Note: Many years ago, we ran a photo that has zero religious intent and featured many in the pro-vaccine injury community. We were instantly branded Anti-Semitic. Here, Paul Offit, himself Jewish, purports to tell those of us who are Christian what Jesus wants us to do. Tell the Pope to look out, Offit may be after his job. Holy Moses.... And thank you, Anne for this post.
By Anne Dachel
What Would Jesus Do? He’d vaccinate every child, according to Paul Offit
Recently Paul Offit was on the attack against Vice President Mike Pence over his actions on the HPV vaccine back when he was governor of Indiana. Every teenager in Indiana was expected to get the vaccine, according to Offit. “…the HPV vaccine… was recommended for all adolescents.”
(Seriously, how can someone tell EVERY adolescent to get a pharmaceutical product, without any consideration of risk factors?)
April 15, 2017, The Daily Beast: Why Didn't Pence Do the Christian Thing?
By Dr. Paul Offit.
The VP’s extreme-conservative policies on the HPV vaccine needlessly risked Indiana children’s lives. What he did unto them—among others—is something Christ himself rejected above all.
In July 2016, Mike Pence rallied cheering crowds at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland declaring, “I am a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican—in that order.” One year earlier, however, as governor of Indiana, Pence’s radical conservative values trumped his Christian values.
During the week of Sept. 21, 2015, the Indiana State Department of Health sent a letter to the parents of 305,000 children. The letter reminded parents that their children had yet to receive the HPV vaccine that was recommended for all adolescents.
Offit went on to cite one father who objected to the letter about giving the HPV vaccine to his daughter, claiming, “The letter was intrusive. He asked Gov. Pence to look into it. Pence agreed, later asking Indiana public-health officials to make it clear that the HPV vaccine was ‘optional’ and that parents could remove their names from the state registry that had identified their children as lagging behind on their immunizations.”…
Pence didn’t stop at gutting his state health department’s letter. He also reprimanded the state health commissioner for speaking about the HPV vaccine at Indiana’s National Coalition Conference, later requiring all public-health employees to submit their presentations about vaccines to his office for approval prior to any speaking engagement. Then he prohibited the release of a document by the Indiana Cancer Consortium that included information on cervical cancer, the only known cause of which is HPV. Mike Pence did everything that he could to make sure that Indiana’s parents and schoolchildren knew as little as possible about the consequences of HPV infection and the availability of a vaccine to prevent it.
Offit went on to warn about Pence’s position on Planned Parenthood, abortion bills, and the LGBT community.
Next Offit pontificated at length on Pence’s claim that he is an evangelical Christian. Offit declared that Pence has “rejected his Christian values” by not promoting the HPV vaccine for every teen in Indiana.
Mike Pence is an evangelical Christian. He believes in the teachings of Jesus Christ as reflected in the four gospels—which make his actions regarding the HPV vaccine all the more surprising. By making it virtually impossible for Indiana’s public-health workers to talk about HPV or encourage the use of the HPV vaccine, Pence had rejected his Christian values. …
Jesus, on the other hand, rejected the ethos of his time. His love of children is evident throughout the New Testament. Jesus believed that anyone who put children in harm’s way should be punished: “Whoever welcomes a little child like this in My name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18:4-6). Jesus’ followers embraced his message of love for children. Indeed, Jesus’ teachings served as the basis for Christian protective services and Christian relief societies for the next 1,800 years.
Offit chastised Pence saying that if he’d “chosen Jesus’ message of love over his extreme conservative ideology—as he had promised during the Republican National Convention—he would have done everything that he could have to protect the children in his state. Allowing children to die from a vaccine-preventable disease can never be cloaked in the guise of love.”
I was nearly speechless at this. Does the hubris of this man extend even to using religion to sell vaccines?
Where does Offit come off telling anyone what their religious obligations are?
As a Catholic Christian, I would never presume to tell anyone—Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Jewish, Muslim—what religious duty they have in any regard.
This is cheap rhetoric. Resorting to using someone’s faith against them in order to promote the sale of vaccines is contemptible.
What does Paul Offit know about Mike Pence’s religious outlook? Why does Offit presume to tell him what Jesus Christ would obligate anyone to do?
And as far as the quotations from Matthew Offit used:
“Whoever welcomes a little child like this in My name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18:4-6).
“Verily, I say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of my brethren you have done it unto me”—a message that could be carved into the entranceways of every children’s clinic and pediatric hospital in Indiana. If Mike Pence had chosen Jesus’ message of love over his extreme conservative ideology—as he had promised during the Republican National Convention—he would have done everything that he could have to protect the children in his state. Allowing children to die from a vaccine-preventable disease can never be cloaked in the guise of love (Matthew 25:40).
Offit has it all wrong.
The people who come to mind are the pharma reps and health officials who gathered at Simpsonwood in Norcross, Georgia in 2000 and spent two days figuring out how to cover up the link between vaccines and autism.
The people who also come to mind are the higher ups at the CDC who ordered Dr. William Thompson to put his damning study results on the MMR vaccine and autism into the garbage can and who ordered him to lie to the IOM.
Message to Dr. Offit: Don’t presume to tell any Christian what God wants them to do.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.