Antivaccine nonsense Medicine Religion

Ginger Taylor, MS dubiously invokes “religious freedom” to argue against vaccination

On the eve of Easter and Passover, Ginger Taylor, MS (the MS is in Dunning-Kruger, apparently) tried to invoke several religions to argue for the right not to vaccinate on religious grounds. As usual, it did not go well.

The weekend was rather busy, what with the Easter holiday and everything. (Yes, this heathen still celebrates Easter because his family celebrates Easter.) As a result, this might end up shorter than the average Orac screed. Also, I realize that I mentioned at the end of last week that I was hoping to move on to other topics besides vaccines, but given Easter and Passover this weekend, one last vaccine-related topic came up, thanks to the rants of one Ginger Taylor, MS (who, hilariously, almost always insists on using her master’s degree title in her bylines and email signatures, hence my always referring to her as “Ginger Taylor, MS” in this post), on that wretched hive of scum and antivaccine quackery, Age of Autism. It seemed to me that, as Easter and Passover approached and passed, antivaxers were going more wild on the “religious” objections to vaccines than I remember them doing in a while. I guess that when it rains it pours, and I should just go with the pseudoscience that, unfortunately, remains very much in the news.

It rather makes sense, in a warped sort of way, for Ginger Taylor, MS to be invoking Judaism. The largest measles outbreak in the US is currently centered in the Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn, Queens, and Rockland County, NY, fed by antivaccine misinformation spread by a group that represents itself as being Jewish. Then there is the even more enormous ongoing outbreak in Israel itself, which, in fact, fueled smaller outbreak among the Orthodox Jewish community in my neck of the woods. So it’s not surprising that the antivaccine cranks at AoA would seize on the issue of tightening vaccine mandates and other measures taken to combat these outbreaks as an issue of religious freedom. Hell, Del Bigtree beat her to it by donning a Yellow Star of David patterned on the ones that the Nazis made Jews wear during the Holocaust as a sign of “solidarity” with the “persecuted” Jewish communities where the measles outbreaks are currently raging.

So this time around, Ginger Taylor, MS declared Jacobson Must Die: Rockland County Jews Barred from Worshipping God Unless They Disobey God. Yes, it’s good to see that, after all the years during which I haven’t been paying much attention to Ginger Taylor, MS, she’s still got it in terms of histrionics:

If even ONE Jew is barred from entering a place of worship on Passover… we have a big problem.

Rockland County has told the Jewish people that they cannot obey God, and worship Him as He instructed them, unless they first inject aborted fetal cell remains and pig into themselves and their children.

Which God has instructed them not to do.

“And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. You shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.” – Leviticus 11:7-8

But unless they disobey God in his instructions in Leviticus, Rockland County will not let them obey Exodus 12:

“I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night and strike every firstborn male in the land of Egypt, both man and beast. I am Yahweh; I will execute judgments against all the gods of Egypt. The blood on the houses where you are staying will be a distinguishing mark for you; when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No plague will be among you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

“This day is to be a memorial for you, and you must celebrate it as a festival to the Lord. You are to celebrate it throughout your generations as a permanent statute…”

New York has turned going to a house of worship for a regular service established thousands of years ago, into an act of civil disobedience.

What is Ginger Taylor, MS referring to? She’s answering this news story in the Jewish Press, On Passover Eve Rockland County Bars the Unvaccinated from Synagogues. Basically, last Tuesday Rockland County banned all exposed, unvaccinated people from public gathering places, including houses of worship, for the next three weeks. Meanwhile, a few days earlier, New York City health officials had ordered the residents of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, which is heavily Jewish Orthodox, to be vaccinated for measles or face fines as high as $1,000.used. Of course, the ban wasn’t about just synagogues, and it wasn’t about just unvaccinated people. Basically, the order bans people definitively diagnosed with measles from public spaces, which is hard to argue with, even for antivaxers. However, the order also bans unvaccinated people who have been exposed to a person with measles from all public spaces for the length of the incubation period (21 days from the date of exposure), with exceptions for medical care, emergency situations and court appointments. Again, this is a reasonable public health response to an outbreak. I also can’t help but note that antivaxers frequently claim that they think quarantine is just fine in the event of outbreaks and that they would cooperate with them but when real outbreaks happen and even limited quarantines are implemented, they lose their minds.

