22 September, 2021

Subsidiarity, COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates, and Testing Mandates

I would like to apologize for the delay in getting articles posted lately. There have been several factors for this. One of those will be the topic of this post. This article will consist of a series of letters between my employer and myself regarding a vaccine mandate issued by the governor of my state and my request to get a religious exemption and accommodation. I have redacted or initialized names for privacy, and removed any contact information, but the letters are otherwise as they occurred, including typos. How does this apply to distributism? It applies to the question of subsidiarity and the extent to which state (and federal) government can dictate medical procedures on individuals. 

I realize that this is a very contentious topic, especially these days, but it is an important one as many states in the US and many countries around the world are implementing restrictive policies that very few would have dreamed were possible in February of 2020. Many are saying we are rushing headlong into totalitarianism. I think we are already there.
 
I would also like to state that nothing in the following is intended to be a judgment against anyone who chose to get the vaccine, including Catholics who came to different conclusions on these matters than I did.

19 August, 2021: My initial letter after the mandate was publicly announced.
RG,

I need to know what information is required when submitting for a religious exemption for this mandate.

Thank you,

David W. Cooney

19 August, 2021: Response
Good afternoon David,

Thank you for your email. At this time, we are working closely with OSPI regarding the vaccine exemption process and forms. You will receive a response soon with next steps. Please also continue to monitor the <staff website> for the latest updates.

Respectfully,

RG

23 August, 2021: Having received no further information, and being a little frustrated, I wrote again.
RG,

I know this isn’t your fault, but you are the person I have been told to contact regarding this issue. I find it hard to believe that a process for submitting a request for religious exemption doesn’t exist. Even if the Civil Rights Act of 1964 doesn’t explicitly address this question, Washington State has had guidelines on this since at least 2008. The Washington State Human Rights Commission issued its Guide to Religion and Washington State Nondiscrimination Laws in March of 2008 and they were revised in 2015. Are you seriously telling me that OSPI has not developed a process to request a religious exemption in over 12 years? This process should have been in place and ready to be used before the mandate was announced.

The governor has put me on a deadline here. I need to be able to submit my request so that I know whether or not it will be approved in a timely manner. I cannot afford to wait until the last minute here.

Thank you for your attention to this very serious matter,

David W. Cooney

26 August, 2021: The staff website was updated, so I submitted a letter I had been preparing.
RG,

Please find attached my formal request for a religious accommodation regarding the mandate to get one of the Covid-19 vaccines. If anything else is required in regard to making this request, please let me know as soon as possible.

Thank you,

David W. Cooney

========== Here is the letter I submitted ==========
25 August, 2021

To <employer>:

I am a Catholic employee of the district seeking a religious exemption/accommodation from the requirement to get a Covid-19 vaccine as recently mandated by governor Inslee. I know that part of my responsibility for making this request is to work with the district on how an accommodation can be made without imposing an undue burden on the district in regard to the work I perform. As a <job title> for the district, all of my job functions can be done remotely, as they have been for more than a year, using the district assigned computer for secure access to the resources I need and to attend needed meetings using Teams. I believe that my direct manager, <name>, would approve of this accommodation. If continuing to work from home is not an option, I am certainly willing to discuss other methods of accommodation.

