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Christianity and the 6th Commandment

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Conservative Christians sometimes act as if only killing people directly mattered. Other causes of unnecessary deaths also matter. Andrew Schlafly opposes vaccination against the life threatening Papiloma Virus. If the Schlafly campaign prevents some girls getting vaccine there will quite likely be unnecessary deaths. A serial killer who kills, for example ten people faces execution or life imprisonment without parole in any civilized country. Campaigns against life saving vaccines can easily cause ten deaths or many more.

Irresponsible campaigns against vaccination can’t easily be prevented. There are free speech issues. The supporters of vaccination can also exercise free speech and point that those who run irresponsible campaigns can be seen as equivalent to murderers. Any sane person who is intelligent enough to get a PhD by his own efforts should understand the implications of opposing vaccination that doctors recommend. There is a case for arguing that such a person is morally equivalent to a cold blooded murderer. There is a second possibility. Somebody who is not sufficiently intelligent to get a PhD by his own efforts may get one through, for example his mother’s influence. Such a person may not fully understand the implications of his actions and his campaign may be morally equivalent to manslaughter rather than murder. There is a third option, which is perhaps the saddest option of all. When ideology or the love of money are more important than saving lives.

The death rate is marginally lower in many advanced European countries, notably Britain and France than in the United States which has higher living standards but an unethical health care system. In these countries Universal Health Care prevents many deaths. Conservative Christian Republicans campaign against Universal Health Care. This campaign can also be seen as morally equivalent to manslaughter or murder depending on how far the campaigners understand the effects of their campaign.

Conservative Christians have also recently begun placing moral priority of an unborn fetus over the life of a woman. In the most extreme examples, such as Chile and El Salvador where even the impending death of the mother is not just cause for an abortion.

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