31 August 2008

I Am A Hypocrite.

I just thought I'd get that out of the way right now. Often on more secular blogs, I'll see some pretty self-righteous atheist point to the likes of Larry Craig and go, "See? The ones that squawk the loudest about God and righteousness are just the ones that are the most hypocritical."

And you know, they're right.

I think knowing how righteous God is and how holy and perfect He is would make us look more and more grimy as we try to clean up our own act. Sure, there are some playacting Christians out there, but as Jesus said about the Pharisees, "They have their reward." Most of the time, though, the Christians I know try to please God. We just wind up failing pretty often, even though we have the Holy Spirit. See, we have bodies of flesh as well.

And you know, people like me enjoy being rational creatures. Several other blogs have turned the discussion to immunizations and the collective health. I think it's interesting that people are so SURE that immunizations reduce the risk of contracting certain diseases. In fact, the only way to know would be to expose the immunized people to the disease itself and then see how they fare. Without a lot of disease "out there," you just never know. Bonus for vaccine companies. I was immunized against the measles and still contracted it. How do I know my polio vaccine works?

I DON'T.

Sorry. I'm not telling everyone to quit vaccinating and I'm not even saying that I'm against vaccination per se. More that, what seems missing from any discussion is the obvious "sick people make other people sick." It isn't "unvaccinated children make other people sick." That's kind of a jump because the unvaccinated child has to be exposed to the germ AND get sick from it first.

I don't follow this "herd immunity" argument so well that's supposed to be so scientific. Please show me that it's true that X shot prevents mumps 95 % of the time by exposing 1000 immunized people to 5 billion mumps germs overnight and watching for the next month to see that only 50 get sick. Otherwise, where's the science? You can't just go by documented cases in a hospital and extrapolate the general population's health based on who shows up at the ER door. Sorry. Not everyone goes to the hospital even if they're very sick. And why is it that when I tell my story about contracting the measles, that I'm brushed off as an "unusual case," but when an UNVACCINATED couple of kids get the measles, it's front page news? Unfair. Both cases, strictly speaking, are "unusual."

At least right now. See, we've opted out of the MMR vaccine because the "rubella" part was developed with aborted fetal cells. But if a huge mumps outbreak happens and an estimated (see? estimated) 10 percent of the local population comes down with it, watch us be hypocrites and try to get our kids vaccinated anyway. Told you I was a hypocrite.

Well, more that I figure there is a time when standing up for something isn't worth it. I hear the stories of the mad gunman going round and asking people, "Are you a Christian?" and the people who say "yes" being killed. I have six children. Is that moment of acknowledging Jesus to an obviously deranged person worth losing my life and leaving them motherless? True, my pastor would be able to talk me up as a martyr and I *suppose* some people might come to know Jesus as a result. But to my mind, it's not worth it. I either acknowledge Jesus in my life every day or I don't. It doesn't come down to one "yes or no" moment, though I suppose it can in some cases. Maybe you just know it when you're in the middle of it, what to say.

Are you boycotting McDonald's? I am. And my dh has asked me not to go to Walgreen's. I forget why. But I went last night as I was very ill with the shakes and the fever and this is the only place in town with an all-night pharmacy. Yes, I have strep throat AGAIN. But I just thought I'd tell you how hypocritical I really am. There you go.

2 comments:

  1. Oh good, I'm in the right company then! We did the imms for newborns (don't know if they're the same as yours) but nothing else. Mumps, rubella, chicken pox, measeals ~ part of life & having been told when my youngest son got chicken pox than he was immune for life I was more than a tad surprised to watch him contract it twice more. All in all he was sick for most of 2 months! Nope, not a big fan of imms but, you know, if I were heading into India or something I wouldn't object to the dyptheria & typhoid shots.

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  2. I have always defended a parent's right to research vaccinations, disease rates and risks and make decisions for their own family. But, I do have a concern... because the Christian community has become very mobile and diverse. Mission teams go to third world countries and come back. Christian families grow by adopion from third world countries where diseases that are rare here are quite common. And, I have heard of families who have been socially isolated after bringing home a child through adoption. I even had a reader write to me off line to share her experiences after adopting a child with Hepatitis B and warned me to keep Beverly's HBV status private.

    HBV is not casually spread, I don't think that I should be obligated to share with casual acquaintances her status. And, if I did, how would they react? Would they educate themselves about HBV transmission and encourage their children to use good, universal precautions? Would knowing that their is a child in their environment who could potentially infect them cause them to rethink their decision not to vaccinate for HBV? Or, would they start excluding our family from activities.

    Frankly, having a child with behavioral problems brings enough exclusion to last a life time.

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