The Catholic Church teaches that a person may be required to refuse a medical intervention, including a vaccination, if his or her informed conscience comes to this sure judgment. While I know there are Catholics who do not object to getting one of these vaccines, the State of Washington recognizes that “Someone from a particular religion may adhere to different practices and beliefs than someone else in the same religion,” as outlined in the Washington State Human Rights Commission’s Guide to Religion and Washington State Nondiscrimination Laws.[1] While the Catholic Church does not generally prohibit the use of vaccines, and generally encourages the use of safe and effective vaccines that are not developed or produced using morally questionable means as a way of safeguarding personal and public health, the following authoritative Church teachings demonstrate the principled religious basis on which a Catholic may determine that he or she ought to refuse certain vaccines:
  • Vaccination is not morally obligatory in principle and so must be voluntary.[2]
  • There is a general moral duty to refuse the use of medical products, including certain vaccines, that are developed, tested, or produced using human cell lines derived from direct abortions. It is only permissible to use such vaccines under certain case-specific conditions, based on a judgment of conscience.[3]
  • A person’s informed judgments about the proportionality of medical interventions are to be respected unless they contradict authoritative Catholic moral teachings.[4]
  • A person is morally required to obey his or her sure conscience.[5]
At the core of the Church’s teaching are the first and last points listed above: vaccination is not a universal obligation and a person must obey the judgment of his or her own informed and certain conscience. In fact, the Catechism of the Catholic Church instructs that following one’s conscience is following Christ Himself:
In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right. It is by the judgment of his conscience that man perceives and recognizes the prescriptions of the divine law: “Conscience is a law of the mind; yet [Christians] would not grant that it is nothing more; . . . [Conscience] is a messenger of him, who, both in nature and in grace, speaks to us behind a veil, and teaches and rules us by his representatives. Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ.”[6]
This moral requirement to obey his or her sure conscience is a teaching of the Church, and individual Catholics may reach different conclusions on the same medical treatment. Morally, the decision is up to the individual Catholic who forms his or her own conscience according to the Faith, even if his or her priest, bishop, or even the pope holds a different view on its acceptability. An individual Catholic’s right to religious objection is not subject to the approval of ecclesiastical authorities. Additionally, the recently published COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for K–12 School Employees: Guidance for Employers on Evaluating Religious Accommodation Requests from Washington’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction states that the judgment of whether a religious objections is sincere should be done “without requiring input from an outside source, such as a formal religious leader.”[7]

A Catholic may judge it wrong to receive certain vaccines for a variety of reasons consistent with these teachings, and there is no authoritative Church teaching universally obliging Catholics to receive any vaccine. An individual Catholic may invoke Church teaching to refuse a vaccine developed or produced using abortion-derived cell lines. More generally, a Catholic might refuse a vaccine or other medical treatment based on the Church’s teachings concerning therapeutic proportionality. Therapeutic proportionality is an assessment of whether the benefits of a medical intervention outweigh the undesirable side-effects and burdens in light of the integral good of the person, including spiritual, psychological, and bodily goods.[8] It can also extend to the good of others and the common good, which likewise entail spiritual and moral dimensions and are not reducible to public health. The judgment of therapeutic proportionality must be made by the person who is the potential recipient of the intervention in the concrete circumstances,[9] not by public health authorities or by other individuals who might judge differently in their own situations.

Therefore, if a Catholic comes to an informed and sure judgment in conscience that he or she should not receive a vaccine, then the Catholic Church requires that the person follow this certain judgment of conscience and refuse the vaccine. The Catechism is clear: “Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. ‘He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters.’”[10]

It is my firm and sincere religious conviction that making use of any of the available vaccines for Covid-19 constitutes a significant cooperation in, or implicit approval of, the moral evil of abortion due to the use of aborted fetal cells in the development, testing, or production of them.[11] Therefore, I request an accommodation that will not infringe on my religious beliefs in regard to the governor’s mandate to get one of these vaccines.

