Counter-Counterpoint on Vaccines
Yesterday Andre Schutten from ARPA posted Counterpoint: On Vaccines, State Power and Christian Living in response to his colleague’s article. He challenges the statement, “But this is fundamentally a discussion for parents, families, friends, and churches – not the legal system.” His argument is that the legal system, or the state, does have the right to step in and force vaccinations in the case of serious and deadly disease and ensure that the public is safe.
His closing statement is, “In our eagerness to make sure the State does not overstep its bounds by interfering with parental authority, we must be cautious that we not throw the baby out with the bath water. God instituted the State. It has a role, though not an absolute one. But the authority of parents is not absolute either. With a controversial issue like vaccinations, let’s take the time to dig deeper, and appreciate the nuances of the positions we take.”
The government does not have the right to force us to take vaccinations. The government should avail to us, whatever remedies and preventative medicines are available, including vaccinations, and we should inform ourselves as to the pros and cons of those medicines. I agree with Mr Schutten’s statement that we should not “throw the baby out with the bathwater, ” with regards to vaccinations, but the government should never have the right to infringe on our liberty and force us to get in the tub with the baby and wallow in dirty bathwater.
On another note, someone messaged me to say that they found it sad that I would post my thoughts on the vaccine topic without doing a thorough investigation first because I am influential. Influential? Me? I hope not. I am not a scientist. I am not a pastor. I am a blogger. I am a father who wants to make informed choices for my children. I am a Christian who wants to glorify God, but fails miserably most of the time. I appreciate the rebuke however. I did not fully research the topic. I admit that. When I was contacted by media, I was asked for my views from a religious perspective, so that is what I gave. For the most part I have really appreciated the Christian tone of this debate, although some of us get heated.
So, if I have any influence at all, with regard to this vaccine topic please let it be this – regardless of which side you are on, do not accept blindly everything you read online or on Facebook or in my blog… In fact, I would say get off line and do some real study… or at least get off Google and get into real databases with hard evidence and facts. Scrutinize everything. Even so-called “unbiased” books by medical doctors. Unfortunately, all books have a bias. All doctors have a bias. I have a bias – scrutinize me! Check their citations and references, investigate, inform yourself and pray for wisdom.
And please avoid emotional arguments. I know how real it is when something affects us personally, but we need to look at facts not emotion. I do believe you when you say that you have a family member who was affected by something. But we need to avoid arguments like this:
Airbags have killed 100 people. In fact I know of three people who have been killed by airbags and 1 who is paralysed by them. Airbags are bad.
Airbags save lives. The government wouldn’t make all cars have airbags if they didn’t work. My grandpa would have died if there was no airbag in the car when he fell asleep and hit that wall. The government should make airbags mandatory.
How many logical fallacies are committed because of our emotions getting in the way? If you show me a stat,or a “fact,” I will question it, contextualize it, dismantle and reconstruct it. I apologize. I will look at all the variables – ask my wife, she can’t stand that about me! I will go to scripture and see what that says. I will seek answers. I hope you do the same to me, don’t just take what I say as fact.
If you read my blog, and I appreciate that you do, please please, don’t blindly take what I say as truth. I make mistakes and so do you. We are all sinful, selfish people who all want to be correct...that is our pride.
I reiterate the statement that Mr. Schutten was arguing against, Vaccination is fundamentally a discussion for parents, families, friends, and churches – not the legal system. And I hope and pray that we can discuss this in a Christian manner, and sharpen each other as iron sharpen’s iron.