Anticipating reactions to reactions to reactions |

Anticipating reactions to reactions to reactions

Todd Hartley
I’m With Stupid

I know that on occasion this column can skew left in its political leanings, and in the past I may have offended a few people on the right side (looking at you, gun lobby). But I believe in fair play, so this week, just because the opportunity has presented itself, I’m going to try to be an equal-opportunity offender and outrage the left and the right simultaneously. I know that sounds like a radical idea, but I feel I’m up for the challenge.

We’ll start with the left and a law that could only have been passed in a very blue state, but before we do, I’d like to make one thing perfectly clear: I am absolutely, without equivocation, pro-vaccine. I think that if you don’t inoculate your children, you’re doing them a great, unnecessary disservice and putting their health at risk.

That being said, I think I have a big problem with the mandatory vaccination law that was recently passed in California. I completely understand the argument in favor of the law and the concept of herd immunity and all that, but I don’t think it’s the government’s business to tell people what needles they’re required to stick in their children. That just smacks of government overreach to me.

I think exceptions could, and should, be made for children whose health is failing due to neglect or indifference on the part of their parents, but telling a parent that their healthy children have to be injected with viruses (yes, that’s what’s in most vaccinations) to attend public school seems a little unconstitutional. I’ll be interested to see how the courts rule when the inevitable challenge to California’s law is heard.

Speaking of laws, I think it’s funny that the right wants to legislate what you can stick in someone before a child is born, and now the left wants to legislate what you have to stick in the baby after it comes out. Instead of that, how about we all just stop telling people where they can stick things?

So, now that you have my reaction to a new law, I’d like to give you my reaction to other people’s reactions to a new law. This is the part that I imagine will offend some folks on the right. But before we get to that, I’d like to ask a hypothetical question: If you owned a restaurant and one of your waitresses didn’t want to serve food to someone because of her personal beliefs, and when you told her she had to regardless, she refused to serve anyone, how quickly would you fire her?

If you follow the news, you might have guessed that my question is actually a reference to the Bible Belt county clerks who are refusing to issue marriage licenses to anyone because they don’t want to issue licenses to same-sex couples.

I’ll be as blunt as I can about this one: I have no patience whatsoever for those people, and they should all be fired immediately. I don’t think they need to be arrested, despite the fact that they’re breaking the law, but there’s no way they should keep their jobs. They are employees of public institutions, and they work for a public that is 60 percent in favor of marriage equality. Get rid of them.

If you’re a Christian and you’re opposed to same-sex marriages, that’s fine. I don’t care. Go ahead and believe what you want to believe. But if you think your personal religious convictions supersede the laws of the country you live in, you’re dead wrong. You know who else thinks that way? Muslims trying to impose Sharia law. That’s basically who you’re behaving like.

Besides, it’s not like someone is asking you to marry someone of the same sex or even go to a same-sex wedding or watch two gay people make out. All you have to do is sign a few papers and then forget those two people even exist. Why is that so offensive to you? Is it because you know of a passage in the Bible that says you’ll go to Hell if you help two gay people be happy, or is it because you’re self-righteous and judgmental since you think Jesus is on your side?

Anyway, that’s my screed for this week. If you — left or right — were offended by it, I don’t really care, but if it makes you feel better to say something mean to me, go ahead. I’ll be OK.

Todd Hartley wishes he’d been vaccinated against stupid, but he clearly wasn’t. To read more or leave a comment, visit