The Dictatorship of Choice

Merck's lucrative HPV (Human Papillomavirus vaccine) is now being proposed as mandatory by twelve states for girls 11 years old and above. Yes, the word is mandatory. Remember that the culture of death is not a benign dictator: it becomes a tyrant as soon as it is able to enforce its will. Cynically, the whole premise of the culture of death is "freedom of choice," but if Merck and the CDC have their way, soon we will be bulldozing chemicals into little girls' bodies for no other reason than their parents' generation has deprived them of a choice. Those who say they don't want to force their morality on others are now having others' immorality forced upon them.

I have written before that this is not an innocuous little program to protect girls from disease. It is the newest program of fear-mongering that manipulates baby-boomer and Gen X mothers to "protect" their pre-adolescent kids from what they themselves know to be the ravages of the culture of sexual promiscuity. It leaves virtually no room for the moral approach of chastity before and during marriage and in fact denigrates that approach as unrealistic. While there are many reasons why this vaccine should be opposed and rejected, I object most strongly to its capacity to degrade human and sexual relations under the guise of real-world protection.

 How is a mother to explain this intrusion to her child? She may tell her girl that the chicken pox vaccine is necessary because even casual contact with other kids may infect her. But if the daughter asks the mother why she needs to get three shots for the HPV vaccine, mom would have to explain it in some disingenuous or crude way, "Well, honey, you may someday have sex with someone who has this disease, and you have to be safe." The reactions from the child may range from embarrassment to shock to horror. If mother says, "Your future husband may have this disease… ," she will also have to explain why the girl would even want to marry someone with a disease and whether or not Daddy had that disease when she married him. Any way you slice it, this shot is degrading to kids' relationships with their parents, their purity, and the sense of wonder that they should have toward the beauty of human sexuality.

And that's the point. The culture of death, like every despotic regime, enters into God's realm with haughty pretense and sullies it. It eventually establishes itself inside the temple as its own authority and mandates a new law contrary to both spirit and nature. Last time I checked, the Scriptures still say that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:9), but the CDC is rapidly squatting on another's property and soon will claim total ownership of the temple if these HPV vaccine "mandates" are any way indicative of the future.

If parents want to assure that God's plan of sexual purity will set the agenda for their kids' future marriages and families, now is the time to change their culture. The only real response to these intrusions of the culture of death is to reject them and all their works and all their empty promises. We have to get and keep the tainted culture out of us and stop pretending that it is the "real world." Pre-adolescent girls getting expensive shots to protect them from sexually transmitted diseases is not "real," it's perverse. Creating a culture of life and purity will in no way be without its sacrifices — even heroic ones – but if our children's and family's integrity is not worth the sacrifice, what is?

One final question that has been asked by many and needs a clear answer: Would it be immoral for someone to take or administer this vaccine? No. The HPV vaccine is not made from aborted fetal cell lines and is not in itself an immoral substance. The Church is not in the business of manipulating consciences to make a point about the culture of death. The Church's point is that the real manipulators are sitting in the CDC and state legislatures and school boards, and we should insist upon our freedom from their unwarranted intrusions into God's temple.

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  • Guest

    Very well written article. The Christian life is not one of effete subserviance and feckless witness to the world. We aren't commanded to love our enemy to the point where he moves into our house and throws the family in bondage. Good men and women need to stand up to immoral forces such as Planned Parenthood, the Hollywood moguls, AIPAC and the open borders crowd.

    "Evil prospers where good men do nothing."

  • Guest

    I am a cradle Catholic prayerfully striving, with her husband, to live in accordance with the Magisterium. I have been a Registered Nurse since 1984; my hospital practice has been primarily in postpartum units in Catholic hospitals, where I have cared for child and teenage mothers, seeing first-hand in them, and their infants, the effects of the culture of death that Fr. Euteneuer describes.

    My husband and I have two college-age daughters whom we have strongly advised to have the HPV vaccine, despite the type of logic Father uses in this essay.  Why?  There are two driving reasons, and they do oppose part of his reasoning.  The first is, in the event of sexual assault, they will have the best chance to be protected if their assailant is a carrier of the Human Papilloma Virus.  Why should they be victims of a double tragedy–the rape AND subsequent cervical cancer?

