While other countries are desperate for vaccine supply, some Americans are shunning the shots because of religion.
Los Angeles Police Department employs thousands of people who refuse to vaccinate because they have “religious objections”. This is true for both state workers in Washington, and hospital staff in Arkansas.
Employers must provide an exemption on the basis of a sincere religious belief to the Civil Rights Act, unless it causes an undue hardship for the employer.
“I believe our material shows very conclusively there is no valid religious reason for not taking the vaccine,” said Curtis Chang, a former evangelical pastor and Duke Divinity theologian. “You cannot take the vaccine for political or cultural reasons, but there are no valid religious reasons, there’s no religious creed scripture theology, there’s no major religious denomination or religious leader that validates this idea of a religious exemption.”
Chang says employers should have confidence in rejecting religious exemption requests because of the hardship it can create, compromising workplace safety.
Chang encourages employers to ask religious exemption applicants for proof that they have refused other vaccines consistently.
“And this is where we really do need to draw the line and say, you know, ‘I’m totally willing to talk to you about your hesitation to try to persuade and convince you to agree to disagree even.’ But for you to hijack my faith to justify your action here, one that actually is not legitimated by religion and, frankly, one that harms public health is simply that something that we as religious leaders cannot go along with,” said Chang.
Chang has been addressing the concerns of Christian evangelicals about vaccines through a series of videos on ChristiansAndTheVaccine.com, discussing everything from fetal tissue used in testing to government control and the mark of the beast.
They have made significant progress in increasing vaccine acceptance, both among religious and faithful, by working with major organizations.
It is important to understand how Americans will react to vaccines.
“There are parts in the global South and Africa and Asia, especially, who are also heavily Christian in their culture and in the ways that they get information and they actually take their cues from the United States, so one of the reasons we need to combat misinformation among evangelicals in the United States is not just for the ending the pandemic here, but it’s going to be important for that globally as well,” said Chang.