Honest Question, Stupid Answer

“But why?”

I’m sure this was a question my parents grew weary of me asking. One they heard over and over again, all of my years living in their home.

I am not rebellious by nature. What I am is a question asker. I can’t simply accept something because This Is The Way We’ve Always Done Things. I need to know the logic or reason behind it.

I grew up in a conservative Mennonite culture. With this “more simple” way of life came an abundance of rules and traditions and expectations — especially for women.

Dresses were to be homemade, in a length that covered the knees, but also didn’t drag on the ground. (Long skirts were too fashionable, causing you to look like the world!) Necklines needed to brush the collar bone. Sleeves were required; if they reached the elbow, that was best. Depending on who was giving their opinion, prints and patterns on the dress were also something to regulate. Too loud or too bright was an issue of pride, muted and bland showed more humility.

The rules didn’t stop with the color of our shoes or the length of our skirts. We were told how to do our hair and what size and style of a head covering was most holy. Makeup was looked down upon. Jewelry, including wedding bands, were strictly forbidden. Yet somehow gold wrist watches were a practical exception.

My family left this church for a less conservative (but still conservative) Mennonite church when I was young, nearly a teen.

During that transition, rules did change a bit for our family. I was allowed now to wear skirts and blouses. They didn’t have to be homemade, but still needed to cover those sexy knees!

In that transition from one church to another, I, too, was transitioning from a young girl into a woman.

Like I said, I’m not rebellious, but I ask questions. As the rules for dress were loosening a bit, I brought up the topic of pants with my dad. I wanted to know the reason behind why I wasn’t allowed to wear them.

It felt a bit muddled as we discussed this. There is a verse in the Bible,  Deuteronomy 22:5, that talks about women not wearing men’s clothing, and vice versa. But I wouldn’t buy pants from the men’s clothing section, I argued, and besides, in Eastern and Middle Eastern cultures, women had been wearing pant-like garments for hundreds of years, before men, in fact. To add to that, at the time I wasn’t allowed to buy t-shirts from the women’s section of the store, because they skimmed my budding figure too closely. The t-shirts permitted in my closet came straight off the rack in the boys clothing section of Walmart. But wasn’t this the entire issue to begin with? It didn’t at all line up, this double standard left me incredibly frustrated.

It felt like we went around and around on this discussion, neither of us able to see the other person’s perspective.

As an adult, I now realize that my dad felt a lot of pressure from his culture and family on this issue and others. As a parent, I also realize I have my own preferences in place for the way our family unit looks. My kids will likely look back and wonder why I implemented certain rules too. And though I still really struggle to understand the legalistic view that comes from a lot of conservative cultures, I am not at all bitter about how I was raised.

I didn’t get to wear pants like I wanted to until I moved away from home, but that hasn't stopped me from asking questions. A lot of questions.


Which brings us to the entire point of this post.

When I became a mom, I began asking more questions then ever before. I wanted to make educated decisions for my family — Does the safety of a child’s car seat go up with the price, or do they all have to go through the same safety testing regardless of price? Is sunscreen actually causing more harm than good? When is it best to introduce honey and peanut butter into a child’s diet?

Nobody acted like I was a paranoid parent as I researched these things.

But when I voiced my hesitation about vaccines with my doctor, I thought I’d never hear the end of it. He made me feel so stupid, like I was a blight to society for even considering a more relaxed schedule.

Are some vaccinations truly created with aborted fetal cells, I questioned. He wouldn’t give me a straight answer, but was quick to let me know that if I delayed vaccinations, my child could die, or (maybe worse) be spreading diseases like wildfire.

His answer didn’t sit well with me. Had he treated me with empathy and respect, I likely would have followed his recommendations. But his blatant disregard for my honest question, sent me deep into researching the topic for myself.

Boy oh boy, did I learn a lot.


Last year, on June 13th, New York State took away the religious exemption for vaccinations. This caused an uproar in my community and across the state. Over 26,000 kids were kicked out of schools because they weren’t up-to-date on the current requirements. Some of these student had medical exemptions that schools refused to acknowledge. Already injured from vaccinations, their parents would have to risk another reaction, in order for their child to be allowed to re-enter school.

Our local health department held a few meetings for the Mennonite and Amish in our community to answer questions they might have concerning the new regulations. Even though I am no longer Mennonite, I decided to attend.

I was frustrated with our current situation, and as always, full of questions.

In that meeting, a panel of three doctors gave their presentation, and left ample time for Q+A.

As we asked questions, it felt like I was thrown back into the world of This is How We Have Always Done Things.

Someone asked about how common adverse reactions to vaccinations are.  The doctor went on a spiel about how correlation doesn’t always equal causation. He parroted what I’ve heard other doctors say. When given the example of two young Amish boys whom both had seizures immediately following their intense catch-up schedules few weeks prior, he said they were likely scared of needles.

When asked about vaccines not being tested to see if they cause cancer, we again were brushed off, basically told that because we are not scientists nor doctors, we likely don’t understand what we are reading...

Just so you know, on every vaccine insert, section 13.1 states that vaccinations have never been tested to see if they might cause cancer. A lot of them are formulated with harsh chemicals, such as formaldehyde and polysorbate 80, which have been linked to cancer and infertility and chronic illnesses. We have seen things such as autism, childhood cancer, infertility, and autoimmune issues drastically rise in the past thirty years, and yet, when we raise questions — asking why there are no long-term safety studies on vaccinations, and why the entire vaccine schedule hasn’t been tested to see how they all interact with each other — since that schedule drastically increased in the past thirty years as well, we are made to look so ignorant.

