What religious groups oppose vaccination, even during epidemics? – GetReligion
A bit of history: Major religious objections arose with the first experiments with vaccination in the American colonies. But the influential Congregationalist Cotton Mather championed scientific progress and defended the smallpox experiments using adult volunteers. Prominent theologian Jonathan Edwards agreed and set an example as a vaccination volunteer as president of the school we know as Princeton University. He died of it in 1758. Edward Jenner did not achieve vaccine safety until 38 years later.
Since then, official Christian or Jewish protests have generally been rare or nonexistent, as vaccinations are required for entry into U.S. public schools, military service or particular jobs, or for travel abroad. Even a large Pentecostal group like the Church of God in Christ, which emphasizes healing through faith through prayer, simultaneously supports modern medicine, including vaccination.
Douglas Laycock of the University of Virginia Law School states that “no large organized religious group has officially discouraged the [COVID] vaccine and many, like the Catholic Church, have explicitly encouraged them. “
Curtis Chang of Christians and the Vaccine and Duke Divinity School wrote in The New York Times that “there is no real religious basis for exemptions from vaccination warrants in any established stream of Christianity”, and those seeking religious exemptions “seldom even attempt to offer substantive biblical and theological reasoning” . He wants private employers and the clergy to oppose all religious exemptions.
Tiny anti-medical sects and cults exist, and some Amish believers who avoid modern avenues may oppose them. But the main exception to the rule is Christian Science, which departs from traditional Christian theology.
His foundational teaching, in “Science and Health with the Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, says that “Man is not matter; he is not made up of brain, blood, bone and bone. other material elements “. The belief in the “falsity of all material things” means that “every disease is a mistake” of the “mortal spirit” which is overcome by “the divine spirit”, the only reality. Therefore, Eddy defined smallpox epidemics as a “mental contagion” caused by “the mortal spirit”, and not by matter, which does not exist.
Over the years, Christian scientists have naturally lobbied for legal exemptions from vaccinations and most other medical treatments. Amid the COVID crisis, a January article in the Christian Science Sentinel was flexible, saying that when vaccination is required “our compliance with the law would not need to compromise our trust in God” for genuine health.
Along with Judaism, there was a severe measles outbreak in 2019 among strict Orthodox communities in Israel and the New York City area, where many have avoided vaccinations. The city imposed fines and closed some religious schools. Significantly, vaccination was advocated by rabbinical authorities, the Yiddish-language newspaper Der Yid, and “True Torah” organizations such as Agudath Israel, United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg, and the Orthodox Jewish Nurses Association.
This demonstrated the earlier observation in the academic review Vaccine that epidemics within religious groups originate “from a social network of people organized around a denominational community, rather than from objections based on theology.”
Currently, some pro-life Christians are raising concerns that COVID-19 vaccine projects use human fetal stem cell lines that were aborted decades ago. A group of anonymous Christian health workers cited this as the basis of an ongoing federal lawsuit against New York, among the few states that do not allow religious exemptions.
Despite Catholicism’s strong opposition to abortion, Pope Francis calls for vaccination on the principle of love of neighbor. The Vatican Doctrine Office accepts the COVID-19 vaccination because the connection between abortion is “remote” and no “formal cooperation” with abortion is involved. But if the choice is possible, the church favors the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, where fetal cell lines were only used for testing, over the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, where these cells are used in production. (The vaccines themselves do not contain fetal cells.)
Under US law, the exemption is granted based on the person’s sincere belief, even if that person’s religious group supports the vaccination.
CONTINUE READING: “What religious groups oppose vaccination, even during epidemics?», By Richard Ostling.
FIRST IMAGE : Drawing published on WhyImmunize.org