Note from an anti-vaxer

Reader Krista sent the following comment on my post “Religious exemptions from children’s healthcare. Part 1: preventive and diagnostic procedures.” I reproduce her comment as a full post, and will email her (if it is indeed a her), noting that I’ve posted the comment.  It is posted exactly as I received it.

You may reply, if you wish, but please be polite, even though the letter is confrontational. We can be more Christian than the Christians (yes, I know I’ll take flak for saying that!). You also realize that whatever you say will probably be futile, but if you’re rude the futility will increase.

To wit:

The bible teaches that we shall keep the blood pure and keep the seed from being mixed.
when genetic materials from bacteria, viruses, yeast, animals birds, and other humans (aborted fetal cells) are injected during vaccination, the blood gets contaminated!
I have done research on vaccinations and children’s health for over three years now! And for those of you who think eliminating an exemption is okay, your wrong, it is the parents job to protect there child ((gods law )! Keep your nose out of other peoples business!
My son was vaccinated, 38 vaccines till he was 4, he slept for six months straight, I had to wake him up for feedings and changings, when I told the doctor he said I just had a really good baby!!! I couldn’t understand what he was saying until the age of three, he is now 10 years old and in third grade, he is supposed to be in fifth, he has a learning disability( he is behind a couple years)!
My second child I also vaccinated and he developed a heart defect at the age of fifteen months old, I stopped vaccines after that, he is 9 now and his heart defect is gone!
I had my third child almost three years ago and decided no vaccines, she started walking at 10 months old, she started talking clearly before the age of one, she’ll be three in febuary and knows all of her shapes, colors, body parts, can count to 15 and also some of the alphabet!
It is MY job as there mother to protect them from harm not the governments, if the government decides to eliminate exemptions, my children will be tooken out that same day and will be homeschooled !

178 Comments

  1. jknath1
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    If she has tooken up all that book lernin about vvaccines for three years, why doesn’t she know how vaccines are actually made/work?

  2. Dermot C
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    The last paragraph is a masterpeace.

    Slaínte.

  3. John Hamill
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    *you’re wrong

  4. eric
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    when genetic materials from bacteria, viruses, yeast, animals birds, and other humans (aborted fetal cells) are injected during vaccination, the blood gets contaminated!

    Methinks Krista needs to buy a microscope. I hate to burst her bubble on genetic materials making it into the human body…

    it is the parents job to protect there child ((gods law )! Keep your nose out of other peoples business!

    If it was just your kid, we probably would. But your kid’s freedom to blow his/her pox-ridden nose ends at our kid’s face, so to speak.

    • mordacious1
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think we should keep our noses out of her child’s business (even if it doesn’t affect us directly). I won’t let her beat her child, I won’t let her lock her child in a closet (if I knew about it) and I don’t think we should let her child die of a horrible disease if we can help it (and in this case we can).

  5. wunelle
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    What are the original Hebrew and / or Aramaic phrases for “genetic material,” “bacteria,” “virus,” “yeast,” and “aborted fetal cells”?

    • Posted December 10, 2013 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Obviously the god guy didn’t know about bacteria and viruses until Jenner and Koch and others told him.

  6. Grania Spingies
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    If there was one thing I wish everyone was taught at school it is why correlation is not the same as causation.

    If Krista really sincerely believes that her children developed problems as a direct result of vaccination, how does she explain the millions and millions who did not?

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted December 10, 2013 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      how does she explain the millions and millions who did not?

      She doesn’t care ; they’re not her children and therefore simply don’t matter.

    • paxton
      Posted December 12, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      “If there was one thing I wish everyone was taught at school it is why correlation is not the same as causation.”

      And that the plural of anecdote is not data.

  7. Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    My own child has received every vaccination and has not had a single problem. He matches your own for knowledge and skills.

    In other words, I’m sorry for your children’s health issues, but blaming it on something you don’t understand isn’t fair. Let me ask you, in all honesty, was your child perfectly normal until the vaccinations started? How do you know?

    Let me give you an example. The average global temperature is increasing. Over the same period of time, the number of pirates has decreased. Therefore, to reverse global warming we should allow piracy to increase.

    Correlation is not causation. The human body and its ecology is a massively complex system. There is rarely something that is so simple that is the cause of the massive problems you describe. Obviously, a qualified doctor should be making those judgments, not me, not you.

    Vaccinations are one of the safest, most studied processes in medicine. There is no evidence anywhere that vaccines cause heart problems, learning disabilities, or allergies to cats.

    Plus, it should be obvious to anyone who follows the news, that previously controlled diseases are now killing children. Read this about Pertussis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whooping_cough#Epidemiology). Vaccines save lives. And there is no evidence that they cause the harms you suggest.

    Again, I’m sorry for the health problems of your children. However, I suggest you look for actual solutions and medical advice instead of blaming vaccines.

    • natalielaberlinoise
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      “…There is no evidence anywhere that vaccines cause heart problems, learning disabilities, or allergies to cats. …”

      Are you sure? Very very sure??? Phew, now I can sleep soundly again… (only joking)

    • eric
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      My own child has received every vaccination and has not had a single problem. He matches your own for knowledge and skills.

      My kid is way ahead and at the same age – should I “blame” his vaccination schedule for his capabilities? If that sounds ridiculous to Krista, she should remember that its exactly the same logic as what she’s using.

      Of course at some point my kid will very likely regress to the mean in most if not all categories. And when that happens, it won’t be because of the phase of the moon at the time, the presence of dihydrogen oxide in his food, or the shots he received last Tuesday.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted December 10, 2013 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      Let me give you an example. The average global temperature is increasing. Over the same period of time, the number of pirates has decreased. Therefore, to reverse global warming we should allow piracy to increase.

      Having just spent a month on a vessel festooned with razor wire and escorted by a flotilla of [REDACTED] vessels of the [REDACTED] Navy because of fear of piracy, I don’t welcome that suggestion. The start-of-watch management meeting had local piracy threats and events as the second item of business (after onboard safety incidents and before operations), and we’d run to several incidents (boarding attempts, strafing of vessel with machine gun fire, that sort of thing) a week on average.
      Things were much more serious last year on the other coast of the continent. That was getting quite scary.
      As an ordained minister in the Church of the FSM, I do recognise the example. But that doesn’t make it any more comic.

      • Diane G.
        Posted December 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        Many people imagine that pirates are a phenomenon of bygone days. My father, who was in the maritime industry his entire life (first as skipper, then as shore-side exec) had absolutely no truck with any frivolous references to pirates, any romanticizing of the legends, any of the swashbuckling myths, etc.

        It is unfathomable (ha!) to most that in this day and age piracy is still a scourge.

        • Posted December 10, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

          All my life I have heard of how dangerous the China seas are, how pirates attack even simple fishermen, kill them and steal their catch and their boats. A particularly dangerous and pirate-infested area is or was the South China Sea. I also remember the numerous stories of Vietnamese Boat People being attacked, robbed and killed at sea by pirates.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted December 11, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

          Many people imagine that pirates are a phenomenon of bygone days.

          They’re not, and never have been.
          As “vierotchka” adds, different areas have had differing severities of problem. But dozens of ships have been disappearing each year for as long as I remember. And of course, their cargos have reappeared. But not the crews.
          Expensive, troublesome western crew tend to get put over the side in a lifeboat. Cheap, disposable (i.e. no diplomatic follow-up) Philippines just get a club round the back of the head and thrown to the sharks.
          Welcome to piracy, shorn of the glamour and spotlighted on the reality.

