February 3, 2015

Who Owns You? Chris Christie, Chemotherapy, and Forced Vaccinations

By In Blogs, Shane Kastler

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, hardly a bastion of liberty in his own right, recently sparked some controversy by suggesting that parents “perhaps” should not be forced to immunize their children against the measles. As quoted in the New York Times, Christie stated“It’s more important what you think as a parent than what you think as a public official. I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well. So that’s the balance that the government has to decide.”

WEB+Chris+Christie+Feb+2012
Chris Christie

Many “government control zealots” where aghast at Christie’s seemingly soft stance on forced immunizations. How dare he suggest parent’s might have a say in the matter!?! So much was the outcry that he somewhat recanted his statement by “clarifying” that there was no question you should have your children immunized. This parrots a very similar statement that President Obama recently made on the topic. Is anyone shocked to find Obama and Christie in lockstep on an issue?

I too was aghast at Christie’s statement, but for the exact opposite reason of the “government control zealots.” As a parent, I found it offensive that a government dictator would suggest that parents MIGHT “need to have some measure of choice in things as well.” Did you notice his carefully crafted words “some measure of choice”? In other words, it’s not the sole responsibility of the parent to care for the child, it is the government’s primary responsibility, and they should graciously “thrown a bone” to the parents by giving mom and dad “some measure of choice” in the matter. Here’s another way of looking at it Governor. Maybe the government should keep their rotten hands off of my kids! Maybe parents don’t need a condescending act of feigned benevolence giving us “a measure of choice” regarding the decisions for our own children. Maybe the “measure of choice” is solely ours and the government should do us all a favor and butt out of our lives. Float that policy position Mr. Governor and see how it polls for you.

The conclusion of his statement was equally problematic as he stated: “That’s the balance that the government has to decide.” According to Christie then, the final arbiter on decisions made between parents and children is not the parents nor the children. According to Christie it is the government. They (he) will be the one who must ultimately decide what you and your children will do. Does this sound like a free society to you?

Don’t kid yourself. America isn’t free and those who think it is are living in a dream world. Issues like forced immunizations will be used as scare tactics and presented as a matter of public safety, but when have the Feds ever really been concerned about public safety? More often than not, it’s public control that they’re focused on. Who decides what is safe and what is not? Do citizens forfeit this right? Are we required by some sort of mythical law of patriotism to submit to the government needle and the majority view for the sake of the common good? What if we genuinely believe the vaccine to be worse than the disease? The so-called cure to be worse than the sickness? Then what? Will our benevolent government imprison us for our beliefs? With men like Christie in control, don’t be surprised.

Recently a very similar situation arose when 17 year old Cassandra Callender refused to take chemotherapy to treat her Hodgkin’s disease. A decision that her mother supported. But the supreme court of Connecticut over ruled them both. They determined that she did not have the maturity to understand the severity of her disease and she was ordered to take her medicine regardless of what she, her mother, or anyone else thought. So who do these government entities think they are? Answer, they think they are God and they have the right to rule your life.

This gets back to the age old question of who owns you? Who has the right to tell you what you must or mustn’t do? Is it the Federal government? By way of forced vaccines? Is is the states, by way of a Governor’s dictates and supreme court decrees? Or is it you? Does a free society recognize that you have the right to do what you want to yourself, even if I think you are making a mistake? Cassandra Callender is not alone in thinking that chemotherapy is a poison that will harm her body more than help it. Many people hold to this view. But what her ruling tells us is that you better not hold to such a view in Connecticut because their high court knows what’s best for you better than you do.

Ultimately this has nothing to do with whether or not you believe in chemotherapy. Nor does it have anything to do with whether or not you believe in vaccines. It has everything to do with whether or not you have the right to believe and practice whatever you wish on these issues (as well as others) without fear of government intrusion and control.

Beware of the self-proclaimed benevolent dictators of the world! Especially if they have eyes on the White House. They’ll try to craft the perfect statement to appease the “government control zealots” while paying lip service to the lovers of liberty. But such middle ground is ultimately impossible to tread. It’s not the government’s place to give “some measure of choice” to parents regarding their children. It’s the government’s role to mind their own business. It’s not the government’s role to force chemotherapy upon the unwilling. If anything it would be the government’s role to prevent such an invasion of private property. The government doesn’t own you and consequently they should keep their hands off of you, their noses out of your business, and their decrees out of decisions that involve YOUR family. Stand down Chris Christie! Stand down Connecticut Supreme Court! Stand down and stay out! Don’t tread on me! Don’t tread on us! We can take care of ourselves and make our own decisions. Don’t give us a “measure of choice” when the entire right of choice belongs to us and us alone.

Written by Shane Kastler

Shane Kastler serves as Pastor of Heritage Baptist Church in Lake Charles, Louisiana (www.hbc-lakecharles.com). He is a graduate of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity) and Northeastern State University (Bachelor of Business Admin.). In addition to pastoring, he is the Co-Host of "Church & State" heard every Thursday from 8-10 AM on KELB, 100.5 FM in Lake Charles. Shane writes a weekly newspaper column called "Seeking Higher Ground" and has contributed articles to "Sword & Trowel", the "Economic Policy Journal", and LewRockwell.com. He is also the author of "Nathan Bedford Forrest's Redemption" a biography of the great Confederate general, which tells of how he found redemption in Christ. Shane and his wife Erin are both native Oklahomans, who now make their home in Lake Charles with their 3 children. His blog is: http://shanekastler.typepad.com
  • RA Jameson

    The question, “who owns you” is more complex from the Reformed/Christian worldview. The answer to that question is Christ. I was bought with a price and belong, body and soul, to Him. That makes me a steward of my body and the bodies of “my” children. I see that we reach the same conclusion, that the government does not “own” us, nor are they tasked with stewardship over my body, but I’m convinced the Biblical position is that God owns me.

    For the record, this is why (and I agree with C.S. Lewis here), I have no right to offer my body to the US government for military service. It is not my body to give to them. I would, in fact, be rendering to Caesar that which belongs solely to Christ.