Category: Vaccines

If this is what the collapse of centrism looks like, then PLEASE give me more centrism

All the “worst people in Ireland” are running for election at the same time. We’re talking your racists, we’re talking your sexists, we’re talking your anti-vaxxers, your anti-fluoriders, your anti-Semites. The anti-5G brigade are in there. The anti-feminists too. And the anti-LGBT folks.

Not all of them are so negative. Some of them are actually pro stuff. For example, we have pro-lifers. We have pro-gun people. We even have pro-Illuminati Conspiracy theorists.

Pro or anti, there is something for everybody.

Conall McCallig has made a list (check out his original blog post for hyperlinks):

[Edit: The list has since been updated to include Allan Brennan (Independent) – Anti-5G, Anti-Vaxxer, Diarmaid Mulcahy (Independent) – Anti-Vaxxer, Anti-Fluoride, and James Miller (Independent) – Anti-5G, Anti-Vaxxer, Anti-Semitic, Anti-Muslim]

Is it just me, or are there rather a lot of names on that list?

In Ireland, 59 candidates are running in this year’s European Parliament elections. The above list accounts for a quarter of the field. But as Conall himself points out, there were other candidates about which he could source no information. These off-grid people could be even more fringe than the horribles he did manage to track down. In other words, we could be talking about close to a third of the slate holding extremist, esoteric, or, shall we say, eccentric views on social issues.

In the Irish part of the Euro elections, thirteen seats are up for grabs (two of which may be re-allocated back to Britain if the UK eventually decides not to leave the European Union). In other words, there are more kooky candidates than there are seats to be filled.

It seems to me that some of these folks are more sinister than others. If anything, the anti-Illuminati, anti-5G, or anti-GMO candidates are very much the lesser of evils. In fact their worst influence might not be to actually get elected. Rather, their damage would be to facilitate the seriously shady ones — the real bigots — to hide behind the crazy bush.

In other words, there’s a danger that the wackos who think that 5G internet is a deep-state conspiracy to line the pockets of Big Telecom while causing cellphone brain cancer in the masses will make the de facto racists come across as serious politicians.

But they’re not. The racists are…well…they are racists. And there are several of them. And this is precisely their opportunity to capitalize on a global trend of chaos to push xenophobic agendas through to the middle-class mainstreams of the Western world, including in our own little backwater here in grand old Ireland.

I mean, they are already setting fire to asylum centres.

This is far from a comedy election.

Ten years on and, quelle surprise, that child-abusing EU dystopia hasn’t happened (yet)

Project Fear has been ongoing for some time now. Here’s a poster urging the plain people of Ireland to vote ‘No’ to the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty back in 2008:

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Pic: Michael McCarthy/Flickr

I suppose you don’t really need me to tell you what happened next. The Lisbon Treaty was eventually passed, after which EU paratroopers stormed into Ireland forcibly injecting our crying children with microchips (except not).

Simon McGarr has been tweeting about the way reactionary activists deploy paranoid messaging in referendum propaganda. Here’s his thread:

The idea that the deep state wants to infect your kids and make them cry is a very old trope, and has been popular among Luddites literally for centuries. For example, anti-vaccination scaremongering emerged almost within days of the first mass vaccination programmes, replete with baby-eating vaccination monsters:

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In Ireland, social conservatives — well let’s admit it, Catholic conservatives — have long been concerned about foreign influence over our laws. The EU particularly frightened them because European countries tend to have ordinary basic human values. This of course clashes with the more Medieval misogynistic approach to law-making preferred by the Irish church.

The EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights — with its protection for gays, women, and secularists — was a definite bugbear. After all, if the EU force you to respect some of the rights of your non-coreligionist fellow citizens, then the next thing you know, they’ll force you to respect all of their rights. And then where would we be? Surrounded by wall-to-wall abortions, euthanasia, and gay marriage, of course.

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Pic: Free Stater/Flickr

Unsurprisingly, the microchipping of children wasn’t in the Lisbon Treaty, and I don’t think it’s mentioned in the Bible (I wouldn’t know).

That was used just to frighten people into voting ‘No’.

You see, when it comes to driving non-Catholic snakes out of Ireland, the religious right will throw everything into the mix.

In 1995 they claimed that legalizing divorce (yes, legalizing it, look it up) would immediately drive fathers out of the family home, making the kids of Ireland cry and go hungry. Their legendary slogan was: Hello Divorce, Bye Bye Daddy! Because, you know, men bad.

