In case you haven’t noticed, religious vaccine exemptions are getting harder to come by: Paperwork, interrogations (i.e. “interviews”), the third-degree … it’s quite a process. Some states are abolishing the religious exemption altogether — because people are using them and Merck needs to make as much money as they possibly can and can’t have your religious views getting in the way.
Some lucky parents are getting called to the rug to defend their religious beliefs in front of a panel of people who have probably never even heard of Jesus and whose sole purpose in life is to trip them up with tricky questions designed by vaccine enthusiasts to rob people of their rights. Gone are the days where you could just Google, “vaccine religious exemption letter” and change the greeting at the top. Getting your school to serve a lunch that’s fit for human consumption is easier than getting a vaccine exemption. That was … until this post hit the scene.
Over the years, I’ve read and critiqued hundreds of religious exemptions, educated numerous pastors, prepped parents for their meetings with schools, legislators, and doctors, have advocated for the rights of people everywhere to have the right to obtain one, and have helped people obtain religious exemptions in states with the toughest restrictions. Although I can’t guarantee that your religious exemption will be accepted, if it isn’t … it won’t be because you didn’t craft a superb religious argument.
Below is a step-by-step guide designed to help you understand the religious exemption and craft a strong letter.
Step #1: Find out what type of vaccine exemptions your state offers.
There is this prevailing lie circulating that your child can’t go to school unless they’re vaccinated. This simply isn’t true. There are three possible vaccine exemptions: medical, religious, and philosophical exemptions.
The medical exemption can be obtained if your child has a documented reaction to a vaccine — unless you live in a state governed by an oppressive regime like New York and California. In these states, vaccine adverse reactions don’t exist and your child could almost die and you still won’t get one.
The religious exemption can be obtained if you have a bona fide objection to vaccines based on your “deeply held religious beliefs.” There are only four states whose politicians love money more than Jesus, so unless you belong to one of those states, you’re entitled to a religious exemption. Period.
The states that do not allow religious exemptions include, California, West Virginia, Mississippi, Maine, and New York.
The philosophical exemption allows an individual to get an exemption based on any number of belief-based grounds. Vegan? Exemption. Bad for your astrological sign? Exemption. Have an aversion to injecting toxins and monkey products? Exemption. Don’t want your child to live the rest of their life with a catastrophic medical condition? Exemption.
There’s also a fourth kind of “quasi-exemption” called a “serological” exemption. If you can prove your child has had the disease naturally (chicken pox for example) or that they still have the temporary junk immunity given from the last round of vaccines, they can get out of having that specific vaccine. This requires a blood titers test to show sufficient proof of antibodies.
To find out which exemptions your state allows, click here. (Note, you won’t find a serological exemption listed because hardly anyone talks about it, so consider yourself “in the know.”)
Step #2: If your child is in private school, find out what their stance is on exemptions.
There are a lot of private schools that supposedly do not offer exemptions or are making them almost impossible to get. Ironically, these aren’t Montessori and Waldorf schools — they are your private, religious schools. If you’re dealing with a school that says your can’t get a religious exemption (but you know your state offers them), call their bluff and ask for the school’s policy. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the person telling you the school doesn’t offer an exemption doesn’t even know what an exemption is or has a bias against parents who’ve done their research. If there’s a policy or a exemption process involved, find out what it is.
Step #3: Throw Out the Story. Throw in the Law.
Here’s the biggest mistake I see in people’s religious letters: too much story and not enough facts. A religious letter is not the place for you to tell an emotional story. You want an exemption, not for someone to hand you a box of Kleenex. People are not going to give you a letter based on your ability to drive them to tears and the more you talk, the more you dig yourself into a hole. The next thing you know, you’ve argued for a philosophic exemption that your state doesn’t even offer and your religious exemption is denied.
Don’t get tripped up here. Don’t start talking about faith healing, vaccine injury, your lifestyle, or what God told you during your prayer time. It’s not gonna’ fly. The truth is, you don’t need to convince anyone that you’re legally entitled to an exemption. You have a right to a religious exemption because the LAW in your STATE says you do. So, throw out the story and throw in the law:
Title 77 of the Illinois Administrative Code, Chapter 1, Subchapter i, Part 665, Section 665.510 gives me the right as a parent to object to my child’s vaccinations on religious grounds. Boom.
