Thursday, March 01, 2007

HPV and Daughters of Faith

I have been listening to the fears many people of faith have over vaccinating their daughters against HPV, the sexually transmitted virus that can, in some forms, lead to for cervical cancer. The basic argument is that giving girls this vaccine will make them more inclined to engage in out of wedlock sex. While I don’t find this argument especially compelling, what is interesting to me is the unstated assumption these people are making about their daughters.

Parents of faith are not arguing against giving the vaccine to secular kids who are, given their lack of faith and morals, humping like rabbits. That at least would make sense, however immoral withholding the vaccine might be. Rather they are arguing against vaccinating their daughters of faith.

The unavoidable implication of the faith position is that if not for the fear of STD and cervical cancer, their daughters would engage in immoral sexual behavior much like their hedonistic classmates and neighbors.

Parents of faith just don’t trust their kids. I don’t blame them; when it comes to hormones versus holiness, my money is on hormones. That is probably why we have fear-based religion in the first place. Where it not for sex and death much of religion is simply cruel and unusual punishment.

Of course I would not insist a parent protect a daughter against cancer. If you wish to take the risk of martyring your daughter for your faith, it is your right to do so. But there may be an unexpected consequence of this decision.

It is wrong to think that girls of faith are caste until marriage. Look at the abortion rates in the religious red states and you cannot help but draw the conclusion that religious kids are learning about more than Easter from their beloved bunnies. As with homosexuality, sexual promiscuity among the faithful is just as prevalent as it is among the secular, it is just ignored. Ignoring HPV, however, could lead to the daughters of faith being unable to bear children, or even survive their childbearing years.

Without daughters to have babies, the numbers of religious Americans will decline while the numbers of vaccinated secularists will increase—something most people of faith would find disconcerting.

Hmm, maybe I should have kept quite.

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