Quodlibet: Vaccination

Whereas disease, as now with COVID-19,

  1. causes death to many and harm to many more, and
  2. worsens poverty and hunger even among those it does not strike directly, and
  3. causes fear in those who await infection and its consequences, and
  4. inflicts sorrow and grief on those who lose family and beloved friends;

while Jesus, in His atoning mercy

  1. brought salvation from the death of the body through the Resurrection, and
  2. brought bodily healing to those who believed on Him, and continues to do so through the miracle of faith and the ministrations of the priesthood, and
  3. brought relief from hunger to those in need, and enjoins His disciples to do the same today, and
  4. commanded His disciples likewise to serve the poor, the ailing, and the widowed, and
  5. laid down His life to bring about these things;

and seeing that

  1. diligent and humble application of the scientific method prepares the mind to receive inspiration from the Holy Ghost, and
  2. medicine and vaccination are blessings that prevent death, restore health, offer release from fear and sorrow, and avert harm and poverty, and
  3. doctors and health care workers risk and have sacrificed their lives to heal the ill;


  1. those who deny the severity of disease, as now with COVID-19, and
  2. those who flout measures to diminish the spread of infection, and
  3. those who refuse to accept vaccination in themselves or in their children, and
  4. those who promote falsehoods about the ingredients, intentions, or consequences of vaccination

deny the saving offering of Jesus and violate His commandments to His disciples and thus bring themselves under condemnation and risk of hellfire;


those who continue in such wickedness after having received a full knowledge of their false actions, whether in willful ignorance, for payment, or in pursuit of ungodly amusement, deny the Holy Ghost and shall have no forgiveness, neither in this world nor in the world to come.

24 comments for “Quodlibet: Vaccination

  1. Despite studies in philosophy, I had previously encountered “quodlibet” only in its musical meaning and not in the meaning sometimes noted as archaic. So, on reading the post, I was at first confused.

    Merriam-Webster “can’t say with certainty how quodlibet went from [philosophical] disputations to musical conglomerations, but English speakers have been using quodlibet for light musical mélanges since the early 19th century.”

    “We [Merriam-Webster] don’t know if someone quibbling over a minor philosophical or theological point 600 years ago might have gotten a … reaction [similar to a contemporary ‘whatever’], but we do know that Latin quodlibet, meaning ‘any whatever,’ was the name given to such academic debates.”

    For various reasons, I don’t plan to enter the debate on either the explicit or implicit assumptions or premises in the argument. Maybe I’ll be able to find 2 or 3 songs about vaccines to work into a quodlibet. :)

  2. I love the matching of the “whereas” elements with Jesus’s role and with the “therefore” consequences. Thank you.

  3. I agree and add that your post also applies to people with those beliefs then fasting to avoid the consequences of their decisions.

    I also think if you vote for someone who then makes a disaster worse than it needed to be. You need to repent of that before you fast to reduce the consequences of that vote. Judging by Americas figures since the fast the Lord thought so too.

  4. This post and some of the comments truly demonstrate that so called progressives never fail to prove that they are the worst caricatures of what they accuse traditionalists of being.

    Imagine your scorn and disgust that would be directed at anyone who had the nerve to say those who don’t reject gay marriage reject the atonement.

    And yet at least for that there’s a semblance of possible truth. On the current covid19 and ancillary issues all that’s on display is your entrenched politics applied to yet another dimension.


  5. Could not those who denied the extreme response based on the severity of leprosy been accused of ungodly behavior in his day?

    Wouldn’t those learned doctors, leaders, and all who followed them been applying best practices to that contagious disease of their day? Wouldn’t someone who advocated prayer, faith or other superficial “treatments” as justification for breaking social distancing rules of their time been scorned? Keep them to the leper colonies. Keep away from them, lest in your selfish Savior complex you spread the infection to us all.

    Wouldn’t those leaders and go-along-folks be justified in isolating from and enforcing social distancing of the Jews by requiring them to wear the golden star? After all, they claimed with their own science, the Jews were their own form of a plague on society who had weakened the nation from within to make it prone from destruction without. Those who don’t wear the golden star are superior to those who do. We want to know who we are dealing with so we can be protected from them and distance ourselves from them, by even denying them access to markets and travel. After all, those who wear the star are only wearing a symbol of their faith. Accept it and wear it with pride, they say.