Step #4: Make your argument for the religious exemption.
Now that you’ve dropped your authority like a boss, it’s time to tell people where to pick it up and set it down. When you write your letter, think of it as an oral argument. Anytime you find yourself talking about anything other than your religious beliefs, start over. No talking about the effects of toxins on the body. No talking about politics. No talking about what happened to your child the last time they were vaccinated (before you or your spouse saw the light). These are arguments for philosophical and medical exemptions. You are applying for a religious exemption so your argument needs to be religion (or Bible) based. Mmm k?
You are objecting to vaccines because you believe in and follow God and the principles laid out in His Word and you have a deeply held belief that vaccines violate them. Now, lay out your supporting argument and drop your verses:
At least 27 vaccines contain cells, cellular debris, protein, and DNA from aborted babies including (but not limited to), Adenovirus, Polio, Dtap/Polio/HiB Combo, Hep A, Hep A/Hep B Combo, MMR, MMRV Pro Quad, Rabies, Varicella, Shingles vaccines, Ebola, HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, anthrax, and influenza vaccines. Include a citation on your reference page (a good letter gives homework) to the vaccine package inserts and the CDC’s vaccine additives and adjuvants list.
Next, you’ll drop your denominational or biblical support. Every point you make MUST be supported by scripture and the more you include, the better.
“Thou shalt not murder” (Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:13). Children are recognized from God at the point of conception (Genesis 4:1, Genesis 17, and Jeremiah 1:5), are knit together by God in the womb (Psalm 139:13-16, Psalm 22:10-11, and Galatians 1:15), are blessings from God (Genesis 1:28, Genesis 4:1, Psalms 127:3, and Psalms 113:7-9), are valued and loved (Matthew 18:1-14 and 19:13-15), are created in His image (Genesis 1:27), and their killing is condemned (Psalm 106:35 and Psalm 37-38). The prophet Amos condemns the Ammonites because they “ripped open expectant mothers in Gilead” (Amos 1:13) and child killing was one of the major reasons that God’s anger burned against the Kingdom of Israel bringing about their destruction and exile (2 Kings 17:17-18).
Step #5: Always include this scripture in your religious vaccine exemption.
1 Corinthians 16:19-20 is by far, the most important verse that needs to be referenced in your religious exemption. Why? Because not all vaccines contain aborted baby ingredients and you need to give your argument extra protection in case someone has the mistaken assumption that only two aborted babies have been exploited to make vaccines (as if that’s okay), and to cover your objections to the vaccines that don’t contain these ingredients. This verse also explains one of the many reasons “why” you cannot use vaccines that contain aborted baby ingredients.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies (1 Corinthians 16:19-20, NIV).
Vaccines contain neurotoxins, hazardous substances, attenuated viruses, animal parts, foreign DNA, albumin from human blood, carcinogens, and chemical wastes that are proven harmful to the human body.
Not only are the additives in vaccines considered contaminants from a biblical standpoint, the contaminants themselves are often contaminated. In the Bible, blood represented the life force of the human or animal. Human blood was to be kept pure under all circumstances and free of contaminants like animal parts and blood (Genesis 9:4, Leviticus 17:11, 17:14, Deuteronomy 12:23, Leviticus 17:10, Acts 15:20, and Acts 15:29).
“Since vaccine preparation involves the use of materials of biological origin, vaccines are subject to contamination by micro-organisms. […] The increasing number of target species for vaccines, the diversity of the origin of biological materials and the extremely high number of known and unknown viruses and their constant evolution represent a challenge to vaccine producers and regulatory authorities.”
If you’re going for the works (which is completely optional), you can talk about God being sovereign, a parent’s God-given authority over the care of their children, that intentionally exposing the immunocompromised and others to the live viral shedding that accompanies vaccines or subjecting your child to a risk of chronic disease and even death violates the command to love your neighbor as yourself. And don’t forget to drop in some fun religious verses on sorcery.
