That Which Does Not Kill Me…

One little germ, it might be said,
Leaves some folks stronger, some folks dead,
Some folks crippled, some with scabs…

It might be best to get your jabs.

This was a comment on a previous thread, but I want to talk about it a bit.

“That which does not kill me makes me stronger” I don’t know if the anti-vax people would embrace this if they knew it was written by Friedrich Nietzsche, but I’ve seen variations of this here, there, and everywhere attempting to make a case for gaining immunity the old-fashioned way… by actually coming down with the disease you want immunity from. Silly me, I thought the whole point of immunity was to *avoid* coming down with something. Now that I know it makes me stronger…

And it’s not just Nietzsche (a name which I cannot type in less than a full minute) here–Adler, in psychoanalysis, claiming that overcoming adversity (he was the source of the “inferiority complex”) is what makes us strong, helped to prop up a mythology of “if I throw someone a life buoy, they’ll never learn to swim on their own!” Lawmakers who don’t want to help the poor can claim it’s for their own good; health insurance can be labeled as “facilitating” or “handouts”. And vaccines are taking the easy way out–not natural, not heroic. When we had polio, we had people like FDR who were able to rise above it! (thought experiment–can you imagine how much more he might have accomplished if he didn’t have the constant daily struggles?)

Getting your antibodies the old-fashioned way does not make you any stronger than getting them via a vaccination, except in the “when I was a kid, we had to walk uphill to school and back in 3 feet of snow and rabid ferrets” sort of mythological way. The way generations who suffered were happy to try to relieve their descendants of (mostly). That getting your immunity the old-fashioned way could possibly have killed you does not make it better, or heroic, or any of that shit.

If you honestly believe that overcoming needless adversity (there is plenty of real adversity to overcome) makes us stronger, then take that perfect little infant child of yours, count the perfect toes… and then crush one foot in your hand. The bones are tiny; your hand is plenty strong enough. It won’t kill the kid, but it will give them a needless adversity to overcome. And if that seems horrible… shut the fuck up and get your kid vaccinated.

(I hesitate to add–yes, of course there are some who cannot be vaccinated. This rant clearly does not apply to them, and clearly applies to others all the more, because of them.)

If A Page In Thy Science Book Offend Thee, Pluck It Out

Headline: Gilbert school board votes to rip abortion page out of textbook

“And if thy science book offend thee
Pluck it out and cast it from thee”
Matthew 5 was quite explicit; we should cut the cancer out!
If a textbook says “abortion”
In one chapter—just a portion—
We should exorcise the demon—tear the page if there’s a doubt!

Lop your hand off; squish your eye out
See, this textbook is a tryout
Will you heed the word of Jesus, and reject the things he hates?
Rip a page right from your textbook
Leave it wounded; find the next book
If the books are deemed offensive, they deserve their heathen fates!

Though the cover may say “Science”
We shall rip it, in defiance,
Cos the law imposes penalties for telling kids the truth
So we’ll tear offensive pages
And defend the rock of ages
The destruction of some lessons in protection of our youth!

The folks who actually wrote the science textbook seemed to think that a discussion about reproduction should reasonably include a sentence or two on legal means of contraception. Silly them.

GILBERT, Ariz. — The Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board voted this week to redact a section on abortion from a science book used in a high school honors curriculum.

Because school board members know better than textbook authors what belongs in a science textbook.

“You would expect a discussion of abortion maybe to show up in actual sex-ed materials. That’s why I didn’t like abortion in a biology book that all it discusses is natural processes. There’s nothing natural about abortion,” said Daryl Colvin, acting Gilbert school board president.

The discussion in Gilbert was first brought up by a conservative Christian law organization called the Alliance Defending Freedom. According to board member Jill Humpherys, Alliance Defending Freedom had complained to GPS Superintendent Christina Kishimoto over the summer.

At Tuesday night’s school board meeting, the board voted 3 to 2 to nix the abortion section of the book, citing a recently signed state law that says school lessons on reproduction must give preference to childbirth and adoption over abortion.

“These textbooks were written before the state law so the easiest, simplest, cheapest way to bring them into compliance with state law is to excise that section. It’s only a page,” Colvin said.

Not much natural about the Alliance Defending Freedom, either, but their fingerprints are all over the removal of the page.

Hey, though, for once the comments at the story are [at least mostly] thoughtful!