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#1 of 70 Old 02-22-2014, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As most of you are aware, 48 states in the U.S. allow parents to file a religious exemption to opt out of vaccines. There have been some insinuations, here and elsewhere, that parents are lying when they file for a religious exemption. So I thought we should debate what constitutes an ethical religious exemption. I argue that nobody should lie. Parents wishing to opt out of one or more vaccines should look into other alternatives to blatantly lying--homeschooling, (if possible), moving, working to change state laws, etc.

That said, while U.S. state statutes will obviously vary in their wording, overall there is, both fundamentally and legally, a really broad definition of "religious."

So when do you think it's ethical--or not--to file a religious exemption?

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#2 of 70 Old 02-22-2014, 04:37 PM
 
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I was going to start a similar thread.  Glad you beat me to it!

 

I will post more later, but for now a quote:

 

If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.

 
I would have little difficulty lying over an unjust law when the stakes are as high as my children's health.
That being said, and as you pointed out, I bet most people are not lying when they sign their exemptions.  The guidelines for religious exemptions are pretty broad.
 
 
 
 

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#3 of 70 Old 02-23-2014, 09:50 AM
 
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What do you guys think about this response? 

 

"First, states could adopt a narrow religious exemption that requires a show of sincerity and enforce it strictly, following New York’s example.  There are two other problems with this approach. First, policing sincerity is very, very close to policing religious beliefs. The reason courts put obstacles on policing religious  beliefs is because courts are uncomfortable – correctly, in my view – to allow state officials to play conscience police. It’s not the state’s business whether your beliefs deserve protection, whether they are good enough to count as religious beliefs. 

 

Second, states could only offer medical exemptions. This is supported by Skeptical Raptor, and also, for example, by Dr. Paul Offit. This would have the advantage of protecting the largest number of children and reducing the rate of exemptions. This is, however, a very strong intrusion into parental rights. It will also force parents who truly believe vaccines are toxic to either somehow present a false medical exemption or homeschool. This may negatively affect the career prospect of such parents and their income, not necessarily a good thing for the children. It may also deprive the children from public schooling. 

 

Or third, states could get rid of religious exemptions and offer only a personal choice exemption. The risk, of course, is that this will lead to high rates of exemptions, with children left vulnerable to disease and potentially a risk of outbreak. One way to handle that is by making personal choice exemptions hard to get – by imposing educational requirements (as proposed by Professor Ross Silverman and implemented by several states, including Oregon, Washington and California), and requiring an annual renewal. But a personal belief exemption would still probably lead to more exemptions than a medical exemption only situation. 

My personal tendency is towards option 3. But I admit I am still conflicted and unsure about that." 

 

Guess who wrote this a week ago? Dorit Reiss.  Yes, this was written by the evil pharma shill Dorit Reiss, on skeptical raptor's blog as a guest post.  

 

http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/religious-exemptions-vaccination-abuse-reform/

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#4 of 70 Old 02-23-2014, 09:56 AM
 
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I agree entirely, especially about thinking personal choice exemptions are probably the least-bad choice but not feeling completely comfortable with them either.

 

I do not like religious exemptions in general (and I am a religious person myself), and that is not limited to vaccines.  If a rule is worth having, it is worth having regardless.


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#5 of 70 Old 02-23-2014, 10:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by teacozy View Post
 

What do you guys think about this response? 

 

 

Or third, states could get rid of religious exemptions and offer only a personal choice exemption. The risk, of course, is that this will lead to high rates of exemptions, with children left vulnerable to disease and potentially a risk of outbreak. One way to handle that is by making personal choice exemptions hard to get – by imposing educational requirements (as proposed by Professor Ross Silverman and implemented by several states, including Oregon, Washington and California), and requiring an annual renewal. But a personal belief exemption would still probably lead to more exemptions than a medical exemption only situation. 

My personal tendency is towards option 3. But I admit I am still conflicted and unsure about that." 

 

Guess who wrote this a week ago? Dorit Reiss.  Yes, this was written by the evil pharma shill Dorit Reiss, on skeptical raptor's blog as a guest post.  