Which brings us to this question: What does Ginger Taylor, MS mean by “Jacobson must die”? She’s referring to a famous Supreme Court ruling:

In 1905, in HENNING JACOBSON v. COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, SCOTUS held that a pastor who didn’t want to pay the five dollar fine for failing to get the Massachusetts government prescribed smallpox vaccine, had to pay the $5. The Massachusetts order was issued ONLY to adults, to address an epidemic of a deadly disease for which there was no treatment. And SCOTUS also said that such orders by governments could not be onerous or unreasonable.

Governments then took the ruling and applied it to onerous and unreasonable orders, including orders for children to get dozens of vaccines, even for diseases that had been completely absent in their states (or country) at the cost of the price of an education ($50k and up.)

Of course, ordering vaccination against measles during the middle of a large measles outbreak is hardly onerous or unreasonable. I also can’t help but note that nearly the exact conditions in Jacobson v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts hold here. This is an outbreak of a serious, sometimes deadly, disease for which there is no treatment other than supportive. The only difference is that children are the primary victims. Not surprisingly, Ginger Taylor, MS, being Ginger Taylor, MS, goes right off the rails:

Oliver Wendell Holmes even decided he could use the law upholding a FIVE DOLLAR FINE to force sterilize women, writing in the case of Buck v. Bell that:

“…in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 , 25 S. Ct. 358, 3 Ann. Cas. 765. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

That demonic ruling in Buck v. Bell still stands, by the way. If the individual states did not prevent it by law, you could have your right to reproduce violently removed tomorrow in the United States, and it would be legal.

So where is the line? If a five dollar fine is allowed by law, but having your reproductive organs involuntary mutilated is anathema to the American mind, where is the line?

Yes, no one denies that the early 20th century was a shameful time in American history in terms of the embrace of eugenics by so many states, and, yes, Buck v. Bell was a horrific Supreme Court ruling. It is also true that the US embrace of eugenics did, in part, inspire Adolf Hitler in his own efforts to institute eugenics policies. However, Buck v. Bell has little do to with the current situation, as times have changed and it is incredibly unlikely that, were a suitable case to come up, that the decision would be upheld. Not that that stops Ginger Taylor, MS from going all Godwin on us:

So where is the line? If a five dollar fine is allowed by law, but having your reproductive organs involuntary mutilated is anathema to the American mind, where is the line?

Or maybe the continued good standing of both Jacobson and Buck mean that the Jews can be put back into ghettos and camps for the protection of the public, and that I can be strapped down and cut into because I am a, “probable potential parent of socially inadequate offspring.” All you have to do is state the government has a “compelling interest” and shout, “GREATER GOOD!” What say you, America? How far past that little FIVE DOLLAR FINE can government go? Where is the line?

Is the blatant violation of the rights of the The Jewish People to practice sacraments thousands of years old to prevent even one case of what is now a nuisance infection (treated with Vitamin A) in the US over the line?

Ah, yes. The old claim that measles is not a serious disease. It is, and it’s more serious than commonly thought. As I like to say, The past and present rebuke antivaccinationists (like Ginger Taylor, MS) who claim measles is “benign.”

As for Judaism, what does it really say about vaccination? Well, in my neck of the woods, the Council of Orthodox Rabbis of Greater Detroit issued a statement:

In light of the recent spread of measles in our community, each and every individual is halachically obligated to take the necessary precautions to protect one’s self and family, and prevent the spread of the disease to others.

Due to the outbreak, the Michigan Department of Health has issued updated vaccination guidelines. Every member of the community should follow those guidelines to ensure that they are fully vaccinated.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of the measles, as described by the Oakland County Health Division notice, you are halachically required to stay home and immediately contact your health care provider for further instructions. It is absolutely forbidden for anyone experiencing symptoms to go out (even to Shul), and expose others and place them at risk.

May Hashem grant each and every member of the community health, strength and blessings.

