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“I’m usually not a praying man but if you’re up there, save me Jeebuz!” – Homer Simpson

A pastor in Chilliwack, BC, is pursuading his 1200+ congregation to not get vaccinated. Meanwhile, the region is suffering from a potential outbreak of measles. One boy has already been hospitalized.
Religion and vaccination.
Rev. Adriaan Geuze (pronounced “geeze” like “old geezer”) proudly boasts his followers agree with his standpoint.

“We leave it in (God’s) hands. If it is in his will that somehow we get a contagious disease, like in this case the measles, there are other ways, of course, to avoid this. If (we get sick), he can also heal us from it,” he said in an interview Friday.

“If God can cure a disease, why give it in the first place?” would be an obvious question that would likely fall on deaf ears. The region is known colloquially as a “bible belt”, a large community comprised of religious followers. Children’s health is a growing concern as measles can hit them hard.

Measles is a potentially fatal viral infection characterized by a rash, high fever, runny nose, coughing and tiny spots inside the mouth.

A vaccination rate of 95 per cent is necessary in order for community immunity to work, said Fraser Health spokeswoman Tasleem Juma. Currently, in this area, vaccination rates are about 60 to 70 per cent and Geuze’s advice to his congregation could continue to escalate matters.

An outright vaccination boycott based on religious principle is unjustified. By the same thought, all preventitive measures should not be followed. Never see your doctor and do not avoid harmful activites on the assumption that God will protect you. If your leg breaks, he’ll fix it, or not fix it, at his discretion.

@jeffpenner

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