You may be asking yourself, "What in the world has the 'vaccine gamble' got to do with apologetics?". Well, probably not a whole lot when it comes to salvation, redemption, forgiveness, Church hierarchy, or any of the many other more common topics. However, in the arena of Christian morality, it has become a hot-button issue. The Church has been clear in stating that parents must make an informed decision about whether to vaccinate children and that the well-being of others must be taken into account. Those statements have been interpreted in numerous ways which have led to heated debates on the subject. Erin Fielding, an Administrator at The Vaccine Gamble Facebook Page, has done a great job in presenting a Q&A which gives an introductory look into both sides, and has graciously given permission for me to reproduce it here.
Q: So you're an anti-vaxxer now?
Q: Don't you worry about your child getting sick from vaccine preventable diseases?
A: No, not really. I actually have less fear of many of those illnesses now that I've done my research.
Q: But what about polio?
A: Polio is asymptomatic in over 90% of cases. When symptoms do present, they're usually mild and flu-like.
Q: But we don't see iron lungs anymore because of vaccines.
A: We don't see iron lungs anymore for the same reason we don't see computers that are large enough to take up an entire room. Technology has come a long way.
Q: But even if the chances of getting something serious are small, don't you want to protect your child with vaccines just in case?
A: I do want to protect my child, and that is one reason I say no to vaccines. Because in my cost-benefit analysis, the chances of my child being harmed from vaccines is greater than the chances of my child being harmed from one of those illnesses.
Q: But it's not just about your child. It is your responsibility to vaccinate your child to protect immune compromised people through herd immunity.
A: First and foremost, my responsibility is to my child. I will not set my child on fire to keep someone else warm. What parent would knowingly risk their child's life for the sake of the herd? Would you? My child is not a human shield. Secondly, herd immunity is a myth. We do not have vaccine induced herd immunity and never have.
Q: But don't you think vaccines are a victim of their own success? They eradicated polio and other diseases, so you probably haven't seen them thanks to vaccines.
A: Correlation does not equal causation. The history of vaccines is more complex than that, and I no longer believe that vaccines can take the credit for eradicating any diseases. We have never had widespread vaccination for scarlet fever or typhoid, yet, they are no longer a threat. Amazing what sanitation can do. Polio has also not been eradicated. I may not have lived through the "polio" era, but I am living in a time with a different kind of epidemic. My child's generation is the first to have a life expectancy that is less than that of their parents. People are sicker than ever with autoimmune diseases, deadly allergies, neurological problems, and cancer. We can not cling to a controversial problem of the past to make crucial decisions for today. We have to do something about the problems we are currently faced with, and giving more vaccines is not an acceptable solution.
Q: Do the ingredients in vaccines concern you?
Q: You know there's formaldehyde in pears, right? And mercury in tuna?
A: When's the last time you puréed a pear and some tuna, then injected it intramuscularly? You know we have a digestive system for a reason, right? And the mucosal tissue is one of the most important components of the human immune system. I don't think bypassing those functions is without consequence. Ingestion and injection are not the same thing. It's the same reason you can drink snake venom, but being bitten in the leg with the same venom can kill you.
Q: But the science is settled and doctors and scientists agree that vaccines are necessary.
A: Science is never settled. As history has shown, science can be dangerously wrong. It can also be heavily influenced by financial interests. And doctors and scientists do not all agree about vaccines. There are many doctors, nurses, immunologists, and researchers who are aware of the shortcomings of vaccines. And if we want to really discuss vaccine science, we need to demand that there be more of it, because vaccine science is severely lacking. It is the tobacco science of our time. The current vaccine schedule (which has more than tripled since vaccine manufacturers became protected from liability) has never been tested for safety. There hasn't been a randomized double blind placebo controlled study comparing the outcomes of the vaccinated vs. unvaccinated. Vaccines are the epitome of quackery.
Thank you, Erin Fielding.