Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pro-Vaxxers are the new pro-lifers: Religious hysteria trumps rational discussion in the vaccine debate

SOTT | Feb 25, 2015 | Erica Burt and Doug DiPasquale

In the early 80s' the world was shocked by headlines reporting violence against abortion clinics, staff and doctors by religious fundamentalist groups. The first such reported case was the kidnapping of Hector Zevallos, an abortion clinic owner and operator, and his wife, by three men identifying themselves as the Army of God. Zevallos and his wife were held for eight days. Since that time, there have been further kidnappings, bombings of clinics, murders and attempted murders of staff and supporters, hundreds of death threats and over 150 cases of assault and battery by anti-abortion activists. The violence has since spread from the United States to Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

And the violence continues today, with the 2012 bombings of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Grand Chute, Wisconsin and the firebombing of the Ladies Clinic in Pensacola, Florida, the site of the 1994 murder of Dr. John Britton and his attendant James Barrett and a previous bombing on Christmas Day, 1984 (the quartet of perpetrators later calling the bombing "a gift to Jesus on his birthday").

The actions of these Pro-Lifer terrorists leave many people confused. How can anyone care so much about a cause like pro-life versus pro-choice that they are prepared to carry out violent attacks and protests, death threats and smear campaigns? How can one's fundamentalism lead one to take such seemingly contradictory actions - to kill in order to uphold the "thou shalt not kill" commandment?

But such is the mindset of the religious terrorist. One becomes so wrapped up in their cause, no matter how misguided, that these seeming contradictions don't hold any water. It's what's commonly referred to as "being a complete whackjob".

 Yet we're seeing a parallel in the recent news headlines that perhaps more people will be able to relate to. The hysterical fight against what's dubbed the "Anti-Vaxxer Movement" has taken on a level of fundamentalism reminiscent of what was seen in the Pro-Lifer movement at its peak. Bomb threats, smear campaigns, death threats, threats against the families of those who attempt to speak the truth, or even simply express doubts against the fundamentalist Pro-Vaxxer position.  

And make no mistake - the Pro-Vaxxer movement is a fundamentalist movement. What else could you call a position founded entirely on a base of emotional decrees, false science and logical fallacies? Pro-Vaxxers are as much in the grip of religious hysteria as any given Pro-Lifer. The big difference here is that the "Pro-Vaxxers" are not some fringe group of religious fundamentalists. They come from all walks of life, all casts, racial groups and religions. They don't gather on Sundays in a church and listen to sermons designed to bolster their group identification and demonize the non-believers.

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