It’s not just Michigan’s Jews, either. As this op-ed by Dr. Alan Kadish in the NY Daily News notes:

As an observant Jew and a medical expert, I find this both perplexing and deeply disturbing. Opposition to vaccinations on so-called religious grounds has no grounding at all when the vast majority of religious leaders — including key rabbis in all walks of Orthodox Judaism — insist on vaccinating children.

The Agudath Israel of America, one of the largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, recently issued a statement saying, “countless rabbinical figures and leaders, including leading rabbis in the Agudath Israel movement and doctors serving these communities, have repeatedly encouraged vaccination in the strongest possible terms.” In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the major Satmar newspaper Der Yid recently called anti-vaxers “senseless, heartless, Torah-less and reckless.”

Nevertheless, the outbreak of measles in New York City has been widest in haredi, Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods. I can only attribute this phenomena to the fact that a small pocket of Orthodox Jews are not only ignoring their doctors, they aren’t listening to their rabbis either.

Consistent with her extreme case of Dunning-Kruger syndrome with respect to science and vaccines, apparently Ginger Taylor, MS thinks that she understands Judaism better than actual rabbis.

What Ginger Taylor, MS is doing here is no different than what she and others have done with other religions. For instance, antivaxers have tried to claim that the use of cell lines derived from a fetus to grow virus stocks for certain vaccines means that Christians can’t use vaccines on religious grounds. Never mind that the most anti-abortion church of all, the Roman Catholic Church, long ago shut down that argument and urged Catholics to vaccinate their children.

In fact, Ginger Taylor, MS plays the religious freedom card for all the major religions:

Thus the need to look the difficult issue squarely in the face, as the loss of the right not to participate in the abortion industry in order to fully participate in public life is now at stake, and there are a large number of people who will be very upset when they find out after the fact that they have lost that right.

Because if you can extort a pro-life Christian into injecting aborted fetal cell line remains, and a Muslim into injecting porcine products, and a Hindu into injecting bovine serum, and a vegan into injecting monkey kidney cells, then religious freedom is gone in America, and no one has a right to exercise their conscience.

Similarly, Islamic legal scholars and imams have rejected the claim that the use of gelatin from “impure animals” is against Islam, concluding that the tranformation, “which means the conversion of a substance into another substance, different in characteristics, changes substances that are judicially impure or are found in an impure environment, into pure substances, and changes substances that are prohibited into lawful and permissible substances,” concluding that “gelatin formed as a result of the transformation of the bones, skin and tendons of a judicially impure animal is pure…” Indeed, the Dakar Declaration on Vaccination explained the necessity for vaccination to protect children from infectious diseases and laid out religious jurisprudence regarding the use of vaccinessupporting vaccination against deadly diseases. Basically very few religions have objections to vaccines, and nearly all encourage vaccination of children, and the antivaxers who invoke religion as their reason for not vaccinating are almost always not listening to their religious authorities, misrepresenting their religion, or represent a far fringe.

But what do I know? I’m not Ginger Taylor, MS.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

82 replies on “Ginger Taylor, MS dubiously invokes “religious freedom” to argue against vaccination”

Just to add a wrinkle to your very valid points, Jacobson did not address religious freedom at all, because at the time, the first amendment was not incorporated against the states via the fourteenth – in other words, it did not apply to the states.

But jurisprudence since then has addressed freedom of religion in the context of public health, and to simplify a complex topic, is very supportive of school mandates and other public health measures in the face of claims of religious freedom.

What’s I’m trying to say is that if she is gunning for religious freedom, Jacobson isn’t the right target. But she’s not. I think what she really wants is to overturn the ability of public health authorities to take measures to protect the community if they interfere in any personal rights.

She chose a very, very bad case to try and make that argument, given the real and visible crisis.

And by the way, if she thinks public health measures interfere with Passover, what does she think having your two year old in the hospital with measles does, which is what public health authorities are trying to prevent?

I think what she really wants is to overturn the ability of public health authorities to take measures to protect the community if they interfere in any personal rights.

Of course. If it weren’t religious freedom, Ginger Taylor, MS would be using some other freedom to justify not vaccinating.

The year of Jacobson is given as 1905, well after the Fourteenth Amendment. Or was it not applied to such cases?

With the results of antivax efforts on full and public display, one would think they would have the sense to disappear for a few weeks and claim victory after the outbreak is contained. This would work better if nobody dies but they can spin that away too.

