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Great Video!

Last night on “The Colbert Report,” comedian Stephen Colbert addressed the controversy surrounding the HPV vaccine in Texas. He hilariously exposed the flaws in the arguments of Vision America’s Rick Scarborough and other Christians. You can find the clip by clicking here and then clicking on the one called “Bad Medicine.” The best line is about getting a tetanus shot.

Last week Ethics Daily ran my column on this issue, which is entitled “The Religious Right is not Pro-Life.” In it I question the opposition of several Christians to the giving of the HPV vaccine, which could help save the lives of hundreds of thousands of women worldwide. Thus, I argue that some Christians seem more focused on being anti-sex than pro-life. It is time for us to follow what the late Catholic Cardinal Joseph Bernardin called the “seamless garment of life,” which was his call for moral consistency by being completely pro-life.

It is great to see Colbert, who teaches a Sunday School class (that would be a cool class to be in), come out on the same side!


  1. Diane9:10 AM

    Again I thank you for addressing this issue.
    These parents and groups are being very short sighted.
    Most young people after they are booted from their parents health insurance, have a hard time getting health insurance. They should be glad that their daughters are getting protected.
    They really have no control over their sons and daughters lives after they turn 21.

  2. Yes, the Texas religious right's reaction to the issue has been totally predictable and has exposed what they really believe: that anyone who has premarital sex deserves to fully suffer all the physical consequences of doing so.

    However, there are a number of issues (the cost, the requirement to be vaccinated with only the Merck vaccine, the governor's close relationship with Merck lobbyists, and the governor's use of a power that is supposed to be for emergencies only) that have raised eyebrows on all sides of the debate. As a public health measure, it's great, but the means to that end reek of bad politics.

  3. Brian,

    I too thank you for addressing this issue. Although I am pro-choice, I do commend those who adhere to a consistent life ethic. The people who trumpet their pro-life stance the most loudly too often stop caring for people after they're born.

  4. Thanks for the comments!

    Diane: You are right that many are being “short sighted.”

    TexasInAfrica: You correctly note the Merck issue with Rick Perry. It is quite unfortunate that such conflict-of-interest has clouded the more important issues here. It is too bad the leader of the first state to take this action was not above reproach.

    Weiwen Ng: You are absolutely correct—we do not always focus on the value of life after birth. Hopefully, we can do better.

  5. Great article about Colbert on Ethics Daily today. Thank goodness for Colbert making us think a little about what is being said by influential people in our society.

  6. a. lin: Thanks! You are correct in your assessment about Colbert.

    For others who are interested, my column today is entitled "Praying for Stephen Colbert (and Rick Scarborough)" and can be found here.


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