          • gbjames
            Posted December 12, 2013 at 5:26 am | Permalink

            There are two uses of the word “piracy”. One is real-world, current, and horrible. The other is fantasy-historical, referencing Black Sam Bellamy and Long John Silver. The latter form can be quite entertaining (and interesting for those curious about life in the 17th Century) but shouldn’t get confused with the former.

  8. Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    If keeping the body pure is top priority, is it not true that “foreign” cells in the human body amount to a bigger mass than human cells?

    Have I been misinformed? Or is this another case where “god” doesn’t practice what s/he preaches?

    Cheers,
    Norm.

    • bric
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      “there are 10 times more bacterial cells in your body than human cells . . . The infestation begins at birth: Babies ingest mouthfuls of bacteria during birthing and pick up plenty more from their mother’s skin and milk — during breast-feeding, the mammary glands become colonized with bacteria.”

      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=strange-but-true-humans-carry-more-bacterial-cells-than-human-ones

      • eric
        Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        The average adult also takes in a few pounds of foreign animal cells every day. If we don’t do that, we die.

        • NewEnglandBob
          Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

          No wonder I have trouble maintaining my weight!

        • gluonspring
          Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

          Not me. I eat a sludge of purified carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and assorted trace elements. Yum!

        • stuartcoyle
          Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

          Not us vegetarians. It’s mostly plant cells. Maybe that is why my skin is going green.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted December 10, 2013 at 7:23 am | Permalink

            vegetarians.

            Down to a few grammes of animal cells a day then.
            We’ll not get onto the question of what fungi are.

      • Posted December 9, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        And of course, a large chunk of our very DNA appears to be “foreign” – inserted there by long-ago viruses.

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      That was what got me around here a 2nd time – that modern science has revealed that we are a walking chimera with very little human cells and human genetic material in it.

      The 1-2 kg bacteria and archaea we lug around (or we wouldn’t function) is, because prokaryotes are so small and diversified, about 10 times as many cells and many, many more genes than in our germ line.

      And then viruses… Oceans has 10 viruses for every prokaryote. Maybe we have a load of those too.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted December 11, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

      I was reading a truely stomach-churning letter on the subject yesterday … the photocopy of the paper being lost at the moment.
      Can I find the reference … “Gut microbiota: Please pass the microbes”, Jeff Leach, Nature, v504,p033 (05 December 2013).
      Something about modern hunter-gatherer societies eating the semi-digested stomach and colon contents of their kills, and “washing” their hands with the gut organs of their kills. And in consequence, they (the hunter-gatherers) have much more diversity of gut flora than modern humans.
      Even my fairlt lithified stomach did a couple of back- somersaulte.

  9. Darkwhite
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    I feel the spelling is sort of low-hanging fruit, and I don’t have a strong enough spell checker to dare jinx myself, but I would like to point out where her son slept for six months straight, by which she means he was woken regularly.

  10. gbjames
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I’m not convinced Reader Krista is real.

    • Tulse
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      And even if she is, there’s not much point in replying to her. Someone like this is unfortunately lost to rationality.

      • Posted December 9, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        @Tulse: bingo. A reply is simply like talkin’ to a rock.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted December 10, 2013 at 7:24 am | Permalink

        To quote someone else (who I’ve forgotten), “You can’t reason someone out of a position that they didn’t arrive at by a process of reason.”

    • Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      I’m leaning toward that conclusion myself.

      If this comment is genuine, my heart aches for those poor children.

      • Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        Hers is typical of anti-vaccination screeds. Either they’re all just trolling, or chances are good that she’s representative.

        b&

        • Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

          The thing that raises my eyebrow is that the spelling and grammar isn’t all that bad…until “tooken” shows up in the last para. I’d expect a lot more sp and gr to be wrong if this was sincerely written by someone who thinks “tooken” is correct.

          But it’s not outside the realm of possibility, I suppose.

          • Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

            The rest ain’t exactly stellar…and “tooken” could well have been a bit of self-deprecating humor.

            b&

        • Suri
          Posted December 9, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

          Very typical.
          We had many of these morons in the Vaccines course offered by Paul Offit.

          It is always the same bs, always the same stupid arguments. No amount of evidence will ever convince these people that vaccines are safe.

    • Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      Impossible call to make of course, but I am also suspicious because the first sentence lacks an exclamation point (all the others have at least one). I think the poser was not warmed up enough to punctuate bombastically the first, cold sentence. :-)

      OgreMkV’s response is excellent and if Krista is real, I hope she reads it with care. Sadly the sources she chose to educate herself on the topic were incorrect. She needs to learn how to vet her research materials.

    • NewEnglandBob
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      I also don’t think this is real. The misspellings, poor grammar and difficulty in articulating, leads me to think this is a Poe.

      There are so many rong things in this short letter.

    • DV
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      I’m convinced she is not real. Too obvious it’s a parody. But then again there is Poe’s Law.

      • Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        Even if so, it’s representative of those who are sincere — and there’re far too many of them to be so dismissive of what Krista expressed.

        b&

        • Matt Bowman
          Posted December 9, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

          I have my doubts about Krista too. But I also think the letter is at least representative of some of the lost folks out there. I can’t help but feel pity for people like her, and even more for their kids. Some people are seriously ignorant and delusional and unfortunately some of these people have children. And sadly their children can’t simply be “tooken” away.

  11. Helen
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Stop Steiner in Stroud and commented:
    Vaccination is a hot topic in the USA – the post on religious exemptions contains a list for each of the the States.
    Anti-vaccination is common in Steiner schools (Karmic reasons) see post on Anthroposophical Medicine in the archive for early September.

    • Posted December 9, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      Back in the late seventies, I was living in Stockholm, Sweden, and for certain reasons I won’t expound here, I had to send my son to a Steiner school in Järna, south of Stockholm. It was a small school with about 30 or so pupils at the time. One day, every child in the school came down with polio except for my son – of course, my son was the only one who was vaccinated against polio. Luckily, these children only got a mild form of polio, but still… They all were children of Anthroposophist parents, of course.

    • MNb
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      Last outbreak of Poliomeyelitis in The Netherlands was in 1992 in a village in the Dutch Bible Belt.

  12. Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Krista, I’m sorry for the heartaches you and your children have suffered.

    But, to be brutally honest, you are only compounding the problem by blaming vaccines.

    We live in an unique time in human history. In all but the last couple previous generations, infectious disease ran rampant. Your children, comparatively, would have been fortunate to have only suffered the maladies they have. Most of their siblings — and you would have had to have had many more than just three for three to have survived into adulthood — would have died horrible deaths.

    What’s changed? Why will all three of your children survive to adulthood without succumbing to fevers and blisters and coughs and intestinal distress and all the rest?

    More than anything else, one medical technology is responsible: vaccination.

    But the great tragedy is that, a mere few generations after we wiped out these diseases, people — people like you — have forgotten the terror of the diseases these vaccines prevent. And so, like you, they are no longer vaccinating children.

    The result should not surprise us. Once again, children are dying of measles and whooping cough. Whooping cough! In the twenty-first century! Yet, ’tis true; those horrors of the past, once on the verge of extinction, are once again on the march and leaving a trail of dead children in their wake.

    And this is the brutal fact that you must face: you yourself share in the responsibility for those dead children.

    Vaccines have virtually no side effects, and those side effects are almost always minor and restricted to people with certain other allergies or conditions. Vaccines do not cause autism. They do not cause heart disease. They do none of those things.

    Yet, even if they did — nay, even if vaccines were worse than you imagine — they’d still be worth taking, for the same reason that you’d jump from a window into a firefighter’s arms to escape certain death from the flames within.

    I can only assume that you’ve never known anybody with polio, never had measles yourself, never heard the heart-rending whoop of rubella. If you had, you’d be first in line, with your children, for the jab.