Sincerely,

David W. Cooney 

Notes:
  1. https://www.hum.wa.gov/sites/default/files/public/99_Religion%20and%20non-discrimination.pdf
  2. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), “Note on the Morality of Using Some Anti-COVID-19 Vaccines,” December 17, 2020, n. 5: “At the same time, practical reason makes evident that vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary.”
  3. See Pontifical Academy for Life, “Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared from Cells Derived from Aborted Human Foetuses,” June 9, 2005; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction Dignitas personae, 2008, nn. 34-35; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Note on the Morality of Using Some Anti-COVID-19 Vaccines,” nn. 1-3.
  4. See United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, 6th ed. (Washington, DC: USCCB Publishing, 2018), n. 28. Hereafter “ERDs.”
  5. “A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself.” Catechism of the Catholic Church (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1993), www.vatican.va, n. 1790. Hereafter “CCC.”
  6. CCC, n. 1777, citing John Henry Cardinal Newman, "Letter to the Duke of Norfolk," V, in Certain Difficulties felt by Anglicans in Catholic Teaching II (London: Longmans Green, 1885), 248.
  7. https://www.k12.wa.us/sites/default/files/public/communications/2021docs/Guidance-for-School-Districts-on-Evaluating-Religious-Accommodation-Requests-for-COVID19-Vaccine-Requirement.pdf
  8. See ERDs, nn. 32-33; nn. 56-57; Part Three, Introduction, para. 2; Part Five, Introduction, para. 3.
  9. See ERDs, nn. 56-57. Both of these directives state that the proportionality of medical interventions is established “in the patient’s judgment.”
  10. CCC, n. 1782, citing Second Vatican Council, Dignitatis humanae, December 7, 1965, n. 3.
  11. https://www.michigan.gov/documents/coronavirus/COVID-19_Vaccines_and_Fetal_Cells_031921_720415_7.pdf
I received a response to my letter the same day.
Good Morning,

Thank you for your email.  The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has released a religious exemption form and we will have them finalized soon for distribution.

Once the forms and information is finalized and published, we will post them on the Hub as well as email them to staff who we have received inquiries from.

Respectfully,

RG

30 August, 2021: I received the official notice that the forms are finally available to request a religious exemption.
Good afternoon David,

On August 18, 2021, Governor Inslee announced Proclamation 21-14.1 requiring all employees working for public and private K–12 schools to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18, 2021. There is an accommodation for sincerely held religious belief, practice or observance. In considering accommodation requests, the Proclamation requires that school districts must “document that the request for an accommodation has been made and include a statement in the document explaining the way in which the requirements of this order conflict with the sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance of the individual.”

Under federal and state law, "religion" is broadly defined. It includes traditional, organized religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. A religious belief may be individualistic, and it also includes religious beliefs that are new, uncommon, not part of a formal church or sect, or only held by a small number of people. Moral or ethical beliefs about what is right and wrong, which are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views, may meet the definition of a sincerely held religious belief. However, social, political, or economic philosophies, or personal preferences, are not "religious" beliefs under the law.

To request an accommodation under this order, please complete the attached form and return to me directly via email at <email address> or via fax at <fax number>.

If you need to request this accommodation verbally, please reach out to me.

You will be expected to participate in an interactive process with the Human Resources Department. This means that HR may ask you some additional questions and you should provide responses or additional information. Employees have an obligation to actively participate in the accommodation process and must cooperate with an employer's attempt to accommodate their needs under the Governor’s Proclamation.

If your sincerely held religious belief prevents you from being vaccinated, you will be asking for an exemption from the vaccination requirement as a religious accommodation. The District reserves the right, depending on your position, to have additional requirements to ensure staff and student safety. After the review is complete, you will get a letter from Human Resources indicating whether or not a religious accommodation may be granted.

If you are not eligible for a religious accommodation, you can get vaccinated and provide proof to your HR partner. If you choose not to get vaccinated, you can submit a letter of resignation effective no later than October 18, 2021. Otherwise, the District is required to terminate your employment effective October 18, 2021 under the Governor’s order.

Please let me know if you have questions regarding this process.

Respectfully,

RG
======= Here are the questions on the form =======
I submitted the form on the same day.
My answers were basically the contents of my letter.
I answered No to questions 2a, 2b, and 2c.
I answered "Unknown" to question 5.

1. Below, describe the religious belief, practice, or observance that is the basis for your request for a religious accommodation.

