Category Archives: vaccines

What’s your price?

We’ve all heard the story, attributed to various writers, of the British humorist sitting next to the beautiful woman at the banquet and asking, “Would you sleep with me for 1 million pounds?” “Of course!” “Would you sleep with me for 10 pounds?” “What kind of woman do you think I am?” “We’ve established that; now we’re just haggling over price.”
Chesterton said that men do not differ so much over what they consider evil as what evils they consider acceptable.
It is the easy compromise that keeps the culture of death going. Every one of us who refuses to compromise gets labelled an “extremist” precisely because of the easy way people sell out.
Every time the Republicans gain ground in national office, pro-life and pro-family issues are a major reason for the voters, but the Republicans never follow through because they claim they won’t be reelected. “Next time,” they tell us.
In the 1970s, the National Right to Life Committee developed a “long term strategy” for overturning _Roe v. Wade_. The first law passed was the Hyde Amendment, banning federal funding of abortion. 40 years later, “progress” is the Republican House passing a new ban on such funding.
Meanwhile, does anybody even talk about embryonic stem cell research anymore? George W. Bush’s “if the babies are already dead, might as well put the remains to good use” reasoning has crept not only into the NRLC’s positions but into the Catholic commentariat. And that’s the same position we hear on vaccines derived from fetal tissue.
In 2005, the Pontifical Academy for Life (pro Vita, or PAV) issued a statement supporting conscientious objection to vaccines derived from from fetal tissue research. There were already position papers from several organizations, most notably the so-called “National Catholic Bioethics Center,” saying such vaccines were acceptable. For most people, this isn’t even an issue. The sheer fact that the Vatican bothered to issue a statement should lean any ambiguities in favor of conscientious objection. Many have tried to twist the document to say it opposes conscientious objection. If so-called “anti-vaxxers” are a minority of extremists, why would the Vatican, which so often fails to address prevalent problems of theological discipline, bother to tell “anti-vaxxers” to comply?
Yes, the document explains the parameters of remote material cooperation (more on that later). Yes, the document explains there are conditions which mitigate culpability for such cooperation. Yes, if somebody feels compelled to vaccinate, the document says they should voice their objections, but that is supposed to be the exception, not the rule.
In 2008, a lot of people said, “I’m pro-life, and I voted for Obama because I figure that, if he knows pro-life people voted for him, maybe he’ll change his views.” Yep, that’s how politics works.
If nobody stands up and says, “I won’t support this,” what is to motivate those in power to change?
There are very few vaccines for which the only form is derived from fetal tissue research, and all of those are diseases that have other means of treatment or prevention and/or are rarely life threatening. The most life threatening diseases (e.g., polio) have alternatives that exist, but they’re increasingly unavailable. When our eldest was a baby, there were separated forms of measles and mumps vaccine available, but they were hard to get, and you had to find a doctor willing to order them. The ethical rubella vaccine is not available in the US because of “FDA” regulation, even though it’s proven effective in other countries.
If there were more people standing up and saying, “We want ethical alternatives and will not vaccinate until you provide them,” things would change pretty quickly, but as it is, a) most people just vaccinate, with or without “stating their objections”; and b) the rest just become out right “anti-vaxxers,” objecting to all vaccinations and tying in other issues to fetal tissue. So thus of us who merely object to specific vaccinations on specific ethical grounds are left without support. It is so disheartening to have to file for a “religious exemption” at Catholic institutions when we’re Catholic, and explain to Catholic school and parish officials why we object. It is disheartening to find that most state regulations and doctors’ offices take an all-or-nothing approach, so we can’t get the ethical vaccines, either.

The original NCBC position paper from the 1990s had two related points that really irk me.
1) They, and most subsequent “the good of the vaccines outweighs the evil” ends-justify-the-means arguments, hold that parents have a “moral obligation to protect the life and health of their children.” To a certain extent, this is true. However, this moral obligation gets transmuted into saying it’s mortally sinful to get someone sick. This is also applied in the question of whether you should go to Mass when you’re sick, and other situations. Now, if such moral obligations and sinful circumstances exist, and I have a 50% chance of passing on Marfan syndrome, which will be far more likely to be fatal than any virus, to my children, I think one can see why I take some offense to this, especially when so many people who *do* have Marfan syndrome insist on contraception, IVF and/or abortion for that reason.
2) The original NCBC document grants that conscientious objection constitutes heroic virtue (and I think most of us on that side would agree), but argues that parents do not have the right to make decisions of heroic virtue for their kids. The problem with this (and the previous premise) is, what about Catholic parents in Muslim and Communist countries? Should they not baptize their children for fear of putting their children’s lives at risk and making decisions of heroic virtue?

If you’ve decided that vaccination was the right choice for you and your family, and you feel no pang of conscience about it, then why be so hard on “anti-vaxxers”? Aren’t you and your kids safe?

If we, as Catholics, mistrust the medical establishment on contraception and other issues, why is the rhetoric on vaccines to do as you’re told by Big Pharma?

If measles is making a comeback, why won’t Merck provide the ethical, separate measles vaccine it discontinued in favor of MMR? Why is Merck so adamant about forcing people to violate our consciences?

“He who seeks to keep his life will lose it; he who loses his life will save it.”: Vaccines versus viruses; prepping versus providence

If there’s one thing the Bible is clear about, it’s not putting our trust in princes, in mortal men in whom there is no help, not trusting in our own devices, etc., for God chooses the weak things of the world that no flesh may glory in His sight. The foolish man cannot know this, and the fool cannot understand.
From the time when Satan refused to trust God, then tempted Adam and Eve to “be like Gods who know,” to the Tower of Babel to Israel being punished over and over for not doing things Gods way, while those who were justified were justified by their absolute trust in God, even when His instructions were foolishness to human wisdom, the Bible tells us over and over that we should, as Jesus says, “Consider the lilies of the field,” for we know no the day nor the hour. Just when we are saying “peace and security,” the Lord will come like a thief in the night and say, “You fool! Don’t you know this very night your life will be demanded of you?”
I am always dismayed by Christians who insist that they should put their trust in worldly goods, rather than building up treasure in Heaven, be they investors, “preppers,” etc. Obviously, there is a common sense level of protecting ones health and family, and keeping an emergency reserve if possible, but some people seem way too concerned about storing up treasure on earth.
Then there’s the vaccine issue. Again, nothing wrong with protecting health, but doing so at the expense of other people’s lives should be avoided, and it is difficult to suppress the instinct to say, “I told you so,” when the efforts people cling to prove futile in the face of worse and worse viruses and bacteria strains. We hear about “herd immunity” (a term that’s offensive in itself), and see arguments about what that does or does not mean. We see arguments about old viruses returning supposedly because of unvaccinated families, though others arguing they’re spreading among the vaccinated and that they’ve gotten worse because of resistance. Now, there is apparently a virus spreading that mimics a cold or flu but is far worse and they barely even know what it is. . . .