 

http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/religious-exemptions-vaccination-abuse-reform/

I think having exemptions is nonsense.  It implies vaccination is the default and parents need "permission" not to vaccinate. Ugh.

 

 I think there are numerous places with better child mortality than the USA where exemptions do not exist or are easy to obtain…and the sky has not fallen in.  Even in the USA, the two state with the most difficult exemption probably have poor score-cards with regards to child health - WV and Mississippi.  I think parental empowerment (aka informed consent) around health issues leads to better health outcomes for children.  

 

People have the right to not vaccinate and people have the right to use public schools.  

 

I, personally, have no issues with a voluntary registry and would probably use it if my country of origin was reasonable about such things (as they typically are).  

 

If we are to have exemptions, philosophical exemptions are the least objectionable.

 

I have no desire to judge other people religious convictions or to put religious reasons on a higher plane than philosophical objections.   


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#6 of 70 Old 02-23-2014, 11:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
 

People have the right to not vaccinate and people have the right to use public schools. 

 

As a general statement, the exercise of rights can be in conflict.

 

I have the right to sleep until 10am (I work a lot of late nights).  But if we don't leave the house by 7:15am, my kid won't be in her desk when the bell rings, and she'll be marked tardy, and f she gets enough tardies she'll be truant, and I'll have to go to court.  So if I want my kid to go to public school, which is her legal right, I can't sleep until 10am, which is my legal right.

 

(No, vaxing is not the same as sleeping in.  I know that.  But it's the same principle -- not all rights can be exercised simultaneously.)

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#7 of 70 Old 02-23-2014, 02:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
 

 

As a general statement, the exercise of rights can be in conflict.

 

I have the right to sleep until 10am (I work a lot of late nights).  But if we don't leave the house by 7:15am, my kid won't be in her desk when the bell rings, and she'll be marked tardy, and f she gets enough tardies she'll be truant, and I'll have to go to court.  So if I want my kid to go to public school, which is her legal right, I can't sleep until 10am, which is my legal right.

 

(No, vaxing is not the same as sleeping in.  I know that.  But it's the same principle -- not all rights can be exercised simultaneously.)

 

I agree.  Public schools have rules that parents/kids are required to follow.  Dress codes are one example.  You couldn't argue that just because you have a right to dress your child however you want and your child has a right to public school that you don't have to follow those rules.  

 

As chickabiddy said, dress codes are not the same thing as vaccinations, but the principle is the same.  Right to public school does not mean that there can't be any rules or regulations for attending. 


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#8 of 70 Old 02-23-2014, 02:50 PM
 
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Dress codes and sleeping in do not have health risks. Personally if I had no choice, I would lie. Or I would join an "acceptable" religion.  

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#9 of 70 Old 02-23-2014, 02:55 PM
 
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Dress codes and sleeping in do not have health risks. Personally if I had no choice, I would lie. Or I would join an "acceptable" religion.  

 

Again, it's the principle. 

 

Actually, lack of sleep *does* have health risks.  It increases your risk of diabetes and heart disease among other things.  

 

"Yes, lack of sleep can affect your immune system. Studies show that people who don't get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as the common cold. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.

 

Long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease." 

 

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/lack-of-sleep/faq-20057757


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#10 of 70 Old 02-23-2014, 03:42 PM
 
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Again, it's the principle. 

 

Actually, lack of sleep *does* have health risks.  It increases your risk of diabetes and heart disease among other things.  

 

"Yes, lack of sleep can affect your immune system. Studies show that people who don't get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as the common cold. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.

 

Long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease." 

 

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/lack-of-sleep/faq-20057757

I thought the first thread specified "sleeping in", not lack of sleep. Regardless no matter how you stretch it, ones sleep habits does not compare to an invasive medical procedure.

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#11 of 70 Old 02-23-2014, 04:46 PM
 
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I would prefer to sleep in because I often work late at night.  Getting up to get my kid to school does often result in a lack of sleep.  Not that it really matters, because my point is not whether I should have four or seven or nine hours of sleep, but that schools imposing rules does not necessarily infringe on the right to free public education.

