Christians crusade against cancer vaccine

Activists don't want girls inoculated against HPV because they want sex to remain as scary as possible.

Published March 2, 2007 11:28AM (EST)

New Rule: If you don't think your daughter getting cancer is worse than your daughter having sex, then you're doing it wrong. Last year, science came up with a way to greatly reduce cervical cancer in young women. It's a vaccine that prevents women from getting HPV, which is a sexually transmitted disease that acts as a gateway to the cancer. And the vaccine is so good, it could wipe out HPV. I keep a stockpile near my hot tub, and I can tell you, that tingling sensation means it's really working. And I'd say that even without the endorsement deal.

Now for the bad news: Not everyone is pleased with this vaccine. That prevents cancer. Christian parent groups and churches nationwide are fighting it. Bridget Maher -- no relation, and none planned -- of the Family Research Council says giving girls the vaccine is bad, because the girls "may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex."

Which is really a stretch. People don't get the vaccine for typhoid and say, "Great, now I can drink the sewer water in Bombay." It's like saying if you give a kid a tetanus shot she'll want to jab rusty nails in her feet. It's like being against a cure for blindness because it'll encourage masturbation. It's like being for salmonella poisoning in peanut butter because it'll discourage weirdos from spreading it on their ass and calling the dog.

And yet, the anti-vaccine folks seem to think that if a teenage girl feels a little prick, she's gonna want to feel a whole lot more. But HPV shots don't cause promiscuity. Tequila shots do. Everything your kids buy is sold to them with sex. The vaccine doesn't make them want to screw: MTV does. And hormones. And having moron parents they want to escape from. Hey, when you're 15 years old, breathing encourages sexual activity.

But let's be frank: These Christian groups aren't just against the HPV shot; they're against family planning and condoms and morning after pills -- they want to make sure sex is as dangerous as possible, so that kids know, if they sleep around and get an STD, that's God teaching them a lesson. And the lesson is, you should never have tried out for "American Idol" in the first place.

There's only one kind of medical science that excites Christians, and that's anything that proves life begins earlier and earlier in the womb. If you could use stem cells to prove that life begins at foreplay, the pope would turn the Vatican into a lab. These people don't really want to see a cure for anything, except homosexuality.

But as a parent, if you're so obsessed with abstinence you'd risk your kid's health, there's a word for what you are, but it's not "follower of Christ." It's not "moral." It's not "Christian." It's not even "logical." So just admit it. You hate sex. It's OK to say you hate for the sake of hating. It hasn't hurt Dick Cheney.

I hate to tell you this, Mrs. Maher, and anyone else who thinks a vaccine gives your girls a "license to have sex": Your daughter knows she doesn't need a license for sex. She's already on the Internet exchanging bondage fantasies with a German boy she met on MySpace. Forget HPV; she's already on to S/M. We all know, there's only one 100 percent proven method to make a woman abstinent -- marry her.

By Bill Maher

Bill Maher is the host of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher."

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