Why believers make better doctors

In our pluralistic society, the notion of choosing a business or professional based upon faith is considered discriminatory. We hear a lot about businesses refusing to provide particular services based upon moral principles, but not about customers, unless it suits the Left’s agenda. “I will “I will gladly be your doctor but I will not prescribe contraceptives” becomes “He refused to give me health care!” On the other hand, a doctor pressuring a woman to *use* birth control is perfectly fine, and if she refuses to go to that doctor, she’s the one who’s considered extremist.

As I’ve written many times, and is one of the founding principles of this blog, it is very difficult to find doctors who support patients’ moral choices: not to profit from or participate in fetal tissue or embryonic stem cell research, not to use artificial birth control, etc. People who don’t include morality in their medical decisions–and those who do but take a very broad interpretation of “remote material cooperation”–seem to not understand why this is important to some of us patients. I’m sure many people would rightly object to eating at a restaurant with a sign saying “whites only.” They would understand why supporting a business owned by a KKK owner is objectionable. However, they don’t understand why we wouldn’t want to support a medical business that engages in practices we find morally repugnant: this is both because they think it’s wrong to *consider* those actions wrong and because they refuse to acknowledge that medicine is a “business.”

So that brings me to why, even if we’re not talking about moral issues, I find it’s important to generally choose, when possible, doctors who are people of faith. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re Catholics, or even Christians, but they have to believe in some sort of “higher power.” I believe it’s a saying, but I’ve often found that doctors who don’t believe in God think they are God.

If a doctor thinks that religion is stupid and irrational, what does he think about patients who are believers? If he doesn’t trust your discernment about spiritual and moral matters, will he trust your discernment about your own health and healthcare decisions?

If she doesn’t believe in God, when difficult moral issues do arise (e.g. end of life issues), will she be more willing to take the easy way out?

I’ve encountered many doctors over the years who have mocked me for praying, flat-out side, “There are no such things as miracles,” etc. A year after my 1996 aortic root replacement, some of the tissue around the stitches of my artificial valve started to leak. During my echo, the tech got really quiet. He got up and got the cardiologist, who redid the echo himself, very slowly. You know something was seriously wrong. He came in afterwards and gave us the report. He ordered me to bed rest for a year. A year later, they were worse. A year after that, I expected them to be even worse. This time, he came in with his jaw metaphorically on the floor, saying, “They healed!!” Ever since then, every doctor I’ve told that story to has had one of two reactions: 1. “Wow, a miracle!” or 2. “That doesn’t happen. He’s probably an idiot and misread the echoes.” Yeah, that’s why he did it personally, slowly, right away, to double-check the technician’s initial finding.

For a few years in Northern Virginia, I went to one of the highest-rated cardiologists in that region, and he said that prayer and “faith,” generically, is a huge part of his practice, that he finds patients who pray and meditate perform far better than those who don’t.

ACLU Suing Catholic Hospital

Doctor tries to “force his opinion” regarding abortion on patient. Patient complains. ACLU sues Catholic hospital. Sounds predictable, right?

Not this time.

This time, they’re suing on behalf of the *doctor*.

You see, if a patient goes to a doctor or pharmacy, even one that’s openly Catholic, and demands contraception or abortion, then it’s “The doctor/hospital doesn’t have the right to force their moral views on the patient.”

However, if a patient goes to a Catholic facility expecting it will follow Catholic moral teachings, then it’s “the patient doesn’t have the right to force her moral views on the doctor”

If you want to put your own blood pressure at risk, you can see the typical hate-filled account and commentary at “Reproductive Health Reality Check” (aka, “Reproductive Poisoning Delusion Check”).

What makes this case hit close to home, and the exact kind of situation this blog was created for, is that the patient in question was suspected of having Marfan syndrome. And much like the cases of so many people who’ve been advised to abort their babies for eugenicist purposes only to find out later the babies didn’t have the genetic disorder in question, the woman doesn’t even have Marfan.

So much for “pro-choice.” If a person with same sex attraction disorder wants therapy for that problem, New Jersey’s “Catholic” “Republican” governor has made it a crime to provide that person with such therapy. Now, the ACLU is trying to say that it’s illegal for those of us who put our moral views first in making medical decisions to seek out providers who agree with us.

The unnamed woman had an unspecified “family history” and was sent to the cardiologist by her Ob/Gyn because she got pregnant. If she had been going for an evaluation for school sports, we know darn well she’d be told, “there’s very little risk, go for it,” even though if you go by the pre-1990s statistics, sports are far more dangerous than childbirth (given the mortality rate for untreated women is much higher). If a person *were* diagnosed with Marfan, and chose to play sports anyway, that would be considered “courageous,” but a woman who chooses life is considered “foolish” and “throwing her life away for a blob of tissue” (better than throwing her life away for a blob of rubber).

At least one of the articles thankfully specifies “severe cases may be fatal,” but a “severe case of Marfan syndrome” would have been obvious before she was pregnant, especially if she had a family history and knew to look out for it. Media are about as accurate in reporting on Marfan syndrome as they are about reporting on Catholicism, and the reports on this case illustrate both areas of gaping ignorance. Typically, “Marfan syndrome” is referred to as synonymous with “aortic root aneurysm,” and while that, in conjunction with ectopia lentis, has become the distinguishing characteristic from other connective tissue disorders, if she truly had a “severe case,” with a family history, other signs would have manifested themselves. If she did not have any existing aortic enlargement, there would have been no more risk from childbirth than any other strenuous activity she’d likely engage in.

As for the Catholic hospital side, commentbox feminazis (noting that the definition of “feminazi” is “a person who uses feminism as an excuse to ensure there are as many abortions as possible”) are making all sorts of false claims about “women’s health care,” saying that Catholic hospitals don’t treat ectopic pregnancy, give “emergency contraception,” etc. Treating an ectopic pregnancy is not the same thing as an abortion; the death of the child is a matter of double effect, and in many cases the child is already dead. The Church allows for necessary medical care which may endanger the baby, so long as there is not a direct abortion. It’s why St. Gianna Molla demonstrated heroic virtue; she went above and beyond the call of duty, opting not to have life saving medical care the Church would have permitted. Similarly, while the question of contraception in the case of rape is a matter of debate in Catholic circles, most Catholic ethical guidelines state that “emergency contraception” is permissible within 24 hours of a rape, so long as conception has not yet occurred.

