Friday, October 07, 2005

Good News For Everyone?

"We're breaking out the champagne," Dr. Eliav Barr, Merck's head of clinical development for the new cervical cancer vaccine told the Associated Press today. He's not the only one. The vaccine, which works by blocking infection from the human papilloma virus, proved 100% successful in its initial trial phase. Merck hopes to bring it to market next year. One would think that such news would be welcomed from every quarter. After all, who would want to deny a life-saving cure to today's and tomorrow's women? Try Bridget Maher of the so-called Family Research Council. "Abstinence is the best way to prevent HPV," she said. "Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful, because they may see it as a licence to engage in premarital sex." It turns out the Family Research Council is annoyed at potentially losing one of its pet arguments for abstinence - that the human papilloma virus can be transmitted even when condoms are used properly. This, weirdly, makes the disease an ally of the Council, much like a biological weapon. The Family Research Council claims to be a Christian organization but it's hard to see how this stance is at all consistent with the gospel. Jesus came to heal the sick, not to with-hold needed care or use illness as a weapon. In the parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus instructs his followers to offer healing without judgment. In Jesus' ministry, healing is a sign of the imminent arrival of the Kingdom of God. From Genesis 1, we learn that God has given nature and all of its gifts to human beings to be used for the good of everyone. God commands human beings to be stewards over creation, to cultivate and transform and bring to fulfillment the potential of things. The scientists who worked on the human papilloma vaccine were obedient to that purpose. Their success ought to be good news for everyone.

1 comment:

Stedith=shorthispanic said...

Weazoe: Yup another "Christian" org. that makes any Christian look evil and stupid.

I can't understand what the big hang up is in preventing women or anyone from having sex. Geez. It just seems like a very very strange preoccupation to have when there are other more important issues at stake. It's like these people go their local church on Sunday and their sitting in the pews looking at everyone and thinking: I sure hope these young men keep their dicks out of young women's pussies!!!! As if that were the only message the church should concern itself with. Bunch of perverts, is what they are!

I don't necessarily agree with your spin of the Good Samartin, however. The Samaratin told the innkeeper to pay for anything the guy needed - I guess that is without judgement but I always thought it was more about generosity but perhaps those two are related in your mind? Just an exegetical nuance, I couldn't let go....