    And in a perversion of that reality we start to see inverse of that scenario applied in facemasks, with the modern day “Jews” being anyone who doesn’t want to wear the modern day “star”, or maybe travel or enter a store without a vaccination passport.

    The building blocks for far worse destruction and persecution than what was experienced in the mid 20th century are being built all around us. If you only have the nerve to speak up when they are putting the Jews in the ghetto or sending them off to the showers you are contributing to the problem.

    Don’t be so convinced of your own rightness and righteousness. And don’t be so sure of your neighbors wrongness and wickedness.

  6. Sute,
    Are you really saying the liberate states people, are comparable to the jews under hitler? I see no comparison.
    I don’t see the scorn and disgust you see either. I do see this as a time when you can measure the cost of your ideology, in lives.

    In America the handling of the virus has been politicized by your president. And he has been a disaster on this issue. So now the right wants to liberate states from the virus protection measures. You seem to be supporting this.
    I will be very surprised if you do not have a second wave, with 100.000+ deaths by November. Not sure how that will play out politically?

    One of the (benifits ?) Of the virus is that you can measure the cost of your idology. You seem to think the methods of containing the virus recommended by science, are an attack that needs to be fought back against.

    There has been push back against science by the right for years but the consequences have been less immediate. Climate change for example.

    Already without the cost of the liberate movement America has 900,000 active cases and 67,391 deaths. What might be best practice be? Multiplied to USA pop.Germany 116,620 active cases and 27,248 deaths
    Multiplied to US pop. Australia 11,713 active cases and 1,040 deaths
    Germany and Australia have followed the scientific advice. Germanys leader has a phd in quantum chemistry.

    So your ideology is costing at least 40,000 American lives, and increasing.

    Can you justify/explain how that is a better ideology?

  7. Vaccination, as one of the succes stories of medical science, is on scrutiny, and sometimes even under attack. I fully agree with this post. The issue is vaccination, when and if that will be on the table. Here in the Netherlands we have out anti-vaxxers, in two versions. One is ultra-orthodox calvinists who, inspired by the New Testament (read Paul) insist that medication should only be applied when people are ill. Not before. We have a ‘bible belt’ running through our country where vaccination rates are lower than elsewhere. The Dutch government and society tolerates that since the total rates stays over 90%, even if it does not reach the 95% advised by the WHO. This regards the usual series of what we call ‘children’s diseases’.
    The other anti-vaxxers are internet inspired, with rather unfounded theories about far fletched side effects, like autism as a risk for certain standard vaccinations. That risk is scientifically disproven, but conspiracy theories can keep anything alive.

    What if a vaccin against covid-19 will be found? Our Dutch LDS membership will run to be vaccinated, no problem, we consider ourselves blessed to have adequate medicinal care, and see that as fully in line with Christian ministering.

    With Georg-Aus wonder what the problem of Sute is. Sute: are you against vaccination, are you against a lockdown that aims to save lives, or are you against any type of governmental leadership?

    I agree with Georg-Aus’s analysis: in the USA you are not exactly blessed with an inspired central leadership in this crisis. I see good leadership at the level of state governing, but not at the federal level. How are you going to solve that?
    Walter van Beek, Netherlands

  8. I don’t think Sute is taking any position re vaccination. I think the analogy is very well thought out and stated not for direct application but for encouraging us all to be a bit more humble and thoughtful in our current situation instead of rushing to judge others. There may be many solutions to apply eventually. Sute is only pleading to avoid the divisiveness and self-righteousness that is rampant now.

  9. No, charlene. Sute is not pleading for tolerance and understanding. Sute is saying that public health measures in the pandemic are equivalent to murderous Nazi racism. This is not a “well thought out” comparison.

    There is a legitimate discussion to be had about various long-term dangers posed by government action during a pandemic. From the evidence here, Sute is not the one to lead that discussion.

  10. Being humble and non-judgmental is a good thing, and if that comes out I fully will agree. But with Loursat I fail to see a logical and well thought out connection between the present measures against covid-19 and the excesses Sute alludes to. Being Dutch, I deeply distrust comparisons of Nazi Germany with any present-day developments: these so-called comparisons are always used demagogically and ill-founded. But let Sute speak, and be clearer, please.