I have never understood, “Don’t get pregnant, or have an abortion, because your child might me killed by your medical treatment,” any more than I’ve ever understood, “Kill your child now so you don’t have to watch him or her die later.”

Also, she went to a cardiologist because she was pregnant and had a family history. This could be taken either way, but anybody with a modicum of experience knows that’s one of the first things the “experts” say about Marfan syndrome: that it can be fatal for pregnant women (I’m not sure what the statistics are, but again, best I can tell it’s no more dangerous than any other strenuous activity one engages in while trying to actually have a “life”).

I’m sure that this woman heard this “advice” already and specifically went to a Catholic hospital to avoid being pressured into an abortion.

Want to go to a doctor for advice on Natural Family Planning? That’s illegal now, because according to the reasoning of the the ACLU, the likes of Chris Christie and the Obama Administration, since contraception is legal, that makes NFP illegal. If it’s illegal to provide “gay conversion therapy” or to provide a 100% pro-life medical practice to people who want it, then should Weight Watchers be illegal? How about vaccinations, regardless of your reason for objecting? “Don’t force your religious views on your doctor.” Don’t want to benefit from embryonic stem cell research, fetal tissue research, etc.? “You can’t put your religious views ahead of your health care.” What about “alternative medicine”? How many of those people who insist on polluting their bodies with birth control pills yet won’t eat at McDonald’s or take antibiotics would like it if people suddenly started suing them and saying, “McDonald’s is legal, so you *must* eat there”?

The hypocrisy of the ACLU and the “pro-choice” euphemism is that liberty is a two-way street. Even if we take a bare modicum standard of “liberty,” setting aside Natural Law, medical ethics, etc., a free market needs to operate both ways.

A little blurb out of Atlanta, where Demonocrats are desperately trying to fight having statewide (and thus, virtual) charter schools. Now, charter schools have their problems–as do public schools, private schools, parochial schools and homeschools–there is no such thing as a perfect educational system as all educational systems are human institutions.

The article in question concerns how a pro-Charter School activist allegedly “shoved” a Democratic state senator and a representative of the state PTA, Sally Fitzgerald. They have a video showing the charter school lobbyist bumping into the PTA lobbyist, and the old woman teetering a bit, but they’re trying to file misdemeanor assault charges against him for it, and the state senator says he wants to see the guy “in prison.” Boy, I wish I could file misdemeanor assault charges against everyone who ever bumped into me! All of us have been bumped in the manner shown in the video, and I don’t know how many times I’ve been intentionally shoved, pushed over, etc., whether standing or in my wheelchair.

In any case, what strikes me is the last part of the article. Apparently, at the rally in question, someone (article implies it was Fitzgerald but doesn’t specify) challenged a young “charter school student” for being at the rally and “not in school”. Of course, that’s part of the point of homeschooling and virtual schooling: to give students the freedom to actually learn from life experience. Here’s my response that I wrote to the Georgia PTA:

Dear Ms. Fitzgerald,

I was alerted to the recent news story about your anti-charter school activism. While I believe charter schools are problematic, as are all models of education, I believe very strongly in school choice. The Natural Law, which is binding on all people but arbitrated by the Catholic Church as the only institution on earth that can speak for Jesus Christ, dictates that parents are the primary educators of children, and that educational institutions, whether secular or religious, exist only to assist parents in our rightful duty of educating our children according to our own values. The Popes also teach the principle of subsidiarity: since the primary social unit in God’s eyes is the family, all other social institutions exist to protect the family, and therefore management of various aspects of social life, particularly education, should be kept as local and as close to the family level as possible.

To wit, I was struck by the following comment in this article:
“She said every adult has the right to be concerned about truancy laws, even if the child isn’t their own.”
I found this comment interesting coming from someone who is apparently of the liberal persuasion, and was tied in the article with a Democrat legislator.
Do you also believe that every adult should be concerned about abortion, even if the child isn’t their own?

My mother in law was the second woman ever to get a PhD from Auburn and one of the first women in the country to get a PhD in microbiology. She grew up on a farm, and her mother kept her home once a week to do farm chores.

I have an MA in English from Valdosta State University with a 3.85 GPA, a BA from the SC Honors College with a 3.98 GPA (graduated at 19 and had open heart surgery between my junior and senior years). I’m Phi Beta Kappa, Golden, Key, National Honors Society, etc. I scored a 1350 on the SAT at 15 and graduated high school at 16. I had a combined 2180 on the GRE at 18. I have had numerous articles and conference presentations in the past 15 years.

I did all of this while suffering from a life threatening genetic disorder, of which I am in the final stages. I suffered an aortic dissection last year. I was frequently absent from school. I was “modified homebound” in 8th grade, and spent an entire quarter home from school in 10th grade. Even in college, I had to spend the semester before my open heart surgery at home. Thankfully, Disability Services at USC arranged for me to do my work from home, and my professors were very accommodating given my academic success.

Yet my whole life I was made to feel like a second class student because of “attendance.” Even though I was never penalized for it, I was always “penalized” by the many awards programs, scholarships, etc., that take attendance into consideration. I was penalized by attending awards ceremonies every year and seeing students commended for “perfect attendance” that I would never be able to achieve.

“Perfect attendance” is just another way that eugenicist Democrats put down the disabled. It means absolutely nothing to a student’s actual learning, since most real learning occurs at home. To emphasize attendance is to say that those who are blessed with healthy immune systems are better than everyone else, just because of their genes. It is saying, in essence, that a healthy immune system makes someone “more equal” than others. Of course, advocates of “perfect attendance” also promote vaccinations, which forces parents to be complicit in the evil of abortion by utilizing vaccinations derived from fetal tissue. And lastly, it encourages students to come to school when they are sick, which promotes contagion of other students and promotes poor education by having students attempt to learn when they are physically incapacitated.

Certainly, a student who is actively engaging in the political process by attending an event at the State House is learning far more than he or she would learn in the classroom, as advocates of so-called “unschooling” would point out. My 10 year old daughter knows more about biology and medicine than most high school or college graduates because she lives it in dealing with the genetic disorder we share.

