There are two basic discussions that swirl around the question of vaccination. One has to do with vaccines generally, and when it comes to this question I confess that I am not an anti-vaxxer at all, not even a little bit. The fact that we have largely gotten rid of whooping cough and other pernicious diseases bothers me not at all. Couple this with the fact that militancy against such forms of modern medicine seem to me to just invite the cranks. So it would seem that having such an outlook would place me solidly in the pro-vaxx camp.
But a fact such as this should not cause us—for the sake of loyalty to our own faction in that general debate—to deny a good argument that the other side might put forward. And by “good argument” I mean one that needs either to be acknowledged as sound or answered with the respect it deserves. And so this leads us to the second aspect of this discussion, the one I want to pursue here now.
I am talking about the argument from the fact that fetal remains are used in the production of certain vaccines.
Stating the Problem Carefully
There are two widely used vaccines that were cultivated in cell lines obtained from the bodies of children—as the result of elective abortions. The abortions occurred in 1964 and 1970. One was a baby girl who was aborted because the family felt they had too many children, and the other was a boy who was aborted for “psychiatric reasons.”
These vaccines are the WI-38 vaccine (for rubella) and the MRC-5 vaccine (for use in certain vaccines against hepatitis A, small pox, chicken pox, polio and rabies). To complicate matters further, as administered, these are frequently combined with other vaccines. The vaccine for rubella was obtained from fetal tissue, for example, and was then combined with other vaccines that were not obtained that way. This means that certain unproblematic vaccines are conjoined to problematic ones, making them all problematic.
In the reading I have done on this, the basic facts of the case do not appear to be disputed. It is not as though one side claims that an aborted child was used in the production of the vaccines while the other side denies that this was done. No. This part of it appears to be something everyone agrees on.
So the debate is over the significance of these facts, not the facts themselves. There is a need, therefore, for biblical casuistry—moral reasoning in the light of biblical law. We are not given revelation on such issues directly, and so we have to look at them carefully in order to see what might follow from biblical law “by good and necessary consequence.”
I am opening the comments on this post because this is something we really need to talk about. If anyone has better information than what I have posted here, then please comment, and feel free to provide links. If the feedback is not about the information so much as it is about my argumentation—as I am interacting with Al Mohler’s argument and with a statement from the Pontifical Academy—then please engage with that as well. Have at it. I am grateful to anyone who is trying to address this difficulty as a true difficulty, and I want to submit these thoughts of mine under correction as well. That said . . .
Summary of the Problem
So to state the process as carefully as possible, here is how such problematic vaccines are developed. Tissue was taken from the body of an abortion victim, and cell lines from that tissue were then cultivated. The cell lines are not directly part of the dead child’s body, but rather are cells descended from a part of the child’s body which was cultured in such a way as to replicate. Tissue from the original organism (i.e. the child) was duplicated and formed a cell line, and the weakened virus that would serve as the vaccine was then grown in that cell line.
The vaccine is not the dead child’s body, but was rather grown in a line of cells which was replicated from a cell taken from the dead child’s body. The vaccine is the harvested crop, the cell line is the soil, and dead child was the upstream source of that soil.
So, with all that in mind, here is the basic question:
Is it lawful for Christians knowingly to use vaccines that were grown in the cultivated remains of a murder victim?
Now to state the question in this way might almost seem to answer it. Stated that way, who would say, “Yes, go right ahead”? Who would say that we really should “use vaccines that were grown in the cultivated remains of a murder victim”?
Well, nobody would put it that way, of course, but my argument is that this is what we are doing amounts to. And this means I believe the burden of proof lies with those Christian ethicists who believe we are not doing that. They need either to show that we are not doing that or, that if we are, it does not incur the responsibility that it looks like it incurs.
And it is hard to come up with analogous situations to help us in our reasoning. Nothing fits exactly.
One false analogy is one of cannibalism. A number of years ago, there was a plane crash in the Andes, and the survivors only managed to survive because they finally resorted to eating those who had not survived. The analogy is a false one because, however horrific the cannibalism was, it was not murder followed by cannibalism. While some might be prepared to say that such a thing was lawful in extremis (as I would not say, incidentally), I would hope that everyone would agree that killing someone in order that you might eat them to survive would be appallingly selfish. A Christian should rather die.
Another analogy that doesn’t really work is the one that concerns illicit medical knowledge. Nazi doctors conducted grotesque medical experiments on many prisoners, and in order to keep our distance from such evil, we don’t have to deny the truth of what they might have discovered (or maintain that they didn’t really discover anything worth knowing). The truth of whatever they discovered was known by God before their experiments, and the truth itself is not sullied by the evil that men might do in their pursuit of it. Medical students used to rob graves in order to further their studies. Say that such a student repented of this particular sin years later, and in his repentance he repudiated his sinful pursuit of that knowledge. Good. He can repent of how he acquired his knowledge of anatomy, but he can’t repent of what he now knows about anatomy. The knee bone is still connected to the leg bone.
Something similar is going on in the case of knowledge about human sexual performance. A good bit of what we now know, and which even shows up in marriage books by Christians for Christians, was discovered by sex therapists in white coats and clipboards observing people having sex. Now it might be maintained that such therapists might not have the firmest grasp of what the word “normal” means, and so caveat emptor everybody, but at the same time only a blind pious dogmatism would feel bound to maintain that such therapists could never learn anything true, or even important. And if researchers put copulating couples into MRI machines, as they have in fact done, and they learn something interesting about the human brain during sex, is it lawful for a Christian counselor to utilize that knowledge fifty years from now? And can he do so without inquiring whether the subjects in that original landmark study were married to each other?
With knowledge, while the knowledge of a particular truth is itself uncorrupted, you want to make sure that you never use such knowledge in a way that incentivizes researchers to go get more of it in that way. That is a tricky part, but I think it is where the line must be drawn.
And so it is that I believe that knowledge acquired illicitly is still knowledge, and we cannot “unknow it” for the sake of purity. We can refuse to take a particular vaccine while we cannot “not know” something that sinners in a previous generation learned.
Knowledge and Ignorance
Another factor that needs to be remembered is that culpability is affected by our awareness of what is going on, but not entirely determined by what is going on. Someone who just buys a jar of skin cream that contains fetal remains, not knowing the ingredients, is not to be blamed in the same way the cosmetics engineers are—the ghouls who first came up with that idea as a good thing to try.
“Scrubb’s eyes opened wide with horror and he said, ‘So we’ve been eating a Talking stag.’”
This discovery didn’t have exactly the same effect on all of them. Jill, who was new to that world, was sorry for the poor stag and thought it rotten of the giants to have killed him. Scrubb, who had been in that world before and had at least one Talking beast as his dear friend, felt horrified, as you might feel about a murder. But Puddleglum, who was Narnian born, was sick and faint, and felt as you would feel if you found you had eaten a baby.”
The Silver Chair, Loc. 12938
But equally important is the theology of the thing, and we should not rush to assume that ignorance of such things is entirely possible. No society could ever get to soylent green levels (as we are in danger of doing) in a state of entire innocence.
“We’ve brought the anger of Aslan on us,” he said. “That’s what comes of not attending to the signs. We’re under a curse, I expect. If it was allowed, it would be the best thing we could do, to take these knives and drive them into our own hearts.”
“Fated. Fated to be Pole’s death, just as I was fated to eat Talking Stag at Harfang. Not that it isn’t my own fault as well, of course.”
It is true that a lot of Christians really don’t know these facts about their vaccines. But it is also true that many of them would really rather not be told about it. Because, at some point, the fact that this would require radical action would then become patently obvious.
Some Inadequate Solutions
In the reasoning supplied by the Pontifical Academy, links below, they distinguish between a formal cause and a material cause. The formal cause of a particular evil would be the person who devises the sin, and who intends to commit it with sinful intent. He is the one who thought up the bank robbery. A material cause could be someone who was threatened by the bank robber, and who was coerced into driving the getaway car. He was a material part of the bank robbery, but his culpability is small or non-existent, depending.
We all understand that coercion does have an impact on culpability. To continue with this example, if someone has a gun pointed at him, to drive the getaway car is not the same as deciding to join the heist of his own free will.
But isn’t the situation quite different when we are talking about vaccines? If you don’t drive the getaway car, you get shot. The coercive element is easy to see. If you don’t get the rubella vaccine, you run a distant risk of contracting the sickness. You are playing Russian roulette, but the revolver has ten thousand chambers and just one bullet.
If these same vaccines had been grown in cell lines donated by the deceased person himself, it would be the same kind of thing as an organ donation. But because it was a murder victim, the situation is significantly altered. If you were visiting China and had a medical crisis there, one that required a kidney transplant, would you agree to receive one if you knew that the donated kidney was taken from a political prisoner who was executed for the sake of the kidney? The murder has already happened, and you can’t undo that. Water under the bridge. All you can do is say yes or no to the offered kidney. What do you say?
What kind of material cause would you be contributing in that instance? So perhaps the issue is not so much material causation as it is material participation. You didn’t cause anything. But are you participating? And is there any culpability in that participation? It seems to me there is.
In Al Mohler’s treatment of this issue, he distinguished between “primary effect” and “secondary effect.” I take him to be saying something similar to what the Pontifical Academy was arguing. We all understand why the director of the primary effect is guilty, as Mohler rightly acknowledges.
But what is it precisely about the secondary effect that makes it not guilty? The only thing that I can see that might affect culpability downstream is ignorance. As you go from primary effect to secondary, and then to tertiary, knowledge of what is going on can decrease. And that affects culpability—although, as mentioned above, perhaps not as much as we might think.
Before interacting more with Mohler’s argument, I would like to see him develop it further. The Pontifical Academy ran theirs out to the edges, which Mohler did not do. I would like to see the question addressed in this way. Given what we know about the sources of these problematic vaccines, shouldn’t the posture of Christians be to apply as much pressure as we can to get these corporations, and our government, to supply us with ethically sourced vaccines?
Cost and Benefit
This means we have to do a cost/benefit analysis. I don’t mean to sound cold, but I am actually trying to keep us from becoming cold. This really boils down to a cost/benefit analysis, and it does not appear to me that we have thought the issue all the way through.
It is in our personal interest not to get rubella, and the use of this problematic vaccine would help us toward that end. But it is also in the interest of the civil authorities to not have a rubella outbreak, and to make the vaccines as unproblematic as possible would be helpful toward that end. Now if the reason the society is running the risk of a rubella outbreak is because a large number of conscientious Christians, who have no complaint about vaccines generally, began to refuse this vaccine because it is being manufactured in an ungodly way, then that puts pressure on them to act in accordance with what they say is their actual interest in this—which is public health.
But I don’t believe it to be the case that their only interest is public health. If it were, they would mandate that all vaccines be produced in an ethical way. They would not want any stumbling blocks to be put in the way of widespread vaccination. So perhaps it is worth considering that one of the things they want to do is make the entire population, ardent pro-lifers included, complicit in the abortion travesty.
As it stands now, we are not acting in accordance with what we say we believe. They are being consistent, and we are not being consistent.
Consider the “costs” from another angle. If you examine the resources I have listed at the end of this post, you will see that fetal remains have not just been used in the manufacturing of vaccines. They have also been used by taste engineers as they have developed artificial flavors. Take, for example, refrigerated coffee creamers produced by Nestle. They have also been used in certain cosmetics and skin care products (not all, just some). And in this latter case, the fetal remains were not just used in the testing and development of the products, but are also used in the product itself.
So with regard to the taste experiments, the food products do not contain fetal remains. But with regard to certain cosmetics and skin care products, they do contain fetal remains. What better way to get at that elusive anti-aging solution than to use the life of a baby? The Christian way of life says my life for yours. The unbelieving way of life says your life for mine.
