Updated: Jan 25
Now that many cities, states and businesses are mandating COVID vaccines, some COVID-deniers are threatening to submit a religious exemption, particularly conservative Christians. Sort of a: "Sorry, I'll pass on that vaccine 'cuz Jesus." Well, think again. You can't just weasel out of a vaccine because you have some warped idea that God grants you freedom or whatever.
There's a local Charlotte church stating it will provide exemptions to members who don't want the vaccine, but according to an employment attorney, these sorts of exemptions don't hold up legally. This isn't like your mom writing a note to excuse you from gym class. You'd better be prepared to back this up theologically. For example, why does your church/faith say you cannot take vaccines? Where in your holy scriptures are vaccines forbidden? Have you had other vaccines in the past and, if so, why were these different? Where in your church doctrine are vaccines prohibited? For how long has your church taught against vaccines?
I wonder if people are thinking of how religious conscientious objectors may avoid the draft or military service? I know some Christian denominations urge their members to avoid war or enlisting such as Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists and Quakers, among others. But you have to prove your adherence to specific religious principles, and this can take time. The government wants to make sure you're not using religion as a cover for personal objections to military service. Also, we can't avoid paying taxes for religious reasons--zip, zero, nada. Everybody has to pay their taxes--no religious exemptions there.
It annoys the hell outta me that some churches are trying this scam to avoid vaccines. Whatever happened to loving your neighbor as yourself? In other words, I get a vaccine to protect not only myself but also my neighbor. I'm not aware of any Pagan groups that disavow vaccines, although there are individual Pagans out there who are anti-vaxx for personal reasons. Obviously, they're not my people.