You may know that my denomination has put out a statement on the religious foundations for medical exemptions. The early returns are quite encouraging; many report successful requests for exemption. There have been a few rejections, but it seems that the majority are being approved. At the same time, a number of reasonable questions and concerns have arisen regarding the basis for requesting religious exemptions. It’s one thing to object on constitutional or medical grounds, but is it proper for Christians to object on religious grounds? This is not a direct reply to anyone, but a general defense of my denomination’s statement and using religious exemptions in general against vaccine mandates.
Is a sincerely held belief that the vaccines were rolled out in medically dubious or irresponsible ways a “religious objection?” Is the sincerely held belief that mandating any kind of health care is immoral and unbiblical count as a legitimate “religious objection?” And if we press our Vantillian sword to the corners and insist that there is no moral neutrality anywhere in the universe, have we thereby turned every sincere conviction into a “religious” one, one that is so inherent to our Christian religion that every true Christian must have the exact same conviction or else be considered unfaithful? On the other hand, if a religious exemption request is denied and a conscientious Christian determines to comply with the mandate and get the vaccine, has he or she essentially undermined their religious exemption request?