Marketing to believers garners very high conversion rates!
Marketing and Religion blog coming soon…
Marketing to believers garners very high conversion rates!
Marketing and Religion blog coming soon…
I’m lying on the nurse’s exam table, legs spread in stirrups while she takes a vaginal sample for a pap smear. I’m there for an annual checkup, new to the area, and her practice. As I describe some minor chest pains, she asks me if I’ve gotten the Covid vaccine.
I say, yes, of course, five months back, soon after it was available for my age range. I’d unmasked in her small office when entering because she was not wearing one, nor her two assistants, and I’d just assumed anyone working in a women’s health clinic, especially a medical facility servicing an upscale suburb of Seattle, was vaccinated.
I’m naked and unmasked on her table while she tells me with certainty that my chest pains are likely caused by the vaccine. She then goes on a rant, telling me I would not believe what she sees daily—how her vaccinated patients are getting sick, women are becoming sterile, or losing their babies, and that the vaccine is killing more people than it’s helping.
I don’t believe that, I say. What possible reason would the govt have for killing its citizens?
She has no answer for this. She just keeps on about how hard it is to report side-effects to the CDC, how the paperwork is “this thick,” the distance between her thumb and forefinger as wide as she can spread them, indicating how difficult it seemingly is for medical professionals to report complications from the vaccine.
My skin is crawling as she rants. She tells me that she had Covid two weeks ago, and not only were the symptoms “not bad, like a minor cold,” but she is, “chock-full of antibodies now.” She assures me that there has not been enough research on the Covid vaccines, and regardless of any mandates, she will not get it.
She now has her fingers inside of me, checking for lumps or abnormalities, so I don’t feel in any position to argue with her. I ask her how she thinks we can shut down Covid without vaccinations. She says, “We can’t. People will die. The strong will survive, and that’s the way it is.”
She finally finishes her exam and moves back so I can get up. The room is maybe 10 x 12 ft, so we are face-to-face, unmasked, but she continues. She tells me that the vaccine misinformation is like the “fake election results.” There is no stopping Covid, which is why her clinic is “vaccine-free,” and she laughs, in my face, at this announcement. She just had Covid and is not vaccinated. Nor is the young assistant who took my blood sample. Nor is the front desk woman who checked me in. And the Moderna vaccine I had in March is losing effectiveness. The Delta variant is rampant. And ‘break-through’ Covid cases among vaccinated adults is becoming more common.
I put my mask on before we leave the small exam room. I can’t wait to get out of there.
It has been over a month since this encounter. I’ve been debating whether to share my story about this event with my neighbors through the app NextDoor, but I do not want to start a flame war online, or hurt this nurse’s practice. Besides the rant, she was professional and did her job efficiently. I am also afraid of some conservative nut job coming to my home and hurting my family because we believe in getting the Covid vaccine—for ourselves, our kids, our community, and our world. We’ve done the research and the data shows us with enough people vaccinated, humanity can shut this virus down, and stop it from prematurely killing more people.
Vaccination hesitancy is valid, real, and needs to be constantly addressed with scientific proof to thwart the fake news pushed out by conservatives groups looking to get Trump reelected in 2024. In fact, we do not know a lot about the long-term effects of the vaccine we’ve created, however, we are watching our family, friends and neighbors die, suffocate to death in droves every day for the last year and a half. This is also science fact, and we must shut this reality down now.
We’ve been administering vaccines since the mid 1960s. I remember getting the sugar cube with the polio vaccine. The only long term side effect of that vaccine was to eliminate polio globally. Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccines were introduced in the early to mid 1960s, and my mom got us vaccinated immediately after the pediatrician’s recommendation. There were no “anti-vaccination” people back then. We were all just so grateful for the opportunity to wipe out horribly debilitating, and often deadly diseases.
The anti-vaccination ‘movement’ began with a discredited study from one arrogant, [proven] corrupt doctor, Andrew Wakefield. He was disbarred from practicing medicine and struck off the UK medical registry after publishing his 1998 paper falsely claiming a link between the MMR vaccines and autism. Full of contempt for being fired, he moved to the U.S. where he megaphoned his [proven] false findings across media, garnering followers who then repeated the fake findings in Wakefield’s corrupt ‘study,’ collecting more advocates to proselytize his lies.
