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Author Topic: British report debunks homeopathy  (Read 7344 times)

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Offline Okealyshire

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British report debunks homeopathy
« on: February 26, 2010, 11:55:07 PM »
From Science-Based Medicine, another of my favorite blogs.

Homeopathy gets a reality check in the UK

Quote
The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee (STC) has released a report, Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy (pdf), in which they recommend that the NHS stop funding homeopathy. The report is a rare commodity – a thoroughly science-based political document.

The committee went beyond simply stating that homeopathy does not work, and revealed impressive insight into the ethical, practical, and scientific problems caused by NHS support for an implausible and ineffective pseudoscience.

The STC formed in October of 2009, and this is their second report. The goals of the STC itself are significant step forward:

    The purpose of Evidence Check is to examine how the Government uses evidence to formulate and review its policies.

We certainly can use more of that.

I hope America follows the UK's lead and goes further: we should defund the NCCAM. Yes, I'm looking at you, "Senator" Tom Harkin.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2010, 05:00:46 PM »
This is heartening stuff.

Homepaths should be drowned in large vats of their "preparations".

30X FTW!

MtD

Offline mecch

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2010, 06:51:18 PM »
In Switzerland, Homeopathy means that esoteric hippy medicine with the little white water and sugar pellets and the big theory of miasms. 
So is this UK debunking just about that?
Or does "homeopathy" means holistic medicine natural medicine alternative medicine etc etc etc????
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2010, 07:16:19 PM »
In Switzerland, Homeopathy means that esoteric hippy medicine with the little white water and sugar pellets and the big theory of miasms. 
So is this UK debunking just about that?
Or does "homeopathy" means holistic medicine natural medicine alternative medicine etc etc etc????

Nope, in that report they're referring to the same homeopathy used on the continent. The modality created by Hahnemann in the 18th century.

MtD

Offline mecch

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2010, 08:14:53 PM »
All Swiss pharmacies sell that stuff and a lot of it  But I don't think that many people make it the center of their health.  I think its just like taking vitamins in the USA. 
There are all kinds of food cults and health cults and political cults etc etc in this world and science is sort of a cult too. You wouldn't anyone to stop questioning but if the answer is bogus (like homeopathy) theres no need to waste anymore money. 
People who go off on some culty way of living are valuable but they can be boring. Or naive and charming. Or death-wishy creepy. 
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2010, 08:22:24 PM »
Australian pharmacies flog homeopathic potions too. However in Australia (unlike in the UK and to a lesser extent the US) homeopathy is not a recognised health care modality.

MtD

Offline Okealyshire

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2010, 03:11:07 AM »
All Swiss pharmacies sell that stuff and a lot of it  But I don't think that many people make it the center of their health.  I think its just like taking vitamins in the USA. 
There are all kinds of food cults and health cults and political cults etc etc in this world and science is sort of a cult too. You wouldn't anyone to stop questioning but if the answer is bogus (like homeopathy) theres no need to waste anymore money. 

There is a noisy and growing backlash against science in America. Celebrities are sought-after dispensers of dubious medical advice. Daytime talk-show hosts prop up purveyors of bogus cures. Entire research institutes portray themselves as seekers of biblical evidence. The government appoints a devout Christian as head of our National Institutes of Health. Prominent religious figures blame calamitous weather on sexual sins. Shit-for-brains vaults to the top of the shit-for-brains ticket.

When a nation glorifies stupidity, it's truly scraped the bottom.

Offline risred1

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2010, 10:52:58 AM »
Well, regardless of the politics of all this...

Snake oil is Snake oil... compelling, reassuring, soothing, for the thing that ails you.

Living is on the path to dieing ultimately. Things happen along the way, like HIV. It could just as easily be MS, Diabetes, etc.....

Homeopathy was always ridiculous. But folks want to believe in something other than what it is.

I don't want, though, to totally ignore stuff that comes about...

Like treating MS with Bee Stings... Seems weird, doesn't it? But since one of the rationals of saving the rain forest is that the unique chemical compounds that nature generates is worthy of study, there can be substances in nature that can be utilized as medicine.

But the disconnect is that someone can tout a thing found somewhere as a miracle cure and we line up, like ones use to at the medicine show, to buy the elixir of life.

We are not going to stop fringe elements from doing what they do. And unfortunately, the gullible out there will sign up to believe stuff that makes no sense, because of the need to feed the parts of us that are essentially psychologically damaged.

Penn, of Penn and Teller, said about how religious folks don't believe in evolution; that it doesn't matter, as long as the Important people know what the truth is. i can't say at all that I agree with that. But it is simply a concession that folks are going to "believe" what they will, but some will be smart enough to see the truth.

It is difficult to "argue" with folks who Believe in Something which becomes a discussion of Faith. It isn't an argument really at all. Someone believing in something that requires Faith find enough vindication that its not a "real" discussion. Just a test of their faith.

