Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sometime I Just... rhgg... AAHHHHH!!!!

Ok, so I'm a reasonably tolerant person - reasonably. I can see the flip side of almost any issue and respond intelligently to most thoughts and ideas; even when they contradict my world-view. I like to think that these responses are reasoned, well-thought out and fairly objective.

So, it is with this in mind that I felt the need to respond to Calgary's Bishop Henry in regards to his portrayal the HPV vaccination program.

Here is my reasoned, well-thought-out response:

You are an arrogant, dogmatic, mysoginistic, under-informed, deliberately-misleading, bloviating dimwit.

See? Reasoned & objective.

Here's the thing... there is finally a definitive link between a virus and a type of cancer. Scientists know for a fact that if a woman is carrying the Human Papiloma Virus, that she has an incredibly higher risk of contracting cervical cancer. Woman without HPV have significantly reduced chances of contracting cervical cancer. There is now a vaccination for HPV. Vaccinations condition our bodies to produce the antibodies needed to kill viruses. So, vaccinate and you won't contract HPV. No HPV, no cervical cancer. This is pretty basic stuff.

Vaccinate girls at a young age and protect them for life. It's a reasonable strategy. So, the school districts in Alberta were asked by Alberta Health Services to add voluntary HPV vaccinations to their in-school vaccination programs.

Here's the aggravating part.

Bishop Henry, presiding Bishop for the Calgary Catholic School District has urged Catholic parents to turn down the HPV vaccination claiming that it will lead to increased incidents of teen-sex and pregnancy. In its place he wants a greater emphasis placed on abstinence-only education.

In fairness, HPV is considered an STD. But, unlike syphillis, ghonorea, the clap and the rest of the STD stew, this one can't be cured or controlled with medication and it will lead to a condition that is fatal - cervical cancer. This is serious. AIDS serious. The person who works out an AIDS vaccine will win the Nobel prize.

Teenagers have sex. They have sex anywhere they can get away with it. Abstinence-only education is joke. It doesn't work to control disease or teen-pregnancy. It doesn't work because hormones over-rule happy lectures about waiting for marriage. However, Bishop Henry wants you to believe that if you vaccinate your daughters for HPV, they'll somehow take that as a sign that they should bonk every male object that comes their way, regardless of consequence.

Why am I so angry about this? Well, in the Calgary Public System, 75 percent of Grade 5 girls are now protected from the potentially fatal consequences of HPV; they got vaccinated. In the Calgary Catholic District? 25%.

People listened to and chose dogma and fantasy over reason and science. They chose to put their head in the sand and trust God, rather than be responsible parents and protect their kids. Good job Bishop Henry. From now on, every cervical-cancer related death of these unvaccinated kids, is on your head.

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