September 29, 2021
With Vaccine Mandates, Personal Rights Questions Abound

With Vaccine Mandates, Personal Rights Questions Abound

By David Closson

In sports, "moving the goalposts" is a metaphor for altering the rules to suit one's needs or objectives, making it more difficult for someone else to succeed, keep pace, or achieve an opposing objective. When asked on Monday what percentage of Americans need to get vaccinated for the nation "to go back to normal," President Joe Biden replied, "[S]ome industries and some schools -- 96, 97, 98 percent." The president's response is just the latest indication that the goalposts have been moved again when it comes to vaccines and vaccine mandates.

At the beginning of the month, President Joe Biden promised a forthcoming COVID-19 vaccine mandate on all private employers with more than 100 employees, requiring that their employees either get vaccinated or regularly tested for COVID-19. The American public was told that businesses that do not comply with the rule could be fined up to $14,000 per violation. The new regulation is supposed to be drafted and implemented by the U.S. Department of Labor. While the order has yet to be officially handed down, some businesses are already implementing vaccine requirements.

As I've written and talked about before, there are serious legal, constitutional, moral, and conscience concerns related to the president's proposed vaccine mandate. Many of these concerns were raised yesterday by Congressman Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) when he joined FRC president Tony Perkins on "Washington Watch."

According to Rep. Massie, "Joe Biden knows that he can't constitutionally or legally force people to take a needle and [inject] chemicals into their body. So, he thinks if he inserts the Department of Labor and your employer between him and you, that that somehow makes it legal or constitutional, that is not the case."

Rep. Massie is correct. There is no federal statute or constitutional provision that expressly gives the president the authority to impose a sweeping vaccine mandate on private businesses and their employees. Furthermore, the Biden administration has a questionable reading of the statute they claim gives him this authority. This is why over 20 states have threatened to sue the president over the vaccine mandate.

Although many Americans are still waiting for the president to issue the final wording and text of the vaccine mandate, many companies are moving ahead and implementing their own vaccination mandates. Unfortunately, many employees are told they must comply or face dismissal.

Of course, most Americans do not like the idea of having to reveal their personal medical history to their employers or co-workers. However, that's exactly what's happening. As Rep. Massie explained, "This used to be sacrosanct. We have HIPAA laws, but now employees are being required to wear lanyards at work of a different color if they're not vaccinated, thereby advertising their vaccine status not just to their boss or the human resources department but to all the other employees in the company." According to Massie, "That seems to me to be illegal, if not just outright unconstitutional and immoral, to require these kinds of disclosures about our health status."

While the debate related to vaccine mandates will continue, Christians need to be sober-minded. It is also important for us to think biblically about these issues. To think more about these questions from the perspective of a Christian worldview, you can read my recent articles "How Should Christians Think About Biden's Vaccine Mandate? " and "How Should Christians Use Religious Exemptions for Vaccine Mandates?"