Polio to flu vaccines have proven to prevent these illnesses with no long term side effects for over 70 years. We’ve been testing RNA vaccines on animals and humans for decades. Moderna and Pfizer are mRNA vaccines. They’d both been tested on tens of thousands of people well before released to the public. Now, billions across the globe are proving the side effects of a Covid19 vaccine are minimal, mild at best for most of us, and don’t last long. Unfortunately, we are also finding the safeguards afforded the fully-vaccinated against getting Covid aren’t lasting too long either.
So, if you’re still afraid there are long term side effects from the vaccine, and since it doesn’t even last, why bother getting vaccinated?
If 70% of the U.S. Population got vaccinated as soon as it was available for them to do so, we could have shut this virus down by now. Yet, our Republican representatives have used this pandemic to increase our nation’s political divide in hopes of securing reelection. They don’t seem to care that pushing ‘No Mask’ mandates are killing people. Using Facebook, Instagram, Google and YouTube, they go after ignorant religious conservatives—devout Christians, Catholics, Muslims, Jews, because these people are prone to blind belief if the message is delivered by a preacher, or powerful speaker.
An anti-vaxxer marks the nurse at the women’s health clinic as a likely Republican. She has clearly bought into the political crap served to her mobile, her computers, her TV daily, from Recommendation algorithms that track her every move, analyze her posts, texts…etc., and pushes online content she’ll respond to. She has clearly not researched the science behind these vaccines, and without facts, she likely doesn’t realize these ads are scamming her to ignite her ire. Hitler ignited Germany’s ire, and then was elected their Chancellor. And while this nurse survived Covid, if she had it at all, its mutations, like the Delta variant, don’t care who you are or what you believe in to infect, and quite possibly kill you, or someone you love.*
United and vaccinated we beat this virus. Divided we spread Covid19, and die.
*Over 630,000 deaths from Covid19 are documented in the U.S. as of 8/24/21. The real figure of Covid deaths in the U.S. is estimated to be closer to a million or more—deaths that went unreported as Covid19 related.
This is the SCIENCE, the FACTS about how and why the TARGETED mRNA vaccines work to kill Covid without hurting any other part of your body:
My mom was a born again Jew—her response to my brother’s conversion to Christianity, and my unwavering commitment to Atheism. In her continuing effort to have me meet and marry a Jewish man, during my vagabond years she suggested I to go see Israel. She said it was the most beautiful place on earth, an oasis they’d turned from desert wasteland into paradise. She had taken the guided Hilton Tour. My mother never really saw Israel.
The moment I got off the plane I knew something was wrong with the place. Bullet holes riddled the walls of Ben Yehuda airport, which had plaques commemorating this or that war or terrorist encounter. I had traveled much of the world by then but had never seen anything like this. Military men and women, some no older than teens were armed with Uzi’s; grenades hung off breast belts lined with bullets. On the ride to Tel Aviv, the public bus was packed with soldiers. The French girl next to me leaned over and whispered, “Are those guns real?” Clearly even she thought it odd.
I rented a flat in the heart of the city for a month, and used it as a base to travel from. Using public transport and walking, I explored most of Israel and Egypt, spent hours on buses and in cafes watching and listening. A lone traveler, I was continually invited to join diners, and occasionally even into people’s homes to partake in authentic meals and enlightening conversations. Most everyone spoke English, and after a while an image of the people began to emerge. However, it was my strange encounter with a Islamic man that brought into sharp focus the plight of the Middle East, and ultimately, the world.
My last full day in Israel I took a bus north, toward the Lebanese border to explore the beach town of Naharia. I felt him staring at me from where he sat a few rows back. He was in his early 20’s, dark curly hair, swarthy, handsome. He was dressed in jeans and a Hard Rock Café t-shirt, but wore the traditional Islamic headdress with a black cloth band crowning a red and white checkered bandana that cascaded over his broad shoulders and down his back. The intensity of his gaze unnerved me. I assumed he was on his way to Lebanon, or the West Bank, but when the bus finally got to Naharia he go off too, and I got scared.
