Reason #4722 Why the Religious Right Has It All Wrong

<rare rant mode on>

So, scientists at Merck have come up with a safe, effective vaccine against HPV (human papilloma virus) -- the (sometimes) sexually-transmissible virus which causes a majority of cervical cancer cases in this country. Good thing, no? Think of the lives which could be saved, the suffering which could be alleviated.

Enter the Family Research Council (FRC -- not that I want you to go to their website, but better the enemy you know, right?) which in a stunning display of ideology trumping reason, intelligence, sanity and even compassion has fought vigorously against the vaccine's approval by the FDA.

Why, you (my sane, rational, compassionate, and above all intelligent readers) might ask, would anyone calling themselves Christian wage such a battle against something so positive? Let's get it from the horse's mouth:
"Our concern has been that this vaccine not be presented as a shot that makes it safer to have sex," said Peter Sprigg, vice president for policy at the Family Research Council.
It appears that FRC and other "Christians" are concerned that teenagers, free of the fear that sex could lead to cancer, will start having sex. A similar argument, it turns out, to the one they used against approval of Plan B for over-the-counter sale.

Now, I don't know about the teens in your life, but the teens in my life aren't really all that concerned about cancer -- it's certainly not a motivating factor keeping them from having sex, and I'm betting they don't even know that most cervical cancer is caused by a sexually-transmitted virus. Can you say fear-mongering?

<rant mode off>

<begin saner mode>

Okay, so after some meetings with folks from Merck, they have given up their fight against approval of the vaccine, though they are still 100% committed to fighting the vaccination of teenagers and children.

Small steps; infinitesimally small, baby steps.

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