    The second reason is that whomever they marry truly may have committed sexual sins that have been confessed and done penance for, and so have become a suitable candidate for the sacrament of matrimony–yet he is also is a carrier of HPV through this past, yet forgiven, sin.  To subject a bride and her future children to her premature death because in theory the vaccine she could have received but was withheld, because of "sound reasoning," is nothing less than tragic–and likely would occur.

    There is no reason to have the imagined conversation Father proposes in the article about whether the child's future husband, or her daddy, has, or would have, the disease; who goes into that kind of discussion when explaining any of the other vaccines?  The HPV vaccine can hardly be considered an enabler of promiscuous sexual behavior in the way artificial contraception and abortion are.  It does not protect against pregnancy.  It does not prevent any other sexually transmitted disease, including antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea, HIV or herpes.

    I see the new HPV vaccine as a valuable public health tool to prevent the innocent from a life-threatening cancer–as stated above, the eleven-year-old (and older) girls proposed to be required to receive the vaccine, cannot fend off rape or incest, yet are likely to be victims of the culture that Fr. Euteneuer so eloquently describes and involuntarily (or voluntarily, because of their incompletely-formed consciences, as well as little or no religious or moral upbringing–we're not only talking about observant Catholics here) have sexual relations prior to their majority.

    I consider the HPV vaccine to be in the same category as the measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, hepatitis diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccines already required by state governments to protect individual children, as well as their society from an epidemic of needless sickness and death.  To withhold it would be cruel.

    If I myself were eligible, I would certainly get the vaccine; if I were to give birth to another daughter, I would definitely ensure she receive it as well, at the age recommended, explaining to her that the shot can protect against a serious disease.  It goes without saying that my husband and I would also give her the same sound Catholic teaching on the virtues of matrimony and purity that we have given to our older daughters.  Going through the True Love Waits program and making vows before their pastor and hundreds of witnesses at Sunday mass, including hearing Mary Beth Bonacci speak during Confirmation preparation (and frequent serious and lengthy family discussion of human sexuality) were certainly more powerful motivators for purity and against premarital relations than withholding a medical treatment for a possibly fatal disease.  There are better ways to combat the Culture of Death than allowing deaths through the withholding of a valid medical treatment.

    "Do now, do now, what you will wish to have done when your moment comes to die."  St. Angela Merici

  • Guest

    Ave Maria!

    The vaccine will not protect against aids or a number of other sexually transmitted diseases. It will not protect against the indignity of women who offer their bodies and abort their babies and live with the consequences.

    I am a pharmacist. I have a conscience clause in place. I do not dispense birth control pills or plan b. They are abortifacients.

     

    I ask also today for prayers for a Catholic doctor in residency whose rotation takes him to planned parenthood in these next two weeks.

    The 'catholic' hospital does make referrals there. They say they must consider the 'needs' of the community over the 'letter of the law'. The diocese looks the other way. The doctor may have persecution.

    As to specious and humanistic arguments about the 'necessity' of the HPV vaccine and plan b and all the rest.  See Mt.16:23.

  • Guest

    MaryViolet makes some good points, and I appreciate her professional "take" on this subject.  We certainly are NOT talking about observant, well-catechized Catholics, here: there's a whole world of young women out there who take Brittany Spears as their role model rather than the Blessed Virgin Mary!

    On the other hand, I'm STILL looking for some reports on long-term studies on this vaccine!  Before we start injecting our daughters and granddaughters, lets find out what problems may be in store for them in the future! 

  • Guest

    I would like to know from what sort of cell line is the HPV vaccine-from aborted unborn children or not?

    As a married woman and RN, I would NOT take the vaccine. It is true that since the advent of the birth control pills and other contraceptives, the incidence of rape (and date rape) has exponentially increased, something I'm sure MaryViolet took into consideration with regard to her daughters.

