So, I haven’t written anything offensive for a while… but here’s one that I think is worth the discussion.
Of course, the Supreme Court has been hearing arguments about Biden’s employer vaccine mandate. But the media has been raging for months about it, and one of those things that has been discussed and argued is the viability of religious exemptions.
So here’s a passage from the bible – a book which many who would seek religious exemptions hold in esteem, this passage is believed to be a prophecy about the end of the world (it is the sincerely held religious belief of many Christians today):
Revelation 13:16 & 17
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
According to this ancient prophecy (again, as believed by many contemporary Christians), one of the signs of the end of the world is that the entire populace will be forced to receive a ‘mark’ of some sort, and that without this mark, they will be unable to participate in economic and social society.
Now before people read that passage and begin to argue semantics about fundamentalist literalism, and that the vaccine isn’t a ‘mark,’ or that it does not literally injected into the right hand or forehead, and so how could any idiot think that this applies to the vaccine, let me point out that this passage is generally not believed in such stringent literal terms among Christians, but that they do understand it as figurative. There has been much debate among theologians and biblical scholars as to what the ‘mark’ actually is – many in the 20th century have believed it would be an implanted computer chip, or something to do with modern technology.
Likewise, the ‘right hand’ and ‘forehead’ is generally believed to mean (among contemporary Christians) not necessarily that the physical mark will be placed there, but that it speaks of compliance with the mark; the right hand figuratively indicating a person’s actions, and the forehead figuratively indicating one’s intellectual assent.
Now, I’m not saying that the vaccine is the mark, spoken of in the biblical book of Revelation (or the Apocalypse as some know it), but I will point out that this is a sincerely held religious belief from scripture. Likewise, I will point out that mandating vaccines across the board in any single nation with the rules that one would have to have a vaccine passport in order to travel, or even just to enter stores to buy and sell does really smack of this principle. To further that with the concept that such a mandate would not only be national, but global really smacks of this biblical passage.
Now, I’m sure that plenty of people see it differently, and would be all too happy to expound to Christians, or others who believe this principle applies in current circumstances why they are wrong.
Regardless, it is a sincerely held religious belief.
I’ve mentioned before that receiving the vaccine is a religious issue more fundamentally for those who believe the bible, because scripture declares that our bodies belong to God, so to have a human government take God’s sovereignty away regarding our bodies by forcing people to receive ANYTHING into their body which their conscience objects to is a violation of God’s sovereignty over our bodies.
But one of the other things that has bothered me is that the media likes to claim that many who request religious exemption should be denied because they are requesting it simply on the basis of it being mandated. So my point here is: whether or not you agree that the principle of the above passage applies to the COVID vaccine, this in itself is a sincerely held religious belief.
Further, there seems to be no compassion for those who hold such beliefs. Even if you completely disagree with the perspective, having no regard for the people who hold it – or even the fact that people do hold it – will cause devastating outcomes. The more that people with sincerely held beliefs – particularly this one – are denied rights on the basis of their belief – the more it only further entrenches their belief. If you just tell them: ‘That’s ridiculous, just get vaccinated, the government will make you soon enough anyways.’ (Which has been the like response of many.) The more the scenario looks exactly like that passage, and the end of the world to those who hold this belief.