Now apply the moral reasoning referenced earlier to the taste of your coffee creamer, or the skin cream you use. Does the distinction between formal cause and material cause apply here? If so, how? How about primary effect and secondary effect? Or does our relatively trivial need for better-tasting coffee creamers allow us to boycott them over this? Does the relatively trivial need for fewer wrinkles allow us to say that we will not use that compromised product? But doesn’t that mean we are arguing that we will certainly take a stand when taking a stand costs us almost nothing? If it costs . . . well, that’s another issue.
I trust you see the difficulty. If we boycott the coffee creamers and do not boycott the rubella vaccine, we are doing our cost/benefit analysis selfishly. We are saying, in effect, that we will not support a murder going into taste research but we will (reluctantly) support a murder that supports a smaller health risk for us. Now I grant that rubella, when contracted, is a much bigger deal than wrinkles or sub-par coffee. But rubella, when not contracted, which is what happens most of the time, is not a problem at all.
Suppose movies were invented in the first century. So isn’t this like an early Christian boycotting movies that harmed animals in the making of the film while continuing to attend the gladiatorial games where people and animals are maimed and killed? He is a Christian so there is a small risk that he will eventually be thrown to the lions, but he still attends. But when it comes to the movies, he takes a firm stand on an issue of much smaller consequence. How is this not schizophrenic?
This means that there is an unacceptable cost/benefit line that has somehow been crossed.
And we have all agreed that there is a point where pressure becomes coercion, and when it becomes coercion all the fine shades of moral reasoning are no longer necessary. It is no sin to be raped or robbed. It is not a sin to be kidnapped or murdered. But, taking the issue of rape, to use a far-fetched example, if a man were to say to a woman that if she doesn’t have sex with him he will put her name in a lottery of 100,000 potential victims, and if he draws her name, he will track her down and make her life miserable for a week, does that count as coercion?
To a really fearful woman, it might. And to a really fearful Christian population, the threat of particular diseases might be considered as coercion, the kind of coercion that forces our hand. But it really is not.
So perhaps we ought to figure out a way to play some chicken with the magistrate. We don’t want rubella and they don’t want a rubella outbreak. They say to us that we have a duty as citizens to inoculate ourselves, for our own sake and for the sake of our fellow citizens. And we should actually accept that responsibility, everything else being equal. But I also think we ought to say to them in reply that they have a responsibility to cease being ghouls in the way they allow vaccines to be manufactured. And when they fulfill their responsibility in this, we will think about fulfilling ours.
For Further Research
N.B. I am not in a position to vouch for the accuracy of the following claims. They are submitted for the inspection of those who care deeply about this issue, and who are prepared to pursue it further. The mere fact of their inclusion here does not mean that I would agree with everything—some of the posted links do not even agree with each other.
Here is a breakdown of products that used a cell line for an aborted child in the testing of their products, followed by products that contain fetal material.
Here is an article from a Catholic website called Children of God for Life. The main thrust of this article concerns the origin of the rubella vaccine.
This is an article that breaks the issues down
And here is a statement from the Pontifical Academy, the one I interacted with above.
This is a statement on vaccination generally from the City Reformed Presbyterian Church, but it has a section on the unlawful origins of some of the vaccines.
Al Mohler addressed it in this edition of The Briefing, second segment.
Here is an article for you.
A table of problematic vaccines and alternatives to them.
And another one.
My wife and I have spent a bit of time discussing this issue. Thank you for bringing it up here. Back when my lovely bride looked into the vaccines issue we were given two books by a friend. One was a book against vaccines and the other was a book published by the Idaho department of health, written by two M.D.s one of whom was on the board for the CDC. This is where my wife encountered the evidence that rubella was developed using an aborted baby. Obviously she was horrified. We have since read the “for medical professionals” literature… Read more »
Look on YouTube for videos of Dr. Stanley Plotkin, known as “the father of modern vaccines “, testifying under oath that no less than 76 fetuses were used in the development of the Rubella vaccine. He’s truly evil.
First, let me state that I agree that abortion is murder and to be treated as such. I am sad that using tissue from two aborted babies was the route chosen to develop the rubella vaccine. I am not a biochemist by training (I was trained as a chemist and polymer scientist), so I cannot speak definitively about whether there were biblically acceptable alternatives available at the time to the scientists who developed the rubella vaccine. I did know one scientist that worked in a drug development group in the early 1980s that used umbilical cords to get the cells… Read more »
Look on YouTube for videos of Dr. Stanley Plotkin, known as “the father of modern vaccines “, testifying under oath that no less than 76 fetuses were used in the development of the Rubella vaccine. He’s truly evil.
Forgive me if I’m missing something, but during the conversation on Jonathan Edwards’ slaves, you took the position that since the kidnapping had already taken place and could not be undone, that Edwards was not culpable in the slave trade itself, and could therefore purchase a slave so long as he was a good master. How is that different from this? The abortion already happened; refusing to use the vaccine isn’t going to bring the baby back to life again; so, as you put it, water under the bridge. Further, the Russian Roulette isn’t merely with the child not getting… Read more »
Mike, thanks for the question. I was going to address that in the piece, but it was already over 3000 words. When you are considering purchasing a slave, you are at least in a position to ameliorate the effects of the crime for the victim. If you are going to follow scriptural teaching on what masters ought to do, then you might well be the answer to the victim’s prayer. “Please let me not be sold to a cruel master.” But the beneficiary in the vaccine deal is ourselves. “We can’t help the victim so let us at least help… Read more »
Not just “help ourselves,” Pastor Wilson, but “help our children” and “help pregnant women whose babies may suffer terribly if their mothers get rubella” and “help immunosuppressed people who might die.” To me, the fact that these vaccines save lives means that, yes, “[it is] lawful for Christians knowingly to use vaccines that were grown in the cultivated remains of a murder victim.” I would argue the same if I heard the cell lines came from Anne Frank.
What if you found out the medical industry was looking to convince elderly people with terminal illnesses to commit physician assisted suicide? Think of all the people who can be helped by all the donated organs, blood, and other human tissue. All these donations will save lives!
Then that, or if the medical industry were “trying to convince” any women to commit additional abortions, would be a problem. That is not the same issue as a past situation that evidently is not a matter of ongoing evil (in the form of new murders) being committed or encouraged.
