As I was filling out the religious exemption form for immunizations, so my son would be able to attend kindergarten, I wondered which formalized religion I was following to “ethically” do this. I sent a text to a few of my super smart friends and asked what the name of my religion was. The most immediate response came from my brilliant friend, Bevin.
Of course!! Festivus for the Rest of Us. Thank you, yet again, Seinfeld (and Bevin) for putting the rules of society into perspective.
I am not at all against immunizations, but I am against someone else telling me what I am lawfully bound to put into my child’s body. I am a very health conscious person who monitored what was going into my child’s body in utero and after birth, right up until he went on his first play date. I breastfed and made my children’s baby food so I knew exactly what they were ingesting. Good nutrition and their health has always been a priority to me.
I am aware that immunizations are wonderful and have helped protect many from contracting awful diseases and illnesses. We are fortunate to have them available to us in our country. We are also fortunate to have freedom of choice, which to me means I get to choose if and when my child is immunized. And by the way, I do immunize my children, just not with every one, nor on the same pre established developmental time table.
Although I do not own a Festivus pole, I most certainly have participated in the Airing of Grievances, perhaps more than is required. When it comes to protecting my family, I plan to win the Feats of Strength every time. (You really need to be a Seinfeld fan to appreciate this) But more importantly, I have firm and valuable personal beliefs which don’t fit into one particular formalized religion. Does this make my secular viewpoint unimportant or unworthy of being recognized? Of course not. We all have a right to feed our beliefs with passion, especially when their intent is to help, serve or protect others.
How I choose to raise and protect my children is my religion. It is my belief system in which I have strong faith that I am on the path of what is right and true for me. As with every religion, I will be judged for what I do and what I don’t do and for what I believe and what I don’t believe and that’s okay. I am perfectly content to own my thoughts, feelings and actions and know that what I believe in works for me. And if I find that something is not working, I will assess and regroup and search for the next belief that fits my mold, because I can.
My son is now happily enjoying kindergarten and I am happy that Festivus allowed us the freedom to ensure his right to attend public school. I can only hope his kindergarten teacher feels the same…