Morons everywhere. Ginger Taylor, your turn to come on down!

I think the mistaken belief by AVers that measles is “just a fever and a rash” causes them to be their own worst enemies during these outbreaks. Let them keep blathering–it’s not helping their cause.

I’m not sure you’re right; after all, most parents have experience with “fever and a rash,” and though annoying they’re not difficult to deal with. I think we shouldn’t let them deemphasize the suffering and death that measles can cause.

” Ginger Taylor, MS”

Heh. A sceptic, Lee Phillips, would laugh about how woo-meisters “decorate” their names with degrees, sometimes even using them as both prefix and suffix ( Dr Whatever, PhD) So she’s ” Ms Ginger Taylor, MS”

She has a degree in counselling ( from Johns Hopkins) rather than psych but still.. she should at least have acquired a few concepts about developmental conditions, general child development, physiology and research somewhere.. her anti-vax material and politics are abysmal.
It bothers me than so many of anti-vax’s brightest lights are women with university degrees in any subject
It scares me although little else does.

-btw- as a good heathen, I celebrated the holidays by having old-fashioned Chinese food** ( old fashioned 1980s, not 1950s, those are harder to find these days) in ROCKLAND COUNTY.

** see article on “Jewish Chinese food”

John Baez’s Crackpot Index has an entry for that: “10 points for pointing out that you have gone to school, as if this were evidence of sanity.”

Taylor also scores points for false or logically consistent statements adhered to despite careful correction, gratuitous all caps, and of course the comparison to Nazis/brownshirts.

Isaiah 13:15-16 King James Version (KJV) 15 Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword. 16 THEIR CHILDREN ALSO SHALL BE DASHED TO PIECES BEFORE THEIR EYES; THEIR HOUSES SHALL BE SPOILED, AND THEIR WIVES RAVISHED. KING JAMES VERSION (KJV)

I offer this simply to demonstrate the utter ignorance of using the Bible to justify anything–or as a defense of irrational or illegal actions. There is a passage somewhere that actually says to dash the heads of the babies on the rocks, but I couldn’t find it quickly.

As to eugenics, I promise Ms Taylor, MS that she will be anesthetized before she is “…strapped down and cut…”. How did she even get IN to Johns Hopkins?

Mimi Smartypants, HSG (high-school graduate)*

I went to college but I want to make the point that a HSG can think better that Ginger Taylor, MS

Me think there’s from “friendly” competition for the race to the backhoe between the gnat, MPH and master Taylor.

pop corn time 😀


Cross-reading posts today, I’m wondering why anti-vaxers don’t just start some new religion that has anti-vax as a Commandment. They can say Jim Humble told them to look for plates buried in Ginger Taylor MS’s backyard, left a half-billion years ago by space gods from the Prox system. (They might or not be welcome in Jim’s Church as it is, since Ginger seems to be missing one ‘M’.)

“However, Buck v. Bell has little do to with the current situation, as times have changed and it is incredibly unlikely that, were a suitable case to come up, that the decision would be upheld. ”

Erm. I wouldn’t be so sure about that. Thomas and Kavanaugh have never given any indication in any part of their lives, ever, that they are aware that women are human as opposed to livestock. Roberts is solidly rightwing, although with occasional fits of contrarianism. I’m not sure if he knows women are human either, even though he’s fond of his kids. No one knows what Gorsuch believes, not even Gorsuch.

Ginsberg and Sotomayor luckily have intact moral compasses. (Knocks on wood.)

That antivaxxers who proclaim their deep concern for Jewish religious freedom are flying in the face of Jewish law and tradition is clear. In Judaism, just about any one of the religious rules must be broken if necessary to save life, limb, or eyesight, a principle called pikuach nefesh (The Christian bible’s claim that healing on the Sabbath is/was forbidden is simply a lie.). More at By refusing vaccination for their children Hasidim are at best skating close to violating that principle.
That Hasidic neighborhoods are hit so hard has to do with the insular nature of the Hasidic sects, their frequent large gatherings, and their constant travel between communities. Anyone who has driven I-87 between New York and Montreal on a Sunday knows the extent of the latter.
Orac, you are no doubt aware that the character of Hasidic groups is responsible for one Hasid directly infecting 38 other Hasidim in Michigan. The man in question sought medical attention for his early symptoms, which did not yet include the rash, and the doctor who saw him had never seen a case of measles, so treated him for bronchitis.
Now I am not a Chasid and I don’t play one on TV or at a Purim party, but I expect that as soon as the first child, or the first child of a casual contact, dies, there will be a backlash against the antivaxxers, who will turn out to be fair weather friends whose tender concern for Jewish religious freedom will only be in regard to refusing vaccines, and who won’t say a word about true persecution of Jews.

