I usually make some effort to avoid profanity in the post title, but screw it. I’m sick, light-headed, probably low blood oxy levels, and this particular news item pisses me off to no end.
In short: measles is a disease that is largely a thing of the past in the US. However, there is an effective way for this disease to make a comeback: for large numbers of people to *not* vaccinate their children. One can have all kinda of bad feelings towards collectivism , groupthink and government programs and still recognize the value of vaccination programs, not only for the individual but also for the larger society. But there are some groups and individuals who have slipped into utter madness and have declared that vaccinations are bad/evil/Of-The-Devil/whatever. The result is that they tend to refuse vaccinations for themselves and for their children. And if that meant that they – and only they – would be smited by the occasional random plague, then this would be a self-correcting problem, and something largely laudable (dumbasses selecting themselves out of the gene pool? Who *wouldn’t* be all for it?). But the problem is that when the number of people refusing vaccinations gets large enough, the process of herd immunity begins to break down. This helps to speed the spread of the disease to the unvaccinated… but, worse, by providing a larger pool of the successfully infected, the disease in question now has a vastly increased capacity to mutate into a form that the current vaccines do not effectively cover.
And so, to the specific story: the Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark, Texas, is the epicenter of a measles outbreak. A churchgoer recently visited Indonesia where he contracted the disease, and then spread it at the church – a high-density facility with lots of people in close proximity, mingling freely, probably shouting and singing loudly within a contained environment, with a good chance of lots of physical contact and probably lots of gathering and chatting around food and water supplies… *exactly* the sort of setup you want if you want to spread a contagion.
As if the basic logistics of the church wasn’t bad enough to serve as the nexus of an outbreak, the pastor, Terri Copeland Pearsons, seems tailor made to make things much, much worse:
“The concerns we have had are primarily with very young children who have family history of autism and with bundling too many immunizations at one time”
And this nugget of wisdom:
“So I’m going to tell you what the facts are, and the facts are the facts, but then we know the truth. That always overcomes facts”
On the one hand: this sort of thing is really, really bad… and it makes Christians of good will and good intellect, who know better than to buy into the anti-vaxxer rubbish, look like idjits by association. Thus it would seem that non-crazy Christians and Christian organizations should be leading the fight against this nonsense, just as they should be leading the fight against the “Intelligent Design” movement.
On the other hand: it seems to me that a psyops campaign can/should be led in various overseas locations to spread the belief that vaccines are evil, horrible abominations. Let’s say… “a basic and universal component of vaccines is pig lard.” Or “vaccines are a conspiracy of western Crusaders and Zionists.” I believe most everyone would agree that using a cropduster to spread some horrific contagion over a civilian populace, even a city in an enemy land, would be horribly wrong and a war crime. But convincing people that preventing themselves from getting diseases? Hmmm.