 

What if people who choose not to vaccinate automatically qualify for homebound tutoring, just like kids who can't attend school for medical reasons.  That's an in-home tutor for several hours a week.  It does, as far as I know, meet the requirements for a free public education.


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#12 of 70 Old 02-23-2014, 05:28 PM
 
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I would prefer to sleep in because I often work late at night.  Getting up to get my kid to school does often result in a lack of sleep.  Not that it really matters, because my point is not whether I should have four or seven or nine hours of sleep, but that schools imposing rules does not necessarily infringe on the right to free public education.

 

What if people who choose not to vaccinate automatically qualify for homebound tutoring, just like kids who can't attend school for medical reasons.  That's an in-home tutor for several hours a week.  It does, as far as I know, meet the requirements for a free public education.

 

No.


Taxpayers pay taxes not just for educational instruction in academics, but also for school sports, cheerleading, dance, music, theatre, debate, art, newspaper, and other clubs. Shutting a student out from those opportunities because they or their parents do not agree with a government's decision to mandate an invasive medical procedure for healthy individuals is wrong.

"Separate but equal" has already been shown to be wrong for a free society.

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#13 of 70 Old 02-23-2014, 06:36 PM
 
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I think having exemptions is nonsense.  It implies vaccination is the default and parents need "permission" not to vaccinate. Ugh.

 

 

That. Mandatory vaccination for school attendance to begin with is totally out of line. I didn't grow up with that kind of thinking/laws and I cannot accept it. I do always find it very, very ironic that the USA tout themselves as the land of the free yet it has some of the most oppressive laws I have experienced since the downfall of the Iron Curtain when I used to live on the wrong side. I wonder if it has to do with the never ending hysteria about everything perpetuated senselessly by the media? E.g. the news: instead of talking about the Ukraine and other pressing issues it's about the local <enter disease du jour> outbreak, the weather, trends, Hollywood, never ending fights about internal issues (Dem vs Rep, prolife vs. prochoice, pick an issue). I have never seen a people that polarized before. I've never seen people THAT rabid about mandatory vaccines and evil vaccine questioners. I have never seen such a pitchfork and torches inducing rhetoric. It's all black and white, no shades of grey permissible. And I don't think it's the people. It's the media and decision makers behind that agenda - it sells, and many groups want the hatred for the questioners to further erode rights until everyone is fully vaccinated without choice.

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#14 of 70 Old 02-23-2014, 06:53 PM
 
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(No, vaxing is not the same as sleeping in.  I know that.  But it's the same principle -- not all rights can be exercised simultaneously.)

Sure. You cannot sleep in and simultaneously be on time.   However, the right to go to school and the right to make vaccination decisions for your child obviously can be exercised simultaneously.  


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However, the right to go to school and the right to make vaccination decisions for your child obviously can be exercised simultaneously.  

 

However, the right to go to school and the right to make clothing decisions for your child obviously can be exercised simultaneously.

 

Therefore, dress code rules are a violation of parental rights. 


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#16 of 70 Old 02-23-2014, 07:52 PM
 
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However, the right to go to school and the right to make clothing decisions for your child obviously can be exercised simultaneously.

 

Therefore, dress code rules are a violation of parental rights. 

 

 

That's ridiculous.


Dress codes are not invasive procedures, and do not carry risks.

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#17 of 70 Old 02-23-2014, 07:56 PM
 
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I do think it's unethical to file for a religious exemption for a religion that you don't subscribe to. However, I also don't think vaccines should be mandatory for public schools. 

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#18 of 70 Old 02-23-2014, 08:18 PM
 
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I was going to start a similar thread.  Glad you beat me to it!

 

I will post more later, but for now a quote:

 

If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.

 
I would have little difficulty lying over an unjust law when the stakes are as high as my children's health.
That being said, and as you pointed out, I bet most people are not lying when they sign their exemptions.  The guidelines for religious exemptions are pretty broad.
 
 
 
 


I agree. And I find it laughable to compare vaccines to sleeping in or dress codes.