I always come back to the same things... Moderation in all things. And trying to understand what the "real" issue is, not trying to attack the resulting symptoms and actions of people.


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Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2010, 03:15:10 PM »
Homeopathy was always ridiculous. But folks want to believe in something other than what it is.

Not entirely. When Hahnemann (and others) kicked off with homeopathy it was easy to see the attraction. Western medicine (or "allopathy") at the time was just fucking awful. Physicians (not  necessarily surgeons) largely held to Galenic principles and medical interventions involved rebalancing the four humours of blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black blie.

Such "rebalancing" involved the administration of purgatives, bleeding patients, the application of leechs and so on. More often than not these interventions were what killed patients.

Homeopaths by comparison had remarkable success. They administered tiny quantities of uber-diluted potions or a handful of sugar pills. Behold as the halt and the lame rose from their pallets!

Now of course we realise that homeopathic ministrations had no effect. Their perceived success was because the medical conditions they believed they were treating resolved spontaneously and this happened against a background of the monstrousness of contemporary orthodox medicine.

MtD

Offline risred1

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2010, 04:36:20 PM »
I can't disagree with that...

but its amazing how it persisted after medicine became a science discipline.
risred1 - hiv +
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Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2010, 01:31:35 AM »
I can't disagree with that...

but its amazing how it persisted after medicine became a science discipline.

It had a following. Particularly in Europe. Homeopathy had an advantage in that it didn't hurt or taste nasty.

Of course it benefited from the tendency of humans to fall for impressive yet flawed logic. In this case post hoc ergo propter hoc or "because of this therefore this". People tend to think that because one event precedes another the first event must be the cause of the second.

So you take a homeopathic remedy and then you get better. The two must be connected.

Homeopathy traded on the bad reputation that allopathy handed to medical orthodoxy. People were genuinely terrified of doctors and surgeons and their ghastly techniques. Techniques that continued to be pretty rough even when orthodox medicine started getting its act together in the 19th century,

Hahnemann and his followers wrapped their modality is a veneer of pseudo-science so it sounded impressive and made as much sense to the average person as orthodox medicine did. The Law of Similars (ie "like cures like"). The Law of Infinitesimals (ie the more dilute a preparation is the more potent the effect). Nosodes. Provings.

All that sorta shit.

MtD

Offline Ann

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2010, 11:08:10 AM »
European royalty have all been very into homeopathy for a long time too, which will have had the effect of endorsing its use amongst the great unwashed.

All the European Royals were intimately related and interbred and all very taken with homeopathy. This includes the royal families of Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Germany, England and Russia. source

The British Royal Family have used and endorsed homeopathy for three generations.
TRUE: Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, is the Royal Patron of the British Homeopathic Association. Her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, is said to never travel without her personal homeopathic first-aid kit by her side. Her son, Prince Charles also uses the medicine. In addition to the royal family there are many other well known people who have used homeopathy. Three American presidents, James Garfield, Chester A. Arthur and Warren Harding, John D. Rockfeller (who lived 99 years), Henry W. Longfellow, Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Twain, Samuel Morse, Sir Yehudi Mehuhin, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Mother Teresa, O. J. Simpson, Angela Lansbury, Tina Turner, just to name a few. A number of popes have also used the medicine successfully, including Pius X and the current pope, John Paul II.
source

Homeopath to the Queen 'risking patient health' by selling a load of hogwash
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Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2010, 02:40:20 PM »
Homeopathy is far from harmless. An Australian case dealt with by the NSW courts last year:

Thomas Sam, 42, and his wife Manju, 37, were found guilty of the most serious case of manslaughter by criminal negligence.

Their daughter Gloria was so sick with eczema that she constantly cried in pain, her skin broken and oozing fluid, the court heard.


(linkage)

MtD

Offline BM

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2010, 07:18:03 PM »
There a homeopathic hospital in a beautiful building next to my (rundown) HIV clinic. I was disgusted to learn that its money comes from NHS funds.  >:(

Offline Okealyshire

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2010, 11:33:43 PM »
Quoting my earlier reference for context...

The government appoints a devout Christian as head of our National Institutes of Health.

Not sure how familiar everyone here is with Robert Park. He's a physics professor at the University of Maryland. He's written two excellent anti-woo books and publishes a deliciously snarky weekly newsletter called What's New. This week's letter included the following gem about Francis Collins:

Quote
BELIEF: FRANCIS COLLINS IS FREE TO HOLD ANY BELIEFS HE LIKES.
This week, saw the publication of his new book, "Belief: Readings on the Reasons for Faith." But he is now the director of the nations largest science agency, having promised to set his personal quirks aside for the time. The argument is made that the book is work he did before he became director, but that's pretty thin cover. He could wait until he steps down. Modern science had its birth with the assertion of the Greek philosopher Thales in 585 B.C. that every observable effect has a physical cause. We should not regard any person as educated unless he understands those words, including the director of NIH.