There are many women whose doctors have tried to convince them to have abortions. There’s already a system in place where the industry benefits and profits from the use of fetal remains. So far the only response I’ve heard is, “but look at all the lives being saved”
It’s more like “look at the harm you are preventing.” Not getting immunized causes diseases to spread and cause harm to our neighbor.
Buying a slave could cause additional demand for slaves. Getting a vaccine, and it seems pretty clear that no additional babies are being aborted to create vaccines, means that we prevent sickness and death.
I am immuno-suppressed. I can perfectly understand someone not wanting to get a vaccine because of this. But let’s not pretend you are not increasing the likelihood people will become sick, and in some cases die, if you don’t get vaccinated.
While I can appreciate your line of reasoning, it is coming from the position that getting a vaccine sourced from an aborted baby is morally fine. In such a universe, I think you would have a point. But the argument being put forward is that getting such a vaccine may in fact be morally wrong. If that’s the case, then I would be doing wrong so that I can love my neighbor. Clearly this doesn’t work. So the central question is all that matters at the moment: is it morally right, neutral, or wrong to take a vaccine whose origins… Read more »
But there are still babies being aborted today. Walvax-2 is a baby aborted in 2015, both parents check all the right health boxes, mother gave consent, baby was aborted in the sac, and immediately shipped to the lab with its heart still beating. Baby was aborted because mother had a uterine scar from a previous c-section. Perhaps I am wrong, but I do not believe that is a dire, medical reason to abort baby. But say delivery was immanent for some reason, since baby was aborted at 27 weeks, there is a huge possibility it would be a thriving 4… Read more »
I was referring to being convinced to have abortions *for the purpose of* harvesting the cells.
I am not saying it cannot happen. I am saying, the use of things derived from past crimes is a distinct moral issue from the promotion of future crimes to obtain those things. The second comes into play for the person deciding whether to avail himself of the results if and only if it is happening, not merely if we can imagine it happening.
They are still aborting babies for the purpose of creating vaccines.
No one here has argued that women should have abortions because of “lives being saved.”
Respectfully, you’re not just helping yourself. You’re increasing herd immunity and decreasing the chances of being a vector for disease to spread to the immune compromised, infants, the elderly, pregnant women, etc.
Except that herd immunity in a vaccinated population is a myth. It’s more of the propaganda used to make people believe what you just stated. There have been many many examples of fully vaccinated populations suffering outbreaks of the very disease they’ve been vaccinated against. There was a navy warship in late 2018 to early 2019 that was quarantined at sea for months, due to an outbreak of mumps. The US military are the most heavily vaccinated population in the world. There’s no saying “no” to vaccines in the military. In spite of everyone aboard being fully vaccinated, they again… Read more »
That’s absolutely untrue. The introduction of the rubella (in fact, the MMR) vaccine came after the disease had declined. This can easily be verified.
Several of the products on the chart of products containing or developed from murder victims aren’t vaccines.
Anemia (Procrit etc…)
Most of them are other biologic medicines. Not that it matters it is still ghastly. Pointing it out in the spirit of wide-mouthed astonishedness.
The website includes unethically sources medications as well as vaccines. Those of us who care about aborted babies refuse those medications as well. And yes, we avoid Pepsi and coffee creamers as well.
Pastor Wilson, Regarding motivation for vaccination, it seems to me that you omitted a key, non-selfish, personal motivation: love for your neighbor. As I have gotten my children and myself (all generally healthy individuals) vaccinated it has been with the understanding that many of the diseases would almost certainly be only mildly inconvenient for us. The rationale for getting the vaccination, therefore, are the many infants at church, the woman a pew over who is being treated for cancer, and the frail, elderly couple next door. For them these same diseases are life-threatening (or sight-threatening, fertility-threatening, etc.) and their best… Read more »
There is absolutely no truth that unvaccinated people pose a threat to anyone. It’s really common sense that one cannot pass an illness on to someone else if they do not have the illness! The truth is actually that many vaccines contain live viruses which shed, causing the recently vaccinated individual to be the threat. This is why the package inserts state that after a vaccine, one should avoid immunocompromised individuals for a set amount of time. Here are a couple of studies on that: What, in Fact, Is the Evidence That Vaccinating Healthcare Workers against Seasonal Influenza Protects Their… Read more »
You can be infected and pass the infection without ever getting ill. Not everyone who gets an infection gets an illness.
There is in fact a vaccine injury compensation program in this country. The vaccine court has awarded over 4 billion dollars to vaccine injured individuals since Congress voted in 1986 to make Vaccine Manufacturers exempt from lawsuits pertaining to injuries/deaths resulting from their vaccines. Does that number sound low? Of course! Because no dollar amount can ever be placed on a dearly loved child. However, that number is going up by the millions every month. http://www.1200studies.com p. 366-367. These funds are paid out through the federal government (ie taxpayers). Thus, this court has established, through this amount representing thousands of… Read more »
Very well said, Sunni!! Thank you for raising your voice to state what so many seem unwilling to recognize!
Thank you so much for carefully and honestly dealing with this issue.
Dear Doug, The thing that brought clarity to the issue for my wife and me was that the continued demand for vaccines and other products, even though made using flesh of babies selected and murdered, is driving a huge system of research money that is using more and more murdered babies for more and more uses. I say it again: it’s not “just” two murdered babies decades ago. It’s more and more babies and more and more uses. From a section titled “The Need for Further Fetal Tissue” in a very helpful Children of God for Life paper (linked below):… Read more »
I appreciate your article. I am a registered nurse and have been a nurse for 27 years. My take on vaccines is different. I do not believe a government should have the right to force vaccinate the population. Every single medical procedure, from the small to the big has side effects, some mild, some not so mild. It’s not the job of the government to usurp the parental responsibility to make medical decisions for the child. That decision lies with the government of the family, not the government of the civil magistrate.
Your write up has a tremendous flaw. Look up WALVAX-2. The original cell lines are not where this stopped. They have to replenish those lines as fetal cells are not immortal. There is a limit to their quantity. They have been searching and creating cell lines to try to find a suitable replacement as the originally chosen two are reaching their end.
