Anti-Science

Just say no to fire extinguishers (and premarital sex)

I know my position on this may be a little controversial, but I think it’s important to have an open and honest debate about the subject. Here we go.

I am anti-fire extinguisher.

Wait, don’t leave yet. Hear me out.

Before the invention of the fire extinguisher in 1816, people used sensible fire safety precautions. They did not leave oily rags piled in buckets next to the ashtray. They did not set their farts on fire. And they always kept their curtains far away from heating devices.

After the invention of the fire extinguisher, all hell broke loose. It didn’t take long for games such as “Tie a Lit Sparkler to the Cat” and “Flaming Monopoly” to explode — literally and metaphorically — in popularity all over the country. People were just looking for a license to burn, and they found it in the fire extinguisher. I present the following chart as evidence:

I believe this is the type of evidence known in science as “irrefutable.”

I’m proud to say that I’m not the only person with this line of thinking, though on a subject other than fire extinguishers. I speak of Reginald Finger who serves for the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Dr. Finger believes that the government should not endorse a new vaccine against HPV, the virus that causes cervical cancer because it will only encourage young women to have sex. Yes. Millions of teens the world over will finally breathe a sigh of relief at no longer needing to worry about that pesky cervical cancer and will proceed to bump uglies immediately with any other person (or animal!) in the immediate vicinity. Just like the fire extinguishers in their kitchens encourages them to set the curtains ablaze.

Worldwide, 250,000 women will die of cervical cancer this year, and judging by his argument, Dr. Finger appears to believe that these tramps had it coming. Why? Because they made the fatal mistake of having sex before Finger’s god told them it was okay. Well, according to him, at least. The reality is that a woman could just as easily contract cervical cancer from the only man she ever slept with — her husband, who she saved herself for and willingly gave it up to just after saying “I do.”

If Finger has his way and the government fails to endorse the vaccine, it may lose funding and not be covered by insurance, putting it well beyond the financial reach of many. It will also not be mandatory like many other vaccines, meaning that HPV will continue to spread among the religiously conservative population. One might see that as not such a bad thing — reap what you sow, after all. But we’re talking about kids, since the vaccine should be administered before a person becomes sexually active. Just like with the Christian Scientists, the kids won’t get a real choice until it’s too late. Yet again, we’re at risk of leaving the lives of innocents in the hands of the blindly dogmatic.

Another rant on the topic, courtesy of reader Rav.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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16 Comments

  1. Finger would probably say that if a woman got HPV from her husband, she deserved to get cancer because she was immoral enough to marry an immorral man. But he need not have "fornicated" either – you can get HPV from your mother, while you're being born. So he passes it on and kills his wife. On the other hand, maybe he'll only kill his daughter, or his son's wife. Nice move, ass.

  2. I’m really getting sick of these fundies and their absolute moral and ethical bankruptcy. I thought God wanted his followers to be compassionate. I thought He wanted them to reduce suffering, not increase it. Hell, that’s what they taught me in Sunday school. Guess I learned wrong, though!

  3. Ah, the old fundie conviction that easily available birth control and preventing the spread of STDs is "encouraging" kids to have premarital sex…

    What does it take to make these people wake up? The spread of AIDS, the development of STDs resistant to many antibiotics, generation after generation of mothers in their early teens… It makes me tired.

    Joshua, you hit it on the head: where is the compassion these fundamentalist Christians are enjoined to have with other human beings? I see a lot of very public piety, but very little real feeling.

  4. I posted this before, but maybe it was on the message board:

    The fundies obviously want people in Africa to die a horrible death (i.e. AIDS). And now it seems, they even want their own daughters to die if they should ever offend the lord by having sex.

    Remember that Left Behind video game? And then some of those fundies are offended when we say their moral values are questionable. As if killing UN nurses to stop the anti-christ wasn't enough, they're now killing innocent young girls, and a large portion of black people in Africa, all in the name of god.

    There's no doubt their moral values are messed up, it's just a matter of how messed up …

  5. The fact is one of their big arguments to convince teens that premarital sex is a Bad Thing is STDs. There's a Jack Chick comic which says that God warned us about premarital sex because he wanted us to avoid STDs or something.

    So if they allow vaccines and contraception a big part of their argument falls apart. So they resort to saying those things are unsafe…

  6. You guys don't get it. They WANT girls to have sex early and HAVE babies. No better way to keep those women down. You should hear them rant on and on how NOT having babies early casuses cancer in women. (Of course, the medical estabilisment has surpressed all of the research proving this.)

    I agree, it is really sad that people deny the knowledge that God gave them to make the world better. I can see him shaking his head now. "Dumb right wingers. I gave you the answer, why won't you use it. Idiots."

  7. Clearly having fire extinguishers around is a good thing, if it has caused 2 trillion deaths! I mean, we're having enough trouble feeding the world as it is with 6 billion, imagine what it would be like with 2 trillion more! That's why I'm against this vaccine, because it'll only lead to more sex and more babies, and all of our efforts to prevent overpopulation with our ingenious use of fire extinguishers will have been in vain. Vain I say!

  8. In my town we will not allow any new fangled medical "advancements" to give our young and impressionable girls any more encouragement to have unGodly sexual relations. And by unGodly I of course mean any sex that isn't for the singular purpose of trying to make babies.

  9. I don't think he even no's what he is talking about god gave us these tools to help us.And as far as whore only get this he is dead wrong and I hope he gets cancer that will kill him because he deseves it maybe he is the whore

  10. Of course, the medical estabilisment has surpressed all of the research proving this”(in reference to how not having children at a younger age causes cancer.)

    You are kidding right?

    scubajim:

    Don't you just hate it when they take everything you say seriously? It means either your sense of humour or comedic timing isn't quite there yet, or your jokes just plain suck ass. Both possibilities are a bit insulting if you ask me …

  11. #

    exarch said,

    June 24, 2006 at 11:16 am

    Of course, the medical estabilisment has surpressed all of the research proving this”(in reference to how not having children at a younger age causes cancer.)

    You are kidding right?

    scubajim:

    Don’t you just hate it when they take everything you say seriously? It means either your sense of humour or comedic timing isn’t quite there yet, or your jokes just plain suck ass. Both possibilities are a bit insulting if you ask me …

    **************

    No – it means that your enemies are so loathesome and disgusting that no matter how hard a decent, honest person tries to parody their beliefs, it always comes out believable.

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