From Lucia Greenhouse, shared with permission.
Debunking this article from the Christian Science Monitor:
“Why do some parents choose not to vaccinate? (From the Christian Science Monitor (Feb 3, 2015) By Amanda Paulson, Staff writer FEBRUARY 3, 2015
It’s a question that’s being asked with increased intensity and often hostility in the wake of a measles outbreak at Disneyland. Parents who decide not to vaccinate their children are often well educated and cite complex reasons….”
Full disclosure: I probably–no, definitely, fall into the “hostility” camp for reasons that I make plain in my memoir “fathermothergod.” (Crown Publishers, 2011.) In the days to come I will be delving more deeply into the Christian Science Church’s response to the measles outbreaks (or lack thereof) , and the Christian Science Monitor’s curious coverage of the recent and very newsworthy Measles/vaccine exemption debate–but my knee-jerk reaction to today’s piece in the Christian Science Monitor is this: in 1800 words , Christian Science gets a mere ten, buried almost half-way down the piece. This is it:
“(Many Christian Science families also seek religious exemptions from vaccines.)”
The Christian Science Church has been–until relatively recently, anyway– a strong advocate–and a powerful one too boot– for religious exemptions to states’ vaccination laws. Why? The Christian Science Church’s most devout members practice radical reliance on prayer over medicine. And they do this because for over a hundred and twenty-five years, radical reliance has been the linchpin of religious observance in the practice of Christian Science. But what is noticeably absent from the Monitor’s story today: Christian Science affiliated institutions have been ground zero for well-documented, vaccine-preventable outbreaks: in 1985 an outbreak of measles at The Principia College (for Christian Scientists), resulting in three deaths and over 120 confirmed or suspected cases. In 1985, and again in 1989, there were measles outbreaks at Christian Science summer camps (the first in Colorado, the second in Missouri) which subsequently spread to the campers’ home-states; In 1994, an outbreak, again at the Principia schools, that spread beyond the two campuses and led to a significant public health problem, infecting 241 people. (Keep in mind, too, that Christian Science doctrine refutes the “theory” of contagion.”)*
PS: the byline. Amanda Paulson. Ring a bell? Think: Christian Science, Politics, Finance, Clout. Father is Hank Paulson, Christian Scientist, former CEO Goldman Sachs, former Treasury Secretary circa 2008. Amanda: where do you stand on vaccines and religious exemptions?