2. Does your religious belief, practice, or observance lead you to object to:
     a. All medical treatment – Yes/No
     b. All vaccinations – Yes/No
     c. Only the COVID-19 vaccination – Yes/No

3. Briefly explain how your sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance conflicts with the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

4. Briefly describe the accommodation you are requesting.

5. If the request for accommodation is temporary, please identify the anticipated date the accommodation is no longer needed:

31 August, 2021: I received an acknowledgement that my form had been received.
Good morning,

Thank you for submitting your request. You will receive information on next steps within 48 hours.

Respectfully,

RG

3 September, 2021: I did not receive the information.
RG,

It has been 72 hours since I received this notice. I have not yet received any information on the next steps in this process.

Thank you,

David W. Cooney
 
The response I got that same day seems to indicate that they had not yet started reviewing the forms, but that may be a misinterpretation.
Good morning,

Thank you for your patience with us. We will be reviewing the requests that are currently on file today and sending an update soon.

RG
 
7 September, 2021: I had still not received any information on how to proceed.
RG,

I am very concerned about the apparent delays in processing the religious exemption requests considering the impending deadline and the very real threat of loss of employment. It has been five days since I submitted my request and I have not yet received any information on what comes next, even though I was told I would have that information by last Thursday, September 2nd. Therefore, in order to adequately prepare myself for the rest of this process, I am requesting a copy of all policies, procedures, and guidelines related to how the district is processing the requests for religious exemption including but not limited to:
  • any time limits or restrictions for processing them
  • how the district is evaluating the answers to the questions on the official request form and how those answers will impact the process – particularly the answers to questions 2a, 2b, and 2c
  • any additional requirements beyond that form which will be used for the purpose of reviewing or otherwise determining whether or not religious exemptions and accommodations will be approved

Thank you,

David W. Cooney

I received the following letter about an hour after sending the above.
Good morning David,

I apologize for the delay.

We have received your Covid-19 vaccine exemption request and supporting documentation. After engaging you in an interactive process, which included review of your documentation, the district has conditionally approved your medical/religious accommodation request and will be able to offer the following accommodation:

You will not be required to provide proof of receiving the Covid-19 vaccination as a condition of your employment at <school district>;
In lieu of receiving the vaccine, you are required to meet increased safety protocols which may include, but is not limited to:
  • Required COVID-19 testing at the discretion of the district;
  • Possible job reassignment based upon safety (you will be notified if this applies); and
  • Strict compliance with District COVID-19 safety protocols including but not limited to masking, social distancing and frequent handwashing. Adherence to social distancing protocols while unmasked, for example during meals, will be especially important.
This accommodation is subject to review and/or modification based upon a change of circumstances which may include orders from the Governor, OSPI or the Department of Health and also, if there is a change in the COVID-19 safety risks in the District including your failure to follow safety protocol.

You are also expected to notify the District if your circumstances change. For example, if you decide to receive the vaccine or if, in the case of a medical accommodation, your medical condition or doctor’s advice changes.

COVID-19 symptoms are changing as variants arise. We recommend that you isolate yourself and immediately get tested if you have any symptoms, even if they are mild. Please see https://www.tpchd.org/healthy-people/diseases/covid-19/testing-information

If you have questions or concerns regarding this accommodation, please contact SD, <job title>, at <phone number> or <email address>.

Respectfully,

RG

I sent this to my new contact within an hour of receiving the proposed accommodation.
SD,

I have just received the notice of approval for my religious exemption and accommodation from the requirement to get one of the COVID-19 vaccines. While I appreciate that the district has approved my request, I potentially have a religious objection to one of the accommodation requirements listed. If the district requires me to get tested for having COVID-19, particularly when I have no symptoms, I need to know how often that testing will be required. As clearly indicated in the documentation I previously provided, the judgment of the proportionality of any medical intervention is, according to my Faith, up to the individual who must undergo the treatment. I also made it clear that, according to my Faith, the question of proportionality includes more than just medical considerations. Getting repeatedly tested to see if I have a medical condition when I have no symptoms of that condition clearly falls into that category. If the district were to require testing that is disproportionate, that would also be a violation of my religious beliefs.