    Yours,

    b&

    • gluonspring
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Well said.

      • Larry Gay
        Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        I grew up in the thirties and forties. I remember very well my high school chemistry teacher showing us how to blow glass in week 1 and dying in week 2. Polio is a very serious disease. People were right to fear it. Thank you Jonas Salk and Mr Sabin.

    • BillyJoe
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      “the heart-rending whoop of rubella”

      I think you meant pertussis.

      • Posted December 9, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        Ngaaaah — yes, of course! I was thinking of MMR, hadn’t switched gears….

        b&

    • Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Slight correction to your excellent comment – whooping cough, not rubella. ;-)

      I’m from the generation before many of these vaccines came into being, and speaking from experience, I have some very unhappy memories of what it was like to have measles, chicken pox, mumps, and rubella. It’s also educational to take a walk through some of the old cemeteries. There’s a lot of children buried there, mostly before they reached the age of 5.

      • Posted December 9, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        Likewise. Whenever one of us three siblings came out with one of those, we were immediately brought in close contact with that sibling so that we’d all get the disease and go through it together. Mumps was a real painful bummer, but I got measles so bad that my whole body was weakened to the point that after the measles was over, I kept passing out. So, I was sent to the mountains to stay with a family for two months to convalesce and get my strength back. Difficulties didn’t end there, I had almost three months of missed school to catch up.

  13. alexandra moffat
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Probably her willful (god given???)ignorance
    is impenatrable so communication will be in vain.

  14. Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Wait a minute. Your child is 10 and he’s in 3rd grade and he’s behind? As I recall, that’s about the right age to be in 3rd grade. Kindergarten starts at age 5 (has this changed?) and by age 9 or 10 you’d be in 3rd grade. Or is my math wrong?

    • ladyatheist
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      A 3rd grade child would typically be age 8

      • Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        It depends on which country the child resides in. Some countries have 5 years old begin first grade, others have 6 or 7 years old begin first grade.

    • Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Depending on what month he was born in, its conceivable that he should’ve started 3rd grade at 8yo.

    • eric
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      In the US I think it works out to age = grade + 6 or grade + 5, depending on when you were born in the calendar year.

  15. Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I suppose we better not send all those vaccines to the victime of the cyclone in the Phillipines, then. It must be God’s will that they die of cholera and dysentry.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted December 10, 2013 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      It must be God’s will that they die of cholera and dysentery.

      … and also kill others in the process by cross-infecting them.

  16. Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    A problem I’ve noticed all too often with the internet is that in cases of pseudoscience, when you do an internet search, the first couple of entries are often highly supportive of that pseudoscience, and you have to scroll down a bit to find legitimate skepticism. So it is all too easy for believers in pseudoscience to find numerous websites supporting and enforcing their beliefs instead of challenging them.

    • Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      It’s worse than that, actually.

      The search engine companies all have detailed profiles built on you based on your search habits. They know if you prefer Fox News or MSNBC or Pacifica.

      And they filter the search results they show you, making it much more likely for somebody who prefers Fox News to get “Obamacare is socialism!” links, MSNBC fans “What you need to sign up for Obamacare” links, and Pacifica viewers “Examples of corporate profiteering guaranteed by Obamacare” links.

      All in the name of providing you with the personalized search results you’re most likely to find “useful.”

      Cheers,

      b&

  17. resipisence
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s important to realize that people’s lack of understanding of issues like vaccines isn’t their fault. They did not willingly choose to not get what humans are and what they are made of, they don’t get what it means for some of the genetic material of dangerous bacteria to be injected into their child and when you put it like that it sounds absolutely terrifying.

    We need to have an honest discussion about how it got to this point, how it is that a nation that is/was at the forefront of scientific discovery still have an astronomically large percentage of the population believing that science is scary and could potentially disable their children.

    The obvious answer is the churches and their spread of propaganda, many churches have been specifically implicated in this anti-vax resurgence. Why is it that people are so easily taken in by these toxic groups?

    A more important question is this: What is preventing people from adopting a secular viewpoint? Why are the advances of science not trusted? What can we do to win people over to the side of rationality, of doubt and honest inquiry?

    How can we convince people to not be afraid of hell, and the idea that life is meaningless? (the right answer being that neither of these fears are valid, not that i think life is meaningless, btw)

    • Ken Elliott
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      To me, the situation as you describe it can be ascribed to an irrational fear deeply entrenched into the human psyche and preyed upon, validated, by greedy leaders of the church. I doubt it’s that simple, but there is at least some truth to it. Personally, I don’t see it going away in our lifetime, or even the next few, but it is headed that way. Enlightenment seems inevitable, and, just like physical evolution, will likely require the slow, inexorable march of time for the tables to turn and the transformation to be complete. Today’s children have the entire world at their fingertips, and when what they say makes true sense, backed by massive validation among their peers, it will likely become the new starting point for much of each subsequent generation.

      • resipisence
        Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        I have hope for the future too, Steven Pinker’s ‘The Better Angels of Our Nature’ was amazing for dispelling any fears I may have had about the future of humanity.

        I like to ask myself what role can I play in the gradual progress of humanity, one of the most important things I try to keep in mind is the power of a single like on facebook, or a single share, or a thread on reddit, or a comment on a blog. Suddenly, the opinions of each and every person (with an internet connection) matters!

    • Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      resipisence,

      I disagree. People may not have initially chosen to not get what humans are or what they are made of, but if they are older than say 15, they can learn. It takes willful ignorance to avoid knowing about vaccines, *and* to spread falsehoods about them.

      In my opinion, people likes this “krista” know that there are opposing facts to her claims and she does indeed choose to ignore them. She needs to be right and *nothing* else is as important as that.

      Humans do love their own ideas and opinions. But they can change and aren’t simply innocent victims. The only humans who can can truly be that are those who are so mentally disabled that they cannot understand, not that they will not.

      • resipisence
        Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        While I can understand your frustration, and of course I agree that the information is all available for anyone who cares to look, instead of just using heightened rhetoric and blunt facts we do need to try be empathetic, and understand what it is that is driving people to avoid understanding science, so that our response to the problem can be more focused and effective. We do not want to drive the anti-vaxxers away from the very people who could well be the ones that could change their minds.

        I don’t know why you think the reason is that these people just want to be right, and refuse to consider that they are wrong, to me it seems to stem from a kind of fear of science and reason, that if they doubt the word of their churches they are taking huge risks, or if they trust scientists (since they of course do not understand science whatsoever) they are at risk of being seriously hurt.

        People do not want to learn about science, and it’s not just in case they are shown to be wrong about some things, it seems to be something else, and in the absence of evidence on this my feeling is that it has something to do with conflating science with reductionism; people think science takes away from the beauty of reality, they think that it takes away the meaning from their lives, they see it as a toxic mindset that is overwhelmingly negative and corrupts everything it touches.

        Needless to say I am not one of these people, but an approach that does not take into account this fear and attempt to soothe it, while also providing the facts regarding the situation, would not appear to be the best way to change people’s minds. We do not want to confirm stereotypes of the angry atheists/scientists, angry at people for their ignorance. Being trapped under indoctrination is not a crime, it is a mental illness that requires compassion to treat.

        • Posted December 9, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

          I can be empathetic. I can also recognize willfully ignorant humans who want to pretend that they are the bestest friends of some invisible being that cares for them and only them. They are greedy and willfully ignorant in service to this delusion that they are special snowflakes.

          Humans love to think that they are right. They want to be the owners of the “right” answer, and to me that explains the nonsense of mystery religions, of which Christianity is one.