I am a high priest of the Aztec religion. In the name of religious freedom, I must be permitted to perform human sacrifices to appease my great and mighty god Tezcatlipoca! Because of religious freedom I cannot be charged with murder when I do so! /sarc

When the science for vaccination and the risks of not vaccinating are as clear as they are today, I think that attempting to invoke “religious freedom” in the name of not vaccinating is nearly as bad as invoking “religious freedom” to defend human sacrifice

For those Christians who subscribe to this madness, it is even more hypocritical, as the Bible has Jesus himself permitting his disciples to do things like pick grain on the Sabbath, because “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). Even strict Orthodox Judaism seems to have taken to heart this rebuke from Jesus, and developed a doctrine called Pikuach Nefesh that basically says that life is more important than almost every Judaic law, and one is basically permitted to break almost any religious law (except those whose breaking is tantamount to apostasy from Judaism, e.g. worshipping idols or profaning the name of God) if one is doing so to save a life. Jews with diabetes would thus have no problem taking porcine insulin. The Catholic Church, even with its hard-on against all things related to abortion, has a similar attitude, and has even declared that those vaccines ultimately derived from the tissues of aborted fetuses are acceptable for use, as they feel it is still more important to protect the lives of children than to fret overmuch about what had been done a long time ago to make it happen.

@ Anonymous Coward April 23, 2019 at 12:02 am

I am a high priest of the Aztec religion. In the name of religious freedom, I must be permitted to perform human sacrifices to appease my great and mighty god Tezcatlipoca! Because of religious freedom I cannot be charged with murder when I do so!

I have often wondered about that.

I don’t know what’s going on in schools these days, but I learned in the 5th grade American History class that all rights come with responsibilities and limitations, and that those limitations begin when the exercise of your rights interfere with the exercise of mine. That is, your rights end where mine begin. The responsibility part is that everyone should know this by the 5th grade.

So, simply put, you do not have the right to sacrifice my life to your religion, because my right to life trumps your right to practice your religion.

In most religious cultures where human sacrifices occured, it indeed was perceived as a responsibility to perform these rituals. That’s precisely the problem with human sacrifices: they were not considered religious rights but religious responsibilities.

OT: I remember reading somewhere that the current theory is that the victims of the Aztec human sacrifices went (somewhat) willingly because in the religions of the region being sacrificed was a good thing/shortcut to heaven/something. Also they were generally prisoners of war, so it wasn’t really like they could escape through huge swaths of enemy territory.

Also, the shortest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach (rather than the rib cage).

So, simply put, you do not have the right to sacrifice my life to your religion, because my right to life trumps your right to practice your religion.

That is precisely the point I was trying to make with my reductio ad absurdum. The same principle applies for vaccine exemptions on religious grounds. You do not have the right to sacrifice my children’s lives and health to your religion either. By not vaccinating, as doing so is wrong according to the tenets of your religion, you are exposing my children to a non-negligible risk of serious illness and death. Their right to life and good health trumps your right to practice your religion.

Islamic legal scholars and imams have rejected the claim that the use of gelatin from “impure animals” is against Islam, Which authority give them accreditation that, they are legal? I just want to know.

and a vegan into injecting monkey kidney cells, then religious freedom […]

Veganism is a religion, now?
As an aside, I had colleagues who are various shades of vegetarians, and don’t seem to be conflicted with working on lab animals. Or getting vaccinated.
It may seem weird, but I guess it’s a question of scale .Also, personal life vs professional/public life. Getting the occasional vaccine once a year may cost the life of one egg, or one monkey per vaccine batch (per vaccine batches, as in decades of use out of one animal?), but potentially save lives.
Eating meat everyday, OTOH, doesn’t save lives and has a much larger ecological footprint.
One has benefits, the other one, we can do without. Or try to.