I have utilized public and private schools, charter schools and homeschooling in educating my children. I believe that parents should be given as many options as possible to choose the best fits for their families and their individual children. However, I also believe that attendance rules are arbitrary and inherently discriminatory, and I look forward to the day when disabled people rise up to declare attendance rules unconstitutional.

Sincerely,

John of the Little Way, OCDS
North Augusta, SC

Shepherds and Car salesmen

Originally Published 12/24/2006

I recall reading a Christmas meditation somewhere that speculated about who *else* might have heard the message that First Christmas–and ignored it.

Were the shepherds the only ones who saw the angels in the sky and heard the first Gloria in excelsis deo? How many people figured it was just a dream or hallucination? How many people just heard the commotion and hid in fear? How many simply slept through it?

How many astrologers saw the star and ignored its meaning or misinterpreted it?

Did God call the shepherds and Persian Magi only, or were the just the only ones who bothered to respond?

Throughout the Gospels, from Bethlehem to Calvary to Emmaus, it’s the shepherds, the fisherman, the prostitutes and the tax collectors who “get it”. With a few exceptions, like Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, the theologians are out of the loop.

Today, I had my car in for a service, and, as I was waiting, I wandered around the dealership. I had brought my Christian Prayer with me to say Lauds. But first, I thought I’d wander around and look at the cars. A salesman came up to me and struck up a conversation. First, he noticed my “Good Book.” It’s often a moment of gentle evangelization when a Protestant asks about my “Bible” and then I say, “Actually, it’s a breviary,” which leads into an explanation of the Divine Office (Apologetics note: one of the many advantages of saying the Office vis the Rosary, besides that it’s actually liturgy, is that it’s a lot easier to explain the Office to a Protestant than it is to explain the Rosary).

As it turned out, he said, “Oh, I used to say the Office a bit in college, but fell away. . . .” As he proceeded, I was pegging him for some kind of Episcopalian. Of course, we were both “beating around the bush” a bit and speaking in non-denominatoinalese.

Then he started talking about his theological debates with some of the other car salesmen in town, and that got to my mentioning pursuing my MA in theology.
He said, “Catholic theology, I assume?” I replied in the affirmative, and that got us off the “beating around the bush”and into some pretty serious sharing.

He explained that he’s an orthodox Catholic, FUS graduate, but works with many Protestant ministries, as well, including the 700 Club. I talked about Flannery O’Connor’s theory of the convergence of Evangelicalism & Catholicism.

He warned me against the dangers of arrogance when one becomes a “theologian,” and I wholeheartedly agreed. Earlier on, he had mentioned how his theological debates (he specifically mentioned Calvinism & Purgatory) usually focus on the concept of relationship: God created us to relate to Him, and everything else stems from that. I agreed, and talked about my own work, how I’m working on a book on that topic, and my work with bioethics and the pro-life movement. I noted how I’ve been seeing the same problems popping up with “conservative” and “Loyal to the Magisterium” theologians that we see in “liberal” theologians now that “our side” is more mainstream, and he agreed: the fundamentalist treatment of the Catechism, for example, such that the absence of statement on some moral question (e.g., vaccines) makes it licit, especially if a stated principle (protection of health) can be exaggerated.

He said, “Yeah, like it’s OK to eat the baby if you’re starving.”

And I said, “We shouldn’t be thinking about what we can get away with or how much we can justify. My question is: if Jesus were standing next to me, what would He think of me partaking in this?”

That was about the time when the service guy came up and said my car was ready.

Obama is anti woman and anti-child; vote PRO-LIFE on Nov. 2

Simply Put


I am pro-life.

Here’s how I prioritize my vote:

1. I oppose contraception–if I find that rare politician who does, he or she has my vote, hands down.
2. I oppose abortion, completely. I vote for the *MOST* anti-abortion candidate: I’ll vote for an “incrementalist” or “some exceptions candidate,” but I’m going to vote for the person who’s going to do the *most* to outlaw abortion. If it’s a choice between someone who’s anti-abortion but pro-ESCR and someone who’s anti-both, I’ll vote for the latter.
3. If the positions on abortion are relatively equal, and depending upon the office, I’ll consider the death penalty, torture and war. For example, I care far more about the death penalty if I’m voting for a judge or district attorney. I really don’t care about a district attorney’s position on war, but I care more about a presidential candidate’s position on war than his position on the death penalty.
4. If all of the above are equal, then I’m going to look at candidates’ positions on marriage, education, and parental rights. I supported Mike Huckabee in the 2008 primary because he calls for getting rid of “no fault” divorce and he supports laws that favor homeschooling.
5. After all these, if it gets down to nuances between candidates with similar views on all the above issues, I’ll look at their positions on “dignity of the human person” issues such as disability rights, welfare and the environment.

I believe in a consistent life ethic

I believe in a consistent life ethic, but I’d rather use Fr. Frank Pavone’s analogy of a house (some issues are foundational; some issues are pillars; some issues are the roof; and some are the walls and decorations) than the “seamless garment” of Eileen Egan and Joseph Cardinal Bernardin. Apparently, Bernardin’s seamless garment tore when he worked to cover up the still-unsolved 1983 murder of a church organist who had documentation of the active homosexual subculture in the Chicago priesthood and was about to go to the media.

Anyway, the Church is very clear that there are times when war and the death penalty are necessary–even Jesus Himself says so (Mt 18:6).

But there is no justification for abortion. There is no justification for killing the disabled. There is no justification for killing people on the basis of religion, race, sexual orientation or gender.

Oh, by the way, in all the complaints about oppressed minorities, and in all the media complaints about the lack of justice for victims of crimes committed *by* priests, when are we going to start hearing about the many crimes committed *against* priests? When are we going to hear about the the murders of Catholic priests by KKK members in the “Old South,” unsolved or otherwise unresolved?

Autism and Vaccines

We’ve probably all heard the hypothesis that autism rates in the US are somehow related to vaccinations. Now, there are several factors on both sides of this issue:

1. Mercury used to be used in vaccinations but is no longer used.
2. Mercury poisoning causes brain damage with symptoms similar to autism, but it is not, technically, autism.
3. The reason for increasing “rates” of autism is that autism is being more frequently diagnosed. It was not even recognized in the earliest versions of the DSM. Autism in its severist form used to be considered a form of schizophrenia until the 1960s.
4. Wondering why we have “more” cases of autism would be like people a generation or two now wondering why there were increased cases of Loeys-Deitz Syndrome.
5. The term “autism” was originally coined by Eugen Beuler to describe schizophrenics being focused inwardly: literally “self-ism”. Hans Asperger and Leo Kanner were the first to describe young “schizophrenic” children being “autistic,” around the same time, but it is not known whether they were aware of each other’s research.
6. People generally think autism is supposed to be something rare. In fact, one of Asperger’s points was that in any large school, there were a certain number of students who had these characteristics.

