If Doug Wilson would like to have a civil discussion on vaccines, he would be wise not to start off by portraying anti-vaxxers as cute but ignorant hippies (Seriously? Multi-colored wind chimes?)
Wilson’s whole article presupposes that vaccines work and are effective. He says that we are able to debate about vaccines because they have been “so successful”. He pooh pooh’s the claim that vaccines have a correlation with autism. Instead of discussing the vaccine itself (because that’s where he knows he could get in trouble), he wants to speak abstractly about whether people should have personal choice when it comes to vaccines. But let us suppose for a moment that the anti-vaxxers are right and that vaccines are ineffective and harmful. Suppose they are right that vaccines are the main cause of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). If so, why are we talking about whether the government should be able to force death down our throats? Shouldn’t we be discussing whether anyone should be getting a vaccine in the first place? Shouldn’t we be doing tests to see what the long term effects are of numerous shots full of mercury, formaldehyde, genetically modified human protein, and aborted fetal cells? If vaccines really do cause death, would Doug Wilson still be arguing that the government has the “right” to force their “convictions” on us? I hope not. If he can first prove that vaccines do indeed work, are effective, and do not cause death, then we can talk about whether the government has the right to forcefully vaccinate all members of society.
Doug Wilson cites Leviticus 13:1-4 to make his point that because a person’s personal choice on vaccination affects all of society, the “society” (by which he really means the federal government) should be able to not only have a different conviction, but be able to dictate their conviction to the individual person. Now first of all, there are plenty of individual decisions a person makes every day which affect all of society. Let us look at homeschooling for example. The homeschooling movement has doubled between 1999 and 2012, from 1.7% to 3.4%. (http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2013/2013028/tables/table_07.asp) Homeschooling is definitely a decision that affects society, especially as it continues to grow at its current rate of 8% per year. (http://www.nche.com/stats) If the government decides for whatever reason that homeschooling is harmful to a society, should they be allowed to force children into the government schools? Doug Wilson wants to subscribe to the Hillary Clinton’s theory that “it takes a village to raise a child”, as though individuals and parents are hippie loonies who don’t know or care what is best for “society”. We see more and more attempts to take away personal and parental rights out of concern for the “society”. However, individual and parental rights are fundamental to the freedom of a society. As individual and parental rights continue to get taken away, our society becomes more and more enslaved to our own government. As Ronald Reagan said in 1961, “Drugs and devices are prescribed without getting parental consent or giving notification after they’ve done so. Girls termed “sexually active”—and that has replaced the word “promiscuous”—are given this help in order to prevent illegitimate birth or abortion…Is the Judeo-Christian tradition wrong? … Isn’t it the parents’ right to give counsel and advice to keep their children from making mistakes that may affect their entire lives? But the fight against parental notification is really only one example of many attempts to water down traditional values and even abrogate the original terms of American democracy. There’s a great spiritual awakening in America, a renewal of the traditional values that have been the bedrock of America’s goodness and greatness.”
Let us allow Doug Wilson, for now, that a government should be able to override individual and parental rights for the good of a society. Wilson is then stuck in no-man’s land as even the choice TO vaccinate affects all of society. Wilson is obviously ignorant of the fact that many vaccines can shed the live virus they contain for weeks or even months. The measles vaccine, TB vaccine, yellow fever vaccine, oral polio vaccine, smallpox vaccine, and nasal flu vaccine are just some of the vaccines that contain live viruses and have been proven to spread the virus to anyone who is unvaccinated, which can be serious trouble for those who cannot receive vaccines such as the elderly, infants, or the immune compromised. (http://www.vaccineriskawareness.com/Vaccine-Shedding) One study done by scientists working for the Bureau of Immunization, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which looked at the 2011 measles outbreak in New York City concluded “This is the first report of measles transmission from a twice vaccinated individual. The clinical presentation and laboratory data of the index were typical of measles in a naïve individual. Secondary cases had robust anamnestic antibody responses. No tertiary cases occurred despite numerous contacts. This outbreak underscores the need for thorough epidemiologic and laboratory investigation of suspected measles cases regardless of vaccination status.” (http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/58/9/1205.long) In other words, someone who has been vaccinated twice could transmit measles to four other individuals, even individuals who themselves had been vaccinated against measles. Who wants to get vaccinated against measles with those kind of statistics? Certainly the choice to get vaccinated against measles is one that will affect all of society. If Doug Wilson really wants the good of the society, perhaps he should be arguing against vaccines.