I am also surprised by this aspect of the accommodation as it was widely reported that the governor specifically and deliberately did not provide getting tested as an alternative to getting vaccinated. If this is now being allowed, it should be made known for other staff who object to being forced to getting one of these vaccines. I know staff who only got vaccinated because of the threat of losing their job, but who might have agreed to getting tested as an alternative.

Thank you,

David W. Cooney

My new contact responded within half an hour, and I sent a response thanking him for his prompt attention to the matter.
Greetings Mr. Cooney,

Thank you for your response, please allow me a couple days to review prior to responding in further detail.

In partnership,

SD

13 September, 2021: A week had passed without any further information on my religious objection to their proposed accommodation. Also, President Biden had just announced his federal mandate to either be vaccinated or get tested every week.
SD,

I understand that President Biden’s new mandate, once it is actually issued, may impact the question of my religious accommodation, but that is still unknown as is the question of whether the president’s mandate will succeed in the constitutional challenges that are already being prepared against it. Therefore, it seems that it would be prudent for me to continue to try and address the problem with the religious accommodation proposed by the district in the event that Governor Inslee’s mandate and its deadline of October 18 remains unaffected.

It is unreasonable and untenable that an accommodation made to avoid forcing an employee to violate religious beliefs would be enforced it the accommodation itself also violates the employee’s religious beliefs. As I stated previously, my original letter explaining the religious grounds for objecting to taking any of the available COVID-19 vaccines included the aspect of my Faith that
“More generally, a Catholic might refuse a vaccine or other medical treatment based on the Church’s teachings concerning therapeutic proportionality. Therapeutic proportionality is an assessment of whether the benefits of a medical intervention outweigh the undesirable side-effects and burdens in light of the integral good of the person, including spiritual, psychological, and bodily goods. It can also extend to the good of others and the common good, which likewise entail spiritual and moral dimensions and are not reducible to public health. The judgment of therapeutic proportionality must be made by the person who is the potential recipient of the intervention in the concrete circumstances, not by public health authorities or by other individuals who might judge differently in their own situations.”
For the district to propose that I be subjected to medical tests at its sole discretion is clearly a violation of this teaching because it means that the judgment of therapeutic proportionality is being made by district officials and not by the person who is the potential recipient of the treatment.

Since the district doesn’t seem to have been prepared for such a situation, and I accept my responsibility to work with the district to try and amicably resolve this issue, I would like to propose something for consideration that can, at least, serve as a starting point for working out a solution. I am also requesting a copy of all policies, directions, and guidelines that have been implemented that are governing the district’s process of evaluating the requests for religious exemptions and for determining what accommodations can be made. I previously requested this in regard to evaluating the requests for religious exemption, but I have not received them.

If my previous proposal of working from home is still not something the district is willing to accept, I would like to replace the provision of getting tested at the district’s discretion with something like the following.
  • If I develop symptoms of COVID-19 I will notify my direct manager, if I am at a district site, I will leave immediately. I will work with my medical provider to get tested and, if it is determined that I have COVID-19. I will notify my direct manager of that. I will work with my medical provider to get treatment.
  • If I have been directly exposed to someone who gets diagnosed with COVID-19 during the time that they were infectious, I will self-isolate for 14 days and, if possible, work from home during that time. If I develop symptoms during that time, I will follow the provision previously given for developing symptoms. If I do not develop symptoms, my self-isolation will be fulfilled at the end of 14 days.
What is the procedure to return to work after being diagnosed with and recovering from COVID-19?

Thank you,

David W. Cooney

It should be noted that what I proposed as an alternative above is basically the same procedure my employer has been using since March of 2020.