So, the theory that autism is somehow spiking in our society due to some other factor (like vaccinations) is really just a factor of autism being identified.

Now, what about parental wisdom coming into play? One of the most basic flaws of medical ethics is the refusal of doctors to trust patients’ self-knowledge. I spent nearly seven years trying to get someone to listen about my TIAs till an angiogram turned up my brain aneurysm.

So parents say their kids start showing signs of autism when they get vaccinated. Maybe it’s not anything in the vaccine; maybe it’s the vaccine itself.

Autism is, fundamentally, an attachment disorder. I’ve read about studies where autistic patients were given pitocin, and it basically cured their autism. The endorphin-oxytocin cycle of the brain actually explains a great deal of mental health issues.

Oxytocin is the hormone that helps humans form pair bonds, particularly family bonds. It is triggered by several activities, and is the hormone that gives that true feeling of “euphoria” you get from:

1. Having a great conversation
2. Meeting someone you really like/are interested in (whether in terms of romance, friendship or professional relationship).
3. Skin to skin contact
4. Completing a job.
5. Prayer or meditation
6. Lots of exercise
7. Massage
8. Childbirth and breast feeding.

Most people who’ve heard of oxytocin have heard of it because of its role in childbirth and breast feeding. The mother’s body releases a ton of oxytocin when she gives birth, to both loosen her joints and loosen her mind. Her body also releases a ton of it when she breastfeeds, to help bond her with her baby. But oxytocin is triggered by any of the above activities, giving the body a sense of satisfaction and relaxation, and opening the mind to pair-bonding, whether it’s parent/child, husband/wife or friend/friend.

There is a cycle of hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain which starts with endorphins and dopamine. These are the body’s “reward” hormones. They give that basic buzz you get when you finish a small pleasant task. The idea is to keep you going for the next “buzz” till the job’s done.

ADHD medicines trigger that part of the brain. So do caffein and cocaine. So does autoeroticism. Most addictive behaviors are addictive because they give the body that dopamine buzz. But the purpose of dopamine is to facilitate production of oxytocin, and too much triggering of dopamine can impede oxytocin.

So a great deal of mental health issues, including autism, are linked in some degree or another to failure of oxytocin in the system. The research I mentioned earlier tried artificial pitocin–the huge dose of artificial oxytocin sometimes given to pregnant woman to induce labor or help in a difficult labor–on autism patients and found them almost cured by it. But the dose was too strong to be healthy, and the implications of a drug that would make people trust one another implicitly were scary.

Now, let’s get back to the vaccination question. Vaccinations don’t cause autism, but do they exacerbate it? Parents think vaccines cause autism because the children’s behavior changes after receiving their shots. Mary says that about our own kids, that she saw marked changes in their behavior after their first sets of shots, not necessarily the first, but definitely the second.

Could the real connection not be a biochemical one, per se, but a psychological one? The infant’s entire sense of safety and trust is bound up in the parent bond. Vaccination takes that relationship of trust and immediately throws it into a challenge. The parent has brought the child to this stranger to be poked with a painful needle.

To a child with the genetic predisposition to autism, could this traumatic experience in infancy lead to a worse or earlier manifestation of autistic symptoms by breaking that crucial bond?

Obama: Turn in Anyone who Opposes Me

From the White House Blog:

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain e-mails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an e-mail or see something on the Web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.

Mr. Obama, you talk of “disinformation.”  Can you show us a single example of a country with socialized medicine, other than Malta, that actually *works*?

Can you tell us how we are supposed to make free medical choices when the government is in charge?

Can you guarantee us that your plan is not going to fund contraception or abortion?

Can you guarantee us that there will not be “rationining,” euthanasia or sterilization, even though your closest advisors tell us this is the case?

Can you guarantee that you are not taking away our right to purchase private insurance, taxing us for having it, or otherwise penalizing private insurance versus your government plan?

Oh, and how are you going to pay for this?

Why I do not support “universal health care” at the federal level

1.  It goes against the Social Justice Encyclicals.  “WHAT?”  you ask?  “That’s impossible!”  But it does: one of the most consistent teachings of the Popes, found also in Chestertonian Distributism, is that workers should have an “ownership” of their labor, that those who do the work should have the ultimate say in the business.  Ask public school teachers if they have a sense of ownership in their labor.

2.  It goes against subsidiarity, as well as the Tenth Amendment.  It’s none of the federal government’s business.  It’s a state or local matter.

3.  “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”: socialized medicine is just another way for the federal government to increase its power.  Like every new bureaucracy, it will add more political appointments for politicians to reward people with.  More tax money for them to play with.   Again, has the US Department of Education done anything to improve education in the 30 years it’s existed?  And when Reagan came to power, promising to abolish it, did he?  No.  He realized it represented new power for him to push his personal agendas with.

4.  Does anyone *really* think the Democrats will let it pass without including abortion?  And is anyone bothering to say they won’t support it if it funds contraception?

5.  We already have socialized medicine.  It’s called Medicaid, and it stinks.  But just about anyone who really needs healthcare will qualify for it.

6.  Rationing, eugenics and euthanasia: as Oregon, the UK, Canada, the Netherlands and other places that have socialized medicine have demonstrated, it comes with great cost to those who have serious health conditions, genetic disorders and severe disabilities.  We’ve already seen how Obama’s original HHS appointee, Tom Daschle, supports a national committee to establish standards for denying care to those who are most seriously ill.

7.  Vaccines and embryonic stem cell research, or even natural child birth: socialized medicine will take away our freedom of choice in our own medical care.  We will have less freedom to conscientiously object to any procedures we disagree with .  As it is, federal standards are often cited by doctors who refuse to let patients conscientiously object.

8.  Every person I’ve talked to who has actually lived in a country with socialized medicine, even those who say they are supporters of it, will admit that there are huge waiting lists for what we now consider basic tests like MRIs and CT Scans, as well as for seeing specialists and definitely having major surgery. 