I tried to convince myself he wasn’t following me. I window shopped and then got some lunch in a very public café. I saw him meandering around town, often stopping to chat with small groups of men, but almost every time I caught sight of him he looked over at me. Eventually he went into a shop and I ran across the street and tried to disappear into some woods. The low pine forest was only a few hundred meters thick. The blue/green Mediterranean glimmered beyond the trees. When I finally sat down on a log at the edge of the forest I was sure I’d lost him. I dug my toes into the warm sand and looked out at the dazzling sea. The deserted beach was silent. Then I heard twigs breaking underfoot behind me as someone approached.
The Arab man came out of the woods a few yards from me. The thought of running seemed absurd. He could have caught me in a flat second if he wanted to. I stood up, spun around, and tried to make myself as tall as possible. Then I looked him straight in the eye and said in my harshest tone, “What the fuck do you want?” Cussing, speaking before spoken to, and looking a man in the eyes are things I’d been told Islamic women do not do.
He stared at me, startled, but didn’t respond. He probably didn’t speak English. And I didn’t speak anything but.
“Leave! Or I will.” I pointed back through the forest. He didn’t move so I started to walk away. I was scared out of my mind.
“Please don’t go.” He spoke softly, his voice deep and throaty. “You’re an American, right? I just want to talk to you.”
“I’ve just come back from the States.” His accent was English, but richer, more sultry. “I was two years in Boston, at university there. I’ve been back in country three weeks now, and I am missing the hell out of good conversation.” He smiled then, thick ruby lips curved into a gentle grin.
I don’t know if it was his tone, his easy manner, or his striking green eyes that made me stay. He kept distance between us, and slowly sat cross-legged on the sand in the spot he had been standing. Curiosity overrode every other feeling. I’d never spoken at length with an Arab. An opportunity to speak freely without the prying eyes of others could be educational, to say the least.
“I’m from Lebanon, but in my heart I’m an American. What about you? Where are you from?”
“L.A. Hollywood,” I clarified, since many outside of the States had no clue where L.A. was, but everyone knew Hollywood. The conversation spun from there, unraveling like a well worn sweater, venturing down the road of trust, slowly revealing ourselves.
He’d recently graduated from Harvard—not just for the prestigious MBA, and the connections to society’s elite, but also to study our people. He’d returned home to take his place beside his father, a wealthy statesman of some note, and it was going to be his job to advise on how best to “work with the infidels,” meaning the U.S, according to dad.
Strange mix of anger and fear. “I’ve never considered myself an infidel as an American. I thought that title was meant for Israel, or Jews in general.”
He laughed, but not like he thought it was funny. “And that’s exactly what Islamic leaders want you think. They will say anything to get media support. They ask for a little of the West Bank here, a little of Jerusalem there. After all, who can deny them since they’ve been there for thousands of years and have no where else to go?” He shook his head in shame. “Historically, Muslims have been ruled by tyrannical fundamentalists. The wealthy few distort and then push their twisted brand of religion to keep people ignorant. They preach from birth that in order to be faithful it is the duty, the responsibility of every Muslim to convert or kill all infidels. Through killing, the individual becomes divine, and will thus spend eternity in heaven basking in Allah’s glory. All who don’t believe as they do are targets, so the ultimate goal is the annihilation of everyone who cannot be converted.”
The sun set as he spoke, and murky twilight replaced the light. Again he shook his head. Profound sadness filled the space between us. In the States, he’d become agnostic, a humanist, he told me. Integrating with our mix of cultures and beliefs taught him we all basically feel the same things, want mostly the same things—a safe, supportive environment where our needs are met so we can thrive.
“My fanatical father insists it’s business as usual—finance the current regime and whatever one replaces it. But how can I support ideology like this and sleep at night? How do I stay here and marry into a faith I no longer believe, and raise my kids to rise above the ignorance that surrounds them? Reason, logic, sanity are all washed away with the fanatics who will sacrifice their children, or raise them to hate, and the killing never ends.” He sighed heavily, his despair visceral.
I sat against the log, not three feet from him, tears streaming down my face. I had no idea what to say. I was there because of my fanatical mother. She blindly believed Jews had imminent domain to Israel, had single-handedly turned a desert into a flourishing country, and chose to see only the beauty there.