          I have no problem in being an angry atheist. I have plenty of reason to be angry. Dead children, my culture held back from advancing, all to salve the wounded pride of theists who want to pretend they have the only “right” answers.

          To soothe someone’s fears is to assume they are too childish or too stupid to accept reality. This takes responsibility away from competent adults when they claim such nonsense is real.

          Being trapped under indoctrination is indeed not a crime, willingly remaining there is not a crime but it is the responsibility of those who have made that choice. It is not a mental illness. I know what those are, my husband is very bipolar. That is not a choice.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted December 10, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink

        People may not have initially chosen to not get what humans are or what they are made of, but if they are older than say 15, they can learn.

        Why would you leave it so late? you should have been starting the kids on basic science at around age 11. If not earlier.

        • Posted December 10, 2013 at 7:53 am | Permalink

          the age was a roughly chosen one. I was going with jr. high or so when I had distinct science classes.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted December 10, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

            I was wondering if it was something specific to the American school system, or to some theory of pedagogy.
            When I went to senior school – aged 11 – that was when the school was physically large enough to have separate classrooms for different specialisms, including sciences. So that’s when we started doing particular specialisms. Previously, in lower schools, we did everything in the same classroom, and passed out different sets of books, changed note books etc. I suppose you could call it time-division of the classroom resource.

            • Posted December 11, 2013 at 8:37 am | Permalink

              could be. Here in the US, we get things late, including languages. I can barely stumble through French, and a coworker of mine, an elderly Italian man, just makes me crazy jealous on how many languages he can speak.

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted December 11, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

                Here in the US, we get things late, including languages.

                That is just bad planning. It’s pretty well established (AIUI) that humans mostly have a set of mental circuits for learning languages that shut off at around 14 (“around” !).
                So, if you want people to actually learn multiple languages, then “start young” is the way to go.
                That said, we didn’t start formal languages teaching until age 11 (for French) and 12 (for Spanish). One of the junior school teachers who was qualified in French tried doing a class in French at about age 9, but it was shut down by the county authorities when they found out about it. Something to do with protecting the prestige and prerogatives of the grammar school.

              • Posted December 11, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

                In my personal anecdotal experience, having been since babyhood exposed to several languages (chronologically – Russian, Italian and French), learning English in just a few months in third grade, when I was 25-26 and living in Sweden, I not only quickly learned that language but also learned to pronounce it flawlessly. Speaking several languages as a child, a person has a considerably greater ease to learn more languages as adults as do adults who only spoke one language until learning a new language once they are adults. In my opinion.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted December 11, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

                @clubschadenfreude

                That’s probably because Europeans are constantly exposed to other European languages – they only have to travel a few hundred miles to be in a different language region. So there’s some point in learning it and they get to use it.

                Whereas in the US (or in my case NZ, doubtless also in Australia and similar countries) one really only ever gets exposed to ‘English’ (of whatever flavour).

              • gbjames
                Posted December 12, 2013 at 5:43 am | Permalink

                We do have a considerable amount of Spanish spoken here in the US, but it hasn’t been common enough and long enough to get us to seriously teach languages to kids. Then there are the right-wing yahoo politicians who are always demanding “English only”.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted December 13, 2013 at 12:56 am | Permalink

                Yes, I always find it ironic that most people who claim English is all you need and regard the poor English spoken by natives/foreigners as a sign of intellectual inferiority, themselves speak only one language whereas those inferior foreigners speak at least two…

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted December 13, 2013 at 5:57 am | Permalink

                I’ve found that so many of my friends who speak English as a second language have a pretty good vocabulary in English as well. Somehow I’m always accidentally teaching them some new slang & I keep telling them not to learn English from me.

              • Diane G.
                Posted December 13, 2013 at 1:05 am | Permalink

                “…themselves speak only one language whereas those inferior foreigners speak at least two…”

                This! I find myself saying that SO often. I’ve heard elderly relatives complaining about the “Spanglish” they encounter, while their memories stretch back to the days when their own immigrant grandparents spoke only Swedish or Norwegian…

              • Posted December 13, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

                So true. My great grandparents, Hungarian, could barely speak English.

        • Posted December 10, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

          Much earlier.

          My cousin and his wife are home-schooling their eight-year-old son. With a bit of nudging from me, I expect that, by this coming summer, he should have replicated Democritus’s measurements of the Solar System. We just haven’t had a lunar eclipse since I gave him a telescope this past summer, and won’t until mid-April….

          Next time I’m out there, I’ll be sure to bring some prisms for some optics stuff (which we played around with a bit this past summer with whatever was laying around…and, especially, stuff he can use to make electric motors. He’s very much into Lego, but only once or twice has he actually made the particular toy pictured on the box; instead, he tries to make as many different things as possible with the pieces.

          b&

  18. gluonspring
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    I do not believe your story. The idea that you would report to your doctor that your child has slept for six months solid and they think nothing of it just isn’t credible. For that mater, what mother would watch their child sleep for six months solid before seeking medical help or would not seek a second doctor if the first brushed them off? The impression this outlandish claim gives me is that you are a dishonest person who is just making up stuff to try to score points.

    OTOH, you do have a point about God’s will. Obviously God wants lots of children to die of easily preventable diseases. Otherwise the Bible would have told us that boiling your drinking water was ALL it takes to prevent 100% of cholera. But the Bible doesn’t mention this simple preventative measure and as a result millions of people, including huge numbers of children and infants, have died (by crapping themselves to death with diarrhea, which is a nice touch on God’s part I must say). Of course, God must want many more to die as well or he wouldn’t have invented smallpox, malaria (you should research that one, one of God’s more clever designs), tuberculosis, rabies, and on and on. Polio shows God’s fondness for maiming. Clearly, with so much of the natural world devoted to killing us it just must be God’s will. Who are we to question it? Must be part of The Curse put on Adam and we deserve it, even the children. So, let’s just take our punishment and be done with this blasphemous ‘medicine’.

    • NewEnglandBob
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      +1

      You win the internet today!

    • RFW
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      Two comments:

      1. Anyone, child or adult, who sleeps continuously for six months will be dead from infected bed sores.

      2. Clearly God is a Darwinian and is trying to weed the stupid out of the gene pool via indirect means. Direct means would involve lightning bolts.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted December 10, 2013 at 7:35 am | Permalink

        2. Clearly God is a Darwinian and is trying to weed the stupid out of the gene pool via indirect means. Direct means would involve lightning bolts.

        This hypothesis would be very difficult to test. The low frequency of lighting bolts (Zeus must be generally pretty satisfied with things) will make any experiment long and tedious. And the level of stupidity tested against would be the stupidity to stay outdoors in a thunder storm, which is a pretty low bar to exceed.

  19. ladyatheist
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t know aborted human fetal cells were in vaccines! I wonder if aborted dog fetal cells are in rabies vaccines for dogs, and feline fetal cells in rabies vaccines for cats.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      LOL!

  20. inkydisaster
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Dear Krista,

    First let me say that questioning authority in the pursuit of truth (not to mention the well-being of your children) is to be highly commended. I would like to recommend you continue that pursuit, and consider the possibility you are mistaken.

    If what you say is fact, then it should be able to stand up to rigorous questioning and skepticism. Unfortunately, due to the frustrating peculiarities of the human mind, that questioning and skepticism will have to come from you. If those of us who think you are mistaken were to try to point out your errors, backing up our statements with testable, observable facts, you will not change your mind. In fact, you will become more convinced of your rightness than ever!

    Please understand, I am not singling you out. This applies to everyone. It is very hard to admit being wrong.