All they need to do is make it easier for those who need it to qualify for Medicaid, and give tax credits for private health insurance.

Evangelium Vitae on Other Offenses to Life

Expounding on the vast range of offenses of the Culture of Death, John Paul II writes, in Evangelium Vitae,

What of the spreading of death caused by reckless tampering with the world’s ecological balance, by the criminal spread of drugs, or by the promotion of certain kinds of sexual activity which, besides being morally unacceptable, also involve grave risks to life? It is impossible to catalogue completely the vast array of threats to human life, so many are the forms, whether explicit or hidden, in which they appear today!

Ecological responsibility is a pro-life issue.
The drug war, obviously, is a pro-life issue.
But it is interesting that John Paul notes, in passing, how sexually promiscuous behavior, due to spreading STDs, is also an offense against life.
Interesting contrast to those who say that the Church is irresponsible in regard to AIDS by opposing condoms: how about those who engage in promiscuous sex are “irresponsible” in regard to AIDS?

Are you afraid of the flu?

One of my major pet peeves with modern Americans is their fear of illness.
This is especially true when it comes to people who claim to be Christians.

Whether it’s discussion of vaccinations (ethicality or otherwise), distribution of Holy Communion (even though I disagree with common distribution of the Chalice, anyway), the technical rules of the VIRTUS program according to its website (church employees and volunteers are to stay home if they cough or sneeze, for fear of causing a lawsuit for infecting smoeone), or attendance at Mass (some say it’s morally obligatory, not just permissible, to stay home if you’re sick), it baffles me why anyone who has faith in Christ should fear illness.

As Fr. John Corapi puts it, “It is not fit for a prince or a princess of the kingdom to be afraid.”

Think Fr. Corapi’s a “right wing extremist”?  OK, how about this “extremist” “fideist” fanatic?

“And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Mt 10:28; this and next several from Douay-Rheims).

“He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for me, shall find it.” (Mt 10:39).

“2 And when they had seen some of his disciples eat bread with common, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. 3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews eat not without often washing their hands, holding the tradition of the ancients: 4 And when they come from the market, unless they be washed, they eat not: and many other things there are that have been delivered to them to observe, the washings of cups and of pots, and of brazen vessels, and of beds. 5 And the Pharisees and scribes asked him: Why do not thy disciples walk according to the tradition of the ancients, but they eat bread with common hands?

6 But he answering, said to them: Well did Isaias prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 And in vain do they worship me, teaching doctrines and precepts of men. 8 For leaving the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men, the washing of pots and of cups: and many other things you do like to these.[. . .]15 There is nothing from without a man that entering into him, can defile him. But the things which come from a man, those are they that defile a man. (Mk 7:2-15).

“41 And the Lord answering, said to her: Martha, Martha, thou art careful, and art troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is necessary.” (Lk 10:41-42).

So, what do you have to be worried about?  Don’t you know that every hair on your head is counted, that your Father in Heaven will protect you as He protects the lilies of the field?

That isn’t to say you won’t get sick.  As St. Teresa of Avila teahes, and experience proves, God’s will is often precisely that we *will* be sick and suffering.  God wants to keep us knocked down so we’re dependent upon Him.

But God will provide.  What possible thing is there to worry about in getting the flu?

Death???  Are you, a Christian, really afraid of death??? 

“O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?” (1 Cor 15:55)

Why be afraid of death?

“Now the sting of death is sin: and the power of sin is the law” (1 Cor 15:56)

The only reason to be afraid of death is when we live in Sin.

For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you, and many sleep. (1 Cor 11:29-30).

When we sin, we place ourselves under the law instead of the freedom of Christ.  We lose God’s protection–except in efforts to bring us to repentance–when we live in sin.

That is the real reason people fear the flu.  They fear their own sins, which put them in subjection to the Devil.

If you fear death, go to Confession.  There is a Catholic psychologist who says obsessive compulsion is just a “guilt complex,” and that guilt complexes come from unrepented sin.  He recommends that compulsives make a constant prayer of Psalm 51.

Otherwise, if you are trying to live a holy life, if you are trying to be as close to Christ as possible, why fear death?  Why obsess over organic food?

If you die, it’s God’s will.  You can’t escape that.  Certainly, you must do certian basic things to maintain your life, but obessively pursuing health is contrary to the Gospel.

So you eat your organic food and exercise an hour a day and wash your hands every hour, and sterilize everything, and brush your teeth 4 times a day.  Even if you live like Adrian Monk, how can you add a single day to your life?  Can you really escape death?

“You fool: don’t you know this very day your life will be demanded of you?” (Lk 12:20).

“But I have responsibilities,” you say.  “I have a family.  A spouse.  Children.  Elderly parents.  They need me.”

Do they?  Do you, in your pride and vainglory, presume to be so important?  Do you not trust God to provide for them? 

In vain is your earlier rising,
your going later to rest,
you who toil for the bread you eat,
when he pours gifts on his beloved while they slumber. (Psalm 127:2)

If you are worried about providing for your family, live in a state of grace! Those who live according to God’s Will will always have their needs provided by God’s Providence. Those who die in a state of grace, and free from attachment to sin, will go straight to Heaven. The best way to provide for your family after your death is not a “nest egg” or life insurance policy.

The best way to provide for your family after your death is to become a Saint.

So, what have you, Christian, to fear from the flu?

My Comments to the NIH

Tuesday is the absolute last day to comment to the NIH on embryonic stem cell research. Please take a few seconds to click here and make a statement against federal funding of ESCR and *for* federal funding of adult stem cell research.

