The congregation of Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark, Texas, recently discovered that prayer is no substitute for vaccination.
After visiting Indonesia, an unidentified visitor to the megachurch 50 miles outside Dallas — where ministers have long favored faith-healing over vaccinations — infected at least 21 people in the church and neighboring towns with measles. One victim was a 4-month old baby too young to receive a vaccination and thus totally dependent on others to do so.
Confronted with the measles outbreak, church leaders changed their tune, launched a vaccination drive, hosted vaccination clinics and encouraged the entire congregation to get immunized. The Old Testament is “full of precautionary measures,” senior pastor Terri Pearsons said after the mini-epidemic.
Theological revelation aside, Pearsons and other church leaders should have thought about this sooner. They and other vaccine resisters — from wealthy suburbanites who worry about the dangers they’ve heard from celebrities to conspiracy theorists who see only corporate profits driving a push to cover-up risks — are directly to blame for spreading unwarranted fear of vaccines.
Read the full article here.