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Background on the Conscience, Part 4

Posted by Matt Postiff January 2, 2022 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Society  Theology 

Round 4 of background on the conscience-based COVID-19 vaccine exemption letter that I posted on December 29, 2021.

  1. The conscience may in fact be misinformed, but it is still dangerous and not consistent with Christian principles to violate it. Since this is the case, it is cause for patient education, not governmental mandate. Why? Mere fiat cannot change a person's conscience, and they must live with that conscience whereas the governing authorities do not have to live with a violated conscience.
  2. Historical factors can weigh on the conscience of later generations. For example: The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male permanently destroyed the trust of many of our fellow citizens in the CDC and other government departments involved in health research. How can one trust a group of humans who would run Nazi-like experiments on their own countrymen? (Note that I hesitate to use the full title of the study because of the second-to-last word; yet it seems important to include that fact for best understanding.) The COVID-19 vaccine may not in fact be a population-wide research project, but after such an awful 40-year experiment, it will be difficult to convince some.
  3. Some people simply will never be convinced. It is the Christian viewpoint that withholding from those people the means of support of a job or food or medical care is immoral. The willingness of some pro-vaccine-mandaters to treat non-vaccine-takers as sub-human and not worthy of the right to life or work is very disturbing to the religious conscience—even to those who have taken the vaccine. Think of it: if the vaccine mandates were carried out universally in New York, objectors would be prohibited from working; prohibited from eating in restaurants; prohibited from social activity; and eventually probably prohibited from living in certain locations. That kind of death penalty has no place in a civilized society and is an unjust form of punishment for the "crime" of not wanting a certain vaccine.
  4. Also bothersome to the conscience is the fact that no religious exemption requests have thus far been approved by the U.S. Navy. This appears to be a complete denial of religious free expression, which makes the conscience of some feel "put upon" and pushes such people to take an even stronger stand in an attempt to exercise what seems to be dying religious liberty in our land. To many, that liberty is an important part of their conscience as well, because the religious principle of separation of church and state is integral to our life and worship.

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