Here are my comments:

Dear NIH,
I have a genetic disorder called Marfan syndrome. When I was a child, my parents were very active politically. “Reagan Democrats,” they were active in teachers’ union, pro-life and birth defect related causes. My father was vice president for communications of the National Marfan Foundation. My parents attended the 1986 NORD conference, where my father sat at dinner with the director of the NIH.
I was one of the 1,000 patients in the study which helped isolate the FBN-1 gene responsible for Marfan syndrome. With 10,000 nucleotides on the Marfan gene, and only 1,000 participants, they did not expect to find the same nucleotide mutation in more than one patient, but they did. They found my exact mutation in three people. As I was the closest, they asked me to donate some skin tissue so they could study my stem cells. I gladly volunteered.
I believe very strongly in medical research. I believe very strongly in alleviating suffering when possible.
But I also believe very strongly that the ends never justify the means, and that medical treatments derived from unethical practices cannot be used ethically by patients.
My mother has an autoimmune disease, and back when they first said she had Multiple Sclerosis, when she and I would say we’d never accept treatments derived from fetal tissue research, most people said we were “nuts.”
To that end, my wife and I conscientiously object to vaccinations that are derived from fetal tissue research and culturing.
I was very troubled about 5 years ago when I learned of the development of a “stem cell bank”. People who carry various genetic disorders, including Marfan syndrome, are asked to use in vitro fertillization, then “pre-screen” embryos that are tested positive for the genetic disorder. Those “defective” embryos are “donated” to the “stem cell bank” for research, while the “healthy” embryos are “used” by the parents. This very language is terrifying when knowing we are dealing with individual living human beings with their own unique genetic codes.
We look at our seven year old daughter, positive for Marfan syndrome, and what a beautiful, loving, happy child she is. She ahs this amazing charisma. We go to stores we haven’t visited in a year, and people look at her and say, “OH! I remember yoU!” If we followed the above “advice,” if we used in vitro fertilization (or didn’t reproduce at all, as many Marfans “choose”), she wouldn’t be here.
Meanwhile, beacuse of my Marfan syndrome, we are much more aware of health issues and genetic disorders, so while our other children have tested negative, genetically, for Marfan syndrome, we are nevertheless attuned to their own health issues.
When our second pregnancy ended in miscarriage, we were greatly disappointed at how few people appreciated our mourning. Even many “pro-life” people, including our physician and a priest, said to us in our grief, that it was “just a blighted ovum” or “just some tissue.”
Where is the compassion, the love, the humanity in a culture that sees human embryos as mere commodoties? This person sees the embryo as research material to dissect. That person sees the embryo as waste material to be “discarded.” Someone else sees the embryo as a designer baby to be selected.
As a disabled person, I am very concerned about a society which defines “humanity” based not upon a positive objective criterion (such as having a unique DNA sequence and the principle of life) but rather on arbiitrary defintiions of “deprivation”. Shortly after Terri Schiavo was starved to death, I watched a film about a man with Cerebral Palsy who grew up in the early 20th Century. Back then, they called anyone who couldn’t walk a “vegetable.” Name any quality of an embryo that you can claim negates that embryo’s human rights, and I will show you a disabled person lacking the same quality.
I was hugely disappointed 8 years ago when President George W. Bush, elected for his alleged commitment to life, decided to fund embryonic stem cell research. I had wished that he’d merely said, “As a conservative, I believe federal funding of medical research is unconstitutional.” But he didn’t.
For years, people have been spending thousands of dolalrs to travel to countries where the healthcare is not nearly as good as our own but where there is greater freedom of research, in order to receive effective treatments for their conditions from adult stem cell research.
In decades of work, there has been no progress with embryonic stem cells because the very “pluripotency” which makes them allegedly so efficacious actually causes severe side effects, and becaues there are rejection issues.
Meanwhile, doctors have made fantastic progress by treating people with their own stem cells.
Please do not use taxpayers’ money to fund what amounts to the biggest “snake oil” sale in history. Why spend billions of taxpayer dollars just so ethically challenged researchers can indulge themselves in research they know has little potential, just so they can live off the government money?
Please, rather, put the emphasis on proven methods of adult stem cell research. Give my daughter and me the potential of a cure we can use in good conscience.

Sincerely, John C. Hathaway

Evangelium Vitae on Conscience Rights of Physicians

The end result of this is tragic: not only is the fact of the destruction of so many human lives still to be born or in their final stage extremely grave and disturbing, but no less grave and disturbing is the fact that conscience itself, darkened as it were by such widespread conditioning, is finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish between good and evil in what concerns the basic value of human life. (John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, Ch. 1, pt. 4).

A Broken Clock is Right Twice a Day

Back in 2001, Cardinals Roger Mahony and William Keeler issued a statement that the execution of Timothy McVeigh, perpetrator of what had been, to date, the worst terrorism act on US soil, would perpetuate the cycle of violence and lead to greater terrorism.

On the night of 9/10/2001, I was reading a copy of the Arlington Catholic Herald that had been sitting on my floor for a few months, and it featured this story.

Then I was re-reading the sections of C. S. Lewis’s _The Four Loves_ concerning patriotism and love of neighbor. He notes that, while we have the right to self-defense, defending your home against an invader is a far cry from chasing the thief down the street, as he flees your home, and shooting him in the back. Lewis compares the same thing to the right of nations to defend themselves against invaders.

The next morning, those two thoughts fresh in my head, 9/11 happened.

At the time, I figured it *was* an act of domestic terrorism.

In the subsequent months, we heard a lot about “innocent” victims, how this disaster was so especially horrible because the victims were “innocent.”

We seem to have two reactions to disasters and their victims: “Oh! They were innocent!” or “Oh! They suffered God’s wrath!” In Luke 13:4, Jesus tells us that disasters are not time for judgement of others’ souls–either way–but for consideration of our *own* sinfulness, lest we die unprovided deaths.

But I kept thinking, in the months after 9/11, about this idea of “innocence.” Let’s say that it was the 1980s, and the planes had been flown into the Kremlin. Would we have talked of “the innocent victims”? Or would we have cheered Afghanistan for achieving such a blow against our hated enemies, who deserved it?

I am not 100% against war or capital punishment. I believe, with the Church, that these are sometimes necessary to protect society, just as it is sometimes necessary for a man to protect his family by shooting a robber or for a woman to stab a man to protect herself from being raped.

But when an otherwise evil act is justifiable, that does not make it “good.” It just means that one bears no culpability for it.

If a person holds a gun to my head and tells me to commit some mortal sin, I am not morally culpable for the sin I commit. However, it would be more virtuous, indeed it would be heroic virtue, if I refused, and chose to die a martyr rather than commit a single mortal sin.

So, I wonder about the death penalty, and this idea of “innocence.”

After all, in the minds of Al-Qaeda, the victims of 9/11 were not innocents. They were guilty of participation in a global economy that they believed was threatening their civilization. They were participating in the United States military-industrial complex that was entwined in the Arab world, the new colonialism that al-Qaeda resists.

So, to them, these people were “not” innocent victims; they were enemies to be reviled and destroyed.

At the time, I said, “Innocent”? Would it be any less heinous if they were *not* “innocent”?

And that speaks to war and the death penalty, as well. After all, the Church’s conditions for approving these things under specific circumstances do not have to do with “punishing” the guilty but protecting society.