    I think that the virtue of prudence and the gift of wisdom will help us here. There are many precautions for avoiding rape which are prudent and not paranoid. Prudence instructs us that being out late at night, unaccompanied by well known friends and aquaintances in dark parking lots, keeping dorm rooms unlocked are dangerous habits.

    Dating someone we know little about is another. On the contrary,for unmarried youth, going together as a group of well formed Christians with adequate light is recommended. Let's also consider the source of the vaccine, the manufacturer: They believe it is not only profitable but ethical to make vaccines from aborted fetuses and have NOT stopped nor have they shown efforts at developing an alternative for the Rubella. I'm placing my trust in God, not Merck, and in our culture of life which will boldly address and solve these problems.

    Praying for our Catholic internists and physicians as they endure persecution. Time to stand up and speak out firmly. St. Perpetua, pray for us.

        

  • Guest

    I think that MaryViolet and Cooky642 make some very good points.  The word in the article we MUST object to is 'mandatory'.  Immunizations in general are not even mandatory.  If you don't believe that, do the research on children in the US that don't receive immunizations.  The numbers may surprise you.  I can't help but think that Merck and the CDC don't necessarily have the best interests of the girls at heart, because they look to make quite a bit of money from 'mandatory' immunizations.  That's part of the morality that they are going to force upon us and our children.  The idol of the almighty dollar.

    However, we can raise our children to the best of our ability, but they still must live in a society that rejects Christian values in the end.  If they go through a period of rebellion, we may not like the consequences they have to live with.  We don't like what the vaccine implies, but in general, what the vaccine does is not a bad thing.  We are a fallen race, and all of us are not going to find the perfect spouse that lived the Christian ideal 100%.  What if they lived it only 99% of the time?  Unfortunately, like any other sexually transmitted disease, it only takes one mistake.  One.  Like any other vaccine, this one is like an insurance policy we hope we are never going to need to use.

    I agree with Cooky642 I would like more research between the link between HPV and cervical cancer and the long-term affects (and efficacy) of the vaccine before we start giving it to every girl out there 'no matter what…'  What happens if we administer the vaccine and women still develop cancer in some cases?  There is a link, but is that the only link?  This IS cancer we're talking about.  And once again, the biggest thing we need to fight is the MANDATORY!!!  For the people who say they are 'pro-choice' that's becoming a big bunch of baloney!  It should be a choice, but an informed choice made by parents, not the state.

  • Guest

    As a Texan I am outraged by Perry's executive order to mandate this vaccine for our young girls. I am glad that my daughter is past the age but I am very concerned for my friends with young daughters who are faced with this dilema. I have heard that the HPV vaccine has been coined Merck’s “How to Pay for Vioxx.”  In case you don't remember Merck manufactured Vioxx, an anti-arthritic drug, which was pulled from the market in 2004 because it had caused 125,000 heart attacks. In lawsuits, Merck was found to have withheld information about the cardiac dangers of Vioxx from the FDA, physicians and patients. In the first of many trials, the jury found Merck guilty of knowingly causing harm and awarded punitive damages amounting to $254 million. Merck lost billions in profits when their corrupt behavior was exposed.

    We should trust the health of our daughters to this company?  Whose best interest do you think that they have in mind??  Go to

    http://safety.websoaring.com/index.php?itemid=1995  to read a prominent Houston Doctor's view on this mad mandate from our "Pro-Life Govenor"

  • Guest

    "There are better ways to combat the Culture of Death than allowing deaths through the withholding of a valid medical treatment."

     

    Amen.

    The amount of opposition I'm hearing to this vaccine almost makes some parts of the general movement of conservative Christianity look malicious toward young girls, notwithstanding what their feelings actually are toward them. Never mind that many vaccines (some of them taken from aborted stem-cell lines, unlike the subject of this article) are already required for children to enter public schools.

  • Guest

    The ads for Merck's vaccine are deceptive. "I can be one less," they say, implying perfect protection against cervical cancer. But if you listen closely you hear words like "most" types of HPV and "most" causes of infection. 

    This vaccine is not a magic bullet against cervical cancer. Here is a quote from Merck's own press release:

    "GARDASIL was designed to target HPV types 16 and 18, which account for 70 percent of cervical cancers, and HPV types 6 and 11, which account for 90 percent of cases of genital warts."

