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Values? Who Needs Values?
This is one of those weeks where I feel very discombobulated.

A couple of news stories have stuck with me . The first is the "artistic" community's reaction to Roman Polanski's arrest. For those who don't know, he was convicted in 1977 of forcibly raping a 13-year-old girl. He knew she was 13. He raped her in many different ways which I won't delve into here. She did not consent, but even if she had consented, it wouldn't have mattered. She was under the age of consent.

These things are known. They are not disputed. He admitted it at trial and pled guilty. But then he skipped town and lived abroad for 32 years before he could be sentenced. Hollywood is incensed that such a great director should be arrested. I am incensed that Hollywood can be so stupid.

Here's Whoopi Goldberg, who is supposed to stand for women's rights, explaining how getting a girl drunk and then forcing her to have sex isn't really "rape rape". Get a clue, Whoopi. And a moral compass. Interestingly, she's a spokeswoman for Toys 'R Us, claiming to be a "child advocate". How many child advocates do you know who think it's okay for a guy in this mid-40s to force himself on a 13-year-old?

Now here's a separate story. In England, a 14-year-old girl has died hours after getting the vaccine for cervical cancer. Here it's called Gardasil; this vaccine seems to have another name, but perhaps they're still the same thing and it's just a geographical difference. Whatever, that precious girl is now lost.

In most school districts in North America and in Britain, grade 8 girls are now routinely given this vaccine. We homeschool, and we haven't given it to our girls yet.

Now let me explain something. My husband is a pediatrician. The girls have had just about every vaccine available. If any family is pro-vaccine, it is mine (please no arguments in the comments about vaccines in general! It's not something I care that much about to argue, and I'd rather those arguments go elsewhere!). I say this just to show that on the whole, I'm the type of person who would welcome a new vaccine.

But this one just seems fishy to me. Every vaccine has a risk; doctors acknowledge that. Even if the risk is infintessimal, it is still there. But in most things we accept the risk because the risk of the disease is worse. Catch meningitis and you're in trouble. Measels and mumps are nothing to sneeze at. Isn't it great we don't have polio anymore?

But these diseases pass innocently from person to person. HPV, though, the disease that this vaccine protects against, is only spread through sexual transmission. Don't have multiple partners, and wait until you're married, and you're fine.

Of course, two scenarios do run through my mind. Rape is one. I would certainly not want my girls catching HPV in the case of rape, and that does make me think twice about the vaccine. That's horrid enough without adding the pain of HPV to it. The other problem may be that they may marry someone who is not a virgin, but who is now a Christian. But I would hope that, if that was the case, they would no longer be infectious.

Nevertheless, those are two pretty drastic cases. On the whole, I expect my kids to wait. And if I were to give the vaccine, it would be like saying: I think you won't.

What do these two news stories have in common? It seems to me that everyone expects 13-year-olds to have sex. We vaccinate our girls in case they get sexually active at that age; and then Hollywood says we shouldn't bother Polanski because the 13-year-old asked for it, and he's such a great artist anyway.

We don't put any value on innocence anymore. What we need is to vaccinate our society against rampant promiscuity. Let's bring back the picture of the white dress, the innocent girl. What's so wrong with that? Why is it such an object of scorn? Why is it okay to imagine girls having sex, to expect that they will, to excuse older men who prey on them, as long as they have hit puberty?

Look at how our society is falling apart, and it's obvious that rampant sexual activity outside of the bounds of marriage is much of the cause. People want freedom with no responsibility. And adults are afraid to tell teens "you shouldn't have sex", because they have no justification for it. If you believe that you should wait until you're married, it's easy to say, "don't have sex". But if you think that, as an adult, you can have sex as often as you wish, then what justification do you have telling a 15-year-old (or a 13-year-old) that you should wait? It's hypocritical. So instead, we create a society where it's expected.

It just sickens me. It really does. Sorry for being so negative. This week our church basement was flooded because the septic tank backed up. We had three inches of raw sewage everywhere. They've pumped it out, but it still stinks, and now we have nowhere for Sunday School classes or the nursery for a month or so until they get new carpet in, etc. But the whole thing seems like an apt metaphor. Sometimes I feel like just walking around this society I'm walking in raw sewage. And I guess we are. It's up to us, as believers, to clean it up, and I feel a little overwhelmed with it all right now!