17 September, 2021: I had still not received any response to my religious objection to the proposed accommodation.
SD,

I would like to start this message by making my third request for a copy of the policies, procedures, and guidelines the district is using to evaluate the religious accommodation request forms including but not limited to:
  • any time limits or restrictions for processing them
  • how the district is evaluating the answers to the questions on the official request form and how those answers will impact the process – particularly the answers to questions 2a, 2b, and 2c
  • any additional requirements beyond that form which will be used for the purpose of reviewing or otherwise determining whether or not religious exemptions and accommodations will be approved
I am also making my second request for a copy of the policies, procedures and guidelines for evaluating the accommodations submitted on those forms and for determining what accommodations the district will offer. At the time of sending this message, I only have four weeks remaining to try and resolve the religious issues I have with the accommodation that was proposed by the district.

I will not waste your time repeating what I already submitted in regard to the proposed accommodation because it is included below the signature of this message. I was not given any explanation of why my requested accommodation was rejected even though it would pose no burden on the district. As I explained in my original request, and in the letter of explanation I already submitted, my entire job can be done remotely and the district has had everything set up to allow for remote work since about March of 2020. I could understand the refusal of my requested accommodation if the nature of my job actually required me to be on site, but it does not. Instead, what the district proposed as an accommodation potentially poses a significant burden on me.

I have also not received any reply about my proposed modification to the accommodation the district has offered in order to resolve the religious conflict I have with it. What I have proposed is at least similar to what the policy has been prior to the governor’s mandate. This point leads back to the issue I previously pointed out; the governor specifically excluded getting tested as an alternative to getting vaccinated, so why is it now being proposed as the alternative by the district instead of something similar to what I have proposed which has been an accepted and apparently successfully procedure up to now?

It seems to me that there is no good argument to require those who get an exemption from vaccination to be subjected to testing “at the district’s discretion” while the vaccinated are not. 
 
The CDC and other organizations have already confirmed that the vaccinated can still get COVID-19 and pass it to others, especially with the Delta variant.
“preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can spread the virus to others.” (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html#:~:text=Fully%20vaccinated%20people%20should%20be,isolate%20if%20they%20test%20positive).
 
Regarding an outbreak of COVID in Massachusetts, the CDC reported that the level of infection is approximately the same in the vaccinated as in the unvaccinated, meaning they pose a similar risk to others.
“Approximately three quarters (346; 74%) of cases occurred in fully vaccinated persons (those who had completed a 2-dose course of mRNA vaccine [Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna] or had received a single dose of Janssen [Johnson & Johnson] vaccine ≥14 days before exposure)."
"Real-time RT-PCR Ct values in specimens from 127 fully vaccinated patients (median = 22.77) were similar to those among 84 patients who were unvaccinated, not fully vaccinated, or whose vaccination status was unknown (median = 21.54).” (https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7031e2.htm?s_cid=mm7031e2_w).
 
The CDC has also confirmed that there is no evidence of asymptomatic transmission.
"We observed no transmission from asymptomatic case-patients..." (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/27/4/20-4576_article) There was evidence of presymptomatic transmission, which is why the CDC recommends temporary isolation for both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.

Since the district cannot possibly know if a vaccinated employee has been exposed and infected unless they actually develop symptoms, what reason is there for excluding them from testing? Since, as has been widely reported, one of the principle benefits of the vaccine is to reduce symptoms, it appears that the vaccinated may actually pose a higher risk to others than the unvaccinated because the vaccine might hide symptoms of infection that are not hidden in the unvaccinated. This could result in the vaccinated not knowing when they have become infectious and not isolating themselves. In light of this information from the CDC, it is hard not to conclude that the requirement to undergo repeated testing “at the district’s discretion” is nothing other than a punitive measure to discriminate against those who do not submit to vaccination. If it was to protect the health of others, then the vaccinated would have the same requirement. In light of these facts, it seems that my initial request to work from home, or even my proposed modification to the accommodation the district offered, is quite reasonable.

Sincerely,

David W. Cooney

About three and a half hours after sending the above, I received the following message.
Greetings Mr. Cooney,

My apologies on any delays you are experiencing, we are working within our team to address your questions in detail.  I need to ask for your continued patience for a couple additional days, we will have a response back to you by Tuesday end of day at the latest.

