Published August 16, 2016
The dispute between concerned parents and the medical industry over whether or not vaccines can be harmful to children has...
— William Wilberforce
The following article was excerpted from the commentary “Defending the Religious Exemption to Vaccination.”
Because vaccines can injure or kill and doctors cannot predict who will be harmed, and the U.S. government has acknowledged that fact and indemnified pharmaceutical corporations and doctors, while awarding financial compensation to children and adults who have been injured or died from government licensed vaccines, you have the human right to exercise informed consent, freedom of conscience and religious belief when making a decision about vaccination for yourself or your minor child.1 2 3
The medical practice of vaccination is only 220 years old and came thousands of years after the founding of the world’s major organized religions (Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism). There is no major religion with a written tenet opposing vaccination.
However, there is a strong Judeo-Christian tradition affirming the duty of those who believe in God to follow their conscience. If you are a Christian, you can find passages in the Bible,4 which affirm your beliefs as a Christian to follow your conscience and the guidance given to you by God through prayer. Prayer for guidance is central to many Protestant denominations.5
For example, there is Timothy 1:5 — “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
There is Proverbs 3:5 — “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
There is Colossians 2:8 — “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”
There are many more Bible verses that affirm the need for Christians to have faith in God and be guided by scripture and follow their conscience.
Also, the definition of moral conscience is discussed in detail in the catechism of the Catholic Church, which holds that, “Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process of performing or has already completed. In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right. It is by the judgment of his conscience that man perceives and recognizes the prescription of the divine law.”6
In even stronger terms, the Catholic Church warns that, “a human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself.”6
If you are of Jewish faith, your foundation is the old testament of the Bible and the Torah,7 which emphasize that man is created in the image of God and that each individual human being has worth and a right to equal and loving treatment. Preservation of human life and reliance on God is central to the teachings of Judaism.
There is Psalm 146 — “Halleluyah! Praise HASHEM, O my Soul! I will praise HASHEM while I live, I will make music to my God while I exist. Do not rely on nobles, nor on a human being for he holds no salvation. When his spirit departs he returns to his earth, on that day his plans all perish. Praiseworthy is one whose help is Jacob’s God, whose hope is in HASHEM, his God. He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them, Who safeguards truth forever…”
Whatever your sincere religious beliefs, you do not have to be a member of an organized religion or church to hold them and defend your human right to exercise freedom of conscience. In America, you should not have to live in fear that you will be judged and punished for exercising freedom of thought, conscience and religious belief.
Mandatory vaccination laws that violate human rights are the tip of the spear of the political assault on cultural values and beliefs in America, including freedom of conscience and religious belief.8 This assault began in the 20th century with the tragically flawed 1905 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Jacobson v. Massachusetts9 10 that used the pagan ethic of utilitarianism11 12 13 to devalue the life of the individual and endorse state forced vaccination.
That morally corrupt legal decision served as the basis for another morally corrupt Supreme Court ruling in Buck v. Bell in 1927, when Virginia doctors were given the green light to sterilize Carrie Buck in an endorsement of state eugenics laws based on the cruel utilitarian “greater good” rationale.14 15
The 1905 U.S. Supreme Court justices may have given state health officials the legal authority but they will never possess the moral authority to demand that individuals sacrifice their lives for what the State has defined as the “greater good.” Laws that fail to protect freedom of thought, conscience, religious belief and informed consent are a violation of human rights and the false ethic of utilitarianism should never be used to implement public health policy in America.
1 Institute of Medicine Committee to Review Adverse Effects of Vaccines. Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality: Evaluating Biological Mechanisms of Adverse Events (p. 57-102), Increased Susceptibility (p. 82). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press 2012.
2 Fisher BL. Vaccine Injury Compensation: Government’s Broken Social Contract with Parents. NVIC Newsletter Nov. 2, 2016.
3 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) Data and Statistics. Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) July 7, 2016
4 Bible Hub: Online Bible Study Suite. BibleHub.com.
5 Okholm DL. Prayer. Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology 1996.
6 Catechism of the Catholic Church. Vatican.va.
7 English translation of Holy Torah. Ishwar.com.
8 Fisher BL. The Vaccine Culture War in America: Are You Ready? NVIC Newsletter Mar. 8, 2015.
9 Jacobson v. Massachusetts. 197 U.S. 11(1905). LSU Law Center.
10 Mariner WK, Annas GJ, Glantz LH. Jacobson v Massachusetts: It’s Not Your Great Great Grandfather’s Public Health Law. Am J Pub Health 2005; 95(4): 58-590.
11 Anderson K. Utilitarianism: The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number. Probe Ministries International 2004.
12 Kay CD. Notes on Utilitarianism. Wofford College 1997.
13 The Atheist Scholar. Ethics, Applied Ethics and Human Rights.
14 Supreme Court Upholds Sterilization of the Mentally Retarded — Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200, 475 Ct. 584, 71L, Ed. 1000 (1927). LSU Law Center.
15 University of Virginia. Eugenics: Buck v Bell, The Test Care for Virginia’s Eugenical Sterlization Act. Claude Moore Health Science Library 2004.