    So instead of us telling you where you are in error, how about this: why don’t you tell us what would make you change your mind?

    Would it help if we did the same and told you what it would take for us to change our minds?

    Anyway, I hope you haven’t settled on your beliefs and continue your search for understanding. I wish you and your family continued health and happiness.

  21. Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    What an amazing collection of post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacies, some of which sound very fictitious to me.

    I knew how to read and write, as well as add and subtract simple sums at the age of four before I even began school, and I had received all the vaccines available for babies and children as from 1948. I was reading proper books when I was six. My son, born in 1968, received the whole panoply of vaccines – he taught himself to read and write when he was five and was consciously drawing in perspective when he was three.

  22. Pete
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    If bitten by a snake she would prefer to die rather than taking an antivenom?

  23. Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Dear Krista,

    “The bible teaches that we shall keep the blood pure and keep the seed from being mixed.”

    Where does it say this, Krista? It seems that you are referring to where it says that the Israelites should not marry outside their tribes. This seems more against intermarriage than it is against vaccines. In either case, these are words from ignorant primitive people.

    Indeed, your bible has nothing about vaccines, antibiotics, or anything actually useful from your god. The closest we get is creating latrines and that is because your god might step in poop when physically wandering around the Israelite camps not because of the germ theory of disease (Deuteronomy 23). How many people could have been saved if your god just said “wash up when you are treating wounds?” those supposed thousands of years ago. Theists like you will claim that your god “gave” humans modern medicine. This begs the question, why did your god evidently hate everyone who dared be born before antibiotics, anesthesia, blood transfusions (oh, maybe you are a JW too and are against those), and half-decent replacement limbs for amputees.

    You insist that the laws from the Old Testament are so important. I can pretty much guess that you only follow the ones you have decided that your god “really” meant, and ignore those that are inconvenient, like those that say to kill those who work on the Sabbath, to not wear mixed fibers and to keep the Jewish dietary laws.

    You seem to be one more Christian who has invented her own version of the religion, just like so many others. You are also causing harm because of it. Your claims are false and one wonders about your actual beliefs since I know that your religion says your god hates lies and liars, even if they think they are doing the work of their god (Romans 3).

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted December 10, 2013 at 7:38 am | Permalink
      “The bible teaches that we shall keep the blood pure and keep the seed from being mixed.”

      Where does it say this, Krista?

      Isn’t that the bit about Onan being banned from having sloppy seconds?

      • Posted December 10, 2013 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        I don’t think so, but that would be a good guess. :)

        Having a moment, I searched under “bible racial purity” and found the expected types of websites. We have Genesis cited in that animals are supposed to reproduce according to their “kind”, which theists have made up a multitude of definitions for.

        We also have the claim that “mixing caused the flood”. Well, of course there was no flood, so “mixing” (angels having children with humans) didn’t cause it. We also get the same pitiful claim of the “curse of Ham” to explain melanin in the skin.

        As usual, religion appears to be just a way for people to declare their own personal hatreds and desires are approved of by a powerful being.

  24. Pliny the in Between
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I doubt that you would get much argument from fellow healthcare professionals as to the fact that vaccination may well be the single greatest achievement in the history of medicine.

    It is without doubt that many reading this owe their lives to it. The suffering and death prevented by it is immeasurable.

    Therein lies the problem. So successful have these public health measures been, that our population has forgotten the horrors and epidemics that have been prevented.

    Although it’s fashionable these days to enter into a libertarian lament about anything done as a matter of public policy, the protections afforded us through vaccination are very real. And as this letter reveals, there are some things that a society cannot leave up to the narrow opinions of any individual. It’s not just your kids that are affected.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      It is true that we have forgotten about the pre-vaccine suffering but if you’d like a taste of it visit countries that don’t or can’t vaccinate. For instance, India. My Indian friends happily take every available vaccine because they grew up seeing people dying from preventable illnesses.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted December 10, 2013 at 7:53 am | Permalink

        My Indian friends happily take every available vaccine because they grew up seeing people dying from preventable illnesses.

        Watching the hoards of mostly polio-withered beggars at every road junction in east and west Africa is always an educational experience.

    • NewEnglandBob
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      “Therein lies the problem. So successful have these public health measures been, that our population has forgotten the horrors and epidemics that have been prevented.”

      What bothers me about this: why didn’t parents and grandparents pass this information down to today’s generation of parents? Some of them saw people being stricken all around and most knew about it and the solution.

      • Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        It’s one of those things that, at least in those days, just wasn’t talked about.

        I imagine there are still parts of the world today with high rates of child mortality where people just don’t talk about their dead children long after the funeral. After they’ve buried the fourth or fifth, you can imagine being able to understand why.

        b&

        • NewEnglandBob
          Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

          I clearly remember a classmate in junior high school, as he shuffled down the hallway because one leg was withered from polio. I was told by my parents how terrified they were for us, of childhood diseases in the early 1950.

          • RFW
            Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

            Oh, yes indeed. Before the debut of the Salk vaccine, it was a regular occurrence for public swimming pools to be closed in summer because of the threat of polio. Just what one needed in the hot, steamy climate of the East Coast!

            Once polio vaccine was available, it was taken up with gratitude. I may still have somewhere the little cards you were given when you received it. The Sabin vaccine, administered via sugar cubes, was an important advance, too: no needle to alarm those with needle-phobia.

            Fast forward to more recent years: I knew an elderly gentleman who had had polio as a child. In old age, he developed post-polio syndrome and could no longer manage steps. To get into my house, you have to go up two steps and over a low threshold: when he dropped by for a visit, I’d manhandle him up those two steps, though he could handle the threshold on his own.

            Polio is nothing to be dismissive about.

            • Diane G.
              Posted December 9, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

              To be sure. One of my parents’ friends survived for years–in an iron lung. His wife could drive him around in a specialized van, and several of the able-bodied men could wrangle him + apparatus into the house for the monthly potluck supper group assemblage. Gawd, those machines were creepy.

              • JohnnieCanuck
                Posted December 10, 2013 at 3:25 am | Permalink

                I remember the epidemics that hit Winnipeg in the early fifties. Pictures of people in iron lungs were a fixture in the Winnipeg Free Press for several years. I remember seeing one photo just recently of a large room with maybe twenty patients in such machines.

                Imagine going to sleep with the hissing and clanking going on around you. All the while, without any possible let up, a collar would be rubbing back and forth on your neck and you couldn’t ever scratch your nose or rub your eyes.

                The girl a bit younger than me who lived across the street got it. She still wears braces on her legs.

                Turns out that people in Alberta and the Dutch Bible belt regularly fly back and forth to visit family. They often share diseases with their relatives because they don’t believe in vaccinations. A couple of times now the Albertans have brought it to religious enclaves just east of here. I made sure my daughter had booster shots before she went to college in the area.

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted December 10, 2013 at 8:01 am | Permalink

              Fast forward to more recent years: I knew an elderly gentleman who had had polio as a child.

              Somewhere in Auntie Beeb’s archive there is a vintage “Letter From America” by Alistair Cooke in which he recounts being a live model early in his reporting career at Harvard (IIRC) Medical School. The lecturer – who he’d been interviewing about something else – had discovered that he had lesions from a childhood case of bovine tuberculosis, and so Cooke was wheeled out for the students so that they could see and feel for themselves the consequences of not pasteurising milk supplies. (Shouldn’t that be “Pasteurising,” it being a proper name? My spelling checker accepts both.)
              Does that make `Doubting` Thomas the most scientific of the apostles?
              And … isn’t one of the US states associated with the motto “The `Show Me State`” ; therefore their state saint should be Thomas?