Again, thank you for your understanding as we collectively navigate these uncharted waters,

SD

21 September, 2021: I received a phone call from SD explaining that my religious objection to their proposed accommodation was something being diligently examined by both the Human Resources and Legal departments and that it was something that they were unsure how to handle in a way that respected the religious objection and still complied with the governor's mandate. SD also said the call was to explain that, since they still did not have an answer, they needed more time before giving me an answer regarding my religious objection to their proposed accommodation. 
 
Since I had still not received the policies, procedures, or guidelines I requested about this process, I cannot comment on this claim because I don't know how the accommodation I originally suggested, or my proposed modification to the accommodation they offered, would violate the governor's mandate - which was reported to have not provided for testing as an alternative to getting vaccinated.

23 September, 2021
SD,

Thank you for the phone call last Tuesday explaining that HR is still working with Legal to try and determine a solution for the religious issue I have with the accommodation proposed by the district. As I am not involved in any of these discussions, and I still do not know what policies, procedures, and guidelines are being applied, I think it is understandable that I have some concern on the continued lack of solution since there is definitely a lack of clarity from the district on what is wrong. At this point, I basically need to know this;

Since we are actively working on a solution to my religious objection to the accommodation the district proposed, what will my employment status be if a solution is not achieved by October 18?

Keep in mind that I have not refused to get tested, in fact I included getting tested as part of my proposed alteration to what the district proposed. My religious objection is specifically to the idea that I must get tested “at the district’s discretion,” especially when the district appears to be unwilling to say how often or under what conditions it would make that demand. This is the specific aspect of the district’s proposed accommodation that goes against my Faith.

I am basically down to three weeks to get this issue resolved. I honestly feel that I have reached out to the district many times with constructive proposals, but all I have received in response is being told that I have to wait for an answer. Other than that, I have heard nothing and no official from the district has communicated with me about any details of the issue.

Thank you,

David W. Cooney

A couple of hours after that message, I received this reply.
Greetings Mr. Cooney,

Thank you for checking back in with me, my apologies again on any delays you are experiencing, we appreciate your patience as we collectively navigate these uncharted waters in an effort consider your request.  I assure you, a response is coming.

Thank you again for your continued patience.

Respectfully,

SD

The final result of all this was that my employer is required to enforce a vaccine mandate by our state governor, who is not a medical professional, and the masking requirements set by our county health department. I know there are lots of people who approve of these measures, but remember that giving various levels of government this type of authority is only agreeable to you because they are doing something you like. It will also give them the authority to do something you don't like in the future. History has proven this to be true. 

Put government in charge of education, and as a parent you lose your right to direct the education of your own children. Put the government in charge of your retirement, and it will dictate what you must do for retirement. Put the government in charge of your health care, and you will find that it can force you to get the treatments it wants, treatments that your own doctor might think are wrong for you, and punish you either financially or by forcing some other, unpleasant, medical treatment on you. There are those who say that the government is only "following the science," but there are lots of other medical experts with credentials just as good as the ones the government has chosen who say that what the government is accepting is wrong. The "science" isn't settled, and it never really is.

Remember that government was only "following the science" when the United States implemented its eugenics programs and started involuntarily sterilizing "undesirable" elements of our human population. A program that was hailed as the best implementation in the world by the Nazi government. Remember that the "experts" used to recommend cigarettes as a cure for asthma, came up with baby soothing lotion that contained opium, used to practice phrenology, and refused to accept that doctors should wash their hands after working on corpses before starting to treat living patients. It is true that we have learned a lot in the field of science since those days, but you should not believe that human pride and greed have been eliminated from the human race, not even among scientific experts.

1 comment:

  1. I have just found your blog so that is why my response is so long after this post. I really appreciate your posting which explains how the state prefers to stonewall, isn't really prepared to argue against extreme authorianism or promotes it, and really does not like it if someone dares question their authority. And you are correct that we do live in a totalitarian state ruled by selective "experts", and are totally corrupted by money which is the god we worship.

    ReplyDelete

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