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"So when do you think it's ethical...to file a religious exemption?"

 

When it's the only way to keep vaccines out of my children's bodies.

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#20 of 70 Old 02-24-2014, 06:35 AM
 
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I agree. And I find it laughable to compare vaccines to sleeping in or dress codes.

 

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That's ridiculous.


Dress codes are not invasive procedures, and do not carry risks.

 

IMO-it's preposterous to have professors, vaccination profiteers, proponents or their devotes weighting the fate of sincerity, lumping in risk and equating it to the same as crossing a street, wearing a seatbelt, etc or liking legal choice to being the same as sleep or a dress code - they are not in any way comparable! 

 

You do not sign a waver exempting your from suing to cross a street or the manufacture of a device like a car seat, etc., and one only has to look at reality to see how many law suites schools incur. Having an invasive procedure like a vaccine does not allow you to go after who administrated it or the manufacture.

 

To "test" sincerity, I am under the impression your higher being/power can arrive at any moment and "speak to you", so those who advocate should in return be tested for their sincerity to judge another, those who can cast the first stone need apply!  

 

 

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"So when do you think it's ethical...to file a religious exemption?"

 

When it's the only way to keep vaccines out of my children's bodies.

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I agree. And I find it laughable to compare vaccines to sleeping in or dress codes.

 

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I agree. And I find it laughable to compare vaccines to sleeping in or dress codes.

 

Obviously there's a reading comprehension issue going on here. 

 

It wasn't meant to be a direct comparison, as has been stated. 

 

It's pointing out the logical flaw in saying "I have the right to not vaccinate my child, therefore public schools have to accept them on that ground alone."     Parental rights are limited by the public school regulations in lots of ways. Hair styles, clothing choices, piercings etc. 


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#22 of 70 Old 02-24-2014, 10:07 AM
 
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Obviously there's a reading comprehension issue going on here.  No

It wasn't meant to be a direct comparison, as has been stated. 

It's pointing out the logical flaw in saying "I have the right to not vaccinate my child, therefore public schools have to accept them on that ground alone."     Parental rights are limited by the public school regulations in lots of ways. Hair styles, clothing choices, piercings etc. 


The laughable part -IMO is comparison that hair styles, clothing, piercing, etc. is some how comparable to an invasive procedure you can not sue over!

 

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#23 of 70 Old 02-24-2014, 10:11 AM
 
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Mandating a medical procedure vs. mandating no piercings is in no way comparable. The end.

 

btw, yet again I grew up with schools that allowed clothing of your choice, hairstyles and color of your choice, piercings wherever you wanted them. Fully exposed cleavage was not prohibited. Miniskirts were fine. Piercings were ok. I had classmates with pink hair, black and white hair, blue hair. No problems.

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#24 of 70 Old 02-24-2014, 10:24 AM
 
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Mandating a medical procedure vs. mandating no piercings is in no way comparable. The end.

 

btw, yet again I grew up with schools that allowed clothing of your choice, hairstyles and color of your choice, piercings wherever you wanted them. Fully exposed cleavage was not prohibited. Miniskirts were fine. Piercings were ok. I had classmates with pink hair, black and white hair, blue hair. No problems.

exactly and let's remember here also, there is a difference between a state requirement vs requirements within a school district

 

clothing, hair etc can be challenged and sue on, you can not do that with a vaccine


 

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This is the first time I've been part of a debate with people who grasp straws and try to force correlations so desperately...the right to not vaccinate (an invasive medical procedures with risks) does in no way compare to sleep habits, piercings, dress codes or anything else lf the sort. I expect more from the "educated" people on the other side. So far this debate isn't worth even reading through.

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#26 of 70 Old 02-24-2014, 10:43 AM
 
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The laughable part -IMO is comparison that hair styles, clothing, piercing, etc. is some how comparable to an invasive procedure you can not sue over!

 

Are you saying parents don't have the right to let their child dye their hair blue? Or do buy them a mini skirt? 

 

Because the argument put forth by kathymuggle was that since she has the right to not vaccinate her children, public schools should have to allow them to attend on those grounds alone. 