So, the critique should be: Are we, as Christians, ok with supporting an industry that will always need to use fetal cells and always need to use new fetuses to support the manufacturing of vaccines?
Yes, this is an ongoing industry. The cells from the abortions in the ‘60s are deteriorating and experiments and research on aborted babies continues and will do as long as we support the industry.
Yes, please look up Walvax-2. Fetal cell lines are highly tumorigenic and the older the cell lines are, the greater the cancer causing potential. So they will always have to be replaced. The new fetal cell line is Welvax-2 and there were 9 abortions involved, babies had to be born alive to be of use. Read about it here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4526020/ Good historical overview of the development of MRC-5 and WI-38: https://cogforlife.org/vaccines-abortions/ Read through the ingredients of vaccines here: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/B/excipient-table-2.pdf MRC-5, human diploid cells, recombinant human albumin, WI-38 Human diploid lung fibroblasts, MRC-5 cells including DNA and protein, human embryonic lung… Read more »
Just to add to this line of thought…many new potential vaccines that are currently being developed also use fetal cells. So if we agree to the current vaccines that were produced using fetal cells, do we have any moral ground to stand on if to refuse future vaccines?
Thanks for the additional information. I did not know this, but I am not sure how any on going use of aborted babies should surprise anyone who saw even five seconds of the Plan Parenthood sting videos. Of course they are continuing to use these victims. And we should also stop pretending that we are even going to know about it in every instance.
Thanks for the good article. My husband and I discussed it over lunch. I am wrestling with how your principles in this article correspond with what you have written about boycotts in general, and the chapter entitled “Boycottery” in Confessions of a Food Catholic. Would you expound? Thanks
Sarah, I probably shouldn’t have used the word boycott here. Strictly speaking it is simply “abstaining.” If a Christian man doesn’t read Playboy, that’s good, but it is not exactly a boycott. He just doesn’t do it.
Hi Doug, You seem to presume that the answer to the question: “Is it lawful for Christians knowingly to use vaccines that were grown in the cultivated remains of a murder victim?” is obviously “No.” Does that answer change if you ask: “Is it lawful for Christians knowingly to use X that were produced under in a process that resulted in the murder of a person?” If the answer *does* change, then it seems your argument is based on the sacredness of the victim’s body, more than on the Christian’s participation in the original crime. If so, you should make… Read more »
Pastor Wilson, One of the analogies you settled on for this was, “would you agree to receive [a donated kidney] if you knew that [it] was taken from a political prisoner who was executed for the sake of the kidney?” I think this is a false analogy in the specific case of the two cell lines in question. They were from babies murdered for individual selfish reasons. The analogy would be: ‘would you agree to receive a donated kidney from a victim of domestic violence who didn’t say whether or not she wanted to be an organ donor but her… Read more »
Sir, I was surprised that the principle of food sacrificed to idols did not enter into your initial discussion. As abhorrent and downright disgusting as I find abortion, I nonetheless would maintain it is a lesser evil then downright conscious worship to a false God. The former is a violation of the sixth commandment, The latter a violation of the first. But if Paul was willing to endorse Christian use of the byproduct or after effects of idolatrous worship, I would think something about this principle may offer at least some Insight to the question. I can see the counter… Read more »
“Given what we know about the sources of these problematic vaccines, shouldn’t the posture of Christians be to apply as much pressure as we can to get these corporations, and our government, to supply us with ethically sourced vaccines?” Bingo! A couple of thoughts to add… (1) Your focus was rightly on the moral question, but I do want to point out that there is a category of vaxxer (of which I am one), that is not opposed to morally sourced vaccines in theory (pro), but I am opposed to some in practice on safety grounds (anti). The risks associated… Read more »
“Christians need to fear God, not sickness.” Bingo. That’s the issue floating in my head that I could not quite pin down. And we should add, “not death”.
Greetings from Indiana! It seems to me that your Russian Roulette calculations are a bit miscalculated. You used the ratio of 1 bullet and 10,000 chambers. Let us translate the metaphor into population health jargon. We could line up 10,000 people and walk behind them, pulling the trigger in a very Naziesc fashion ( macabre I know). If it took us one year to finish all this shooting, we would have an annual incidence of getting shot of 1/10,000. The CDC says The Rubella vaccine came online in 1969. That year there were 57,686 cases of Rubella, which was an… Read more »
Please read Dr. Suzanne Humphries book, “Dissolving Illusions”. It is 80% historical data on diseases and vaccines. It is eye opening. The CDC is corrupt and not trustworthy. There have been many whistleblowers attesting that they have manipulated data and buried studies that do not show the results they wanted.
You have brought up a dirty, not so secret fact. Data, as one person I know in public health once said to me, must be strangled and stomped on until it produces the result most beneficial to the organization.