Offline Merlin

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2010, 01:39:51 AM »
Everything and Anything used right is of benefit & vice-versa. To each his own.  :)
Enough of this never ending, Science vs Nature stuff.  ::)
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Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2010, 03:21:10 AM »
Everything and Anything used right is of benefit & vice-versa. To each his own.  :)
Enough of this never ending, Science vs Nature stuff.  ::)

Not so Merlin. There is never a real, measurable benefit arising from the use of homeopathy. This isn't a "Science vs Nature" discussion, it's a "Science vs Bullshit" discussion.

MtD

Offline blackwingbear

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2010, 03:21:42 AM »
Enough of this never ending, Science vs Nature stuff.  ::)

*applauding*

It always amazes me that most of these folks absolutely refuse to look at the fact that the prescription-drugs were synthesized from natural means..
It's all a sham. Politics is a big game, same as the media - and same as religion. The point is to distract & control. If we're looking at what they tell us is the "big issue", we're not looking at what they are doing. In time, there will be different causes and different minorities to pick-on. All in the name of keeping the system going, and the people distracted.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2010, 03:31:13 AM »
*applauding*

It always amazes me that most of these folks absolutely refuse to look at the fact that the prescription-drugs were synthesized from natural means..

In seeking to provoke a dispute you miss the point. Again.

Homeopathy is not a "natural" modality. It's vitalist horseshit from which nothing useful to health and wellbeing has ever been derived.

I challenge you to name one currently used prescription medication or medical technique which traces its provenance from homeopathy.

MtD

Offline blackwingbear

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2010, 03:51:48 AM »
In seeking to provoke a dispute you miss the point. Again.

Homeopathy is not a "natural" modality. It's vitalist horseshit from which nothing useful to health and wellbeing has ever been derived.

I challenge you to name one currently used prescription medication or medical technique which traces its provenance from homeopathy.

MtD

I'm not attempting to provoke squat - as far as I was led to believe I am allowed to have an opinion.

EVERY drug on the market was originally synthesized from either a plant, mineral or animal source - or else it's precursor that it was synthesized from was.

Name just one? Fine. Aspirin was synthesized from Willow Bark. Another? Penicillin was synthesized from a form of mold.

If you believe that science miraculously developed these medicines from nowhere you are only fooling yourself.
It's all a sham. Politics is a big game, same as the media - and same as religion. The point is to distract & control. If we're looking at what they tell us is the "big issue", we're not looking at what they are doing. In time, there will be different causes and different minorities to pick-on. All in the name of keeping the system going, and the people distracted.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2010, 04:01:49 AM »
I'm not attempting to provoke squat - as far as I was led to believe I am allowed to have an opinion.

EVERY drug on the market was originally synthesized from either a plant, mineral or animal source - or else it's precursor that it was synthesized from was.

Name just one? Fine. Aspirin was synthesized from Willow Bark. Another? Penicillin was synthesized from a form of mold.

If you believe that science miraculously developed these medicines from nowhere you are only fooling yourself.

Sure you can have an opinion. But as Brother Eastwood noted opinions are like assholes. Everyone's got one.

The point of this thread (had you bothered to read it properly) is not about herbal medicines as such. It's about a specific modality called homeopathy, which is entirely different from the practices which employ herbal remedies.

Aspirin and penicillin are not homeopathic remedies. It is possible that homeopathic remedies might be derived from these, but not for the purposes you might imagine.

I suggest you do a bit of reading about homeopathy before you unleash your rebuttals with wicked staccato fingers.

MtD

Offline blackwingbear

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2010, 04:16:23 AM »
Sure you can have an opinion. But as Brother Eastwood noted opinions are like assholes. Everyone's got one.

The point of this thread (had you bothered to read it properly) is not about herbal medicines as such. It's about a specific modality called homeopathy, which is entirely different from the practices which employ herbal remedies.Aspirin and penicillin are not homeopathic remedies. It is possible that homeopathic remedies might be derived from these, but not for the purposes you might imagine.

I suggest you do a bit of reading about homeopathy before you unleash your rebuttals with wicked staccato fingers.

MtD

I had always heard the term "homeopathy" used to apply to herbal remedies also, and I believed that was what was meant. Apologies for the misunderstanding. Now retract your claws, O venomous one.

It's all a sham. Politics is a big game, same as the media - and same as religion. The point is to distract & control. If we're looking at what they tell us is the "big issue", we're not looking at what they are doing. In time, there will be different causes and different minorities to pick-on. All in the name of keeping the system going, and the people distracted.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2010, 04:39:19 AM »
I had always heard the term "homeopathy" used to apply to herbal remedies also, and I believed that was what was meant. Apologies for the misunderstanding. Now retract your claws, O venomous one.