“You’ve seen a different world,” I said to him softly. “You’ve become a different man. If you can change, you can help others change.” I shut up then. Platitudes at best. I sounded like my pollyanna mom. I had no idea if change was possible with religions talons buried so deeply into the psyche of his people.
We left the beach a short while later, as it was getting dark. We both had buses to catch to take us home. He told me to leave first, walk back without him, as it wasn’t safe to be seen together. A Muslim prince alone with a white western woman in public wasn’t proper, yet, he said with a wink.
I knew I’d never see him again, and was surprised by a stab of regret as I stood to exit the scene. Only a few hours in his company, and I felt certain I could love this man. Without embracing or a parting cheek-to-cheek kiss we said goodbye, and I ventured into the small pine forest towards town.
Unfamiliar with infatuation, I had the surreal sensation of missing him on the bus ride back to Tel Aviv, and still the next day on the plane home. He’d given me a view into the plight of the Islamic people, and a deeper understanding of the struggle of Israel, and ultimately the world against our fundamentalist neighbors. And he unwittingly gave me a profound sense of hope, knowing he, and others like him were out there.
The Tea Party rally was just breaking up when I picked up my daughter from her day camp at Central Park. A woman standing at the fringe of the crowd held a big poster that read: “Gay Marriage is a SIN! God said NO on Prop. 8! God says preserve DOMA!” On the poster was a huge cross. My nine year old daughter asked me what her sign meant. I told her it was against human rights and the woman was a nutcase.
DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, was signed into federal law by Pres. Bill Clinton in 1997. It basically said that legally valid marriage is limited to opposite sex couples, absolving individual states from extending the financial benefits and tax credits to which only heterosexual couples are now privy. And who supported this unconstitutional Act denying civil rights?
–Republicans for Family Values
–The Tea Party (Republicans)
–Focus on Family (Republicans)
–Proposition 8 [banning gay marriage] supporters (And who were they? Proposition 8 got on the ballot backed by millions from the Roman Catholic Church, and the Mormon Church, and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, and, well, you get the picture.)
The foundation of this nation is based on a separation between church and state. The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights prohibits the establishment of a national religion by the Congress or the preference of one religion over another, non-religion over religion, or religion over non-religion.
Our civil rights should not, MUST NOT be a determined by the church, or be beholden to any religious sect or organization/s. I am an atheist. I don’t recognize the Bible, Old or New Testament as truth, and as an American citizen it is my federal civil right NOT to believe according to our constitution. Christian morality doesn’t apply to me, or the many gay people who wish to marry. It should be in their civil right to do so. Yet senators, congressmen, presidents still choose religious ideology over constitutional laws that guarantees every U.S. citizen equal rights and protections.
Regardless of their religious persuasion, our elected officials have sworn to uphold our constitution, including The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, and have no right to push their religion’s morality onto every American. Millions of our tax dollars have gone and will go to lawyers and court time over DOMA, absurdly prejudicial and preferential legislation originally meant to limit states financial liability, without understanding, maybe even acknowledging the cost to civil rights. Right-wing extremists like the Tea Party and Focus on Family have adopted DOMA as a monicker, preaching biblical text that says homosexuality is a sin and it should never be recognized as legitimate. But I don’t believe in the bible. And I don’t think being gay is a sin. Sin is a religious construct meant to control followers. I believe indifference to suffering and willful ignorance are the greatest evils.
DOMA was repealed, as unconstitutional, in 2013 under President Obama and a Democratic congress. The Republican Reich fought it out in court after court, appeal after appeal, blowing many more billions in tax dollars over a law that should never have been written, yet alone endorsed and enacted. If the right-wing had its way, DOMA would have stayed the law, limiting marriage and the benefits that come with the union to only heterosexual couples.
Who cares? You’re not gay. Doesn’t really effect you? Not your fight? There are bigger issues out there of import…
Watch out! Yesterday, it was denying gay rights, and today, it’s banning transgender from military service. Tomorrow our Republican government may outlaw a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body, or interracial marriage, or maybe Jews again, or Muslims this time, or… You and your ideology may be next on the chopping block of the religious Republican Reich.