MCC Blog Feb. 28, 2020
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Referendum Ballot on Tuesday.
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Voices: Traditions of faith, science both encourage vaccination – vote ‘no’ on
The God of Christianity, Judaism and Islam has always cared about the health of the community.
By Rev. Suzanne G. Roberts, M.D. Special to the Press Herald
My 22-year-old patient refused a flu shot during her yearly physical: “I don’t do shots,” she said.
I let that one pass; as a primary care physician, I need to choose my battles carefully, but then I remembered that she is the mother of a 2-year-old child.
“Are you getting your son immunized?” I asked.
“Oh, no,” she said, “it is against our religion.”
“Really? What religion do you belong to?” I asked.
“My husband and I are ––,” she replied, naming one of the three major religions practiced by followers of the God of Abraham and Sarah (Christianity, Judaism and Islam).
“Well,” I said, treading carefully again, “I don’t know what you have heard in your house of worship, but I happen to know for a fact that your religion does NOT forbid vaccinations. Please don’t use your religion as an excuse to not make the difficult decisions of parenting. Your son is depending upon you to make the right decisions for his health, and I recommend that you make sure that he is immunized, not only to protect him, but to protect your community as well.”
I am a practicing primary care physician and a practicing Episcopal priest, and there is no conflict whatsoever between my faith and my scientific training concerning immunizations: Both of these traditions encourage vaccinations. And as a woman of faith and science, I get angry when I hear people using religion as an excuse to justify their decisions made on the basis of fear, ignorance or selfishness. I worship a God who cares about my health and the health of my community, a God who has always cared about the health of the community; you only have to turn to the Bible to find proof of this.
The Rev. Suzanne G. Roberts, M.D., MPH, M.Div., is an Episcopal priest and a primary care physician with a practice in Biddeford.
Clergy: The Kennebec Valley Organization is seeking clergy signatures to a
letter they are sending to state legislators requesting an increase in
resources for rides for senior citizens
We are writing seeking your support for pending state legislation that will increase riding resources for isolated seniors, low-wage workers, and others without their own cars to non-emergency medical care, healthy food at supermarket prices, and work.
KVO has been working since the spring with volunteer driving networks, age-friendly community groups, and others to win passage of LD 1258.
It would provide $10 million in funding to expand the ride services of CAP agencies, as well as first-ever funds to help sustain and expand volunteer driving networks in the Valley and across Maine. It has been approved by the Transportation Committee and awaits the decision of the Appropriations Committee.
We seek the support of clergy from Kennebec Valley congregations and beyond because this is a practical as well as a moral issue, as the needs of those who are served grow and the resources of congregations to offer vouchers and other temporary support cannot keep up with demand.
If you are willing to add your name to this letter, please reply with your name, title and the name of the congregation you serve. We will present this letter to the Appropriations Committee by mid-March.
Please circulate this letter
to others in your faith or denomination. We ask judicatory
leaders and everyone receiving this letter to consider circulating this letter
to colleagues across the state.
Father Frank Morin, Joe Daniels, Helen Roy
KVO Leadership Team
Kennebec Valley Organization, Inc.
P.O. Box 203
South China, Maine
Clergy wishing to add their names to the letter should send their name, title and church name to email@example.com.