  11. Well stated, Jonathan

    Two problems with Sute. 1) Sute voices an extreme position that emphasizes the freedom of individuals to disobey and disregard measures to prevent the spread of a pandemic. 2) People rush to the defense of not Sute’s ideas, but Sute’s right to speak those ideas making this a free speech-cum-civility issue (humble, non-judgmental). On the first problem, we literally do not have time to entertain this nonsense. Public health emergencies require swift action based on the advice and orders of the consensus of public health experts and authorities. Non-expert opinions should be swept aside. On the second issue, let’s not let obsession with civility and a bad interpretation of free speech become a gateway for the spread of extreme ideas. Bear in mind that free speech protects the right of people to disregard, ridicule, and deplatform ideas they find extreme and unpleasant. The marketplace of ideas is by its nature a rough and tumble environment. To promote good ideas, we have to be strong. We have to have evidence. We have to combat forcefully extreme unevidenced counterpoints. Overconcern about being nonjudgmental can allow leverage for the extremes. Second, free speech only means that the government doesn’t censor and punish people for what they say. The government is not obligated to feature extreme ideas just because they are there. Private platforms have every right, and a responsibility, to take down content that is extreme and conspiratorial. This is not a violation of free speech in the least. People are free to publish and distribute whatever ideas they want to on paper and with a website.

    In sum, let’s not hear out Sute. Let’s proclaim his ideas wrong, extreme, nonsensical, and brush them by the wayside without further ado. I do judge Sute for his ideas. And I make this judgment on an informed basis. He is an extremist who is severely uninformed about public health and the nature of public health crises.

  12. Regarding the lockdown measures in the US and the second point under “therefore” in the original post: the lockdown was never meant to diminish the spread of the coronavirus, it was meant to “flatten the curve” to prevent medical facilities from being overwhelmed. In that, the lockdown was successful. The lockdown was not meant to diminish the number of people who will become infected with the Coronavirus; flattening the curve does not decrease the area under the curve. As our understanding of Coronavirus infection and mortality rates has improved, our response to the pandemic should improve as well. The lockdown was the right call when it was made. Is it still the best response? I’m not convinced.

  13. Morgan, Yes social distancing was to reduce the number of deaths. If you remove social distancing you have growth of infections some of whom die. America is not ready to reduce social distancing, you still have nearly a million active cases, and the 25000 new cases per day, and over 2000 deaths per day.

    I obviously have no idea of your politics, but it is my perception that the furthur right your politics the less willing you are to sacrifice for the common good. In this time of virus, the cost of political ideology is measured in lives. I am now seeing forecasts that America will reach 135,000 by the time of the election (I think it will be more). 200 days x 1500 deaths per day.

    Most of those lives are the consequence of the ideology of your leaders.

    Bryan your assertion needs some explanation to make sense.

  14. I read that Italy is letting four million workers back to work, Denmark and Austria have reopened some schools and shops, Spain and Germany are relaxing their restrictions, and Australia is easing up.

  15. Ji, Not sure if you are justifying America opening up? The other countries are opening up because they have reduced the number of new cases, and the new deaths, to a point where it becomes about managing outbreaks, while continuing social distanancing. Australia currently had 757 active cases with 27 of these in hospital. We are doing 20,000 tests a day and finding less than 10 cases a day. 4 of our 8 states have had no new cases for over a week. Of the total 6897 cases, 6040 have recovered and 97 have died which is 2% of cases closed. All of these are over 65, and most were infected overseas. We now have an ap so when someone is found infected, the health department can find who they have been close to from the phone ap, and those people are tested. We still do not have eat in in restraunts, but soon. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/australia/ your population is 13 times ours, though our land areas are similar. I put our figures in brackets to make it essier to compare.

    Compare to USA https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/ active cases just under 1 million(757), new cases 25500 (10) per day, new deaths/day 2528(2-5), and of the 288,000(6897) cases with an outcome 74808(97) are dead 26%.(2%) Before the liberate movement, you were going down, with less than 2000 deaths a day and less than 20,000 new cases a day.

    Australia has the virus under control(by following scientific advice). America is making a new surge as a result of ideology(not science), opening up before science says it is safe, which will cost tens of thousands of lives.

    I also thought it interesting that 2% of deaths in Australia compared to 26% in America. Healthcare? May be because healthcare in New York was overwhelmed, though I also saw that poor people were not calling for medical help until too late, because the were worried about the bill. Having universal healthcare in Aus, not a concern, so 2% compared to 26%. Again the cost of ideology.

