At this point, it seems like a foregone conclusion that public schools should institute vaccination mandates for students unless, of course, there’s a legitimate medical reason the student can’t get the shot(s). That’s now the case at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. The mandate will allow for students and staff to return to campus this fall without having to fear another COVID outbreak.
But one student is now demanding an exemption to the vaccine requirement because she says her Christian faith says vaccinations make God angry.
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.
Vaccines are not “injecting chemicals” in your body. That’s not how they work. There are arguably more chemicals in the food served in the campus dining halls than there are in vaccines. The very premise of her argument makes no sense… and yet that could be irrelevant in the eyes of the court because she believes it as an extension of her faith.
First Liberty also says in the letter that Gale believes “Christians should not participate in medical treatments that rely upon abortion”… which, again, is not how the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines were made. Furthermore, for someone so concerned with “life,” Gale seems to care very little about the COVID body count she seems eager to raise.
Gale believes she should get a religious exemption to the vaccine rule, as if COVID will just skip her if she receives it, and that’s in large part because she was able to get away with it until now. When she first registered for classes there, she apparently showed the school a “state-issued religious exemption certificate”… which the school accepted. Now they’re not. Which, again, makes sense because we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic.
All universities — especially public ones — have the right to set parameters and guidelines for behaviors and ethical codes. Public schools have been requiring vaccinations to enroll for decades. While Gale has every right to her (misguided) beliefs, her right to refuse vaccination to remain on campus must be weighed against the rights of other students to a safe and healthy learning environment.
This is not a case of religious persecution that conservative Christians want it to be. This isn’t an imposition on her practice of faith. It’s a case of whether certain students, on the basis of their religious beliefs, should be allowed to override their peers’ right to survive a plague.
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