Religious exemption forms not Biblical

Carley Nail, [email protected]

A wave of controversy has entered the news as many are trying to escape new COVID vaccine mandates.

An increasing number of churches and pastors across the U.S. are filling out religious vaccine exemption forms, according to U.S. News.

As a Christian myself, I find this totally unnecessary. Nowhere in the Bible does it state that you should not get a vaccine mandated by the government.  

But the Bible does say in Mark 12: 30-31 to love your neighbor as yourself.  In fact, this was such a great commandment that the only one before it is to love the Lord your God with all your heart.  

For this reason, it amazes me that so many Christians are refusing to get the vaccine due to religious reasons.

Loving your neighbor as yourself means to love the people around you as best as you can, which includes wanting to keep them safe.  Christians live by the Bible but for some reason often overlook this topic.

One reason some Christians are saying getting the vaccine goes against their religious values is because pharmaceutical companies made the vaccine from replicated fetal cell lines from aborted fetuses. 

But, according to NBC News, the only company that produced the vaccine this way was Johnson & Johnson.  

If you are strongly against this method of production, there are two other FDA approved vaccines from other companies. 

According to ABC News, 97% of Louisiana’s COVID cases and deaths since February have been unvaccinated people.  

And the number of COVID cases has drastically decreased since the beginning of the year.

 According to the New York Times, the number of cases has dropped to 50,769 in the U.S. as of Sept. 24 compared to the all-time high of 300,777 cases on Jan. 8.

This vaccine is limiting the amount of people dying or being hospitalized from COVID.  

It seems like getting the vaccine would go hand in hand with Christian values.

I also understand that some don’t want the vaccine because they are unsure of the side effects or they don’t see getting the vaccine as a necessity.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion when it comes to their own health.

But don’t use your religion as an excuse to not get the vaccine.

There are some pastors leading churches that only see this as an opportunity to make money.  

According to the Washington Post, Jackson Lahmeyer who pastors a church in Tulsa has been encouraging people to donate to his church and become an online member so they can get his signature on a form for religious exemption from the vaccine. 

In this way, the religious exemption forms that are not necessary in the first place are being abused. And these exemption forms should not be accepted.