By Joshua Arnold
When Virginia Health Commissioner Norman Oliver promised last week to make a COVID-19 vaccine mandatory, he was probably counting on most people being too afraid of the virus to object. So were the members of a Virginia House committee who killed two bills to add a religious exemption to the mandate.
FRC President and coronavirus survivor Tony Perkins responded on radio yesterday, "I'm more concerned about the fear that has been generated about the virus than the virus itself." The mainstream media are experts at making people fear for their lives. Their nonstop doomsday predictions cajoled lawmakers to shut down businesses and close churches, while private citizens were scared or shamed into avoiding and distrusting their family, friends, and neighbors.
After six exhausting months, several potential vaccines for COVID-19 have entered final trials -- twice as fast as expected this spring -- thanks in part to the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed.
Yet some vaccines pose severe ethical issues. Dr. Jeff Barrows, Senior Vice President of Bioethics and Public Policy for Christian Medical & Dental Associations, explained on Washington Watch, "some of these vaccines are created with the use of fetal cell lines." This includes the vaccines produced by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, according to research conducted by the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
Practically speaking, continued Dr. Barrows, "we might have all kinds of safety issues that show up later." He said most vaccines take four to seven years to develop, while these have been developed in less than a year. With such a rushed job, can we be certain no corners were cut? Will we see a repeat of the Paycheck Protection Program fiasco, where, in the rush to help small businesses, Planned Parenthood somehow took $80 million?
The second issue is the brand-new push to make the vaccine mandatory for everyone. This isn't even herd immunity, when a "high percentage" of the population, ranging from 70 to 90 percent, depending on the disease is immune. This means literally everyone. "I don't know of any other time in my recent memory of any vaccination being mandated for all adults," said Dr. Barrows.
And yet, earlier this month, doctors writing in USA Today proposed the unscientific notion that, to beat COVID-19, "the only answer is compulsory vaccination -- for all of us." They continued, "there is no threshold" for herd immunity. What does this mean practically? "Do not honor religious objections. The major religions do not officially oppose vaccinations."
In other words, minority rights, particularly religious ones, do not matter. This utilitarian thinking is "dangerous," said Dr. Barrows.
If citizens authorized this policy by a vote, this policy would reflect Rousseau's (explicitly anti-Christian) notion of totalitarian democracy, forcing people to be "free." His thinking is not only circular and contradictory; it also provided the philosophical foundation for Marxism.
But Virginia's mandatory vaccination policy looks to be enacted by an unelected bureaucrat, not by a vote of the people. Dr. Barrows concluded this unprecedented, dangerous, and anti-religious policy must be nipped in the bud now, before other states follow suit.
Dr. Barrow predicted the government would be unlikely to force its way into private homes to vaccinate people. "But," he said, "if you want to go to a sporting event, you want to go to the restaurant, you want to go into a public place, you got to show proof of vaccination. And so basically you're excluded until you can prove that you've been vaccinated."
Americans must decide if they want to live with this form of soft despotism. Will they live in freedom? Or live in fear?