Do Religious Conservatives Really Oppose HPV vaccine?
I was going to have something to say to the religious people who opposed the HPV vaccine. You see, I'm religious, and morally conservative. I strongly believe in abstinence until marriage. And I approve of the vaccine whole heartedly. There are a number of reasons why a young woman who is being abstinent could find a need for the vaccine: sexual abuse, rape, or marrying a husband who wasn't abstinent.
But then I looked for these adamantly opposed Christians. I found a lot of articles decrying religious conservatives for their objection to the vaccine, but no religious conservatives objecting to it. It seemed that everyone coming down on those who oppose the vaccine were merely circulating a very small handful of out of context quotes.
I went to the site of the Family Research Council
. Nothing about it on the front page. Nothing about it on their bioethics page
. So I searched on their site and came up with their official press release
about the subject:"The Family Research Council welcomes the news that vaccines are in development for preventing infection with certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease. We also welcome the recent reports of promising clinical trials for one such vaccine. Any medical advance in this area holds potential for helping to protect the health of millions of Americans and helping to preserve the lives of thousands of American women who currently die of cervical cancer each year as a result of HPV infection. Media reports suggesting that the Family Research Council opposes all development or distribution of such vaccines are false. "
Even Focus on the Family
says:"Recognizing the worldwide detriment to individuals and families resulting from HPV, Focus on the Family supports and encourages the development of safe, effective and ethical vaccines against HPV, as well as other viruses. The use of these vaccines may prevent many cases of cervical cancer, thus saving the lives of millions of women across the globe. "
I do need to note that both of these organizations disapprove of mandatory vaccination.
But there are two serious problems with this kind of reporting, besides the fact that it clearly shows a bias that skews the reporting.
One: it serves only to further divide our nation.
Two: Christians could easily be taking a clue from mainstream media about what opinions their peers have. Do you think, as soon as they hear quotes that one of their groups opposes the vaccine, that they are going to run to the primary source to find out if that is true? It is the people least likely to think rationally about things that will simply acquire the opinion that HPV vaccines are evil because mainstream media and every blog out there said that their leaders opposed it.
So, as a result of this kind of reporting, there may be fewer girls who get the vaccine than if their doctor just said "Hey, we have this vaccine against HPV, here are some good reasons why you should vaccinate your daughter."
"But she is going to be abstinent."
"She's a good girl, I'm sure she will. But what if her future husband isn't? What if something happens? Wouldn't it be better if she were protected? And now is a good time, because she won't even have to think or worry about it should any of those circumstances occur."
But now there is this supposed controversy. Now the mother can reply "Well, I'm a Christian, and we don't do that."