I was coincidentally discussing the presence of porcine gelatin in various products with a Muslim colleague (well, in Haribo-type products).
Now, thanks to Orac’s links, my colleague and I just learned something about vaccines and religion.

Veganism is a religion, now?

Depends which court is on it. Small sample size.

I have two bovine heart valves and my evangelically vegan daughter says that I get a pass for that.
Good thing, since having to listen to two mechanical valves all day and night would make me even more miserable, in both senses of the word, than I already am.

Sh#t. That would be terrible. Especially if you start wondering if the noise is slightly different now or if one goes completely silent.

NumberWang: Just as bad, the noise can be heard from several yards away.No one would want to share a bed with me, even less than anyone wants to now.

That would give a whole new meaning to ‘I can hear your heartbeat.’
I don’t want to think about it. I allready have a rather sensitive hearing, always hearing things my dad never heard. Now he wears hearing aids, but even a long time ago I heard thing he didn’t hear.
It’s the same with my sense of smell.

@Renate, I also have Sensory Processing Disorder. Food is tastier, smells are stronger, touch is often unpleasant, sights are more vibrant, sounds are more intense.

@ Julian Frost
I don’t think I have that. I just have a good hearing and a good sense of smell. The latter sometimes perhaps a bit to good. I smell when someone who smokes and drinks has been at my fathers, even when she didn’t smoke indoors. I also smell other things at my dads, things he doesn’t smell.

Uh, missed this detail from Ginger Taylor, MS:

what is now a nuisance infection (treated with Vitamin A)

I’m not up-to-date on the panacea du jour. I thought it was megadoses of vitamine C which should be used. Or garlic oil.
Or, for the more reality-based, making sure one isn’t deficient in vitamines C and D.

But vitamin A? Is measles supposed to shortsight you, or make you uncivil, and you have to eat plenty of carotene? I think it’s a conspiracy by Big Carrot.

Vitamin A supplements are recommended for children who are likely to be deficient due to malnutrition.. Serious malnutrition is common in countries where large measles outbreaks regularly occur. One large dose a day for two days is the recommendation.
As is typical of anti-vaxxers, they pick up on something like that and declare that you can treat measles in everyone with vitamin A.

I’ve yet to see MS GT coherently argue anything. I’d consider that a detriment were it not for her audience being what it is.

Anti vaccine pundits like Ms Taylor seem to hark back to the good old days when you got measles as a kid and mum tucked you into bed with a warm milky drink and some jelly and ice cream. You had a few lovely days off school while being pampered and then you had wonderful lifelong natural immunity and no worries about cheap second rate immunity from thoes nasty child damaging vaccines. Nobody got really sick and there were no horrible complications like you get from (shudder) vaccines.

I had measles when I was six. Measles makes you sick, feverish and itchy (my mum also said it made us kids stink). You were cranky and didn’t sleep well and by the time your mum had finished looking after you and boiling your linen while trying to keep the rest of the family fed and watered she probably just wanted to curl up in bed with a bottle of gin and a straw (and a lot of mothers didn’t work outside the home in the 60’s so that’s without her worrying about how she could manage to take off a full week from work). Oh and if you won the measles lottery you would develop an opportunistic bacterial pneumonia following your “recovery” because your immune system was shot to pieces, or if you were that really, really lucky 1 in 25 000, years later irreversible subacute sclerosing panencephalitis would doom you to a slow and obscene death.

So yeah no worries, it’s not like measles can actually kill you or anything.*

WHO estimates 110 000 people died from the measles in 2017 most of whom were aged under 5.