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted December 10, 2013 at 8:20 am | Permalink

                It’s lower case along with “french fries” & “darwinian”

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted December 10, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

                The BIPM disagree with you, insisting that units derived from a personal name (Henry, Newton … versus second, metre) be capitalised both as words and as abbreviations.
                I’ll not lose any sleep over the matter. But in this case, I’m tempted to follow BIPM’s reasoning.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted December 10, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

                As you know pasteurising isn’t an SI unit. I don’t think Pasteur is either. The latest BIPM SI/MKS guide [pdf] writes out the long name version of units with a lower case like this:- newton, ohm etc. That’s in their own guide & on their site so they’re not “insisting” very hard. :)

                My style guide sources was the BBC & The Guardian.

    • eric
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      So successful have these public health measures been, that our population has forgotten the horrors and epidemics that have been prevented.

      Just a quibble, but it’s not just people forgetting, the actual risk calculation has changed. As the odds of getting a disease go down, the relative benefit goes down (and the relative cost of a side-effect goes up). That’s why we don’t vaccinate for smallpox any more; the cost-benefit is too poor, even if we assume it still exists in old soviet labs or whatever.

      I’m all for vaccination and I’ve had my kid vaccinated, but I think we also have to recognize that at least some of the resistance (hah!) to vaccination is not due to misinformation or people being fooled by the media – it’s also due to vaccination being something of a prisoner’s dilemma, and some people just choose the ‘defect’ strategy.

      • gluonspring
        Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        And the cooperators should punish them for defecting, starting by pointing out to them that they are ungrateful free loaders and parasites.

        • Suri
          Posted December 9, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

          Parasites indeed, taking advantage of herd immunity but refusing to contribute to it.

          These people are a danger for those who are immunocompromised.

      • gbjames
        Posted December 9, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        How about we have this conversation for each vaccine after the disease it addresses gets to the point that smallpox is at now?

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted December 9, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

          I still have my smallpox vaccine scar!

          • GBJames
            Posted December 9, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

            Me, too!

          • Posted December 9, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

            My smallpox vaccine left no scar, but my BCG vaccine sure did and I still have it!

        • Diane G.
          Posted December 9, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          Precisely.

          (And IIANM, we nearly got there with polio–till the forces of ignorance prevailed.)

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted December 10, 2013 at 8:33 am | Permalink

            (And IIANM, we nearly got there with polio–till the forces of ignorance prevailed.)

            Teetering on the brink : eradication on this campaign is still possible, but it’s starting to creak, badly.
            Depressingly, I can say from personal observation that polio victims are still a common sight on the streets of west Africa, near (a few hundred miles) from one of the areas of continuing resistance to the eradication campaign. So, ignorance is not the only explanation. (See footnote.)
            In that particular region it is explicitly religious-prompted politics, where the Boko-Haram movement are trying to gain power in northern Nigeria (and adjacent areas) using a programme of violence, a particularly bloody form of sharia law, and explicit violent rejection of all things “western”. Pakistan is another region of resistance to the eradication programme, with Taliban-ish elements continuing their anti-western campaign. India is just struggling with the problem, but doesn’t seem to have any nationally organised resistance. But even with effective backing, the campaign is difficult.
            (Footnote : I’m not a medic, but the syndrome of one or several limbs withered almost to the bone, with consequent loss of function does strongly suggest polio as a cause. Due caveats, but that’s the way to bet.)

            • Diane G.
              Posted December 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

              Of course you’re right. Ideological politics would have been the better force to cite. And of course there’s the CIA mucking things up…

              • Posted December 10, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

                Oh, damn…don’t get me started.

                That raid to kill bin Laden was horrifically shameful to begin with — a top elite military commando team executing an unarmed man and tossing the body overboard? That’s the sort of thing comic book supervillains have their henchmen do. A civilized nation would have had him put on trial and paid for the best defense team in the country to state his case in a public trial; if convicted, he’d be imprisoned alongside other murders and violent criminals — and all of them should have civilized, if spartan, accommodations.

                But on top of that to sabotage vaccination efforts in an entire country and condemn uncountable hundreds if not thousands of perfectly innocent children to torturous deaths from preventable diseases just so we could carry this international murder conspiracy?

                That’s really comic book supervillain territory. Hell, it’s practically Biblical in its depravity — the sort of thing YHWH would do.

                Shit. Why’d you have to go and get me started?

                b&

              • Diane G.
                Posted December 10, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

                Because it can’t be said often enough, Ben. And you do it so well.

              • Posted December 10, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

                Thanks.

                b&

    • gluonspring
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      I suspect our schools fail at this. History class tends to be about government, about wars and human conflicts. It is a great disservice to children not to educate them generally about the depravations and horrors that people endured throughout history (both natural and moral) and to impress upon them how like kings they, every one of them, live today (at least in the West).

  25. Diana MacPherson
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    I have a hard time being polite when I hear stuff like this stated with so much fail in such a Dunning Kruger Effect ridden way.

    Since many very good points have been made in the comments above, sadly, I can only say that if you are bent on not vaccinating your children, then it’s best that you home school them and keep them isolated from all others, especially babies who receive their vaccines on a schedule and are therefore vulnerable for a period of time.

    • Suri
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      Babies and transplant patients, cancer patients, people with autoimmune diseases that are on immunosuppressants, people with AIDS, etc.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted December 10, 2013 at 8:36 am | Permalink

        people with AIDS

        Are people with AIDS and who were vaccinated on schedule particularly vulnerable (over and above their general mild vulnerability)? I don’t know – but since my AIDS-affect friend finished his coffee and left about a half-hour ago, it’ll have to wait until tomorrow to ask him.

  26. Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Credulity ( read that: reason / rationality / using – science ) ends at the backside of this alleged mama’s sixth word, “The bible teaches that we shall … … ”

    That anyone shall be taught A Thing At All … … by thus: words put down onto parchments by only – males guided in these, their writings there by Out – Of – The – Clouds’ – Mr Biggy’s Hirsuite Hand – Gripping – Itself – Onto – Only – Men’s – Hands … … some thousand to two thousand years ago ?

    I know / I teach myself what, indeed, is Big: the bible, the koran, the torah, any such “scripture” =s a truly, truly BIG I.C.K. Factor.

    Blue

  27. Charles Jones
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    We’ve given our three girls all of the available vaccines, and all three are really smart!!!! Straight A’s!!!! Talented and gifted!!!

    I think therefore that all children should be forced to get immunized.

    I luv armchair epidemiology.

  28. Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Krista,

    “My second child I also vaccinated and he developed a heart defect at the age of fifteen months old, I stopped vaccines after that, he is 9 now and his heart defect is gone!”

    Then I’m sure you would have no problem in letting us know how you know this. I do expect medical records for your child before and after this supposed occurrence. As has been said, you assume causation and I am guessing you have not one scrap of evidence to support this other than mistaken correlation.

    • beyondbelief007
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Oh, club Schadenfreude, you miss so many other possible explanations (modified from Tim Minchin’s “Thank you God”, to fit the situation):

      “This story of [Krista’s] has but a single explanation:
      A surgical God who digs on magic operations
      No, it couldn’t be mistaken attribution of causation
      Born of a coincidental temporal correlation
      Exacerbated by a general lack of education
      Vis-a-vis physics in [Krista’s] parish congregation
      And it couldn’t be that all these pious people are liars
      It couldn’t be an artefact of confirmation bias
      A product of groupthink,
      A mass delusion,
      An Emperor’s New Clothes-style fear of exclusion

      No, it’s more likely to be an all-powerful magician
      Than the misdiagnosis of the initial condition,
      Or one of many cases of spontaneous remission,
      Or a record-keeping glitch by the local physician
      No, the only explanation for [Krista’s child healing]:
      They prayed to an all-knowing superbeing,
      To the omnipresent master of the universe,
      And he quite liked the sound of their muttered verse.

