Monday, January 12, 2015

Dear Pro-Vaccine Mormons,

I’m getting tired of the vaccination debate/(massacre) that is virally circulating on Facebook due to the Disney Measles outbreak. I have literally seen death threats to parents who don’t vaccinate. First off, the majority of people I know who don’t vaccinate do not choose this because they are lazy, don’t care about their children, are reckless, uninformed, or paranoid. The majority of non-vaccinating members I know either have a child who has legitimately had a vaccine injury (something the government would compensate them for) or they were prompted by the spirit—strongly—not to get their child’s next round of shots. Seriously. Nothing conspiratorial. Pre-google search.
Having said that, if you are LDS and believe in any of the following (freedom, personal revelation, and mother’s intuition) you need to stop condemning these parents. I’m directing this to Mormons because these are the people making the comments on my feed and I see extreme hypocrisy in their message.
If you believe in freedom, you must know that a consequence of freedom is that we all have it. Not just those who you agree with. Advocating for the government to force parents to vaccinate is beyond scary. And exactly when did you start trusting the government? When it has nothing to do with guns, religion, marriage, birth control, taxes...
If you believe in personal revelation, you should completely understand that a parent could be prompted not to do something that seems normal to everyone else. How many stop-light-near-death-what-if-I-had-gone-when-the-light-turned-green experiences have you heard in your lifetime? But somehow, when a parent gets a bad feeling about shots, they are crazy.
If you believe in Mother’s intuition (or Father’s), then don’t pretend to know what is best for that person’s child... even if it potentially puts your child at risk. I don’t walk around church demanding that goldfish crackers be banned just because they could kill my kid. That’s “preventable” too and much more likely than your child dying of whooping cough.
You can’t pick and choose your convictions based on what helps you sleep at night. Either you believe in rights and revelation or you don’t. This is not a question of science. Although, even that is rife with hypocrisy on this issue in Mormon culture: “Beware of the evolution talk in science class kids but don’t ask questions about what is being injected into your veins!” Not to mention how many lawyers would be out of business if not for pharmaceutical recalls. But yes, shots are safe, for everyone, all the time, no matter what... uh, forever! Also, abortion is murder but any medical advancement procured from that child’s cells is fair game. K, cool.
Now, I realize that you all think I’m anti-vaccine (and anti-science) by this point! I’m actually not. I am absolutely not telling you to avoid vaccination. Or science class. I’m glad that those of you who vaccinate continue to do so and have not had an experience that has led you to your knees on this subject. Or maybe you have prayed about it and you received the go ahead for your kids. Great! Trust me. It’s an easier path. (You probably get treated like a human being at the doctor’s office... that must be nice.) I also know some of you will think I just don’t appreciate the devastation of some of these diseases. I don’t need to defend myself here but I have watched my child nearly die more times than any parent ever should. I get it.
No parent takes this decision lightly. No parent simply follows a celebrity trend when it comes to their kids’ lives. In all likelihood this was the hardest decision this parent has ever made. They probably spent many, many sleepless nights pleading for answers. But yes, let’s make sure these parents understand how selfish they are why don’t we?

Please think before you post.

(Oh and nobody’s lives are changed in the comments’ section. Please don’t pick a fight.)

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