Thank you for the display of the phenomenon I alluded to in my last paragraph. If iron lungs, herpes cerebritis, congenital Rubella, and the host of other complications of these diseases were still prevalent in our world, it would be much harder to believe the scaremongers. As it is, we can sit in a world mostly free of these terrible diseases and throw stones at the technology God has used to get us here. Do I believe the CDC is perfect? No. Do I believe vaccines work? Yes. Even without the CDC and their allegedly falsified evidence, when is the… Read more »
I think we need to factor herd immunity into the cost/benefit analysis here. Since many of the illnesses we vaccinate for need a high (90%+) vax rate to maintain herd protection, every person that chooses not to vaccinate is increasing the likelihood of a disease returning to the population. So to use your revolver example, as we refuse vaccines, we are gradually eliminating chambers from the gun. In my local area, the vaccination rates are below where they should be and we see frequent cases of whooping cough and are at high risk for measles outbreaks. Goodness, there’s already been… Read more »
Some info on herd immunity:
I don’t usually post comments. Anywhere. But I thought this might be helpful to the discussion. Let us go back to the beginning. What is abortion? Many here would say(and I agree) that it is murder. If however we change the wording, does it change our understanding. If we say that it is a blood sacrifice to Satan(which I believe it is) does that change our way of looking at the scenario. Jesus said that it is not what goes into a man that defies him but what comes out of him. On the other hand, in Acts 15:28,29 we… Read more »
“Is it lawful for Christians knowingly to use vaccines that were grown in the cultivated remains of a murder victim?” I’m a (Calvinist) Christian. I’m strongly pro-life. That said: 1. At best, you might ask this question regarding the MRC-5 cell line used in the UK. 2. However, the fetal cells used in the US (WI-38) are derived from an ectopic pregnancy (source). Even on Christian grounds, it’s not necessarily unethical to perform an ectopic pregnancy in some cases. Suppose both mother and baby’s lives are in imminent danger. Suppose it’s only possible to save the mother’s life, but not… Read more »
I do not see any evidence in your source that it was an ectopic pregnancy? On the Children of God For Life website it cites the assertions that: “In 1964 Hayflick would again report on his findings with the newest aborted fetal cell line, WI-38.  A bit of history is in order on this abortion, whose tissue would be collected from the lungs of a female baby at 3 months gestation The reporting by Stanley Plotkin on the abortion when he was asked about the inherent dangers of using human cell lines in vaccine production due to the possibility… Read more »
Pastor WIlson, It is good to see you studying and contemplating this issue. So many Christians do not know this information. If you look up the sworn deposition of Stanley Plotkin (nicknamed the godfather of vaccines for his handbook on them), you will discover that babies are still being sacrificed today for vaccine research and development. It has never stopped. I have accumulated much info on this topic but will simply leave you with some additional information on fetal cell use in vaccines as well as these pubmed peer reviewed government studies to contemplate at your leisure: Aborted fetal cells… Read more »
Does the fact that I’m securing the vaccine on behalf of my child change the ethics of it? If it’s for me, I totally get refusing, but I’m not sure I can see to intentionally exposing my child to the harm. That almost seems like throwing my child into the battle in my place. I’m perfectly willing to assume the responsibility and the risk, but I’m not sure it’s right to use my child as leverage in a gambit to pressure the state. It seems to me that’s similar to what the climate change/ antigun-lobby people are doing. And what… Read more »
“Who would say that we really should use vaccines that were grown in the cultivated remains of a murder victim”? I’m a bit reluctant to say that I would, but there it is. If the victim had a current donor card and/or his grieving relatives consented, I don’t see the relevance of his manner of death: murder, suicide, or a car crash on the 405. When I told the DMV and my fond relatives that when I die, I want to be stripped down for whatever parts might benefit anyone else, I didn’t make an exception for murder as my… Read more »
“But does any woman intend her abortion to promote vaccine research?”
Whatever the woman intends promoting (and profiting from) vaccine research is the intention of the doctor performing the abortion. If we are unwilling or unable to produce vaccines ethicly then virus russian roulette is preferable to child sacrifice.
Pastor Wilson, thank you for this helpful article, and for the opportunity to interact a bit. I have a few thoughts. First, I’d like to simply and non-controversially affirm that we should fear God more than we fear rubella. In the interest of erring on the side of caution, and in viewing our lives through an eternal lens, we ought to fear the one who has the power to kill not only the body (e.g. rubella), but also the soul in hell. While I understand the nuance of the discussion, and all this talk of secondary, tertiary, quaternary culpability, etc.,… Read more »
Amen, and amen.
“For example, in the United States, in the year 2019, you are more likely to die from a measles vaccine than you are to contract measles to begin with.“
Do you have a citation for this? It gives me pause because I’ve heard of a lot of cases of measles but have never heard of anyone dying from the vaccine.
Jay, No, it was actually a mis-statement on my part, which I immediately recognized after leaving this post, but was unable to edit my comment and walked away. Good on you for calling me out on it. What I had intended to say was that you are more likely to die from a measles vaccine than to *die* from the measles. I did not mean to state that you were more likely to die from a measles vaccine than to *contract* measles. I derive this statement merely from comparing the number of measles/MMR vaccine injury suits that have been filed… Read more »
Hypothetically, if a deadly plague swept through America and we were told that we would only have to kill one innocent baby in order to obtain a cure and save half of the population, the Christian response should obviously be to let half of the population die. It is not a sin to die of the plague (or to let others die of the plague if the only alternative is to sin to save them), but it is a sin to kill an innocent baby. So if receiving the Rubella vaccine is a SIN, then of course no one should… Read more »
There is a recent live water bag birth abortion done in China just a few years ago that seems to have been done with the purpose of replacing old fetal cell lines. The lines are not immortal. They will need to be replaced some day.
Apparently, the dilemma of Nazi research being used to help with current medical treatment was written about recently by the BBc. Here is the article.
As a pediatrician for nearly 40 years now, I have spent countless thousands of hours researching all the previously mentioned issues, counseling with thousands of families, and administering over one hundred thousand vaccines to my dear patients — while also respectfully honoring the stated convictions of hundreds of families who have chosen for various reasons to opt out of immunizing their children. So, I feel uniquely qualified to put my two cents into this fray. First of all, I thank our proprietor for so valiantly setting forth his well thought out post, and just as much for the display of… Read more »
I appreciated your input. The governor of California, my state, has just signed a bill designed to crack down on bogus medical exemptions. After the state stopped recognizing religious/philosophical objection exemptions after the Disneyland measles outbreak, an unvaccinated child now needs a medical exemption to attend a public or private daycare or school. The anti-vaxxer movement here is almost entirely driven by very affluent parents who are seriously into “organic” lifestyles. When it came to light that a child living in Somalia had an equal chance of being vaccinated as a child in some parts of Malibu and Beverly Hills,… Read more »
Jill, Thanks for your comments on Doug’s posts over the years, and for your followup questions here. (I’m much more a reader of comments than a commenter, in general. Sort of the two ears and one mouth thing.) For 15 years, I was a pediatrician in the Bay Area — glad to have moved up to Washington 21 years ago to start the second half of my pediatric career. Here in WA, the Vaccine Exemption form I need to sign for my patients has a very brief section I need to fill out that states “I have discussed the benefits… Read more »
WI-38 and MRC-5 are not vaccines. They are fetal cell lines used to produce vaccines. WI-38 was produced from the lung of a 3 month girl fetus. “WI” stands for Wistar Institute and “38” is the number in a series of babies. There was a WI-1, a WI-22, and a WI-44. Thus, production was not really at the cost of one baby, one time. Harvested live tissues from these babies included skin, muscle,kidney, heart, thyroid, thymus and liver, as well as lung. Vaccines produced in WI-38 include rubella, measles, mumps, chicken pox, polio, hepatitis A, and rabies. MRC-5 was produced… Read more »
This all reminds me of the under cover Planned Parenthood sting videos.
