You know, most of the time when you hear “Mississippi leads the nation in . . .”, it is the lead-in either to a joke or a really depressing statistic. But check out this map from the Washington Post:
All 50 states require vaccination, and all 50 provide for medical exemptions, which is good. But 48 of the 50 also provide religious or “personal belief” exemptions.
Personally, I am most bothered by states that have one or the other of these, and not both. Because saying that you can opt out on the basis of a religious belief, but not a personal one puts the state implicitly in the position of deciding what does and does not qualify as a religion. Doing it the other way around just seems weird, since religious beliefs are personal beliefs held for religious reasons, right?
But only two states have the right law: straight-up requirements for vaccination with only medical exemptions. So, if your children’s health is being threatened by sanctimonious morons spouting discredited pseudo-science about autism, or mercury, or argle blargle pharmaceuticals something something, just remember, if you lived in a less retrograde state, like Mississippi or West Virginia, you wouldn’t have to put up with this bullshit.