By Elliot Resnick
On what basis can someone claim a religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine mandate? Most people think it must be narrow and specific – for example, an objection to the use of aborted fetal tissue in the development of the vaccine. But for the 100 million Americans who already had COVID, the basis can be – indeed, should be – much more fundamental. Let’s begin by reviewing two facts:
1. Never in the history of vaccination campaigns have people who already recovered from a targeted disease been asked to vaccinate themselves against it. The reason is obvious: A vaccine is designed to fool the body into thinking it is being attacked by a disease so that it can build a robust defense against it. If the actual disease, however, already attacked the body, there’s no reason to fool it.
2. A recent scientific study found that vaccinated people are 13 times more likely to get COVID-19 than are people who already had COVID and recovered from it.
What does any of this have to do with religion? Simple. The Judeo-Christian tradition calls on man to use the unique divine gift with which he’s been blessed – the human brain – to conduct his life. If a person shuts off his brain, if he ignores clear scientific data that demonstrate that taking the COVID-19 vaccine is unnecessary, he’s rejecting God’s gift. He’s acting like a brute animal rather than a sentient human. In short, he’s committing a profoundly irreligious act.
Ignoring scientific evidence is problematic for an additional reason: In ancient times, people believed that the world was governed by a plethora of capricious gods who needed to be appeased if one’s crops were to grow or one’s children survive illness. Human beings were helpless, playthings in the hands of the gods, and thus offered sacrifices – both animal and human – to mollify their mercurial superiors. Belief in the God of the Bible, however, freed man’s spirit. Man could now live confidently knowing that one god – rational and just – created the universe and that all of nature obeys His benevolent will.
Modern science actually rests on this premise. As the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead writes, “[T]here can be no living science unless there is a widespread instinctive conviction in the existence of an Order Of Things. And, in particular, of an Order Of Nature.” Similarly, philosopher Loren Eisley argues that modern science operates on the assumption that it is “dealing with a rational universe controlled by a Creator.”
Thus, if a person ignores scientific data – if he irrationally receives the COVID-19 vaccine despite having recovered from the disease – he is effectively adopting the pre-biblical view of the ancient pagans who engaged in superstitious practices to ward off danger. In other words, he is arguably practicing a form of idolatry.
Finally, according to our Founding Fathers, “rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” This country isn’t run by tyrants – yet – but the current vaccination campaign bears unmistakable totalitarian undertones. “Get the vaccine or lose your job.” That’s the message of the government. You can be a healthy 30-year-old who already had COVID, but the government doesn’t care. It wants everyone vaccinated – facts be damned.
To resist such authoritarian orders is a religious imperative. Bible adherents worship one god and one god only. Only He can demand absolute obedience from us. Only He can ask us to walk with Him blindly, against all reason. No one else can. And if someone tries to, he is usurping God’s role and asking us to worship someone other than Him.
In sum, for the 100 million Americans who already recovered from COVID-19, taking the vaccine means shutting off one’s brain, rejecting modern science and irrationally submitting to a mortal power. All three are religious crimes, and therefore every Bible believer among them must be granted a religious exemption from the vaccine mandate.
Elliot Resnick is the former chief editor of The Jewish Press and the author and editor of several books, including the upcoming “Movers & Shakers, Vol. 3.”
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