      So for a bit of a change from his usual stunt
      Of being a sexist, racist, murderous cunt
      He popped down to [Krista’s place]and just like that
      Used his powers to heal the [heart defect] of [Krista’s kid]

      • Posted December 9, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        most excellent! :)

        you have won the internets, BB007

      • Jesper Both Pedersen
        Posted December 9, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        Bound to be a classic…

  29. Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    For balance, read this:

    http://www.voicesforvaccines.org/growing-up-unvaccinated/

    • Diane G.
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      Nice site.

  30. Pete
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    This is what the bible says about mixed seeds:
    Leviticus 19:19

    You must keep my rules. Do not crossbreed your livestock, do not plant your field with two kinds of seed, and do not wear clothes made from two kinds of material.

    I’m looking for a source that says “keep the blood pure” Any idea?

    • gluonspring
      Posted December 10, 2013 at 12:49 am | Permalink

      Better start ripping that elastic out of your underpants too, cuz god sounds pretty serious on this one.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted December 10, 2013 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Leviticus 19:19

      and do not wear clothes made from two kinds of material.

      Does that mean that I can’t put leather elbow patches on the elbows of my woollen jacket? But that would spoil my desired “chalk-dust professor” sartorial elegance.
      I guess that I’ll have to stick to “oil field trash” chic. My wife will be so pleased about this support in her efforts to drag me, kicking and screaming, out of the “superannuated hippie” phase that has occupied the last 3/4 of my life.

  31. Pete Cockerell
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    To give Krista’s missive its due, it was runner up in this year’s “Sheer bloody number of logical fallacies in single email or website post” competition (Confused Christian category). The only reason it didn’t take the top prize was that Krista tried to increase her score by throwing in lots of spelling and grammatical fallacies. This is a neophyte move that the judges saw through immediately. One can only hope that Krista enters the competition again next year, but sticks with the concentrated burning stoopid instead of trying to score cheep mispeling poynts.

  32. ladyatheist
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Why do we vaccinate against polio again? oh yeah:

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted December 10, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      I’m wishing I’d got my camera out when motor-biking across Cotonou at the end of last month. Probably it was wise to keep it buttoned up in my pocket though – a bit too much of a temptation, even for a (relatively) safe country.

  33. Reginald Selkirk
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    This is worrisome:
    Vitamin K denial similar to anti-vax

  34. DiscoveredJoys
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Mrs DiscoveredJoys has explored the family tree. Not only did families 3 or more generations ago have larger numbers of children, they also had more children die of common childhood illnesses. It was so common that 3 of the boys might be called ‘George’ – because the first two ‘Georges’ had died.

    Good sanitation and vaccination mean that we don’t need more than one ‘George’ per generation.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted December 10, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      1.1 Georges really ; there’s still the “Curious George” effect.
      Unless you’re deliberately going for population reduction – which is a whole new can of worms.

  35. Kevin
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    If this isn’t Exhibit A as to why home schooling should be illegal, I don’t know what is…

    • Posted December 9, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Well .. I don’t think it should be illegal per sé; just demand (and test for) teaching qualification of the teaching parent, plus test the kids regularly for results.

      I mean, if a well qualified parent teaches only one or two children, she or he can probably have much better results than a similarly qualified teacher who teaches a class of 30.

      If you want to homeschool your kids .. fine: prove that you CAN and that you DO.

      • Diane G.
        Posted December 9, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        Agree with you in principle, but–we just know there would be religious exemptions for those requirements.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted December 10, 2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink

          There are no religious exemptions when I am testing whether someone can do the job that I require them to do.

    • Amelia Schuler
      Posted December 10, 2013 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      Careful. There are secular and non-secular homeschooling families whose children do as well or better than their schooled peers. Unlike families like Krista’s, these children are properly educated in the Sciences, History, and all the rest.

      It is unfortunate that the prevailing stereotype is that homeschooling families are religious fundamentalists bent on teaching creationism and a distorted version of American history. They sadly do exist, and I suspect that they are growing in clout if not in numbers. Organizations like HSLDA spread fear among them, and are as responsible for closing the minds of their children as the parents.

  36. Kevin
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and if indeed her child has a heart defect, it most certainly did not “develop” at age 15 months.

    It was there all along. It was DIAGNOSED at age 15 months.

    Congenital heart defects are extremely common. Surviving congenital heart defects is even more common thanks to modern medicine. Modern medicine including making sure fragile kids don’t get sick from preventable illnesses. Which means keeping their vaccines up to date.

    Fuck, can people be any more ignorant than this git?

  37. E.A. Blair
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Homskoolinge wil onli mak thastoopid strongr.

  38. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    1) Vaccines doesn’t work with “genetic material”.

    2) _Infections_ work with “genetic material”! That is why we vaccinate…

    3) Anecdote isn’t data, which is Science 101 and certainly something one should pick up on in 3 years of fact collection. In fact, one should start with checking the facts of facts.

    The mail was fully evidence free.

  39. Stephen Barnard
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    “It is MY job as there mother to protect them from harm not the governments, if the government decides to eliminate exemptions, my children will be tooken out that same day and will be homeschooled !”

    I suggest hiring a grammar instructor.

    • Old Rasputin
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      Yes, she seems to be saying that she wants to protect her children not from the governments, but from harm. I’m glad she clarified that.

  40. Michael Fisher
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    The first paragraph of Krista’s comment is free of grammatical errors because it’s a straight copy/paste from a standard school immunisation exemption letter that I suppose is doing the rounds. Here’s an example from the Regarding Caroline site that uses the exact same wording:-

    in accordance with 77 Illinois Administrative Code 655.510, we hereby state that as parents, based on our religious beliefs, we object to the diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, (DPT, DTaP) and Hib vaccinations that are missing from xxx’s vaccination schedule.

    Our family’s personal religious beliefs prohibit the injection of foreign substances into our bodies. We believe that the Holy Bible teaches that parents are responsible for the care of their children. We believe that we cannot willfully go against the law of God, and fully put our trust in Him for xxx’s health.

    Regarding the vaccines xxx has received, we are very disappointed to say that we were pressured into giving them to her. We were led to believe that she would not be able to attend school without them. Now that we know the truth, we do not plan to further vaccinate her.

    God has provided xxx with an immune system and we put our faith in Him to have given her what is necessary to protect her from harm. Furthermore, the Bible teaches that we shall keep the blood pure, and keep the seed from being mixed. When genetic materials from bacteria, viruses, yeast, animals, birds, and other humans are injected during vaccination, the blood gets contaminated, and genetic changes occur. God warned not to do this. To do so would
    violate these teachings of the Bible. Our objection is based on our deeply-held religious beliefs.

    The vaccination of our daughter violates laws put forth within us by a higher power at the time of conception.

    Our personal religious beliefs include our obedience to God’s law, and we believe that we are responsible before God for the life and safety of our daughter, created by God.

    The anti-vax site VaxTruth has an interesting SCARE PAGE that goes on about aborted human foetus DNA & heavy metals in vaccines

    • Richard Olson
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      What was sent to JAC is the Regarding Caroline statement revised by Krista for consumption by graduates of Bob Jones home schooling curriculum. The writer goosed the content with fictional family history for an enhanced emotional hook. Yet one more porkie to add to the long list of lies told to help out the almighty.

    • Suri
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      Good find.