Rubella (and the Rubella vaccine) drag some particulars along with them that might spur further thought via the hypotheticals they throw off. One is that Rubella is serious. It kills children. As does abortion. The hypothetical: how many children would be worth it? Is such calculation ever Biblical? Who gets to decide? Another: the Rubella vaccine is less effective than promised. How much less is debated, but some suggest the gap is large. (I can’t find the reference right off, but this issue has been diced in the mainstream press.) As a result of over-faith in the efficacy of the… Read more »
Here’s the reference on the MMR vaccine and apparent misdealing around its efficacy:
FYI, WI-38 and MRC-5 are cell lines, not vaccines. As brilliant as you are, I believe your biological understanding is a bit limited and I think that is problematic for our overall stance on vaccines. I realize you are focusing in the ethics regarded aborted fetal cells, but I am concerned that you seem willing to allow the government to force us to be vaccinated under some “greater good” idea. Even if vaccines were 100% safe, I don’t believe the government has the right to do so nor do we have an obligation to accept it under loving our neighbor.… Read more »
There are far more than just two aborted babies used for vaccine production. Cell lines break down eventually and they need new ones. Sometimes it takes almost a hundred aborted babies before one is found to be suitable for new cell lines. Also, the CDC has paid out over 4 billion dollars to families of vaccine-injured children. Many children have died or become seriously ill from their vaccines, and their families are not allowed to sue. Vaccine manufacturers are immune from any responsibility to their victims. Vaccines are a big business and it’s naive to think that the government has… Read more »
Though I don’t like to recommend articles or books that I have not yet read, I did want to contribute to the list of resources out there. Jordan Wilson (of Cross & Crown Church in VA) wrote a five part article for The New City Times on this particular subject. I have only skimmed it and plan on reading it in detail sometime soon, but I thought it might be of help here for anyone who is looking to read the history of vaccines and the findings. He wrote his article(s) as a response to a recent article by Joe… Read more »
This topic seems to fall into the “meat sacrificed to idols” category. In a fallen world, so much is tainted by sin, but as Christians we are left to reconcile these decisions with our individual consciences. I support every effort to prevent the exploitation of aborted fetal tissue, but I also recognize that God has a habit of crafting remarkable blessing from undeniably sinful actions. For the record, I find a significant distinction between a vaccine that will save the lives of countless children and a new and improved cosmetic.
This brings to mind the silliness of the “this product not tested on animals” claim made on most cosmetics today. Only one of two possibilities exists: either the ingredients were previously tested on animals by somebody else so that we know they are not harmful to humans – or – you are the stupid guinea pig for an untested product. Take your pick!
Of course you’re right, but if it jacks up the price and creates brand loyalty among young women who can’t bear the thought of their mascara blinding bunnies in the lab, I suppose that’s a double-plus for the manufacturer.
Kosher sells enough to keep going. How hard would it be to create an “ethically sourced” vaccine? How hard to get the makers of the current one to make one certified ‘kosher’?
My gut feeling is that most vaccines in America are actually paid for by your tax money funneled through the Medicaid program or Federal “Vaccines for Kids” program. Both of those entities won’t pay the difference between the old stuff and the new “Kosher” varieties. If the numbers of Christians who sacrifice their children to the idols of the public school system are any indicator, not enough Christians will be willing to pay for the “kosher” vaccine varietals to make it financially viable for any pharmaceutical company to pursue. Again, my gut feeling. The only numbers I know with any… Read more »
http://www.1200studies.com : Here are 1200 peer-reviewed research articles on vaccine statistics, history, ingredients (including aborted fetal cells/DNA, Mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde, and a cocktail of other poisons that exceeds safety limits even for adults in any one dose, yet injected daily into infants’ bloodstreams on a routine basis-by the millions!), the vaccine safety or lack thereof, and vaccine efficacy or the lack thereof is all documented here in over a thousand peer-reviewed SCIENTIFIC studies, as well as an overall decline in US health since the onset of mass vaccine use. Not opinions. Not dogma. Not propaganda. But Science! …And yes I… Read more »
Here are formal studies of the relationship between vaccines infant mortality and autism they are not arguments by anti-vaccine people these are the studies of the scientists http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3878266/ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21623535 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25377033 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24995277 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12145534 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21058170 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22099159 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3364648/ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17454560 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19106436 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3774468/ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3697751/ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21299355 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21907498 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11339848 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17674242 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21993250 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15780490 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12933322 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16870260 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19043938 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12142947 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24675092 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25198681 PLUS: http://www.scribd.com/doc/220807175/124-Research-Papers-Supporting-the-Vaccine-Autism-Link#scribd Vaccines caused autism here in this federal court case http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions/ABELL.ZELLER073008.pdf And here page 2 http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions/CAMPBELL-SMITH.MOJABI-PROFFER.12.13.2012.pdf And here – https://ecf.cofc.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2012vv0423-91-0 Here are 83 cases reviewed by lawyers http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1681&context=pelr Oh look here’s a dead kid compensated https://ecf.cofc.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2010vv0103-145-0 If you ever need a lawyer http://www.mctlawyers.com/vaccine-injury/cases/ Here are 127 separate studies… Read more »
