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.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.