News, Covıd-19, Religious Exemptions, Covıd Vaccine, Vaccine Mandates

News, Covıd-19

Pastor offering COVID exemption form will sign it if people join church, donate

'We're not anti-vaxxers. We're just pro-freedom,' the pastor said.

9/16/2021 7:24:00 PM

Oklahoma Pastor Jackson Lahmeyer created an online form for people to exempt themselves from COVID-19 vaccine mandates for religious reasons. In order to get a signature from Lahmeyer, people must be a member of his church through a donation. Read more:

'We're not anti-vaxxers. We're just pro-freedom,' the pastor said.

Jackson Lahmeyer of Oklahoma, a 29-year-old pastor running for the a Republican, will sign the forms of anyone who joins his church and makes a donation, though anyone can get the form signed by a religious leader.More than 35,000 people downloaded the form in a three-day period, Lahmeyer said.

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"We're not anti-vaxxers. We're just pro-freedom," Lahymeyer said."A lot of these people who have signed ... have already taken the vaccine. They just don't think it's right that somebody else should be forced or lose their job."

Americans are increasingly looking to religious exemptions as a way to evade vaccination, and the loophole is expected to become all the more common after Presidentannounced sweeping new vaccine mandates last week that apply to more than 100 million workers in the U.S. This includes employees of the executive branch and anyone who works at a business with 100 or more employees, the AP reported.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.An Oklahoma pastor is offering religious exemption forms for the COVID-19 vaccine, which he says he'll sign for anyone who joins his church and makes a donation. A woman holds a sign during a protest at the state house in Trenton, N.J, on Jan. 13, 2020.

Seth Wenig/AP PhotoThe administration acknowledges that some small minority of Americans will use — and some may seek to exploit — religious exemptions. But it said it believes even marginal improvements in vaccination levels will save lives.It's not clear yet how many federal employees have requested a religious exemption. The Labor Department has said an accommodation can be denied if it causes an undue burden.

In the states, mask and vaccine requirements vary, but most offer exemptions for certain medical conditions or religious or philosophical objections. The use of such exemptions, particularly by parents on behalf of their schoolchildren, has been growing over the past decade.

The allowance was enshrined in the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, which says employers must make reasonable accommodations for employees who object to work requirements because of"sincerely held" religious beliefs.A religious belief does not have be recognized by an organized religion, and it can be new, unusual or"seem illogical or unreasonable to others," according to rules laid out by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. But it can't be founded solely on political or social ideas.

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That puts employers in the position of determining what is a legitimate religious belief and what is a dodge.Many major religious denominations have no objections to the COVID-19 vaccines. But the rollout has prompted heated debates because of the longtime role that cell lines derived from fetal tissue have played, directly or indirectly, in the research and development of various vaccines and medicines.

Roman Catholic leaders in New Orleans and St. Louis went so far to call Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 shot"morally compromised." J&J has stressed that there is no fetal tissue in its vaccine.Moreover, the Vatican's doctrine office has said it is"morally acceptable" for Catholics to receive COVID-19 vaccines that are based on research that used cells derived from aborted fetuses.

Pope Francishimself has said it would be"suicide" not to get the shot.In New York, state lawmakers attempted to make the vaccine mandatory for medical workers, with no religious exemptions. On Tuesday, a federal judge blocked the rule because it lacked the opt-out.

An August AP-NORC poll found that 58 percent of white evangelical Protestants, 72 percent of white mainline Protestants, 80 percent of Catholics and 73 percent of Americans who are religiously unaffiliated say they have been vaccinated. Seventy percent of nonwhite Protestants say they have been, including 70 percent of Black Protestants.

Among white evangelical Protestants, the religious group least likely to have been vaccinated, 33 percent say they will not get the shot.Across the U.S., public officials, doctors and community leaders have been trying to help people circumvent COVID-19 mask and vaccine requirements.

Obtaining a religious exemption is not as simple as producing a signed form. Measles outbreaks in schools over the past decade prompted some states to change their policies. Some now require an actual signed affidavit from a religious leader, instead of an online form. California got rid of nonmedical exemptions in 2015.

