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As COVID-19 vaccine wars rage, press focuses on religious-exemption claims — GetReligion

Again in March, I wrote a column in regards to the joy and hope the COVID-19 vaccines had introduced my household after greater than a 12 months of pandemic disruption.

I prayed that these skeptical of the vaccines ultimately would acknowledge the advantages of defending themselves — and their family members — from potential severe sickness and demise.

But right here we’re six months later, with coronavirus infections and deaths at “levels not seen since last winter” and faith typically on the heart of the vaccine conflict.

Colleen Lengthy and Andrew DeMillo of The Related Press report:

An estimated 2,600 Los Angeles Police Division staff are citing spiritual objections to attempt to get out of the required COVID-19 vaccination. In Washington state, hundreds of state employees are searching for related exemptions.

And in Arkansas, a hospital has been swamped with so many such requests from staff that it’s apparently calling their bluff.

Spiritual objections, as soon as used sparingly across the nation to get exempted from numerous required vaccines, have gotten a way more broadly used loophole towards the COVID-19 shot.

And it is just more likely to develop following President Joe Biden’s sweeping new vaccine mandates masking greater than 100 million Individuals, together with govt department staff and employees at companies with greater than 100 individuals on the payroll.

In a front-page report, New York Instances faith author Ruth Graham notes:

Main spiritual traditions, denominations and establishments are primarily unanimous of their help of the vaccines towards Covid-19. However as extra employers throughout the nation start requiring Covid vaccinations for employees, they’re butting up towards the nation’s sizable inhabitants of vaccine holdouts who nonetheless see their resistance in spiritual phrases — or at the least see a possibility. Vaccine-resistant employees are sharing suggestions on-line for requesting exemptions to the necessities on spiritual grounds; others are submitting letters from far-flung spiritual authorities who’ve marketed their willingness to assist.

Associated headlines from this previous week:

Francis Collins ‘a bit’ frustrated with evangelicals amid COVID-19 vaccine push (by Adelle M. Banks, Faith Information Service)

This pastor will sign a religious exemption for vaccines if you donate to his church (by Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Washington Put up)

Policing religious exemptions to vaccines (by Elizabeth Redden, Inside Increased Ed)

New York governor vows to fight lawsuit over vaccine mandate (by Marina Villeneuve, Related Press)

As vaccine mandates multiply, so do requests for religious exemptions (by Jay Tokasz, Buffalo Information)

Some Episcopal cathedrals and churches begin requiring proof of vaccination to attend services (by David Paulsen, Episcopal Information Service)

Navy assistant coach Billy Ray Stutzmann fired after failing to receive exemption for COVID-19 vaccine (by Barrett Sallee, CBS Sports activities)

What’s the law on vaccine exemptions? A religious liberty expert explains (by Douglas Laycock, The Dialog)

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