It doesn’t surprise me that Ginger Taylor and other antivaccinationists think they can decide what religions they don’t belong to and have not studied claim. After all, without any understanding of the basics that underlie vaccinations or the real history of vaccine-preventable diseases, they have absolute knowledge they are right. So, why shouldn’t they believe they know, with absolute certainty, the teachings of other religions. Just goes with the turf. However, not really Dunning-Kruger. In the Dunning-Kruger studies, they are asked their opinion on something and how certain they are about it, then they are given a brief introduction to the subject.and again asked their opinion and level of certainty. People often didn’t change their opinion; but lowered their level of certainty. With antivaccinationists, no matter how overwhelming the science, they just double down, ignore the science, and increase their beliefs in a world-wide conspiracy. In other words, to some extent, the more science confronting them, the more certain they are they are right. Wow!

Mimi: So, simply put, you do not have the right to sacrifice my life to your religion, because my right to life trumps your right to practice your religion.

As far as I understand it, this doesn’t apply to children.

AC: You should move to Idaho. They don’t see anything wrong with child sacrifice there. (Or child marriage, but that’s another problem.)

And embarrassingly, in my previous comment, I forgot about Elena Kagan, but she and Breyer are major dark horses anyway.

“They don’t see anything wrong with child sacrifice there.”

Would you care to support your statement with some evidence?

Point taken. It’s utter stupidity, granted. Though I have trouble qualifying that as child sacrifice, as I do not see Followers of Christ expecting blessings in one form or another in return for their despicable behaviour.

@ F68.10

Sorry, a late answer.

as I do not see Followers of Christ expecting blessings in one form or another

As with many people thinking that they are doing That Is Right ™, ‘That’ being following their religious tenets or whatever else, having to suffer for their beliefs is a blessing in itself. The universe is testing their faith, and if they don’t waver, if they keep following their godly ways to the bitter end, then they are victorious. Their renewed, enduring faith is the only blessing they need.
It’s what being self-righteous is being about. It’s what being a martyr is being about.

A wise priest would point out that this is a form of pride (i.e. a sin). It’s not unique to Christians, or even to religious people, although following a religious belief centered on someone having been martyred is definitively a helping factor to this mindset.
How these Christians can square this with ‘you should not test god’, I really don’t know.
Bonus dissonance points for faith healers who are also against games of chance – because hoping for a good hand in poker is testing god.

If I was more charitable, I wouldn’t be calling it child sacrifice, either. But I have read stories of diabetic children let to suffer and die of ketoacidosis. Their Xian parents let it happen. Sometimes, with more than one child. They definitively let their children die, out of pride. They choose to sacrifice their children to their faith, if only passively.
And at the Idaho state level, either the voters or the elected officials, a majority of people don’t find that situation to be an issue.
So, yeah. in this case, I won’t contradict PGP.

Bonus dissonance points for faith healers who are also against games of chance – because hoping for a good hand in poker is testing god.

I refuse to accept that Yahtzee is the Devil’s work.

When I taught legal research, Buck v. Bell was the case I used as an example of how you can’t just use legal publlisher’s warnings about what consists of “good law. Between the two major legal publishers, one considers the case “bad law” and one considers it “questionable law.” I would cover how the issue is that, in order to overturn the law, someone would have to take a case with similar legal issues and reasoning all the way to the Supreme Court, and there just aren’t any cases being litigated over the issue, due to shifting social norms. So one publisher went with “It’s bad law, because no one would ever follow it” and one went with “No one would ever follow it, but technically, it’s still valid.”

So, basically, Ginger Taylor, MS, knows as much about US law as she does about Jewish religious law. Whch is to say… none.

I am Yahweh

G-d’s going to get you for that, Arthur Ginger.

The hick instantiation of the Tetragrammaton just drips with irony in this context.

In other anti-vax news/ fol de rol:

(AoA, today) “Twenty years post Columbine….” Ann Dachel continues as expected AND announces her new website in which she documents the decline of children’s health, education and western society in general- it’s called ………drumroll……….

I noticed her absence lately so I imagine she has been working hard at presenting her media watch. -btw- she mentions that her son, John, ( who may have AS IIRC) assists her on the site.

Dachel is probably over 70 and has been a teacher but always asks, “Where were the autistic kids in the past?”
Funny but even non-teacher elders I know could have answered that question easily.

Before I became an autistic adult and an autistic senior, I was an autistic kid in the past. I was right there all the time, only nobody knew to call me autistic.
I think I could pick out several of my schoolmates as being on the spectrum too, only again, nobody knew that we were autistic, just different/weird/nerdy/knowitalls/etc.