    • gluonspring
      Posted December 10, 2013 at 1:05 am | Permalink

      What a bunch of sad liars. As someone else quoted on this very page, the not-mixing verse they are referring to explicitly says not to wear cloths made from two kinds of material. It’s the same commandment as the one they are using to try to get out of being members of society, yet you know that every one of these liars, there is no softer term, are at this very moment wearing clothing made from different kinds of material. Truth, even about their own scriptures, even when their god threatens them with hell for lying, means nothing to these people. They have my full contempt.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted December 10, 2013 at 2:52 am | Permalink

      Yes I did notice that her second sentence appeared to be correctly spelled in contrast to the rest of her post. I even hypothesised that she had copied it from somewhere. Thanks for finding it.

  41. E.A. Blair
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Remember when failed wingnut presidential candidate Michele Bachmann told a sob story about a mother whose daughter became “retarded” as a result of taking the HPV vaccine? What she left out of the story was what she said to that woman: “Oh, mom, you’re such a kidder!”

  42. Dave
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    OK: Flak. But seriously, I used to say that too – about being Christian without believing – until I began to realize what hate mongering so-and-so’s a lot of Xians are. “Christian love,” so called, is meant solely for other Christians, no matter what they say, and only for the “right kind” of Christian at that.. Every time one of them does something bad, they something like, “Oh, that wasn’t very Christian of me” to which I would (and do when I have the chance) say, “Well, from observation, it was very Christian. It just wasn’t very Christ-like, at least from what we’ve been told!”

    • Posted December 9, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      And let’s not forget: the Christ of Sunday School coloring books is the archetypal happy hippy, while the Christ of the Bible is one of the nastiest motherfucking sons of bitches in all of literature — to the point that he makes comic book villains who mouth beatitudes whilst poisoning the entire city’s water supply look like pussycats.

      Never did make any sense to me how anybody could see Jesus as the good guy….

      Cheers,

      b&

      • Dave
        Posted December 10, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        “Never did make any sense to me how anybody could see Jesus as the good guy…”

        Well, that’s probably because, unlike most Xians, you actually read their book!

        • Posted December 10, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

          Oh — so that’s were I went worng…silly me….

          b&

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted December 11, 2013 at 3:20 am | Permalink

            When I was at University an acquaintance of mine urged me strenuously to read the Bible (presumably under the impression I would become converted thereby). I refused on the (unstated) grounds that I had much better things to do with my time, like getting drunk and pursuing females (not necessarily simultaneously); but my limited acquaintance of the contents suggests it would not have had the effect he desired. Why on earth would he have thought that it would? It seems to be a common misconception among Xtians.

            • gbjames
              Posted December 11, 2013 at 5:25 am | Permalink

              It is a form of magical thinking. They believe that this sacred book is soooooo powerful that if a non-believer just reads it they will discover the truth of Jeezuz and be born again. Since they themselves have been born again they already “know” the truth of Jeezuz and don’t themselves need to perform the magical act other than the normal picking-and-choosing of a passage here or there for affect.

  43. MNb
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    “I have done research on vaccinations and children’s health for over three years now!”
    Could you please give us the results and explain which methods you used?

  44. Posted December 9, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    While I will admit that my memory of Biblical teachings is rather poor, I would have to say that this idea that the Bible forbids vaccines due to the manner in which you think they’re produced.

    I would ask that you consider elaborating on what you’re referring to when you say that “the blood gets contaminated” due to the contents of vaccinations. After all, this sounds rather vague, without anything presented for anybody to consider agreeing.

    While I do agree that it is a parent’s right to protect their child, I would also have to look at what is being done in the instances of faith healing cited. Absolutely nothing. Nothing to the point of harm of parents harming their children. Clearly, they’ve decided not to do what was necessary for the well being of their children, resulting in their unnecessary deaths.

    And while I feel sorry for your children’s situations, I would have to ask how much research you’ve done if you can’t determine the difference between correlation and causation. Two of your three children had or have medical problems, while both of those two have been vaccinated. I would consider asking the following questions, if you want to consider doing research.

    – What is in the vaccines that your children received that would cause the problems you’ve seen? How much of it is in the vaccines your children received? How much is necessary to produce the results you’ve observed?
    – Details. For example, what type of heart defect did your second child have? Was it something that would’ve gone away with time, regardless of if you had vaccinated or not?

    I have no doubt that you have the best interests of your children at heart, and as such, I would strongly suggest reconsidering home schooling unless you can afford a tutor given the quality of spelling you’ve demonstrated.

    • Posted December 9, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      “*I would have to say that this idea that the Bible forbids vaccines due to the manner in which you think they’re produced is rather questionable.”

  45. Hempenstein
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Some great comments, but, hey Krista, having heard nothing from you, seems pretty clear that, in the spirit of “It’s a Wonderful Life”, and to quote George Bailey, “You’re nothing but a fraud.”

  46. Suri
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    “The bible teaches that we shall keep the blood pure and keep the seed from being mixed.
    when genetic materials from bacteria, “..viruses, yeast, animals birds, and other humans (aborted fetal cells) are injected during vaccination, the blood gets contaminated!”

    “Do vaccines contain DNA?
    Some people wonder whether the vaccines made using human embryo cells (chickenpox, rubella, hepatitis A, shingles and one version of the rabies vaccine) could cause harm if the DNA from the embryo cells “mixes” with the vaccine recipient’s DNA. This is not likely to happen:
    Stability of DNA – Because DNA is not stable when exposed to certain chemicals, much of it is destroyed in the process of making the vaccine. Therefore, the amount of human DNA in the final vaccine preparation is minimal (trillionths of a gram) and highly fragmented. Because the DNA is fragmented, it cannot possibly create a whole protein.
    Opportunity – DNA from the vaccine is not able to incorporate itself into cellular DNA. In fact, if this could be accomplished, gene therapy would have worked.”

    http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-safety/vaccine-ingredients/dna.html

    Also:

    http://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/human-cell-strains-vaccine-development

    So, ‘trillionths of a gram’…not that she would know what that means.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted December 10, 2013 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      chop.edu ??? Please, let this be a training school for executioners. Or foresters. Vasectomies?
      “Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania” – awwww, boring. What a waste of a good URL.
      I wonder … snip.edu? Nope, but there’s a sniper (sensu ebaY) tool at snip.pl. snip.com is “The largest collection of technical standards used in Russia and Kazakhstan”, which I might actually find a need to remember.
      Enough, already. Ed. As they say in Private Eye

  47. Dominic
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    Retrovirus!

  48. Adri Truter
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Googling “vaccination” is now considered research? I’m a researcher of note then.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted December 10, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Googling “vaccination” is now considered research? I’m a researcher of note then.

      Correct. “No tea” for you then! < G >

  49. Ralph
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    I’m completely against vaccinations… when it comes to the offspring of idiots like this. It’s clear her contribution to the gene pool is far too great already – we can but hope some nasty diseases redress the balance.

    Too much? Sorry – sometimes I lack a filter…

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted December 10, 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Too much? Sorry – sometimes I lack a filter…

      One can sometimes wish that the parents of some of these people had used one of those rubber filters that fits over … well YKWIM.

  50. Michael McShan
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    When you brush your teeth, your blood becomes transiently bacteremic (contaminated with bacteria). Perhaps brushing your teeth should also be avoided on your definition of biblical purity.

  51. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    “keep the blood pure” is surely a racial-superiority thing – referring to DNA rather than haemoglobin? (Like ‘bloodlines’ in horses). So it’s not only totally without authority (like any precept from the Bible), but they’re reading it wrong anyway…


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 30,613 other followers

%d bloggers like this: