President Joe Biden pissed off more than a few feathers earlier this month when he announced ostensibly drastic measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. One of those measures included a rule requiring companies to require their employees to take the vaccine or undergo weekly COVID tests.
This particular rule has been the main source of controversy. Many argue that this is flagrant excess on the part of the federal government. But other aspects of the measure have raised questions about religious exemptions. There seems to be confusion about this.
The problem with religious exemptions
The Los Angeles Times reported that more and more workers are looking to use religious exemptions to avoid having to take vax. Indeed, Nicholas De Blouw, a lawyer specializing in labor law, told the newspaper he received calls “every day” from people trying to bypass vaccination warrants.
The Supreme Court ruled that vaccination warrants are constitutional. However, the ruling did not allow employers to undermine the religious beliefs of their employees. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires companies to make “reasonable accommodation” for workers with “genuine” religious beliefs that do not permit vaccination.
This will put businesses in a difficult position. How exactly do you determine if your religious objections to the vaccine are “sincere?” “
The fact that a person’s religious belief does not necessarily have to be recognized by an organized religion to be admissible blurs the issue even further. In addition, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission rules state that the belief may be unusual or “seem illogical or unreasonable to others”.
The Associated press reported:
“Many major religious denominations have no objection to COVID-19 vaccines. But the deployment has sparked heated debate because of the long-standing role cell lines derived from fetal tissue have played. [and a connection to abortions], directly or indirectly, in the research and development of various vaccines and drugs.
It should also be noted that while most major religions do not explicitly prohibit the use of vaccines, individuals might interpret their particular religious tradition in a way that requires them to avoid taking them.
What happens next?
Many companies were already requiring vaccines. These include Amtrak, Cisco, Citigroup, CVS Health, Delta Air Lines, and many more. Some companies that did not require injections were already considering imposing such a measure in the future.
Either way, at this point it’s safe to assume that requests for religious exemptions will increase. As the government enforces President Biden’s executive order, there is no doubt that the 80 million unvaccinated Americans will see it as a way to avoid receiving the jab. This means that we can expect some rather creative interpretations of various religious traditions in the near future.
It’s also worth pointing out that Biden’s order doesn’t seem likely to make much of a difference when it comes to persuading unvaccinated Americans to take the jab. Many of these people are ready to lose their jobs because of this issue. Even more people would bite the bullet when it comes to taking weekly COVID tests. But at this point, it seems clear that the debate over vaccinations is far from over.