You might find you get less prickly responses if you take the time to read more than the last two posts in a thread.

There is no doubt that plants are used to produce particular homeopathic remedies, but not because they're "natural".

Homeopaths believe in a notion called the Law of Similars or "like cures like". To develop a particular remedy homeopathy requires a complex process which begins with a "proving" or finding a substance which causes the particular symptom a patient complains of.

So, for example, if someone complains of sleeplessness a homeopath might consider a remedy containing caffeine, which as you would no doubt be aware. is an alkaloid obtained from certain plants including coffee.

The homeopath would then take a certain measure of caffeine and mix it with an effectively equivalent measure of water. This mixture would be shaken up - a technique known to
homepaths as "succussion".

Then a drop of this successed mixture would taken and added to x quantity of water. And that is shaken again. This process of dilution, homeopaths assert, makes the homeopathic effect of the caffiene stronger. This is known as the Law of Infinitesimals.

For reasons homepaths are unable to explain (because it's bullshit) a caffeine solution of this sort will induce sleep in a insomiac. It should be noted that by the time a homeopathic remedy is suitably succussed it usually contains not a single molecule of the supposedly active ingredient.

This process underpins all homeopathic practices.

MtD

Offline blackwingbear

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2010, 04:59:10 AM »

You might find you get less prickly responses if you take the time to read more than the last two posts in a thread.

Homeopaths believe in a notion called the Law of Similars or "like cures like". To develop a particular remedy homeopathy requires a complex process which begins with a "proving" or finding a substance which causes the particular symptom a patient complains of.

It was not that I had not read this thread, as this was the first place therein this was explained. Thank ye for the education on the topic - I had always heard the term used to include herbs also, ergo my misunderstanding.
It's all a sham. Politics is a big game, same as the media - and same as religion. The point is to distract & control. If we're looking at what they tell us is the "big issue", we're not looking at what they are doing. In time, there will be different causes and different minorities to pick-on. All in the name of keeping the system going, and the people distracted.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2010, 06:19:32 AM »
A good site which deals with this stuff is Ben Goldacre's Bad Science.

MtD

Offline palerider

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2010, 08:59:11 AM »
Homeopathy is pretty strange Science, some preparations are 1 part active ingredient in 23,000,000.
The idea is for your body to build up immunity to these nasties.
I've never met someone it works for, but the British Royal Family have followed Homeopathy for over a hundred years.
Not sure what that says about them.

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #26 on: May 03, 2010, 12:30:25 PM »
Homeopathy is pretty strange Science, some preparations are 1 part active ingredient in 23,000,000.
The idea is for your body to build up immunity to these nasties.
I've never met someone it works for, but the British Royal Family have followed Homeopathy for over a hundred years.
Not sure what that says about them.

They're inbred, right?  Nothing wrong with that, but I dunno that I'd follow in their medical footsteps.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #27 on: May 03, 2010, 01:28:52 PM »
They're inbred, right? 

They'd fit right in down Mississippi way.
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Offline Hellraiser

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #28 on: May 03, 2010, 02:15:43 PM »
They'd fit right in down Mississippi way.

You're thinking of Arkans-...oh right.  So the "South" is not just one big state called Mississippi we have lots of different states.  There are lots of them!

Offline Nestor

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Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #29 on: May 04, 2010, 12:46:20 AM »
They're inbred, right?  Nothing wrong with that, but I dunno that I'd follow in their medical footsteps.

Well, the late Queen Mother lived to 103 and was in pretty good health almost to the end; the Queen seems quite fit for her age as well.  I'd say there were worse role models health-wise. 
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Offline veritas

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,410
Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #30 on: May 04, 2010, 05:36:10 AM »

Nestor,

With all do respect to the Queen, she does have access to the best healthcare in the world should she need it.
Not to mention a pretty good life style.

v

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 11,908
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #31 on: May 04, 2010, 07:57:05 AM »
Clean-living German blood stock those Windsors. The Queen Mother was Scottish.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline megasept

  • Member
  • Posts: 478
  • Steven here...
Re: British report debunks homeopathy
« Reply #32 on: May 04, 2010, 10:17:21 AM »
There is a noisy and growing backlash against science in America. ]The government appoints a devout Christian as head of our National Institutes of Health[/url].

Yes, not only pseudoscience but typical shitloads of anti-science.

And then there's C. Everrett Koop, the devout Christian "literalist" who as Surgeon General of the US sent out a pamphlet on "AIDS prevention" to every home in America (1988 or 1989?) during the Reagan Administration? There's no problem with Christians of all sorts in high places provided they are, you know, christian! ; )

If a good scientist, advocate, or surgeon (like pediatric surgeon Koop), wants to practice hocus-pocus on Sundays, who cares? "Ain't nobody's business..."

 


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