... I don’t think I need to be a doctor or a scientist to realized that the lack of in-depth safety testing is alarming.

Even though the vaccine insert for the flu shot says that it was never tested for safety on pregnant women, these doctors (and most!) say they would highly recommend every pregnant woman get a flu shot. If someone does miscarry in the months following that shot, of course you can’t question it — correlation doesn’t equal causation.

“Vaccines are safe and effective. PERIOD.” (Just ignore that long list of potential side effects on the insert your doctor likely didn’t give you to read. Again, you can’t prove that correlation equals causation.)

Vaccines are a liability-free product. You cannot sue if something goes wrong. There is VAERS — the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System. If something does go wrong, doctors are suppose to file a report. The problem I quickly realized in that meeting, is that these doctors wouldn’t acknowledge that something could possibly go wrong. They kept saying over and over again that vaccine injuries are one in a million, that they never see them.

“The science is settled.” They stated multiple times that day. I am not a smart doctor or scientist, but I did study science in school, and I do remember learning how science is never settled, it’s an ongoing process of continually observing and expanding knowledge. So why can’t we do that with vaccinations?

I’ve read so many vaccine inserts, and on those inserts, there are long lists of possible side effects. Things I’ve personally experienced as a child; things I see very commonly in children now. I realize you can’t point every ailment back to a vaccination, but because vaccinations are mandatory, even if you or your child does have a reaction to an ingredient in that product, you can’t opt out and still live normally in society. In NY, schools and daycares aren’t allowed to welcome your partially vaccinated or non vaccinated child. There is talk of taking away driver’s license and passports for adults who aren’t up-to-date as well.

Peanut allergies, eyes going crossed, autoimmune issues, SIDS, chronic ear infections, urinary tract infections — these are only a few of the possible adverse reactions listed.

These are things I see all the time in children around me.

If I were taking an allergy med, and two weeks later broke out in hives, no one would call me stupid for saying I had an adverse reaction to that medication. No one would say I was making a poor decision to opt out. Yet, this is exactly what is happening all the time to parents whose children have suffered vaccine injury.

The question about aborted fetal cells was brought up as well, and the doctor who answered it — a man proud of his Jewish heritage, because he felt like it was so similar our Mennonite background — didn’t deny it. Aborted fetal cells are used in the making of some vaccines. But, he was quick to add, I would much rather live a life of peace with my fellow man here on earth, and answer to my Creator later. I guess that is his call. But for me, I cannot, will not, turn a blind eye to this.

Brenda, from @wildheartalive recently shared a paragraph on this very topic that I think is worthy of noting: “If you think God created the immune system, called it good, then later decided he would need scientists to one up Him with a life saving injection that carried the side effect of a murdered baby, I don’t know what to tell you.”

I left that meeting with more questions than answers. The dots aren’t lining up, and I’m not going to accept that this is the way things are always done. If vaccines are suppose to make kids healthier, why is chronic illness on rise? Why are more and more people suffering with autoimmune issues? Why is infertility an increasing problem? Why is obesity the new norm?

When most people know that Pharma is corrupt, why are we not allowed to bring into question the one MANDATED product they create?

I will continue to ask questions.


Before the religious exemption was taken away, I didn’t freely speak up about this issue. I knew where I stood. If people asked, I was honest about how I felt, but I didn’t press it. I wasn’t out to convince everyone to see things my way.

Now, I have started speaking up. Not because I think people need to agree with me, but because I think people need to be aware of what is happening.

Whether you opt to fully vaccinate, partially vaccinate, or not vaccinate at all, that should be your choice as a parent. And you should have the freedom to adapt that schedule based on your child’s individual needs.

When we aren’t allowed to question a mandated product that is liability-free, that doesn’t have nearly enough safety testing, hasn’t been through a double-blind placebo study like other pharmaceuticals, that does impact each person on a different level, and that does go against what a lot of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Vegans, etc. believe is morally right, I do have issue with that, and I will speak up... even though it makes me uncomfortable and unpopular.

Mandates for children are happening all over this nation. And if Bill Gates gets his way, mandates for adults are coming next.

Are you okay with this? I’m not!

I wrote about this topic before — you can read that post here — and I will continue to speak out.

What is happening now is not okay. Step out of line. Please, if this doesn’t sit well with you, speak up. For your sake, your children’s sake, for the sake of those not yet born!

What is injected into your body, should be your choice!

You were placed on the earth for such a time as this. Your voice is important; go use it!


  1. Love this Sarah! I was never fully educated on vaccines until I had a baby of my own simply because it wasn’t even regarded in our house growing up. We were all healthy, wild children that didn’t even think twice about vaccinations. To me it’s just been what I’ve known and I’m thankful for my parents non-intervention way of raising us.

    To this day I’m still not a heavy researcher on the subject just simply because It’s completely foreign to me that people don’t trust their immune systems anymore. But just my opinion.

    And I loved what you said above "if vaccines are supposed to make kids healthier, why is chronic illness on the rise."

    I simply can’t believe that the FDA and the health organization has our best in mind when setting diet pyramids and food guidelines to follow. Especially when ever since those guidelines have been put in place people have never been more ill.

    Call me old fashioned - but it just don’t make sense.