Governor Rick Perry, usually quite conservative in his politics, seems to have been bought off today by Merck's $6000 campaign donation. Although Merck is upfront about lobbying state legislatures to add yet another vaccination to the already growing list of mandatory shots for children, they didn't have much work to do in the state of Texas. If the question of making it mandatory for young girls to be vaccinated against HPV, which is thought to be responsible for most cases of cervical cancer, was to have been brought before the Texas legislature, conservative Texans would have lobbied hard against it.
But we weren't even given that opportunity. Governor Rick Perry, who dreams of being a VP candidate in 2008, simply signed an executive order today requiring that all girls around age 11 or 12 and older be vaccinated against HPV. Since this is a sexually transmitted virus, Governor Perry has just made a very loaded statement about the morality of Texas teenage girls, and by implication, the boys as well.
Fortunately, for parents like myself who have an 11-year-old daughter but don't wish to have their parental rights taken away, there is an opt-out available for religious reasons, but that still doesn't excuse the fact that Rick Perry has made a unilateral decision making it mandatory for all young girls, most of whose parents don't even know about their rights to opt-out.
Rick Perry is essentially saying that we should take away any consequences to sin. If teenagers have sex outside of marriage and there's a possibility that they may contract a venereal disease because of their sin, then let's help make it easier for them to sin by removing one more consequence.
Standing in the way of God's judgment is a very serious move, and one that I would not want on my record.