1. Blind Faith Leads to…Measles
This is what happens when you don’t take vaccines. And I’m even willing to think there might be something to an autism is caused by vaccine link. But there’s even a higher risk of getting measles or small pox if you don’t take readily available vaccines. Here’s a bit of the story from here:
Or maybe not.
The Houston Chronicle is reporting “Health alert issued as measles suddenly spreads near Dallas“.
F____ measles. You know what prevents measles? A super easy, minimally invasive medical procedure called the f_____ measles vaccine. But some people don’t want to give their kiddos the measles vaccine because fucking Andrew Wakefield fucking lied about his fucked up research and made all these fucking vaccine conspiracy nuts think that the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine causes autism. And now there’s all this misinformation out in the public mind about potential links between autism and vaccines.
And do you know what’s even more frightening than reading scare stories from wackaloons in anti-vax internet forums and listening to Jenny McCarthy spout f____ rumors and beliefs about how vaccines might cause your baby to develop autism? When your fraking pastor – your religious and spiritual leader – is a firm believer in this anti-science crapola and encourages you not to vaccinate your kids. It’s your holy, wise pastor – your link to the omnipotent guy in the sky. Surely your pastor surely knows what’s best, right?
Read the whole thing here. But you can probably find other angry atheist responses from just about everybody.
2. The Trials of Coping with Life Under a Cloud of Medical Uncertainty
Not sure if it was published this week but one of the best written articles about science, the scientific method and atheism that I have ever read. Greta Christina talks about her miserable and horrible experience with cancer but also makes it clear that if it weren’t for advances in science that she would probably already be in the grave. Science, and she makes this argument better than I do, is slowly making our lives better and is in fact the only thing that can.
Here’s a bit:
But medicine is different. With medicine, a significant amount of research is being done on human beings. A case could be made that all medicine is research being done on human beings: medical protocols and best practices are constantly being updated and refined, even in areas that are pretty well understood. And when it comes to terminal illnesses, it would be irresponsible not to pursue uncertain, incompletely understood avenues of treatment that have highly unpredictable outcomes. If the choices are “try something that might or might not work” or “die”… well, most of the time, that’s a no-brainer. (My wife Ingrid got arrested nine times for demanding, among other things, that the FDA grasp this simple principle and shorten the research protocols for experimental AIDS drugs.)
In the cutting edge of medical science, human lives are the knife. And that can make people feel very freaking cranky about medical science.
But read the whole thing. You’ll feel better about your life.
3. Atheist party changes name to Secular Party of America. Holding Emergency Election.
And good for them. I would have gone with Windows or Apple but its a start. Don’t name your organization after something that people hate. I’m an atheist that runs a do gooder organization. I called it the Greater Good Coalition. I even have a plan to help third parties like the Secular Party get ahead. Some commentary from the Friendly Atheist.
4. Another Set of Faith-Healing Parents Arrested After Allowing Their Daughter to Die of a Treatable Disease
Also from the Friendly Atheist:
The Swezey’s, though, were let off the hook. And now the church’s beliefs have led to another death. Maybe the judge can serve the Rossiters with a punishment commensurate to the crime they have committed and, if they’re found guilty, send them to prison for a long enough time such that other members of the church will finally come to their senses.
Children shouldn’t be given a death sentence because their parents are brainwashed by their church.
5. Freethought Giant A. Philip Randolph and the March on Washington
Hmmm. If I’m reading this correctly A. Philip Randolph made some compromises in order to get stuff done. Black atheists will probably have to move the same way as depressing as that prospect is. But as always a very thoughtful piece by Sikivu Hutchinson.
Being a non-believer, black, and part of the radical left was a lethal combination. Like many radical organizers aligned with communist and socialist politics during this period, Randolph was the subject of an FBI probe and frequent smears by the mainstream media. As the organizer of the first planned March on Washington in 1941, his later vision of community organizing was both socialist and humanist. Equitable living wage jobs, decent affordable housing, and full enfranchisement were basic human rights. The absence of these rights in the twentieth century U.S. made a mockery of its claim to democracy. In the context of Randolph’s political organizing, Christianity became a lingua franca for black solidarity and not a litmus test. Fifty years later, as the wealth gap between whites, African Americans and Latinos in “exceptionalist” America has become more egregious,Randolph’s towering leadership on social and economic justice remains a model for radical humanist organizing.