If you want to convert a racist, the best thing to do is expose him or her to competent and likeable people with different skin colors. If you want to convert a sexist, the best thing to do is expose him or her to brilliant, creative and likeable members of the opposite sex. Know someone who hates gays? Find an awesome gay and make them hang out. Increased exposure is almost always the best way to cure ignorance. Unfortunately, in this case, that needed exposure comes with serious consequences.

Eagle Mountain International Church in North Texas used to recommend its members avoid vaccinating their children out of a misguided belief such vaccines could cause autism. When nothing happened to those who went unvaccinated, more and more parents decided to take the same approach, which created a tangible percent of members without any defenses against contagious diseases. Recently, a few members of the congregation travelled abroad for a missions trip, and when they came home, at least one of them brought measles. Now, more than twenty of the Church’s members, most of which are children, have contracted the disease, and the powers that be have been forced to rapidly change course.

According to HealthLine, Pastor Terri Copeland Pearsons, the daughter of Eagle Mountain founder Kenneth Copeland, just announced the Church will begin hosting vaccination clinics and would like everyone to please attend. In theory, if a high enough percentage of congregants attend, that should stop the disease from spreading much further. If all goes according to plan, it will also serve as a clear message to many of the other churches and social circles who have begun advocating an anti-vaccination message.

The vaccination issue became a real issue back in 1998 when Andrew Wakefield published a study linking autism and vaccinations. Later, it was discovered his conclusions were based on doctored and fraudulent research. His paper was officially discredited, and he was stripped of his medical license. Unfortunately, his ideas spread like wildfire among many parents of autistic children who wanted a clear reason to point to for why their kid was different. Celebrities like Jenny McCarthy took up the cause too, and now, many people treat whether or not to vaccinate their kids as if it’s a real debate. It’s not. Every major medical and scientific organization strongly advocates children be vaccinated. Even in adults, they can save lives.

Pop Blend’s sincerest thoughts go out to all of those affected by this outbreak. Hopefully, every single last one will make a full recovery, with the only tangible alteration either mentally or physically being a new desire to tell everyone they know how important it is to vaccinate.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock/ Serg Zastavkin

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