Warning: This is my opinion and my opinion alone. This has been weighing heavily on my heart due to recent events. My opinion is not meant to reflect in any way on any fellowship of which I am a part, nor should it reflect thoughts and beliefs of any members or friends of either of those fellowships.
Where to begin… I had a conversation earlier this week with my darling hubby HoneyBunny who is quite frankly a paranoid gun-totin’ ‘Merican. I love him all the same and am happy he is so willing to put his life and freedom on the line to defend not only his family and property, but also his beliefs no matter if anyone agrees. So, anyway, this was quite a lively conversation (as opposed to an argument) that pertained to a news article he read (note that I did not read the article and therefore what it actually said is just my speculation) that stated the victims of the shooting at the theater in Aurora would have to pay the legal fees of the theater because one family would not take the settlement and fought the theater in court and lost, therefore screwing the whole bunch. Well, this set me off on a tangent.
While you should be able to go to a movie without fear of being shot by some nutjob, you make a *choice* to go to a particular theater with no-gun signs on the door which can be a magnet for nutjobs. Children are at the mercy of their parents choices. We each have to take personal responsibility for our choices, right, wrong, or indifferent. Wanna go see a movie? Enter at your own risk. Want to step outside? Breathe the air at your own risk. We cannot take for granted that just living is safe. And I sympathize with the people who are the victims of this horrible act and I also sympathize with the movie theater for being used as a conduit for a nutjob. Ultimately, it was the fault of the person pulling the trigger and no one else, that was his personal choice to take people’s lives. But at the same time, we have the responsibility as part of any community to be upfront and honest about what is going on with ourselves and, if need be, seclude ourselves away so that we do not unnecessarily put others at risk. Just because the sign reads “Enter at your own Risk” does not mean that you should be the risk others are facing.
So, that brings me up to what is happening in my little corner of the world. There is a small faction within one of my communities that believes it is the right thing to do by not vaccinating their children. It has been suspected, but not confirmed, that one or more of the children has contracted Rubella. While I, personally, don’t feel you have to do anything you don’t want to do, after all we are ‘Mericans, there is a limit as to what can be done or not done and still be a part of polite society. We cannot be the risk others are facing.
I refuse to be drug into an argument about what is safe or not safe about modern vaccinations. All I know is the law. And our community has agreed to abide by all federal, state, and local laws. In the state of Kentucky, all children must have certain vaccines by the time they start school, public or private. And then the rest by a certain age. Home schools are private schools recognized by the state (which is also fairly new in the greater scheme of things as home schools were illegal across the nation until the 1970s and 1980s). So, basically, unless you intend to have your children be truant, you must have them vaccinated. This is the law in Kentucky. There are only two possible exemptions from this law, medical or religious. If there is a legitimate medical issue and a legitimate medical doctor handles your exemption, then that is great. You have done things right. But if your child or you become ill, please, keep them home. Religious exemptions are tricker, but as a minister, I will say this: I believe in herd immunity and it is not part of my religious path or any sub-path thereof to not immunize. Therefore, I would never petition on behalf of any congregant to have a religious exemption from vaccinations.
So, do what is right for you and your family. Breathe at your own risk, go to the movies at your own risk, but do not be the risk. (Ok, it is late and I’m getting punchy and just thought of the t-shirt seen in the 80’s: See Dick drink, See Dick drive, See Dick die, don’t be a Dick.)
And while I’m on my soapbox, don’t be so afraid of red-blooded ‘Mericans toting guns — most of them are the good guys. I know, I married a very good guy.