UPDATE: A commenter says that the girl in Britain had terminal cancer, and that's why she died, not because of the vaccine. I can't find confirmation of that online; only that the British authorities say she had an underlying medical condition. However, they also said the girl appeared perfectly healthy at the time, so I still wonder if the vaccine exacerbated whatever she had. And if she was so terminally ill, why give her the vaccine? It really could have been a fluke(maybe, for instance, she had a heart condition which just chose that day to show itself, and she could have lived for many more years), but however she died, her death is a huge tragedy for the community and her family.

Whatever the cause, the fact is that all vaccines do have risks, as my husband tells all of his patients. This one does, too. And people need to take that risk into account when the vaccine is for something that is really only contracted in one way!

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At 9:20 AM , Blogger JEWEL said…

Roman Polanski needs to be here in the US, charged for the horrible things he did to that girl as well as for fleeing, imprisoned for the rest of his life and introduced to a few inmates ...

I would not be surprised if The View lost a few viewers over Whoopi's stance on this issue. She lost any respect I had for her over this.

Thanks for posting about this important issue.

What has happened to peoples values?


At 10:31 AM , Blogger Julie said…

May I correct you - the poor British girl did not die as a result of the Cervical Cancer vaccine. It now appears that she had a huge cancer that could have killed her at any moment. Please respect her memory and honour her parents by altering your post to reflect that.



At 2:24 PM , Blogger Jennifer said…

My husband and I have had many discussions about the Gardasil vaccination. We are not having our daughters get it either. I did think about the case of rape and it did make me give it a second thought but my husband doesn't feel that is enough of a reason to get it and after listening to his argument I agree.
I have sat down with my oldest 2 girls (teens) and explained my reason for not having them get it. I also explained what it is for and that if they aren't sexually active there is no need for it.
When they turn 18 it will be their choice whether or not they get it.

The Roman Polanski situation just makes me so mad. I feel for the victim and her desire to put it in her past because it has been dragged out so long but he needs to be brought to justice. What are we saying to young girls seeing it all play out if we take a "oh well it was years ago" attitude about it? Or society as a whole "just run away from it all for long enough and you won't be held accountable for it". It's just wrong on so many levels.


At 4:01 PM , Blogger Jen - Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said…

I just got lost on your blog for far too long. :) Had fun chuckling along with your GNO video on your other site.


At 7:22 PM , Blogger Kim said…

Having been raped myself at the age of makes me sick to hear of those in Hollywood doing's insane!!! I never went forward or told anyone and I live with it to this day with very few people that know. It's very disheartening that someone can plead guilty, runaway then come back and Hollywood wants to welcome him with open arms and have everything dropped...what are they thinking???

Lord come get us cause it's CRAZY down here!!!


At 7:26 AM , Blogger Kim said…

Just wanted to clarify on my previous post that I never told anyone "publically". I have of course shared the information with those that are closest to me.


At 8:49 PM , Blogger Kara said…

I will not be having my girls get this vaccine. HPV is highly treatable if detected early, and I hope to educate them on the risks of promiscuity, as well as the importance of regular doctor checkups.

I think I am mostly wary because the vaccine is still fairly new, and for me, it's just not worth the risk.


At 10:17 AM , Blogger ValleyGirl said…

"What we need is to vaccinate our society against rampant promiscuity." ~ I think that pretty much sums it up right there.

Our Sunday school class will be watching the third video of Focus on the Family's "The Truth Project" on Sunday and as leaders, my husband and I watched it together this week. The lie that virtually everyone, including far too many evangelical Christians, are believing, is that WE are the most important thing in life. WE are the be-all and end-all of the universe; pursuing OUR desires should be our ultimate goal.

But all that leads to is emptiness and heartbreak. And in many, many ~ countless ~ situations, serious physical consequences, as well.

I read your book earlier this year and I think I may have visited your blog at that time; I don't remember. But I stumbled on it today and will be adding it to my blogroll so I don't forget again!!!


At 7:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

Hello Sheila

What the media have swept under the carpet is that other girls at the same school also fell ill after getting the jab.
I am i the UK

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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