     In other words, the ad campaign is giving a 100% sense of security for 70% protection.

     It's a tragedy that this incomplete, false hope of protection is being promoted to our daughters. A chaste lifestyle remains the only true protection.

  • Guest

    Dear MC,

       I don't think the problem is "opposition" to the vaccine.  I think it's opposition to the imposition of the vaccine.  No one is against protecting our daughters and granddaughters.  I'd just like to know if there's any evidence that, like Vioxx, the "cure" won't be worse than the "disease"!  I don't think anyone–ANYONE!–would sanction death through the withholding of valid medical treatments.  The question I'm asking is: IS this valid?

  • Guest

    You raise a fair point in that it probably needn't be imposed. But it's not an evil vaccine in itself…even my mom doesn't think so.

  • Guest

    I agree with many of the corresponts who say they most disturbing part of this push to immunize young girl from HPV is the mandatory aspect.  It is also true that our children live in a world mostly opposed to Catholic values.  Was that not also true of the first Christians?  We are called to evangellize the world.  That means we must be prepared for sacrifice, yes, even martyrdom, to turn the world to Christ.  This is definitely not a popular stance in today's America. I love our country and believe it is the only one in the world with a ghost of a chance to be truly great and truly Christian.  Unfortunately, time is short.  I believe that soon we will be embroiled once again in a fight to the death with Islam, and without Christians who are ready to fight a holy fight, HPV will be the least of our problems.

  • Guest

    Regarding taking the vaccine to protect against a future infected spouse, as suggested by MaryViolet, why not wait until the potential spouse is chosen, then talk to himand/or get him tested? If the couple is in a open, sharing, loving relationship as they should be, then it will easily be determined if getting the vaccine would be prudent.

    I believe that in the war on the culture of death, the guidance of the Holy Spirit and Mother Church will prevail.

  • Guest

    May I use a popular quote?

     

    "Keep your laws off my body!"

  • Guest

    Good one, Elkabrikir!

  • Guest

    May I point out that the original article by Fr. Euteneuer states, “The HPV vaccine is not made from aborted fetal cell lines and is not in itself an immoral substance.” Additionally, your advice to emply the virtue of Prudence taking precautions to avoid rape are laudable yet naive; they are not fail-safe. The news regularly reports people taken against their will from well-lit, populated areas. As an example, a woman nearby was abducted in daylight while sitting in her car in front of a CVS pharmacy with her child, waiting for her husband to purchase an item. The woman was assaulted and murdered. No matter how careful a person is, precautions aren’t 100% effective. As for trusting in God and not Merck, I don’t think those are mutually exclusive. The vaccines and medications we take for granted are gifts from God through the intellect and labor of individuals using their God-given talents in pharmacological science. I would not want to turn back the clock and live in a world without antibiotics, heart medications, insulin, and so forth. I would not reject the use of those, and don’t see a substantial difference between them and the vaccine at issue. They all promote health and fight disease. Why compound the tragedy of sexual assault knowing that you could have protected yourself or your daughter against a cancer, and didn’t? I don’t see how the use, even the mandated use, of a vaccine against a virus, comprises persecution of Catholic physicians.

  • Guest

    According to the CDC website about HPV, there is no test at this time to detect the virus in men unless they are symptomatic w/ genital warts. Additionally, there is no treatment or cure for HPV. The site also includes this statement, which relates to any possible mandate for HPV vaccine for children: “Ideally, females should get the vaccine before they are sexually active. This is because the vaccine is most effective in girls/women who have not yet acquired any of the four HPV types covered by the vaccine. Girls/women who have not been infected with any of those four HPV types will get the full benefits of the vaccine.”

  • Guest

    Would this include premarital testing for syphylis? Vaccination against polio? Against smallpox, in vulnerable populations–which are becoming more numerous since vaccination was stopped when we thought it was eradicated from the earth? It sure would be nice to not have to require vaccination, but so many of the diseases that plagued mankind for centuries were largely done away with because the majority of potential victims did receive the vaccine. That’s the way vaccines work.

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