Weeks after New York passed a law ending religious exemptions for required vaccinations, a conspiracy theorist is suing to protect his side’s right to spread diseases in the name of God.
Keep in mind that the bill passed following a public health crisis in the state, largely hurting Orthodox Jewish communities. The only people who shouldn’t be required to get vaccines are people who have medical reasons for it. To use God as an excuse, putting the public’s health in jeopardy, is wildly irresponsible.
The government needed to take action, and the Democratic-majority legislature did just that. Science won out over religion, and public health won out over a faith-based death wish.
The complaint argues that the repeal [of the religious exemption] violates both state and federal law. And, the repeal of this longstanding religious right, without a single public hearing, unreasonably interferes with religious freedom. “To deprive families of the rights to freedom of religious expression, parental rights, and the right to either a public or private education, the state must demonstrate a “compelling state interest” that the state has failed to prove here,” said Sussman. Furthermore, the state must act with neutrality towards all religious faiths and may not display impermissible animosity or hostility to religion. Yet, in this case, many NYS legislators showed great animosity to those with religious exemptions, calling the nature of the exemption “utter garbage,” “a myth and fabrication,” “a loophole,” and many other slurs.
While irreparably harming plaintiffs and similar families, the state has failed to prove even a rational basis to mandate all the vaccines on the NYS schedule to those who hold genuine, sincere religious beliefs against them.
According to Kennedy and Sussman, because of the new law, the plaintiffs “can no longer educate their children in any schools or camps in New York without violating their religious faith.” That’s not true. They can educate their kids. They just can’t do it in a way that would put others at risk. If they want to quarantine themselves, so be it. Let them hurt each other. The public shouldn’t suffer because of their faith-based ignorance.
The attorneys respond to this argument in their brief this way:
Although an actual public health emergency may constitute a compelling state interest allowing the state to override sincerely-held religious beliefs, New York’s highest court has held that “history teaches that constitutional protections do not readily yield to blanket assertions of exigency.”
It’s a weak argument because the vaccination crisis isn’t some blanket assertion. It’s not like lawmakers are telling religious people to get over their beliefs just for shits and giggles. People’s lives are at risk, we know exactly who to blame, and this bill will go a long way to protecting the public.
While religious exemptions might have been permissible when we’re talking about a handful of people, the fact that so many Orthodox Jews in the same community have avoided vaccinating their kids has led to an outbreak of an otherwise preventable disease.
No religious group has the right to spread measles.
And Kennedy is hardly a credible messenger here. He lies about vaccines and refuses to educate himself.
The only reasonable option for the courts is to toss out this lawsuit as soon as possible.
(Screenshot via YouTube. Thanks to Brian for the link)