Christian student fights back against university’s vaccine mandate, cites religious exemption

"Jackie Gale has never had a single vaccination because she believes that the Bible commands Christians to honor God regarding how the care for their bodies and not inject extra chemicals into one's body, according to a letter to UAB President Ray L. Watts and the university's lawyer John Daniel from First Liberty Institute attorney Christine Pratt." - C.Post

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

This is already a loss for Christianity, no matter how it turns out--just a question of whether it'll be a loss of good will/reputation (aka "testimony") or loss of religious liberty, or both. Even if we take the view that universities are out of line requiring that students be vaccinated (not my view), no good can come of turning it into a "vaccinations aren't Christian" case. Sad.

I'm not familiar with First Liberty Institute, but it doesn't speak well of them that they'd take this case. I can see logic in "people shouldn't have to be vaccinated if they're religion forbids it," but Christianity doesn't forbid it, so it's, at best, fighting for a legitimate right using an illegitimate case.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Jim's picture

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1449224/

ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO, in Jacobson v Massachusetts, the US Supreme Court upheld the Cambridge, Mass, Board of Health’s authority to require vaccination against smallpox during a smallpox epidemic.2 Jacobson was one of the few Supreme Court cases before 1960 in which a citizen challenged the state’s authority to impose mandatory restrictions on personal liberty for public health purposes. What might such a case teach us today? First, it raises timeless questions about the power of state government to take specific action to protect the public’s health and the Constitution’s protection of personal liberty. What limits state power? What does constitutionally protected liberty include? Second, answers to these questions can change as scientific knowledge, social institutions, and constitutional jurisprudence progress. A comparison of answers to these questions 100 years ago and today shows how public health and constitutional law have evolved to better protect both health and human rights.

Jacobson was decided in 1905, when infectious diseases were the leading cause of death and public health programs were organized primarily at the state and community levels. The federal government had comparatively little involvement in health matters, other than preventing ships from bringing diseases such as yellow fever into the nation’s ports.3 Few weapons existed to combat epidemics. There was no Food and Drug Administration (FDA), no regulation of research, and no doctrine of informed consent. The Flexner Report was 5 years in the future, medicine would have little to offer until sulfonamides were developed in the 1930s, and most vaccines would not be available for almost half a century. 4,5 Hospitals were only beginning to take their modern form,6 and people who had mental illnesses were often shut away in asylums.7,8 Contraception and interracial marriage were crimes,9 women did not have the right to vote, and Jim Crow laws prevented African American men from exercising constitutional rights that it took the Civil War to win.10

Today, smallpox has been eradicated. 

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

That's for that, Jim! 

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.