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Why So Serious?

February 28, 2019

I have a good friend who is an anti-vaxxer. I’m not even sure if that’s a politically correct term, or is offensive. (If someone knows a better one, let me know.) She’s a very smart woman and certainly not someone who would be accused of conspiracy theories. In fact, she’s less anti-vaccines and more a skeptic, especially of the vaccination schedule and the contents of vaccines.

She has done extensive reading on vaccines over the past several years. This post isn’t about vaccines and how effective they are or are not.

She’s a very good friend and that allows us to have what might otherwise be contentious conversations. You see, I think vaccines are safe and effective. We are on opposite ends of the spectrum on the issue.

But, again, this isn’t about the effectiveness of vaccines.

My friend couldn’t understand why I thought it was okay to force people, especially kids to put chemicals in their body. . .even if it’s for their own good. It seems to fly in the face of conservative principles of less government and fewer laws.

My friend and I are both politically conservative. And she’s right. But, there’s a more important principle than personal choice.

As conservatives, my friend and I are both opposed to abortion.

Pro-choice advocates give many of the same philosophical arguments as anti-vaxxers. Their arguments are not about conception or clinics or doctors. Instead they talk about privacy. They talk about “my body, my choice.”

Many pro-choice supporters don’t understand why pro-life people are so emotional about the issue. “Why should they care what I do with my body?” is the question we hear.

Anti-vaxxers remind me of people who believe the earth is flat. There’s lots of science to suggest they’re wrong, but they insist that the true story, the real evidence is being surpressed.

I think flat earthers are wrong. You probably think they are wrong too. But, I don’t really care if they are wrong. I mean, I don’t spend any thought or time trying to convince them that they are wrong. And if I had a good friend who was a flat-earther, I think we’d just agree to disagree.

Why? Why do I care about the vaccine discussion and abortion but not flat earth?

Because, it’s not about opinions. I care about the first two for the same reason I don’t care about the flat-earthers.

A flat earth believer isn’t going to hurt anyone. I guess, if they were a rocket scientist, that would be a problem, but for most everyday things, a flat earther isn’t a threat to anyone.

To a pro-life supporter, the same can’t be said about an abortion. Pro-life supporters believe that there is no difference between a fetus and a baby. If one deserves protection, so does the other. If someone suggested they could kill their 6 month old child because “my child my choice” everyone, pro-life and pro-choice people alike, would rightly be outraged. To a pro-life supporter, that same outrage is warrented to protect a six month old fetus.

And that’s what makes pro-vaxx people so passionate. It’s not about privacy. It’s not about choice. It’s about putting other people, especially the very young or the very old, at risk for preventable diseases. People who choose to not get vaccinated, or not have their children vaccinated, increase the likelihood they could spread disease to people who cannot be vaccinated.

And that’s the important point. When it comes to discussions of vaccines and abortion, why so serious? Because it’s literally a matter of life and death.

For the flat-earth discussion? Not so much.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2018 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

  1. “Your life, my choice” really just doesn’t have that “moral high ground” feel…

  2. Michael Osterman permalink

    Good commentary, Rodney. However, I disagree with your assertion that “If someone suggested they could kill their 6 month old child because “my child my choice” everyone, pro-life and pro-choice people alike, would rightly be outraged.” Today you might be right, but 20 years from now I’m not sure that will be the case. It’s inconceivable, for example, that 94% of Democratic senators in 1999 would have voted against requiring medical treatment for babies who survive an abortion — but that happened earlier this week. In 20 years, our society may have drifted so far that killing one’s six-month old child will be just as accepted as killing newborns is today.

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