Thanks for discussing this issue. It is one I have spent years researching and contemplating from a multitude of perspectives (social and community responsibility, spirituality and ethics, science and medicine- there are so many factors to discuss). One of the best researchers in the area of fetal DNA fragments being in certain vaccines (based on the two fetal cell lines used in development) is Teresa Deisher (Stanford graduate with a phd in molecular biology, who has multiple patents in the area of stem cell research and is a great proponent for ethical standards for the use of stem cells.) https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcbe/transcripts/sept08/deisher_statement.pdf… Read more »
Pastor Doug, You have a been an enormous blessing to me and my household. I have learned more from you than I even realize and am grateful to God for how he has used you to shape me into the man I am today. Just want you to know where these thoughts come from… I appreciate your willingness to learn here. I am not as studied as my wife, Tiffany, is but we talk about these issues an awful lot because of vaccine injuries to two of our four children (#3 and #4). She has compiled mountains of research, but… Read more »
Just came across this. Short 13 minute video : https://www.brighteon.com/034ebfcb-5bf8-4bcf-abf2-ee106a2eecba?fbclid=IwAR0_eHelFtvGq0s3FqxO91oTb7jCdbmTnWFlgZwmHH7NQJoGkyAgEsJ8dv4
A few people brought up the “meat sacrificed to idols” argument, which did come to my mind as well; I’m still unsure as to whether this would fall into that category as an issue of conscience. However, even if it does, I believe this is actually reason to do the exact opposite of what those people suggested, which was basically to only worry about our own consciences . Abortion is obviously is major god in our society (Moloch), and it seems to me that, even if it is a conscience issue, it’s extremely dangerous and not loving our Brothers to… Read more »
I appreciate this article, and overall I appreciate the tone, as well. However, coming from you as a Christian and especially as a pastor, this dismissive and condescending tone toward those who disagree with you is inappropriate: “The fact that we have largely gotten rid of whooping cough and other pernicious diseases bothers me not at all. Couple this with the fact that militancy against such forms of modern medicine seem to me to just invite the cranks.” You can disagree with an anti-vaxxer’s position without acting like they are only holding to that position out of crankiness and a… Read more »
I cannot in good conscience inject my children with vaccines created from aborted babies. I believe that each and every baby who has ever been or will be aborted will be in Heaven where I plan to be for all of eternity. I know there will be no guilt or sadness in Heaven. If I were to give my child one of these vaccines, I would feel guilty because I would be taking part in an industry that has taken human life for their profit. I just truly don’t believe I could go up to that child in Heaven and… Read more »
Dear All, I read this article with especial interest primarily due to 2 reasons; 1) I followed Pastor Wilson’s writings for a long time ; to be precise since 2001 so I hold him in regard for his biblical position on certain social topics 2) I develop human vaccines for a living and an especially concerned with some of the perspectives put forth which shows a technical lack of understanding I hope I can speak authoritatively on the following points while trusting God that He will clarify this difficult topic for us. 1) It is not completely true that vaccine… Read more »
I think you hit the nail on the head saying that Christians need to be consistently pro-life and refuse to use these morally tainted products. The industry has no incentive to develop alternatives (which could be easily done) if we continue to use the questionable ones. However, I think the moral and ethical problems are deeper than what you addressed in your article. There were actually 67 abortions that took place in the development of the rubella vaccine alone, and there is evidence that there was coercion of mothers involved. Planned abortions for the sake of developing vaccines also continues… Read more »
I will also add that the argument that these cell lines were not part of the original baby’s body is very thin. They would not have existed if the original baby hadn’t been murdered. Testing has consistently shown that the vaccines containing fetal tissue actually contain a full human genome. The full genetic code from that original baby is in each vaccine, so arguing that what is in the actual vaccine was never part of the baby’s body is splitting hairs. It came from that murdered baby. Full stop. And there is plenty of scientific evidence to warn about the… Read more »
I would caution your stance toward people who choose not to vaccinate themselves or their children. Sure there are ‘cranks’ on that side of the argument just as there are ‘cranks’ who fully vaccinate, want to mandate all vaccines on the schedule for everyone, deny any form of vaccine injury or risk, and keep adding to the recommended schedule indefinitely. There also happen to be very good reasons to question our current vaccine schedule. It does not seem that you have done much research into some of the issues people legitimately take with vaccines (aside from the abortion issue) and… Read more »
Given that Center for Medical Progress has provided video evidence of Planned Parenthood employees talking about selling aborted children body parts, I don’t know why we’re surprised anymore.
Mr. Wilson, You are generally regarded highly, as a theologian, elder, author, educator, communicator and social commentator with better than average organizational and promotional acqumen. But on this topic, it is my humble opinion that you haven’t yet done sufficient research on the bigger issues surrounding the topic of your article. These include the presuppositions underlying vaccines (let us do evil that good may result), safety, efficacy, liability, government fraud and collusion surrounding the forced injection of several notable neurotoxins into our children (in addition to aborted fetal cell lines), the myths of immunity, and the larger agenda and trustworthiness… Read more »
A productive thing to do— write to Merck requesting non fetal cell line based vaccine options.
US Merck Corporate Headquarters
2000 Galloping Hill Road
Kenilworth, NJ 07033
Stanley Plotkins (the father of all vaccines) used cells from over 75 aborted fetuses for his studies. He also did experiments on orphans and handicapped children. That does not sit well with me. He says it was, “a normal thing that was going on in the 60’s.” You can watch his full testimony under oath on YouTube; this is just a snippet: https://youtu.be/k1pKnJNFVKA I don’t think vaccinating is doing your neighbor a service, whether elderly, immunosuppressed, pregnant or newborn, since in all vaccine inserts it says to stay away from these people for 4-6 weeks. But no one does that.… Read more »
Fragmented fetal DNA and other cellular debris remain in those finished vaccine products. It is well-documented in the scientific literature on other medical treatments (besides vaccines) that injecting fragmented fetal DNA is dangerous. It can readily be taken up by the host cell and cause insertional mutagenesis and poses the risk of childhood cancers, autoimmune disorders, and more. Guess what there has never been a safety study on? The safety of fetal DNA in vaccines. Guess what has sky-rocketing rates in children now? Cancer and autoimmune disorders. Guess what has never had a safety study using one group compared to… Read more »