Fuck the Schoolboard, Too

Fuck the pope, fuck the church, and fuck stupid-ass religious school boards for doing stupid-ass things.

Here in Canada, Ontario’s premier is expressing his “disappointment” at the Halton Catholic District School Board’s choice to NOT give its grade-eight girls the free, provided-by-government human papilloma virus vaccine, which is contracted through sexual activity, but is the leading cause of cervical cancer in women.

The problem is, the Catholic Church still lives in the la-la-land where everyone is perfect and sin never, ever happens, and things like AIDS and cervical cancer only happen to dirty people who deserve them.

The Halton School Board wants to remind grade eight girls that sex is not permitted by the church before marriage.

SIGH. When will the Catholic Church, the Vatican, and fuckwits like those running Halton start to realize what idiots they’re being? When will they start to accept the responsibility they bear for lives they threaten when they fail to accept the one thing their God has celebrated since He supposedly created everyone… the freedom to choose and act under free will?

But obvious that’s too big a mouthful for these dimwits, so how about I take a different approach this time?

As a 12-year-old, I was very certain that the stars and cosmos would align ever so perfectly so as to allow me to reach fame and fortune as a singer since I knew George Michael would spot my brilliance on the street one day or at a high school dance. Hey, I was 12 and dumb, it’s what you do at 12, right?

My mother said, “All right, but if life intervenes and George doesn’t find you and you can’t be rich and famous from singing, what are you going to do with your life?”

So I figured I’d get a journalism degree one day, since that’s such an easy job to get a career in. (Ha.)

Thing is, I picked a back-up plan. I’m not looking at life like it’s all going to go according to plan, because shit happens, as we all know. You make contingencies, you create safety nets to catch yourself when you fall, because shit happens. We have dreams and ideals, but a little thing called “real life” tends to get in the way every single time.

Why would the Catholic Church say, “Here’s the ideal: Strive for the perfect life without sin. But if you fuck up, you will pay the whole price, because we’re not letting you protect yourself with anything, ever. No condoms, no HPV vaccine… because our god is a spiteful, vengeful god who will strike you down when you fail to live the perfect, sin-free life” ?

Why? Why would a god who sends his only son to Earth, whose son befriends whores and sinners and thieves, who forgives all and understands the whole painful human experience from birth to death, wish that man not protect themselves from themselves? Doesn’t the Church realize how much they govern their faith under a mandate of fear and retribution? Don’t they even begin to understand the concepts of human error and forgiveness they try to teach so often?

These are THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD GIRLS. They could be raped. They could mistakenly think they’ve found the love of their life. They could have a moment of weakness. How DARE the school district not require them to take a tiny needle (three times) that can prevent them from one of the stupidest, most senseless cancer deaths out there?

There are lines I don’t believe religion should be allowed to cross. There are lines I think the government needs to draw more firmly. When you’re talking about the HPV virus, or AIDS, things that can be averted through very simple means — a simple vaccine or a condom — the government has a responsibility to put the 13-year-olds’ interests ahead of their parents’ or their churches’.

We’re in a socialist system here in Canada, and we the taxpayers will foot the bill for either the cost of their vaccine or the cost of their battle with cervical cancer, however it should unfold. I’d rather pay for the vaccine, not the cancer. No one should be afflicted with a mostly-avoidable cancer like cervical cancer.

I’ve had an old friend, who’s drifted away and won’t get in touch, get cervical cancer. 32 years old. Two young children. She’s Catholic. Will she survive it? Hard to know.

But if all it would have taken was a simple needle when she was 13… imagine the different life she would be leading. Instead, she’s 32 and remembering that her mother died of cancer in her 50s. She’s got two babies and she’s facing questions of mortality no 32-year-old mother should need to be facing. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the option of the HPV vaccine when we were teens.

So when I hear about fuckwits like Halton and their “struggle” with their conscience, I want to fucking bitch-slap the whole lot of them and shout “FUCK your conscience. LOOK at reality, THEN make peace with your conscience.”

Save a life, or hang kicking-and-screaming onto your principles? Hmm. Gee, tough choice.

I’m really sick and tired of the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church and all its various boards and establishments. I’m tired of their penchant to prejudge people before the afterlife kicks in.

The thing about the Catholic Church that doesn’t make sense is, there’s so much talk about what’s a sin and how bad it is, and how horrible it is to be sinning (ie: premarital sex) and all that, but once you walk into the confessional and claim you’re sorry, you’re absolved. Sins are wiped away and you’re essentially a freshly-baptized baby again, more or less. Graham Greene once wrote said Catholics are more capable of evil than anyone else for they believe in salvation between the stirrup and the ground. Meaning, you can do anything you want, beg forgiveness, and receive absolution.

(It is this very principle, that of the proverbial sinning free-for-all followed by the clean-slate of absolution that ultimately made me want to leave the Church when I argued, at 13, with a priest who said a local serial killer of the time going to church Sundays was more likely to go to heaven than I was because he was attending church and receiving the sacraments, and even if I was leading a good life, I wasn’t attending, ergo likely had a date with hell.)

But what good is absolution of the sin if you’re being instructed not to safeguard yourself against AIDS or HPV by using pragmatic means like condoms and vaccines? How does it make sense that you’re not supposed to sin, but if you do, the priest can make it all go away with a rosary or two, yet you may contract an infection or virus that can kill you because preparing for the sin somehow makes it worse… even if it’s getting absolved in a week or two anyhow?

And there are those out there who are saying “So? Use the condom then, fuck what the church says.” But that’s not the point. The point is, there are a lot of devout people who don’t go asking questions outside the parameters of their faiths. They believe sex is a sin, they live by those principles. Yet they, too, are human, and shit happens. And when it does, because they’ve listened to their church and believed what the church has outlined about life in general, they may pay the ultimate price.

Those people aren’t reading this blog, they may never know better. And they don’t deserve to die just because they’re ignorant and devout. No one does.

And that’s why I’m disgusted with the church and all its administrative bodies, because they’re abusing the trust their congregations have placed in them.

It’s hypocrisy, it’s a crime, it’s a scandal. As a taxpayer, I want those kids vaccinated. As a good person, I want those kids vaccinated. As a recovered Catholic, I want justice here, I want those kids protected.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Fuck the pope. And fuck Halton’s school board.

And if you’re a parent of, or you are, a young woman between the ages of 9 and 26, and you’ve not yet visited a doctor for information about the Gardasil HPV vaccine, then you really must look into it. The vaccine is not retroactive, and it is not licensed for use over 26.