Parents Sue to Admit Unvaccinated Son

A New York family is suing a Catholic school who refused to allow their son to enroll in the school without the state required vaccinations. But apparently there is a “conscience clause” stating in part “children whose parent, parents, or guardian hold genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to the practices herein required, and no certificate shall be required as a prerequisite to such children being admitted or received into school or attending school,”.

The family is claiming “[W]e are all created in God’s image. Therefore, we must not defile our blood and our bodies with diseases and other impure substances. As the divine Architect, God designed our bodies to have immune systems that must not be defiled by vaccines. Immunizations are a violation of God’s supreme authority, and therefore, unholy. Since immunizations are unholy they violate my religious beliefs.” also, that accepting vaccinations show a “lack of faith in God, and His perfectly designed immune system,”
I think the reasoning here is flawed on a few levels. First, I agree God designed our immune systems perfectly. Unfortunately, after the perfect creation, the sin which ensued at the fall of man has tarnished our bodies. Assuming they claim some form of Christianity, they should acknowledge the fall and it’s destructive effects. Obviously our immune systems are no longer perfect. After all God also created our eyes, but I need to wear glasses, some are permanently bound to wheelchairs, and numerous other medical deficiencies. What, in this family’s opinion, is so special about the immune system? Have they never caught a cold? Have they ever gotten a headache? I hope they never used Excedrine or some other pain killer lest they be hypocrites.
Second, since God created man, our ingenuity comes from God. God, through man, has advanced medical science to the point where we need not suffer and die from easily curable disease and sickness. We are a part of creation and our abilities are a testament to God. So I do not see participating in preventive medicine is showing a lack of faith.
Third, this reminds me of a barely funny joke about a flood which was on it’s way through this town. The fire dept. knocked on this man’s door telling him he needs to evacuate and they will get him to safety. “God will save me from the flood, I’m not leaving!” and he went to the attic. Then a man in a boat made his way to the house nearly swallowed by the water offering to rescue him from the attic and certain danger. “No, God will save me from the flood, I’m not leaving!” and sent the boat away. Next a rescue helicopter came attempting to rescue the man from his now fully consumed house off the roof, again the man refused claiming God would save him. Needless to say, the man drowned. When standing before God, the maned opined, “God I prayed to you to save me but you never answered my prayers, why not??”. God replied, “I sent the fire dept., a boat, a helicopter…”.

I realize there are legitimate concerns people have for abstaining from vaccinations.  There have been many vaccines in the past which have cause severe health problems.  There are children who suffer ill effects regularly from vaccines, so there are reasonable objections to vaccinations.  However, according to the article on Foxnews.com, my perception is that the family’s objection appears theological.  

This sadly similar to the Jehovah’s Witnesses policy of refusing blood transfusions based on a terrible misunderstanding of a biblical command to not consume blood. Many Jehovah’s Witnesses and their children have needlessly died due to this practice. What is worse, their policy on refusal has changed multiple times over the history of the Watchtower organization.  There is nothing evil or unfaithful about taking medications and vaccinations for protection against disease.  In a fallen world we ought to find gratitude towards God for making us with the abilities we have, that He has not left us on our own.

Comments

  1. I understand where you come from on how ridiculous the parents are by saying that the reason they do not vaccinate their children is due to their religious beliefs because of the parents most likely being Catholic. Christians would be in the same “boat” on that one. ;) I see this as an issue because it is a private school. Private schools have the right to decide who does and who does not attend their school. Ultimately it is their right to do so. Public schools will allow religious reasons for a child not to be vaccinated along with philosophy reasons in MOST American states. I believe the private school has a right to reject the student considering the amount of damage the child could cause the other children at the school and could cause the schools reputation. If there is an out break of measles or mumps or polio (there has not been an outbreak of polio in the US since the 1970’s), or any other infectious disease because of an unvaccinated child attending the school, that would damage the schools reputation. That is not to say that a vaccinated child could not cause an outbreak, that happens all the time because of vaccines that are duds (unknowingly ineffective vaccines), but a child who is vaccinated was thought to be immune thus it saves face to everyone involved. I am a little disappointed that you linked to an anti vaccine propaganda site. That is just me personally. I also can understand why you did not link to a site like Science Based Medicine because most of the writers are anti religion. However, SBM gives MUCH more clear answers to people seeking vaccine information.

    Here is a link to SBM on vaccines.
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?s=nvic
    This is a link to the same site under their Vaccine category. There is so much there that it takes a lot of time to go through, but it is a starting point to understand vaccines and how they work.
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/category/vaccines/
    side note, People can have vaccine injuries, but it is not what anti vaccine groups have made it out to be.

    • Yeah KT

      Definitely. I really think it is a stretch for offering religious reasons for something like vaccines. But you’re right, private school = we make the rules. Businesses (private schools among them) should have that kind of sovereignty when it comes to their customers.

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