“If you have religious convictions (and you should) you should not ask anyone for an exemption. You do not have to get on your hands and knees and beg them to recognize your religious beliefs, as if they sit on God’s court. You don’t need their permission to abide by your convictions, nor may they place you and your convictions on trial.”
Someone forwarded me an email from something called the People & Culture Department of Porter Airlines Inc. in Toronto. The email states as follows:
“Further to your request for a COVID-19 vaccination exemption on the basis of religious conviction, this email sets out the required process. Please submit the following on or before October 22:
- The name of the organized religion;
- The physical address of the place of worship that you regularly attend;
- A written copy of the religion’s doctrine that states the theological objection to vaccination;
- A signed letter from the leader of the religious congregation confirming you as a member and regular attendance to the physical place of worship.
The Government of Canada has confirmed that all major organized religions (e.g., Islam, Roman Catholicism, Judaism, Greek Orthodox, Mennonites) have made statements that they support COVID-19 vaccination for their members in the interest of public health. Other religions that are generally known to have theological objections to vaccinations have also released public statements indicating their support for the COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science).
In the event that your request for a religious exemption is denied, your COVID-19 vaccination status will be updated to “I am not vaccinated for personal reasons.”
This “process” is fundamentally flawed and morally corrupt on many levels, as I will explain point-by-point.
1. For starters, the very notion of requiring a “religious exemption” is an effrontery. It implies that getting the shot is normative behavior, one that should be required of everyone barring a really good “excuse”. Every student must show up to class and complete their assignments on time; failure to do so is “bad” and worthy of punishment – unless the student brings a doctor’s note. Similarly, the message here is that not taking the shot is “bad” and worthy of punishment. An approved exemption just makes it a little less bad and excuses one from punishment.
2. Those who profess religious convictions are not automatically granted an exemption. They can only “request” one. A society that allows and encourages people to decide their own gender “identity”, even in flagrant contradiction to biological reality, and which punishes those who deny one’s chosen identity, is now placing people’s declared religious identities under the microscope. One who claims he is religious must stand before an inquisition, where his claim is presumed false unless thoroughly “proven” otherwise. He will be put through the wringer in a personally invasive, deeply humiliating process, and should consider himself extremely fortunate if his professed religious beliefs are confirmed by the inquisitors.
A man can call himself a woman, and everyone will play along or else, but don’t try “pretending” to be religious.
3. The religious beggar must provide “the name of the organized religion”. Once again, we are talking about a society in which new genders and orientations are invented faster than anyone can keep up, but when it comes to religion, it better be established and organized. I don’t disagree with that – religions shouldn’t be invented, either – but the hypocrisy is stark.
4. The religious beggar must provide the physical address of the place of worship that he regularly attends. Since when is regularly attending a physical place of worship a requirement for one’s religious beliefs to be genuine?
In Judaism there is certainly no such requirement. For starters, women and children are not obligated to regularly attend a place of worship – their attendance is encouraged, but entirely optional. Men are subject to greater expectations in this regard, but one’s religious beliefs are an independent matter.
5. One’s religious performance in general is no measuring stick of one’s beliefs. One can be a sincere believer, but fail to behave according to those beliefs. There are those who are newly observant, and it is unreasonable to expect their actions to be fully indicative of their beliefs. Even those who are used to a religious lifestyle may falter at times; that is the human condition. It is preposterous and downright cruel to invalidate one’s religious convictions because he succumbs to temptation, weakness, or any number of demons internal and external that can blot one’s record.
Since when does some godless committee get to have all the religious people line up before them and decide who goes left and who goes right?
The greatest hypocrites and phonies on earth are disqualifying religious people for being inconsistent at times. Of course they are.
6. The government of Canada – that great arbiter of preferred pronouns and sexual orientations – “has confirmed that all major organized religions (e.g., Islam, Roman Catholicism, Judaism, Greek Orthodox, Mennonites) have made statements that they support COVID-19 vaccination for their members in the interest of public health.”
I can’t speak for the others, but the claim that “Judaism” has made any statement about anything is ludicrous. Who is “Judaism” exactly? Who has the authority to make a statement in the name of Judaism that settles the matter for all the millions of Jews in the world?
The implication here is that some unnamed representative or organization has spoken on behalf of “Judaism” and obligated all Jews to take the shot. There are indeed rabbis who have spoken on behalf of themselves and organizations that they represent, but they obligate no one but themselves. Even Jews who generally hold the opinions of these rabbis in high regard have the right to consider other opinions; in fact, this is the Torah way. Furthermore, the obligation to guard one’s life is incumbent on the individual, and cannot be outsourced to a rabbi’s opinion of a vaccine, or even a doctor’s.
The government of Canada has demonstrated complete ignorance of how Judaism works, and must be educated.
7. In the event that one’s request for a religious exemption is denied, his COVID-19 vaccination status will be updated to “I am not vaccinated for personal reasons.” In other words, they have assumed the power to downgrade one’s religious convictions to essentially nothing more than a whim that the person just made up. What gives them the power to make these determinations? Well, they just made it up.
Furthermore, the implication of automatically rejecting “personal reasons” for not taking the injection is that bodily autonomy no longer exists. If one’s religious convictions are validated during the humiliating inquisition process, your lords and masters may, in their great magnanimity, approve an exemption – but this is entirely up to them. If not, your personal reasons, whatever they may be, are utterly meaningless. You are nothing more than chattel, or cattle.
So what if you are afraid the shot will maim you or kill you? That’s just your personal opinion. Tough.
In sum, this whole religious exemption business is a sinister ploy to marginalize religious people while it pretends to honor their convictions. It is just another step in the tyranny process, whose ultimate purpose is to criminalize religion, destroy the self, and turn every human being into property of the state.
If you have religious convictions (and you should) you should not ask anyone for an exemption. You do not have to get on your hands and knees and beg them to recognize your religious beliefs, as if they sit on God’s court. You don’t need their permission to abide by your convictions, nor may they place you and your convictions on trial.
Do not request an exemption. Inform them in no uncertain terms that your religious convictions forbid you from complying with their request, your convictions are inviolable and non-negotiable, and they have no authority to act as inquisitors. Do not allow them to reduce you to a groveler pleading for their recognition and mercy.
These people hate you. They loathe your religious beliefs. They are perfectly content to destroy your body and soul. They are coldly “following orders”, without a shred of compassion, concern, or conscience, and the way they pretend otherwise is patronizing.
Does your religion tell you to kiss the feet of such evil wretches while they stamp you into the dust?
Stand up already, be proud of your religious convictions, and fight God’s fight.
Rabbi Chananya Weissman is the founder of EndTheMadness and the author of seven books, including “Go Up Like a Wall” and “Tovim Ha-Shenayim: The role and nature of Man and Woman.” He is also the director and producer of a documentary on the shidduch world, “Single Jewish Male,” available on YouTube. His work is available at chananyaweissman.com. He can be contacted at email@example.com