Bring on the vaccine mandates, damn the religious exemptions


Vaccine mandates are constitutional, and religious exemptions are unnecessary and harmful. That’s the clear, succinct argument FFRF Director of Strategic Response Andrew L. Seidel makes in a new column for Religion Dispatches:

The Spirit of 1776 was as much about science as it was about freedom. George Washington required the entire Continental Army to get inoculated against smallpox — the first armywide vaccination in history. Mortality dropped from 30 percent to 1 percent. Mandatory vaccinations just might have won America its freedom. From that auspicious beginning, Americans have let vaccine science protect our soldiers in the military, our students in school, our health care workers on the front lines — everyone.

Vaccine mandates are undoubtedly constitutional. The Supreme Court explained back in 1905 that freedom can be limited, especially when wielded to harm others’ rights: “The liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States does not import an absolute right in each person to be at all times, and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint …”

During World War II, the court specifically said that religious freedom is no excuse to shun vaccines: “The right to practice religion freely does not include liberty to expose the community or the child to communicable disease or the latter to ill health or death.” Even the late, uberconservative Justice Antonin Scalia singled out religious exemption from “compulsory vaccination laws” as not required by the First Amendment. Most state courts have independently reached the same conclusion.

Seidel highlights the work of FFRF and quotes Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor on the luxury of herd immunity and what it will take to get us there. Take a look at the column to find out more.

Please read the piece on Religion Dispatches and share it on your social media so that people are aware of just how much is at stake and how we can solve the problem. Then start calling your senators.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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