Your problem is that Sinead did it wrong.

    What I said. My problem is where she did it.

    I see you edited out the part about NBC being embarrassed by Sinead’s suffering. Good call.

    I don’t understand your point.  My point about NBC being embarassed remains on my 1:09 PM post (2nd post on the thread).

  • aunursa

    My issue with that standard is that it would rule out musical guests performing songs that were politically or socially controversial.

    How would that standard rule out guests performing controversial songs?  Doesn’t a host have the right to know if a controversial song will be performed?  If the host approves, then no problem.

  • delurker

    Ironic that aunursa is concerned about someone shitting in their host’s house.

  • Abby Normal

    No one’s really mentioned the big reason behind opposition to the HPV vaccine–it’s the whole “The gubbmint can’t tell me what to do!” thing.

    The same thing happened a couple years back during the swine flu when the CDC was recommending  an additional vaccine.  I don’t know about anyone else, but my facebook wall was flooded with posts about everything from “Obama’s using the shots to plant chips in your brain” to “the government is doing it to get kickbacks from drug companies.”  I had to unfriend a lot of people that year.

    There’s a big overlap between extreme right-wing evangelicals and Tea-Party whackjobs, which is why you’ll see a lot of right-wing evangelicals that are into vaccine denial and raw milk consumption and stuff like that.  Making them vaccinate their kids is seen as government intrusion, just like food and environmental regulations.

  • reynard61

    “While I agree, my point was about confronting them: ‘Why are you saying that girls should keep themselves pure but boys shouldn’t have to do the same? Why the double standard?’ I know a journalist who sometimes used a technique of posing a question that might sound uninformed, in a way designed to draw an explanation out of a source that wouldn’t be obvious otherwise.”

    Gotcha. My guess is that, assuming that they were willing to give an honest answer — and make themselves look like misogynistic @$$holes in the process — they would probably say: “Boys will be boys and girls should be punished for it. Life sucks. Boo-hoo. Next question.”

  • Carstonio

    You said that it was inappropriate for O’Connor to use SNL as a vehicle to express her personal views without approval from the producers. “Personal views” are very broad and that such a standard would result in SNL disallowing a whole host of songs by many performers. Many, many songwriters talk about their personal views in their songs.

  • WalterC

     Even right-wing evangelical officials got hit with that. During Texas governor Rick Perry’s last presidential campaign, he was attacked by his rivals for the horrible crime of requiring girls to get the HPV vaccine.

    People like Bachmann did not go after him for all those innocent people he executed, his homophobia, his misogyny, and his staggering incompetence. Instead, they went after one of the only decent things Perry has ever done with his office — trying to stop little girls from getting cervical cancer.

  • WalterC

    Don’t television producers typically know what’s going to happen on their shows before it actually happens? Is it really common for acts and performances to be a total surprise even to the people in charge of running them?

  • Yeah. I mean, look at shows like ‘ellen’. Sure, they may have her ‘surprising’ her guests, but it really seems to me like they would have to set all that stuff up beforehand to avoid untoward incidents.

  • Joshua

    Why are you trying to fight what you perceive to be NBC’s battles for it? Surely NBC dealt with the situation to its own satisfaction at the time.

    Why do you perceive it to be your business? Let them fight their own battles, if they want to.

    If they invite a fiery protest singer on their show, what the hell did they expect her to do?

  • Carstonio

    Probably, but my scenario assumes that they wouldn’t willingly give an honest answer, and would only reveal something of their true mindset through a good cross-examination.

  • Joshua

    Well, at least you are expressing an opinion of some sort, instead of ranting about irrelevant polls, so that’s something.

  • Münchner Kindl

    Don’t television producers typically know what’s going to happen  on
    their shows before it actually happens? Is it really common for acts and 
    performances to be a total surprise even to the people in charge of
    running  them?

    Depends, I’d guess. Big shows will have one one or several rehearsals, to get the times and the changes and so on right. There was mention that during rehearsal, Sinnead used a different picture.
    Also shows are often taped and then broadcast.

    But beyond that, it seems to be an US practise to record everything and send it with a few minutes delay to bleep out offensive words or similar. (When I discussed the belgian comic XIII treize that takes place in the US, at one point Treize kidnaps the US president and puts him on trial in an abandoned bunker, broadcasting via Television. The US board visitors said that this was impossible, no US TV station would broadcast without delay to avoid getting sued. This was strange for me, because over here TV stations would jump onto a chance like this and of course broadcast important things live. But then we don’t have a censorship like the FCC).

  • Carstonio

    The delay with live broadcasts is actually a few seconds, and Richard Pryor’s appearance on an early SNL broadcast was one of the first instances of its use. The real censors are not the FCC but the broadcasters themselves – their folks often claim to have no issue themselves with certain content but insist that they’re protecting the sensibilities of viewers. It’s like they imagine the typical viewers as their reactionary grandparents. The FCC has historically paid too much attention to small but very active groups of self-appointed censors who continually monitor specific programs, treating the “Thanks CBS for making my son gay” father as a typical viewer.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     An exclusive of the kidnapped PRESIDENT?  I’m pretty sure most American TV stations would play that even if there was goat porn being projected in the background.

  • Theo Axner

    I wasn’t aware that Bob Dylan made any comment at all on the Sinead O’ Connor controversy. There was her appearance at his tribute concert that year, when she was booed (and cheered) out of doing the intended song, but IIRC Bob hadn’t even arrived at that point. Did I miss something?