  16. From a BBC article this morning on the UK’s easing of restrictions–

    For the non-vulnerable population, coronavirus carries no more risk than a “nasty flu”, says Prof Mark Woolhouse, an expert in infectious disease who led the research.

    “If it wasn’t for the fact that it presents such a high risk of severe disease in vulnerable groups, we would never have taken the steps we have and closed down the country.

    “If we can shield the vulnerable really well, there is no reason why we cannot lift many of the restrictions in place for others.

    “The lockdown has come at a huge economic, social and health cost.”

    It is, he says, all about getting the balance of risk right.

    Imposing temporary lockdown restrictions seemed reasonable at the time. Easing the lockdown restrictions as time passes seems reasonable (and necessary). One shouldn’t let his hatred of the U.S. president cause him to also hate everything he does — even a stopped clock is right twice a day. So yes, I favor a prudent easing of restrictions as time passes, but I do so without regard to the personality of the U.S. president. I hope for calm, honest discussion of public policy matters.

    Each country has to deal with its own reality, so each country’s approach may differ. Australia is blessed in this matter by huge spaces and low population and no land borders and limited in international movement of persons — so of course, your numbers will be different than another country’s — your privilege in this matter allows your approach to be different. In the U.S., I think most people on all sides of other questions will agree with a prudent easing of restrictions as time passes.

  17. Many of Aus cases have come from old people on cruise ships, and travelers returning from overseas. Have you had a lot of cases originating from people coming across your land borders? The the arguments about our isolation v your land borders?

    With the election coming in November, and the fact that this is a situation where there is a fairly immediate consequence, in bodies, to choosing to ignore science, and trust to idology; if Americas death toll got to 150,000 or 200,000 by November, would even a republican voter accept that? 200 days x 2000 deaths a day!

    Pres Nelsons statement says that they will open up the church very cautiously, that they are supportive of leaders who do too. Is he saying America is moving too fast? And members should question? America is opening up but the church is not, is there a message there?

    If a person disagrees with the policies, or actions of a politician, and points out the consequences of those decisions, that is not an indication of hate. Though it seems to be labeled that in present day America. Even to say your president is an ongoing disaster, does not require hate. It is just a fact. I do not hate anyone!

    In the case of the virus it should be obvious by the consequent body count. I do not understand how anyone can continue to defend this action. Will you reconsidder at 100,000 or150,000 American deaths? How are you justifying this to yourself?

  18. I favor a prudent easing of restrictions as time passes. I hope for calm, honest discussion of public policy matters.

    I am not in favor of forcing a million people into long-term unemployment, with associated poverty and homelessness, for the sake of saving one life. That seems unbalanced to me. I believe reasonanle risk has to be managed rather than avoided. I am hopeful that the vulnerable among us can take prudent actions to protect themselves, and that all of us will be mindful to protect others — but I also believe that our economy needs to function and people need to be allowed to earn an honest living.

    President Nelson and the church is not an apt comparison — indeed, it is a wholly irrelevant comparison. The church’s decision to follow government mandates makes sense, but missing church services does not affect people’s lives and livelihoods.

    But it isn’t just the U.S. president — leaders of many countries, from all different political persuasions, are seeking easing of restrictions and reopening of economies. It seems the right thing to do.

  19. Ji, America without the virus has 45 million in poverty, because of ideology.
    Averyone would agree with your desire for the return. It is a question of whether science says it is safe, or they have been ignored. In your case they have.
    No comment on the effectiveness of health systems effectiveness? Ideology again.
    You talk of one life, but it is already 75.000
    How many is acceptable, 150,000 or 200 or 300?
    Why did Pres Nelson make his statement then?

  20. It is amazing how much havoc can be reaped by relying on the “free market” for the solution to any problem. It is particularly emphasized by the US response to the virus. The idea that the government cannot intervene in a crisis because it might impinge on the free market??? That lives will be lost??

    If the US had kept its pandemic response team in tact when our dear president gutted it, if the CDC had been able to mount a strong attack early, all of this could have been spared. We would have had sufficient testing and the numbers low enough to keep society functioning, as in Australia. If the population would agree to the temporary restrictions in order to gain control, so much would have been achieved so much faster.

    The president is a chaos machine. He has not met a situation he cannot make worse. This does not help.

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