Speaking of other antivaxers who use their title at every opportunity:

James Lyons-Weiler*, PhD has a new screed up on his website which proclaims that he is unafraid to call fascism where he sees it – which of course includes both the CDC and the vaccine court. The vaccine court as a fascist redoubt populated by jackbooted thugs in shiny uniforms might be hard to envision, but LW cogently notes that “One step that is taken by fascist dictators is to dissolve the separatation (sic) of powers”, and thus the Special Masters are actually goose-stepping recruits in service of our Corporate Masters, or something like that.

*note that I avoided yet again the temptation to refer to him as Lyin’-Weiler.

Looking at the USA from abroad I thought the weakening of the separation of powers was pretty much on the agenda of the current president.

Or any president within memory (for example, see numerous previous military interventions decided on by Presidents without benefit of congressional war declarations).

On a semi-unrelated topic, I find it odd that my comment of Monday hasn’t appeared, but one of my comments tonight showed up within seconds of my posting.

Completely off topic but as it is Easter and Orac’s post was sort of about this time of year here is a late Easter present and something to lighten up your day after all the frustration of the anti vaccination crowd. If you ever wondered why the Duke of Milan didn’t commission Michelangelo to paint the last supper an explanation is provided below. Hope you all had a safe and happy holidays.

I wonder if Ginger Taylor, MS tells the barista at Starbucks (other brands of coffee are available) to use that when she orders her coffee?

I have to say I’m not in the least bit surprised to see Ginger Taylor, MS propping up another strawman for her to get all outraged about. Any other time the histrionics on behalf of a religious issue when the religions own leaders aren’t even bothered would be funny – but people are suffering in these outbreaks and that just makes it depressing.

And of course the wailing and gnashing of teeth that Buck v Bell will be casually used to forcibly sterilize her (complete with lurid language such as “strapped down and cut into”) is plain ol fashioned FUD, conveniently ignoring as it does that as unpleasant as it undeniably is Buck v Bell certainly doesn’t give the govt. carte blanche to go around sterilizing people on a whim. IANAL (and I welcome any corrections from the more legally minded among us) but cases such as Vaughn v. Ruoff and “Wade v. Bethesda Hosp” Vaughn v. Ruoff, 253 F.3d 1124, 1130 (8th Cir. 2001) suggest to me that it is very much not the case.

But of course this is Ginger Taylor, MS who is only concerned with whipping up fear and hate. I hate to be that guy but am I the only one that finds it repugnant that she is deliberately trying to whip up religious contention out of nothing at a time when the world most definitely needs less of that?

motosubatsu, BSc (Hons), MSc

Coerced sterilization has been practiced in France as late as 1996. As of 2007, no legal recourse has been successful.

Forced sterilisation is not only a thing of the 1920s and 1930s. To my mind, it still has not been expressly condemned in clear enough terms by the medical profession.

It wasn’t on a massive scale. But it did target women with mild disabilities. (And some men too).

Rosalynn Carter takes a swipe at anti-vaxxers in an opinion piece in USA Today.

Jimmy Carter has always been an outstanding ex-President. I don’t recall hearing much from Rosalynn, though.

I’d never realized that she’d been involved in childhood vaccination initiatives. Cool!

Ms Carter has been a long time advocate for mental health: local care, anti-stigma, etc.

Maybe she’s not advertising a postgrad degree. She may be from Mississippi. Or have a website hosted in Montserrat. Could she be working at Morgan Stanley? Perhaps she has some connection with Meghan Saint. How about a fan of old-time actress Moira Shearer?

In other news ( CBS NY)

Rockland County extends measles emergency until May 25:
letters, fines and “knocks on door” can be expected for the unvaccinated.

LA: a university has quarantined students.

I’m sure anti-vaxxers will again say that this is merely scaremongering- despite the fact that measles hasn’t gone away,

Trump will be reminded that he’s supposed to be the Scourge of Big Pharma, and may yet come out with placatory yammerings about vaccination and autism.

In the meantime though, that’s got to be a shock for antivaxers who view him as their Great Orange Hope, and keep expecting he’ll appoint RFK Jr. to head up a purge at the CDC.

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