Health officials ‘interpret Bible’ for vaccine-objecting employee
Threatens ‘discipline’ for not following its guidance
WND Staff By WND Staff
A dispute has erupted over a mandatory vaccine program for employees of the University of Virginia Health System because officials are requiring a worker to follow their interpretation of the Bible’s requirements.
The worker would rather follow his own beliefs, not theirs.
The employee, whose name was not released, has submitted four requests for a religious accommodation to his bosses’ order to be vaccinated for the flu.
He says his Christian beliefs don’t allow it, citing biblical instructions not to be defiled with “harmful” substances.
He “cannot accept any vaccination that is derived from aborted fetal tissue, nor contribute to the bottom line of a manufacturer who sells vaccines that are derived from aborted fetal cells.”
It’s a matter of faith for him.
“Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution recognize my right to object to consuming something – this vaccine – because it violates my faith,” the employee explained.
UVA Health said, however, it’s own interpretation of the Bible must prevail.
“Stating that you are a Christian and citing biblical verses that do not address vaccinations is not sufficient basis for granting an exemption from the vaccine requirement,” the worker was told. “Christian philosophy does not have absolute rules that must be followed regarding vaccinations. Therefore, your request is one of a personal belief rather than religious doctrine.”
Liberty Counsel, which is representing the employee, said it is prepared to file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
“Federal law protects the religious convictions of employees to avoid making them choose between following their conscience or facing punishment. It is unlawful for UVA Health to force employees to violate their conscience, especially where there are reasonable options to accommodate their religious convictions,” said Mat Staver, the founder and chief counsel of Liberty Counsel.
The legal organization noted the hospital system’s threatened “discipline” could include suspension and termination.
“This employee chooses not to accept anything that would ‘defile’ his body, which includes vaccines made from aborted fetal cell lines or vaccines developed by companies that profit from aborted fetal tissue,” Liberty Counsel explained.
“It is unlawful for an employer to refuse a reasonable accommodation for a flu vaccine exemption request. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires employers to make a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs if doing so does not pose an undue hardship on the employer. Federal conscience protection law for health care workers [42 U.S.C. §300a-7 (c) (2)] also prohibits ‘biomedical or behavioral research’ grant recipients from discriminating against health personnel because employees refuse to perform an activity on the grounds that their performance ‘would be contrary to religious beliefs or moral convictions.'”
Liberty Counsel told UVA it has, inappropriately, “placed itself in judgment of whether [the worker’s] beliefs are reasonable, or correct religious doctrine, or whether they are typical of other Christians.”
“Shockingly, Immunize UVA has opined that [the worker’s] pro-life beliefs are merely ‘personal,’ and not religious,” Liberty Counsel said.
“UVA is on notice that [the worker’s] sincere religious beliefs about the evils of abortion and respect for the human body as the temple of the Holy Spirit mandate his refusal of the flu vaccine, and there exists a reasonable accommodation.”