Many radical pro-abortionists argue in language of self-defense (hence “life of the mother”) that the baby is an uninvited intruder, and one has the right to defend oneself against an intruder in one’s home, so one should have the right to defend oneself against an intruder in one’s body.

One of the major purposes of the Lewis Crusade is the call to be more saintly, to practice heroic virtue above and beyond what is “justifiable.” Abstinence from unethical vaccines and medical treatments may not be morally obligatory, but even the National Catholic Bioethics Center acknowledges that it is heroic virtue.

And when we practice heroic virtue, we gain graces that make the world a better place.

So, in comes the torture issue. People are arguing for torture using the same terms pro-abortionists use.

Even if waterboarding is what the Church would call “coercion,” versus “torture,” why should we stoop to the lowest common denominator? Why not hold ourselves to a higher standard? Why feed the enemy’s hatred and paranoia by showing ourselves to be the monsters they think we are?

A New Beginning

I’m back-if I still have any of my former, humble readership.

Last summer, I was kind of crushed by the whole ALL/NRLC/USCCB debacle. Long story short: the “incrementalism” debate, the main division in the pro-life movement, has finally split the movement down the middle, thanks to the Partial Birth Abortion law and _Carhart II_. Judie Brown at American Life League, Fr. Eutenauer at Human Life International and others who take an absolutist stance on abortion have criticized _Gonzalez v. Carhart_ for basically being a blueprint as to how to ignore the partial birth abortion ban. As I will discuss in a separate post, they have been proven right. Also, the verdict explicitly approves of _Roe v. Wade_ and says that abortion otherwise is OK, which goes against the Natural Law and against Catholic social teaching.

However, the NRLC and the USCCB, pushing the “incrementalist” strategy, support the decision. NRLC excommunicated Colorado Right to Life (the only state branch to support the Campaign for Ethical Vaccines) after CRTL, with Brown, Eutenauer, Charles Rice and others as signatories, called on James Dobson of Focus on the Family (not one of my favorite people, anyway), along with NRLC, USCCB & Priests for Life, to change their positions.

Now, I don’t fault Fr. Pavone and PFL, since they support *everything* (although I fault him for endorsing McCain).

Anyway, I thoroughly argued and researched the matter, confirming the rectitude of ALL’s position. There were some other issues messed up in it, and I made a few mistakes for which I am greatly sorry, but it pretty much crushed my spirit for a while.

Meanwhile, I had a very busy semester, anyway, and barely had time to do much else besides work.

But now, I’m back, and hoping to find a way to make this blog more permanent and reliable, and useful.

One of my ideas in August was to revamp it to focus more on spiritual warfare, and I am going to try again, since we’re starting Lent.

ALL, HLI, Alan Keyes vs. Focus on the Family, NRLC and USCCB

Apparently, the long-standing rift between “incrementalists” and pro-life absolutists like yours truly has hit a head.

My own respones to the recent Gonzales v. Carhart decision were mixed. I agree with Judie Brown and Fr. Euteneuer, as I do on most issues, that there are dangerous flaws in this decision, in some sense throwing a bone to pro-lifers. The president has said, many times that he has no intention of overturning _Roe v. Wade_, and Alito and Roberts have made similar assurances. I also agree that it is unwise to *applaud* a decision that basically says to the pro-abortionists, “You went about your case the wrong way; here’s the way to fix it.”
On the other hand, the case *does* establish certain precedents that could undermine _Roe_. But the problem is that it still vociferously affirms _Roe_, and the lack of rights of the fetus. So to applaud that decision, as various pro-life groups have done, is scandalous to the cause.

So, Colorado Right to Life wrote an open letter to Focus on the Family, criticizing Dr. Dobson for his position on Carhart (2007). I’m no fan of Dr. Dobson. I *am* a big fan of CRTL, which was, until recently, the only state branch of NRLC that actively supports the campaign for ethical vaccines.

I say “until recently,” because NRLC has ousted CRTL for writing this letter.

Now, I am informed that Michael Moses, a lawyer for the USCCB, an organization known for following its lawyers, accountants and PR hacks above the Gospel, has issued orders to Diocesan leaders to ostracise ALL and HLI for their participation in this Open Letter. They’ve accused Judie Brown and Fr. Eutenauer of “causing scandal.”

So, it’s not scandalous, according to the USCCB for politicians to *support* abortion on demand, but it *is* scandalous for orthodox Catholics to call their bishops on the carpet for comprosing with evil? If Jesus were walking around today, the USCCB would accuse Him of causing scandal. Oh, wait! That’s just what the Sanhedrin and Pontius Pilate accused Jesus of!

And let’s not forget that the USCCB, through its liturgical spokesman Donald Trautman, accuses the Vatican of causing scandal by requiring the use of some Latin at every Mass and requiring that translations of the Mass be taken literally from Latin, using the official theological terminology.

A Letter to Mike Perry, Texas Governor (or should I say Dictator?)

As a pro-life Catholic, I have often thought Texas would be a great state to live in someday, but thanks to your recent order, that has changed 100%.

You claim to be pro-life, and to oppose embryonic stem cell research, yet you endorse, and now order the use of vaccines that are derived from fetal tissue research. You claim that this cervical cancer vaccine is acceptable because it is just like the polio vaccine, yet the polio vaccine is also immoral, as attested by the document the Pontifical Academy for Life issued in July 2005.

One can never profit from evil. In his great encyclical _Mater et Magistra_, Bl. John XXIII warned the world against economic progress at the expense of morality, referring to contraception.

Secondly, it is immortal to engage in medical intervention when natural alternatives are available. The integrity of the body must always come first. It is ludicrous to waste money vaccinating against sexually transmitted diseases, which are preventable merely by people practicing monogamy. This move merely endorses and encourages the rampant fornication and adultery that are tearing apart the fabric of our society.

Lastly, parents are the primary educators of their children, and your move has been a horrible violation of parental rights. You have violated the rights of their parents to make decisions about their children’s moral and medical welfare. Obviousy, the State abrogated those rights a long time ago, but one would expect a Republican, especially a Republican from Texas, to work towards restoring rather than further eroding those rights.

I am not a citizen of Texas, but my heart goes out to all my fellow Christians in your state who will now be forced by your decision to violate their consciences and support the immoral, inhuman vaccines created by Merck Biomedical. Merck has made billions off the lives of aborted babies, and you’ve just put millions of dollars of blood money in that company’s pockets.