The Associated Press story on the front page of The Courier (March 6) misrepresented Tuesday’s Senate committee hearing regarding vaccinations. While I applaud young Mr. Lindenberger for making his choice as an informed adult, few with opposing views — like mine — were permitted in that hearing.

As vaccines can be beneficial, I wouldn’t deny them to anyone. However, the CDC’s current vaccine schedule for the first year of life consists of 23 doses of vaccines for nine diseases.

Rather than risking a life-threatening immune response (such as an extremely high fever) in an infant through multiple simultaneous vaccinations, would it not be wiser to combat one disease at a time? Spreading out doses would be far safer and more effective.

Yet even fighting one at a time, the body’s immune response can be harsh — even fatal.

My husband got his first flu shot in college. He’d been healthy all day, but that evening developed a fever, sore throat and headache. Knowing this could happen, he took some Tylenol and went to bed. By morning, his spine felt like it was on fire. He spent two days trying to lie still because any movement was extremely painful.

He’s never gotten another flu shot. Can you blame him? He has since only had the flu twice: the 2009 H1N1 “swine” flu — still less painful than his vaccine reaction — and a “normal” strain just months after that flu shot!

The effectiveness of vaccination is grossly overstated; its frequent failures intentionally underreported. Reporting on the measles outbreak in Washington state proclaimed that 50 percent of cases were unvaccinated individuals, leaving unstated the corollary that the other 50 percent of cases were vaccinated.

A far less publicized recent outbreak of whooping cough has affected 30 students in a school in Los Angeles County, all 30 of them “properly vaccinated.”

Verify this yourself at:

Vaccines are neither as safe nor as effective as manufacturers claim, as my husband and many others can personally attest.

Yet pro-vaccine-choice doctors and lawmakers, and parents whose children are permanently disabled or died from intense immune responses to vaccines (or from adverse reactions to vaccine additives) were all but silenced Tuesday.

If vaccines are so amazing, why does the Senate committee fear opposing views?

Ann Haney




Larry Richards (letter, March 7) appears to have an obsessive belief in the Bible, hindering his ability to separate reality from his distorted Christianity.

Maybe he received his divinity degree from crooked Trump University.

Evidently, he forgot about the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

Violence and suspicion of others were shaped by American history, but they all had the stubborn idea that America is a “Christian nation.”

We live in a nation governed by laws. The U.S. Constitution is the basis for the rule of law by which we are governed. Our representative government was founded to protect the rights of everyone.

Richards wants to change our democracy into a theocracy, which is divine guidance and a legal system based on religious law — stoning, imprisoning and murdering sinners. Some Christians have misplaced paranoia.

Today, evangelicals believe divine guidance comes from Trump, a serial adulterer and pathological liar. His mafia crime family is currently under investigation by Congress, and federal and state investigators.

Don Iliff




Regarding Karin Johnson’s letter (Viewpoint, March 8): Is it not possible that a Christian born here would be a Hindu, or Buddhist, if born at the same time in India and with the same genes and parents?

This possibility seems to explain why the Good Samaritan parable is so instructive in guiding our behavior toward others, having different faiths and beliefs, in noting the way humane strangers can behave toward us.

Do we Christians have a lock on virtue, which can be observed in other faiths as well?

The world would no doubt be a better place if more of us actually practiced the faith of Jesus or the Buddha and, better yet, if there is mutual and complementary understanding of both.

Is there only one single right way to interpret religions, as some letters to the editor suggest, when noting the variety of different denominations of Christians and sects of other religions? Christianity had more uniform beliefs under Catholicism before the Reformation, and an explosion of different beliefs after.

This process of subsequent interpretation was complicated by the context-rich use of language in the Bible which is both literal and symbolic, including the use of parables, allegories and metaphors.

Who among us is on the supreme court of religion, to determine the meaning of these for all of us?

And is there not something deeply personal about understanding our sacred documents including the Constitution, our personal background and social history, which limits our ability to achieve consensus?

And how do we reach agreement on competing goods when these are in conflict, such as biblical love and constitutional tolerance, which can never be completely reconciled?

I have some ideas in response to these questions. But I am more interested in hearing from you.

Tom Murphy