 

You are obviously not understanding the comparison. 

 

As far as the invasive procedure issue, would you be ok with schools requiring the flumist or oral rotavirus vaccine then?


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#27 of 70 Old 02-24-2014, 10:48 AM
 
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This is the first time I've been part of a debate with people who grasp straws and try to force correlations so desperately...the right to not vaccinate (an invasive medical procedures with risks) does in no way compare to sleep habits, piercings, dress codes or anything else lf the sort. I expect more from the "educated" people on the other side. So far this debate isn't worth even reading through.

:yeah   it's called twisting the argument to fit your needs - lots of fairy-dust thrown around and hope it sticks to meet your agenda! dust.gif 

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Are you saying parents don't have the right to let their child dye their hair blue? Or do buy them a mini skirt? 

 

Because the argument put forth by kathymuggle was that since she has the right to not vaccinate her children, public schools should have to allow them to attend on those grounds alone. 

 

You are obviously not understanding the comparison. 

 

As far as the invasive procedure issue, would you be ok with schools requiring the flumist or oral rotavirus vaccine then?

twist away! :bgbounce

 

 

you are the one that wants to connect the two issues, they are not comparable!


 

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#28 of 70 Old 02-24-2014, 10:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by teacozy View Post
 

 

Are you saying parents don't have the right to let their child dye their hair blue? Or do buy them a mini skirt? 

 

Because the argument put forth by kathymuggle was that since she has the right to not vaccinate her children, public schools should have to allow them to attend on those grounds alone. 

 

You are obviously not understanding the comparison. 

 

As far as the invasive procedure issue, would you be ok with schools requiring the flumist or oral rotavirus vaccine then?


The comparison doesn't work the way you think it does.  Normal hair colour, unpierced, etc... have more in common with the un-vaccinated state.  If you were saying that schools could make pierced noses or purple hair mandatory for school attendance, that would be a better comparison.  As for mini-skirts....those can be worn, or not worn after school, on weekends, during breaks, etc..it's hard to be vaccinated during school hours, and not vaccinated after school, so that comparison really doesn't work.

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#29 of 70 Old 02-24-2014, 10:53 AM
 
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:yeah   it's called twisting the argument to fit your needs - lots of fairy-dust thrown around and hope it sticks to meet your agenda! dust.gif 

twist away! :bgbounce

 

 

you are the one that wants to connect the two issues, they are not comparable!

 

*Sigh*  This is the last time I am going to explain this.  I am not sure why some of you are having such a hard time understanding what we are comparing. 

 

I am NOT comparing vaccines to hair styles. 

 

The comparison is this.    Kathymuggle made the argument that since it is within her parental rights to do X, and her child has a right to public school, that the public school has to accept X. 

 

I was simply pointing out that you can put in lots of things for X and that argument doesn't hold up.   I am only making comparisons to THAT particular point. 

 

/head desk.  


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#30 of 70 Old 02-24-2014, 10:59 AM
 
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exactly and let's remember here also, there is a difference between a state requirement vs requirements within a school district

 

clothing, hair etc can be challenged and sue on, you can not do that with a vaccine

 

In my area, there are schools with dress codes…and ones without.  Choice.  
 
If that choice did not exist, I would be a little peeved but I may very well just move on.  Clothing is not worth getting my knickers in a knot over. 
 
Vaccines are not clothes.  If I were to make a comparison, I would akin it to all kids having to be on prophylactic antibiotics to keep infections at bay.
 
I am sensing that some are trying to make the argument that schools have rules, and we just have to abide by those rules.  I disagree.  While it would be nice to change unjust rules, not everyone has the resources to try and do that, and more importantly, no ones kids stay small while the channels of bureaucracy churn.  So, yes, fight for change…but your kids are still your kids while you fight for this change.  
 
No one wants to be in a position of lying - but if you make the call that your children need to go to school and your choices are lie about religious beliefs or have them submit to a medical procedure you are against, lying seems like the lesser of two sins (hah - that's punny) while you fight for change however you can.  

There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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