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Some private employers are taking a hard line.told employees last week that those who obtain religious exemptions will be put on unpaid leave until new coronavirus testing procedures are in place.In Los Angeles,PoliceChief Michel Moore said he is waiting for guidance from the city's personnel department regarding the exemptions. The city has mandated that municipal employees get vaccinated by Oct. 5 unless they are granted a medical or religious exemption. A group of LAPD employees is suing over the policy.

"I can't and won't comment on the sincerity level" of people claiming a religious exemption, the police chief said."I don't want to speculate. Religion in America has many different definitions."Ten LAPD employees have died of COVID-19, and thousands in the department have been infected.

In Washington state, approximately 60,000 state employees are subject to a mandate issued by Gov.Jay Insleethat they be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18 or lose their job, unless they obtain a medical or religious exemption and receive an accommodation that allows them to remain employees.

As of Tuesday, more than 3,800 workers had requested religious exemptions. So far, 737 have been approved, but officials stressed that an exemption does not guarantee continued employment.Once the exemption is approved, each agency has to evaluate whether the employee can still do the job with accommodation while ensuring a safe workplace. Seven accommodations so far have been granted.

Inslee spokeswoman Tara Lee said the process"may help distinguish between a sincerely held personal belief and a sincerely held religious belief."Religious objections, once used only sparingly around the country to get exempted from various required vaccines, are becoming a much more widely used loophole against the COVID-19 shot. A member of the Philadelphia Fire Department prepares a dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination site setup in Philadelphia on March 26, 2021.

Read more: Newsweek »

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Won't be a member for long. The right wing owners of Newsweek created an advertisement for this anti-vaxxer instead of a news story. Anything to make a buck. Thanks for reason 1567 why people are running in droves away from religion. Seriously, I can be a dick to my neighbors and be reckless and dangerous for free and sleep late on Sunday

People like this pastor aren't supporting freedom but are supporting runaway irresponsibility. This is Trumpism. They promote a warped death cult approach to Christianity & Covid, and they put 'God for Sale' signs on it. God gave us brains, Jesus a directive that life is sacred. With these we learned to make vaccines and mask to protect life. Not using them is sacrilegious

For a minimal fee, thru his obscene theology, he will dissipate sanity and order from your life and replace it with utter chaos. Kinda the reverse of what does in Genesis. Typical church move. Usually it's just an exemption from Hell. Same idea Christianity and Religion in general is a scam. It always has been and always will be.

Jesus says 'Whaaaat?' Buh-bye “Pastor”. 200KDeadAmericans

Another radio host who urged listeners to boycott COVID-19 vaccines dies from COVID-19Bob Enyart is at least the fifth anti-vaccine talk show host to die from complications due to COVID-19 in recent weeks. F around and find out He died doing what he loved. I would not make him get this one, but it mighta helped. Not my choice. May he Rest In Peace. Now, let’s stop reporting on these cases with the tone and suggestion that they deserved to die.

It’s business !!

Covid-19: NI records 10 Covid-linked deaths,1,304 casesThe total number of deaths linked to coronavirus in NI since the start of the pandemic is 2,478.

COVID-19 Vaccines Won’t Affect Your Sexual Performance, but COVID-19 MightJust in case you were wondering. I like your choice of that photo. Very fitting. mood😑

Comedian and 'SNL' alum Jim Breuer cancels shows at venues requiring Covid vaccinationThe former 'Saturday Night Live' cast member said the cancellations were 'due to the segregation of them forcing people to show up with vaccinations.' Lame Trump voter this guy? Science denier?

Hospital asks staff to prove religious exemption for COVID vaccine by refusing Tylenol'A lot of this, I believe, is a hesitancy about the vaccine, and so that's a separate issue than a religious exemption,' Conway Regional's Matt Troup said. Some pastors and some religious groups are delusional. I think we are far beyond “hesitancy.” Many people are willfully refusing to take the vaccine and using all manner of misinformation to justify it. The “carrot” has worked for those who are reluctant. The “stick” is the next tool to use.

Zoo Atlanta Gorillas Test Positive for COVIDZoo Atlanta says some of its western lowland gorillas have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 . They are getting their shots though. Unlike some dumb humans. Poor things. 😢 Bet we have a hypothesis re: how this has happened.