Biden's White House wants to go after religious vax objectors

That good Catholic, Joe Biden, is troubled by the fact that people are raising religious objections to taking the COVID vaccine.  We know this because a leaked White House telephone call lets us listen in as a Department of Justice attorney works with the administration to brainstorm ways to force vaccines on religious people over their faith-based objections.  The First Amendment is a dead letter in the Biden White House.

In 1558, when Elizabeth I ascended the English throne, England had seen Catholics and Protestants engaged in deadly fighting for 25 years.  Elizabeth wanted none of it.  "I would not open windows into men's souls," she said, voicing the world's first expression of religious liberty.  By the 18th century, though, Britain had passed a series of laws mandating religious tests barring non-Anglicans from roles in government or academia.

In response, the Founding Fathers ratified the First Amendment, which prohibits the government from requiring religious tests for people to participate in society.  "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof[.]"  And thanks to the Fourteenth Amendment, the First Amendment applies to all governments in America, whether federal or state.

Additionally, contrary to what many leftists assert, the First Amendment does not operate to bar people from having their religious beliefs inform their politics or their dealings with the state.  It's a limit on government, not on people.  Or as Elizabeth would have said, the government cannot open windows into men's souls.

Nevertheless, a leaked White House recording of Marty Lederman, a Department of Justice attorney, has him cynically talking about getting COVID vaccines into those Americans who object on religious grounds.  He doubts their faith but reluctantly concedes that there's little the government can do — except for using government force to override them by claiming a compelling government need:

For instance, in the New York case that's currently going on against the State of New York, the Thomas More Society is representing a bunch of doctors and nurses who claim that they would sin gravely if they acted in cooperation with the evil of abortion.

How would they be doing so? The claim is that all three of the current vaccines either have fetal cells that were obtained by abortions in the vaccine itself or, in the case of Pfizer and Moderna, that those vaccines were tested using fetal cells that had been aborted. And even the connection to the previous testing, makes them cooperative with evil in a way that their religion prohibits.

I don't want to say anything too categorical, but I believe that this claim will be very difficult for agencies to successfully claim that's either insincere or not religious, even if it is. Even if we know that many of those claims are not sincere, or are sincere but not religions. This is the most common behavior you're going to confront probably, and it's likely that you will have to take as a given the employee's claim.

Not always, right? But one response that some hospitals have started to give is, "Well, do you know that Tylenol, and Tums, and Preparation H, those were all tested using aborted fetal cell lines, too?" And I expect that employees will then say, "Well, I didn't know that, but now that you tell me that and I'll stop using those products as well."

Then we will turn to what does the government have to do once the employee makes that showing. And here, basically, there is a compelling interest, obviously, in keeping our workforce and the public with which we interact safe from COVID.

About that compelling state interest...if a government action gets to the Supreme Court on the ground that it violates the Constitution, the Court will strictly scrutinize that act, requiring the government to prove a "compelling state interest."  Lederman makes the sweeping claim that protecting Americans from COVID meets that incredibly high standard — but does it really?

Let's do a little math.  According to the CDC, 718,681 Americans have died from COVID (a number I suspect is grossly inflated to cover both deaths with COVID and deaths without any COVID at all), out of a total of 44,615,528 cases.  The percentage calculator tells me that for those who have caught COVID, the average mortality rate is 1.6%.  Contrast this with the mortality rates for Ebola (an average of 70%), smallpox (around 30%), or Spanish influenza (roughly 10–20%).  America is nowhere near the "we're all going to die" levels that would justify calling mass forced vaccines a compelling state interest.

And none of the above statistics considers either (a) that it's the Colin Powell demographic (quite old and quite sick) that's dying or (b) that there is an unusually high number of deaths associated with the vaccines themselves.

I suspect one of the reasons deaths are as high as they are is that the entire Democrat establishment (Biden, Medicare, state medical boards, corporate pharmacies, etc.) is preventing doctors from early intervention (e.g., ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, etc.) for people who test positive but aren't very sick.  As I've said before, this is like telling people who have an infection not to take antibiotics but to wait until they're septic, at which point they should head to the hospital, where they might not die.  The government policy is not about health, but about control.  And when a government wants control that badly, the only sane answer is NO.

Image by Andrea Widburg.

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