The “Religious Liberty” Approach to Vaccinations

So Ted Cruz found himself forced to address the vaccination issue today, and he scolded the media for inventing an artificial controversy to “write headlines.” But then he allowed as how vaccination mandates should have exceptions for those with “good faith, religious convictions.”

Well, great. Which parents resisting vaccinations for their kids would fail to meet that test, whether their “religious convictions” flow from Christian Science, a paranoid fear of the Secular Socialist State, or Mother Gaia? It shows what a dead end it is to start letting people self-designate which laws they can be bothered to obey based on their self-identified religious sensibilities. Next thing you know the anti-vaxxers will start complaining there’s a “war on religion” in which they are the targets.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.