Remember, ANYTHING you put in your letter needs to be backed up with scripture.
Step #6: Don’t get tripped up.
A lot of schools are moving to some sort of interview process that will determine whether or not they grant your exemption. They’ll ask you some fun questions like what religion you practice so they can trip you up with a canned statement from your denomination. They’ll ask you if you’re opposed to other forms of medical intervention you’ve probably used like x-rays and medications. They’ll ask if you’re opposed to blood transfusions, if your child has been vaccinated before, or if you realize you’re going to kill someone should your child get the chicken pox and spread it to a bunch of vaccinated people.
Here’s how you sum up the answers to every question you’ll face in 5-minutes or less:
- When you are challenged by the viewpoint of a denomination, pastor, publication, or atheist authority, state that you do not worship any pastor, church, religious publication, or denomination, and that many religious denominations and Christian publications have a misguided and unbiblical stance on vaccines. If they advocate for the particular views of a pastor, state that a pastor’s personal stance on vaccines (unless it supports yours) is irrelevant because pastors do not learn about the biblical implications of vaccinating during seminary and that a pastor isn’t God.
- Yeah, you’re Catholic. The Pontifical Academy for Life has strongly condemned the development of vaccines from fetal tissues but acknowledges a parent may still be justified in vaccinating their child. However, they also support a parent’s right to consciously object to vaccines that contain aborted fetal ingredients and do not support mandatory vaccines because it results in moral coercion of the conscience and usurps the God-given authority of a parent. Boom.
- Have you or your child ever had an x-ray, taken a medication, or had a surgical procedure? (Do not answer “yes.” State your explanation instead.) There’s a big difference between treating a body that is sick and giving a healthy body something that could harm it, and you are not aware of anything regarding x-rays or the medications your already sick child had that inherently violated scripture.
- Do you believe in blood transfusions? If you don’t, you’re good. If you do (or don’t have a stance), then state that blood transfusions are typically given to save the life of an already seriously injured or dying person, that you have never been in the position where you have had to make an informed decision, and to your knowledge, there are no aborted baby ingredients in the blood being given. (Now, you could get tripped up if someone tries to differentiate between contamination with someone’s blood and contamination with vaccine ingredients. I would turn the conversation back to the topic at hand and state that a deep theological conversation about blood transfusions goes beyond the scope of the discussion surrounding your legal right to a vaccine exemption.)
- Are you against organ donations? If the answer is yes, then you’re good. If it’s no, then simply state that the two situations aren’t comparable because organ donors give consent.
- Why was your child vaccinated in the past? I vaccinated my kid once upon a time and then I met Jesus. Let me introduce you.
- Oh, but there were just two babies used in the process of making those vaccines and it was a really long time ago. Even if that were true (it’s not), that doesn’t make it acceptable from a biblical standpoint. Even though there may be only one cell line in the actual vaccine, numerous aborted babies were used to derive that perfect cell line and even more are being tested on to replace it and to manufacture new vaccines.
- Yeah, but God says, “love your neighbor as yourself.” God also throughout His Word, shows us countless ways to do that. Not one of them includes murdering unborn children, injecting viruses into each other, shooting our kids up with carcinogens, assaulting “perfectly good” immune systems, or subjecting immunocompromised individuals to live viral vaccine shedding.
- “But the Bible says we should submit to governing authority.” Yeah, but the governing authority gives me the right to a religious exemption (cite your statute again for their enjoyment) and you are to submit to God over governing authority. (Cite your verse.)
- But what about measles?! Schmeasle measles. The Bible says we shouldn’t make decisions based on fear and aint’ nobody scared of a rash.
You get where I’m going with this: If your state gives you the right to a religious exemption, go get it. Know your statutes, drop your verses, and print out your letter for anyone you may be speaking with and include a reference page. You’re never too old for homework and we’re saving rights
lives here. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point. If someone gives you a hard time, go up the chain of command and don’t take no for an answer.
There you have it: how to get a religious exemption like a boss. Now go get it!
Here are a few posts that might help you craft your religious exemption: