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How Should Religious Freedom Cases Be Decided?

Discussion in 'IMO: In My Opinion' started by Willowy, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. Willowy

    Willowy Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    I thought this was interesting. A Jewish private school decided not to let unvaccinated children attend, at least during the current measles outbreak. Some parents complained on the basis of their "sincerely held religious beliefs" against vaccinating their kids, and the state Education Department said they had to let the kids attend. Now the school is suing on the basis of THEIR "sincerely held religious beliefs" that children should be vaccinated. It's the same religion! Whose "sincerely held religious beliefs" will be prioritized? Whose position on their religion's teachings is the correct one? How can the courts determine what religious beliefs are valid? No matter how it turns out, it'll set some fascinating precedent.

    https://nypost.com/2019/06/01/state...ed-jewish-school-to-accept-unvaccinated-kids/
     

  2. lutece

    lutece TCS Member Top Cat

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    Even though it's the same religion, different rabbis can, and do, have different opinions about how to interpret Jewish law. Judaism is notorious for that. You may have heard the saying, "two Jews, three opinions"?

    Most Jews are firmly on the side of evidence-based medicine, but I'm sure that a creative and motivated rabbi could construct an argument for an anti-vax position, too. The Talmud is vast enough to provide material for a wide variety of positions.

    Ultimately, it's really not possible (or appropriate) for a court to determine whether a belief is "correct" or "valid" according to some religion, and I hope the court doesn't try to do that.
     
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  3. Willowy

    Willowy Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Religious beliefs are protected. There are 2 opposing religious beliefs. They're going to have to pick one.

    They might be able to punt it by finding a non-religious way to say that a private school's right to choose their students trumps the parents' rights not to vaccinate, or vice versa, but it can't just be ignored.

    If someone is claiming a religious accommodation, shouldn't there be some burden of proof that it is actually a tenet of their stated religion? Otherwise it's just a personal exemption, and a lot of states don't allow personal exemptions.
     
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  4. lutece

    lutece TCS Member Top Cat

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    Many aspects of Jewish law simply don't have a single "correct interpretation"... rabbis have different opinions on some things, which is why boxes of egg matzo have a disclaimer that you should ask your rabbi before eating them during Passover. That is just the way Judaism works...

    Hopefully they will just eliminate the religious vaccine exemption and that will simplify things.
     
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  5. denice

    denice Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    I really think the anti-vax stuff has more to do with the whole movement which has taken on an almost religion like devotion. It started with the British doctor's debunked study linking autism to the measles vaccine. He is actually here in the States now but he isn't licensed to practice medicine. He is still spreading this belief though. When my kids were in school there was the religious exemption as well as medical exemptions. The only Christian denomination that I know of that fit that exemption is the Christian Scientists. There are very small churches that are into the faith healing thing but they are very small local churches rather then a denomination. Because there were so few kids that weren't immunized the herd immunity kept things in check and there were no outbreaks. There were the very very rare isolated case but no outbreaks.
     

  6. doomsdave

    doomsdave TCS Member Top Cat

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    Hmm. Interesting.

    Gonna have to do a little digging on this one!
     

  7. JamesCalifornia

    JamesCalifornia TCS Member Top Cat

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    ~ If it's a private school they likely can do as they wish in this matter.
     

  8. Talien

    Talien TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    If a parent doesn't want to vaccinate their children, or an adult doesn't want to vaccinate themselves then they shouldn't have to. They also shouldn't have the right to complain if the school their children attends or their own school or place of employment says they can't be there unless vaccinated.
     

  9. Willowy

    Willowy Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    They have really moved on from the autism thing. Now it seems to be mostly about: aborted fetuses (which is sort of true but not entirely. One cell line they use to make vaccines was started in the '70s using cells from aborted fetuses, but the cell line has been self-replicating since then so it's not directly from the aborted fetuses), animal DNA (maybe? But I bet they eat meat often, which has lots of animal DNA), and some general fearmongering about how natural immunity is better but "fake" immunity makes you sickly and weak (and gay). And those are only the semi-sane things; there's a lot of crazier stuff too.

    Explanation of cell lines: Human Cell Strains in Vaccine Development | History of Vaccines
    Nobody is required by law to get a vaccine. But businesses, schools, workplaces, etc. might require them. I'm actually really surprised the Education Dept said the school couldn't require the vaccines but then religious exemptions are protected.
     

  10. DreamerRose

    DreamerRose TCS Member Top Cat

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    I don't think this has anything to do with religions, in spite of what the parents say. The parents who don't want the vaccinations are endangering not only their own children, but also all other children. No religion says it's okay to do that. The court should tell the parents to vaccinate their children or go somewhere else. This situation literally sickens me. Look at what the recent measles outbreak has done to so many people.
     
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  11. doomsdave

    doomsdave TCS Member Top Cat

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    I could well boil down to how the board wants to vote on it.

    Done a few of those non-profit church cases, and things can get passionate.
     

  12. denice

    denice Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    I don't think it does either. Here's Where The Anti-Vax Movement Thrives - Avoid Them One of the states with a high number of anti-vaxers is Texas. The hotbed is not out in the isolated ranch areas it is in Austin. Austin is the one bastion of liberalism in Texas and the movement tends to be more prominent among the affluent. The affluent has more access to the internet and there are literally hundreds of anti-vax websites. There is also the actress, I don't remember her name, who has a child with autism. She has been very vocal and active in spreading the anti-vaccine message. There is also the member of the Kennedy family, I believe Robert Kennedy Jr. This is where the majority of this has come from and why we now have enough people who aren't vaccinated to have outbreaks.
     

  13. Leomc123

    Leomc123 TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    I beleive if any religion is a good one, it would do right by others. For example: If a parent chose not to vax their children, then the parent should understand that for the good of other children, that their child should not attend or be present during the outbreak as other children who are not part of their religion could get sick because their child .

    In my opinion we all beleive in a god or some almighty being, however when you beleive in a god, you would expect that you being the beleiver would want to do good on others morally. Each religion have their beleif system, but if it involves inflicting pain, suffering, killing, abusing, inentionally making someone else ill then its not a religion. Humans know right from wrong, human knows kindness, humans know love, respect, humans know morals, if a person knows morally it is inflicting pain, and death on others then its not a religious beleif.

    Or EG: If a person of "some religion" decides that "i will go and give everyone ebola, because its my religion and i beleive it" knowing that it can kill others who are not vaxinated, then they are not doing it for a religious reason, its for a selfish reason.
     

  14. doomsdave

    doomsdave TCS Member Top Cat

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    Oh, yeah, anti vaxers are big in California too. Loonies are everywhere.

    The legislature tried to pass a vaccination bill but the AV loonies screamed so loud they didn't.
     
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  15. Willowy

    Willowy Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Yeah, anti-vaxxing is a surprisingly bi-partisan subject.
     

  16. Jem

    Jem TCS Member Top Cat

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    Does anyone know what psalms in any of the religions/bibles explicitly says or is "interpreted to suggest" that vaccinations go against their religion?
    Religion has existed for WAYYYY longer then vaccinations existed, so how can someone say it goes against their religion unless there was some sort of prophecy that said "thou shall not take measures to prevent the plague if it's god's will".
    If it is merely an interpretation, then IMO, that is a personal belief and does not qualify for "religious protection"
    I know in the Jehovah religion they do have something to the extent that you can't get blood transfusions, but even that is debated within the Jehovah community.

    Food for thought.
     
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  17. Jem

    Jem TCS Member Top Cat

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    And to add to my previous thought
    If God created man and God gave man the ability and intelligence to develop modern medicine. Then you are not going against God's will to take measures to protect, prevent and cure using modern medicine.
     
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  18. Willowy

    Willowy Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    There are no major religious denominations that oppose vaccinations (I guess Christian Science isn't considered major).

    But like I said, a lot of anti-vaxxers say they object to the use of aborted fetuses in cell lines so I guess any denomination that opposes abortions could be interpreted to be anti-vax.
     

  19. denice

    denice Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    There are very very few Christian churches that are against vaccinations and it is within the umbrella of no modern medicine. They tend to be of the extreme faith healing variety and there is no longer any denomination that takes it that far, only a few small independent churches.

    I don't know much about the Christian Scientists but they do turn their backs on modern medicine, they use old cures from back before modern medicine. They are a very small denomination though. I am 63 and have lived in different parts of the U.S. as well as overseas and I have not knowingly met a Christian Scientist. That is why I say that the current outbreaks of measles is caused by anti-vaxers who are not part of any specific religion unless you count being an anti-vaxer as a religion.
     
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  20. NY cat man

    NY cat man TCS Member Top Cat

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    When I was a kid, there was no vaccine for measles, but there also fewer than 150 million people in the U.S., so that limited the spread of outbreaks. My belief is that your right to exercise your religion, whatever it may be, ends when you put the health or safety of others in jeopardy in any way, shape, or form. Period.
     
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