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Pic: Newstalk.com

And in 2015 they claimed that gay marriage would lead to an increase in surrogacy and adoption, creating a new age of male-parent families. The precise negative consequences of this were left to our imaginations, but the implied child-welfare risk was clear. (Would it be fair to mention that the church probably know a paedophile when they see one? Maybe not. I won’t mention it.)

Anyway, this time their slogan was the snappy: She Needs Her Mother for Life, Not Just For Nine Months. Because, you know, gay men very bad.

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Source: Broadsheet.ie

So this year, Ireland is gearing up for a referendum on abortion, that pièce de résistance of hot button Catholic-maddening causes. If you consider that something as boring as the EU can give religio-conservative paternalist cranks the heebie-jeebies, well let’s just say that the prospect of legalized abortion has gone down pretty badly with them.

One of their delightful tactics has been to assert that people with Down Syndrome will be prime target number one when those godless abortionists launch their inevitable nationwide purge of the unborn. Down Syndrome Ireland, a charity, called on the campaign to stop using pictures of persons with Down Syndrome on their posters.

Anti-abortion campaigners be like, nope, we good here:

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Pic: Irish Times

In some ways, the anti-abortion campaign has been something of a car crash. Many of their campaign initiatives have been debunked and ridiculed. But maybe that doesn’t matter.

Because we live in the new world now. Alternative facts and all that. If anything, making ludicrous claims and tooting incendiary fact-free dog-whistles makes you more likely to attract voters, rather than less…

This isn’t a time to sit idly by, people. Get up off your backsides and do something.

“I just decided to just Google what the Bible says about vaccinations…”

Guess what. Vaccines are not part of the Christian creator’s divine plan for the universe. We know this because they are not mentioned — anywhere — in the Christian Bible. So says this lady, as reported by this website.

To quote:

I just decided to just Google what the Bible says about vaccinations. There’s NOTHING in the Bible that talks about vaccines.

So, I just want you guys to think about that. So, if God knew in the future that he was going to help create these amazing things that were going to just change our health and be the best, you know, scientific advancement, it’s just, oh my gosh they’re so great, like, why isn’t there anything, any inkling of talk about these things called vaccinations coming into being later to save people? If that was really God’s plan and they’re so amazing, then why isn’t it in there at all?

Maybe there’s a chapter where they talk about something like an injection, this ‘health injection’, right? Like, why didn’t God talk about that, if he knew it was going to come and save the world?

Good point well made. (But I have a question: what does your Bible say about Google? Should you really be dabbling is such dark internet-based arts?)

Like many folks who quote the Bible, this person also claims to have insights about psychology and psychiatry. Here’s her grand theory about those of us (the majority, remember) who think that vaccination is, you know, okay:

I really believe that believing in vaccines is a mental disorder.

There. That’s told you. If you are one of the majority who “believe in vaccines”, then according to our correspondent, you have nothing less than a disordered mind. You are insane.

However, if you believe that an invisible-man-in-the-sky-who-hates-gays once wrote a book predicting all the good things that would ever be invented well, then, your mind is just fine. You don’t have to worry. You don’t have a disorder.

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So, then, while I have your non-disordered attention, what do you think about guns? Guns are good, aren’t they? Are guns mentioned in the Bible? Where does God stand on the second amendment?

It turns out that, yes, as well as being anti-vaccination, God is also pro-gun!

Earlier this week, this man told us that owning a machine gun is a core tenet of “the Christian faith” and that going gunless makes you a heathen:

…you must have the means of self-defense. And in our society today, that means a firearm in the similitude of an AR-15…That is a biblical requirement…if you are not prepared to defend your family and your neighborhood and your community with the force of arms, you have denied the Christian faith and you are worse than a heathen.

[Correction: it makes you worse than a heathen.]

And just yesterday this man told us that Jesus himself was an advocate for personal gun ownership:

He also turned to Luke 11:21, which reads, “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe.”

“Think about that. There’s Jesus advocating for the Second Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms, to defend your own house, to keep your possessions, not to mention your wife, your children, to keep them safe,” Barber said.

Good, good. After all, you do need to defend your wife.

By the way, for context, the first of these quotes is from politician Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party’s official candidate in the 2008 US presidential election (he finished fifth, four places behind one B. Obama), while the second is from religious liberty activist Matt BarberCo-Founder and General Counsel of a group called Christian Civil Rights Watch (CCRW) (he also used to run Concerned Women for America, presumably “because the women concerned need a man in charge.”)

This is your periodic reminder of the oft-made assertion that society would be just so much better if we allowed more religion into the public square.

 

 

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