OK, we obviously will kowtow to one group of offended people and take down a statue because Kate Smith sang an offensive — and potentially tongue-in-cheek — song in the 1930s.

Hey, if you want to be offended, be offended. I'm cool with that. There are two types of folks, after all, those that scream naked at windmills and those that do it in my backyard.

The first group is a novelty, the second we are forced to deal with.

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Jay Greeson

So let's stop this nonsense about the small collection of folks who are still committing a medical form of child abuse by not vaccinating their children.

Backstory: This is a ridiculous deviation in our normally pointed and correct "Good for the majority" decision-making, and it has bugged me for years.

Sure, the questions about whether vaccinations caused autism created an understandable pause in the decision-making process, but since those fears were debunked as the fame-hunting claims of a European quack, why is this even a talking point anymore?

I'll wait.

If your religious beliefs prevent you from keeping your child from getting life-threatening diseases, well, that's your prerogative, I guess. But the reappearance of these once-nearly eliminated diseases is undeniable.

And if your answer is personal choice, OK, I will be happy to wait while you detail the ways personal choice, when it has implications and direct results on the masses among society around you, is not allowed.

Yes, you can burn the American flag by choice, but that does not directly affect me.

You cannot, however, scream "fire" in a crowded public place because of the possible ramifications and dangers that the rest of the law-abiding citizens around your silliness may face.

How is this different?

Again, I will wait.

And while we wait, the news stories continue to circulate about the growing threat of measles here in East Tennessee.

Yes, right here. Heck, the Tennessee Department of Health has announced that people who visited a Mapco off Browns Ferry Road on April 11 from 7:30 to 10 p.m. may have been exposed.

We also learned that some Chick-Fil-A customers in Fort Payne, Ala., also have been exposed.

What's next? Smallpox? The plague, maybe?

Personal opinion and personal responsibility are not the same thing, people.

And if you are among the folks who do not vaccinate your children because they do not like needles, well, may God have mercy on all of us.

Again, it's the nebulous, hazy line between policy and parenting.

We can make people buy car seats — which of course makes great sense — but we can't make parents not smoke in a car with kids in it.

Where's the rationale and the disconnect between the two?

But the vaccination conversation is a step beyond the parental discussion and into the public one.

If you want to have the right not to vaccinate your kid, well, keep your little disease-infested petri dish at home. Home school. Home play. Home everything.

Too much? Hey, if you want to play the scratch-off lottery with the health of your kid, that's your choice.

But in a world in which I have to make sure no one at work has a peanut allergy before I bring a PB&J, how are we not taking direct measures to eliminate diseases like this for good?

That should be the choice we all make.

Contact Jay Greeson at