How Should A Christian Live in the Soviet Union
Are Religious Exemptions to Vaccine Mandates Legitimate?
An article in Ad Fontes has been making the rounds. In it, a reformed pastor lays forth a brief but detailed argument for why a religious exemption does not apply to Covid vaccine mandates. In it, he makes the argument that the freedom of conscience to determine what goes into your body is not intrinsic to the Christian religion, and that vaccine mandates are akin to the military draft, which one can only take a conscientious objection to if you are opposed to all war as a matter of principle.
The article and its argument is a demonstration of precisely how woefully unprepared reformed irenic types as a whole are for what is to come. They will strain the gnats of 16th and 17th Century magisterial Reformed political theology while swallowing 21st Century, post-Christian, techno-oligarchic, totalitarian camels. All of these arguments are made entirely upon the premise that the Globalist American Empire is analogous to the Christian states of late medieval and early modern Europe.
Even the most wicked and foolish princes in that arrangement were still operating within a system that had limits upon their own authority, had a responsibility to their people and duty to the common good, where there was a publicly known and confessed understanding of what the common good was, what was just and virtuous even if they themselves did not measure up to it. They operated within a high social trust, hierarchical, illiberal world with common cultural and national identity among the people they governed.
None of those things are true of the Globalist American Empire. Our context has far more in common with the Soviet Union than it does with 16th Century Geneva or the 17th Century Netherlands. No, we do not have intentional mass starvation of millions, but, then again, we don’t burn heretics at the stake, either. What we have is unaccountable rule over hundreds of millions of people by some of the stupidest and most monstrously evil people you can imagine.
These are not people concerned with the common good as it pertains to the health of the public at large. If there was even a semblance of concern about the health of the people they rule they would devote vastly more energy and resources to reversing the near-exponential explosion of obesity, which not coincidentally is the second-greatest risk factor for covid after old age. Instead, they totally ignore the issue of obesity because doing so would sabotage a good chunk of the wealth extraction machine that America has become. Attacking the root causes of obesity would cost many of the richest people on the planet billions. This is obvious to anyone with an IQ above room temperature.
What is also obvious is that every, single thing the public health authorities have done to mitigate the pandemic has been an utter disaster. Lockdowns have failed. Universal masking has failed. Vaccines (as a means to stop the spread) have clearly failed. Yet, what do these people do when they fail? Do they do what a responsible public health official would do, admit their mistake, and change course? No, of course not. These people consistently double down, obfuscate, and outright lie.
I am not making this argument as one of those guys who plague much of the conservative reformed world, who instinctively resist any and all authority placed upon them. When the pandemic first began, I had been aware of it months before most people had heard of it and had been preparing for the worst. When it got to March 2020, I wanted to model being a quiet and peaceable citizen, doing all that we could for the common good. We were happy to go into lockdown, wear masks, etc. I realize now what a terrible mistake it was to place any faith in these people, and it is a mistake I will never make again.
Because it became stunningly clear, that every intervention those in authority had made was an obvious failure, and that they were totally unwilling to admit their failures but rather doubled down on them, I realized we are not dealing with people who care about the common good of our nation. They are wicked, monstrous men who are happy to allow us to suffer.
Discussions about vaccine mandates such as these have to have this in the backdrop. We are dealing with malicious people all the way down, people who cannot be trusted for one second to have our best interests in mind. You do not owe them allegiance or benefit of the doubt like they are some 16th Century European prince. These are people who intentionally put people infected with a deadly virus into nursing homes where the absolute most vulnerable reside—and then they give themselves awards over this!
So, discussion such as these, where you have a stable, non-suicidal society where those governing have some semblance of responsibility to its people would be fruitful. But we do not have anything close to such a society. We are the world's largest open air shopping center and prison camp. A discussion such as this is merely academic, and does not bear much resemblance to practical living in the world as it exists.
So, to begin with, I believe a prohibition against self-harm is absolutely intrinsic to the Christian religion. If Stalin's government was injecting you with who even knows what, you would have a duty to yourself and your family to use any and all means to avoid compliance. Bribe the doctor, forge records, whatever you have to do so you can go back to working in the tractor or cement factory providing for your family and otherwise keeping your head down. Reasoning from this, we should employ similar methods, starting with those with the least potential cost, and in this case, this means legally tenuous religious liberty claims.
As for the argument about the draft, if the United States went to war with China and one of its explicit goals in the war was to defend LGBT rights, the Christian would have a *duty* to object to that war in particular whether or not he was a pacifist who objected to war in general. He should avoid being drafted, and if he was drafted, he should do all he can to get out of participating in such a war.
The anti-religious exemption argument views this situation from an America of 1960 or even 1990, but America in 2021 is not that place any longer. Anyone who is unwilling to recognize this point is either deluded or so academically minded they are of no use to Christians trying to live faithfully in an increasingly hostile world.
The point of these vaccination mandates is not the public good. The point is to treat human beings like livestock.
Just from a practical standpoint, they do absolutely nothing to stop the spread of the disease, so the only thing that would make a mandate even remotely plausibly worthwhile is rendered moot. The cases and deaths are as bad or worse now than they were this time last year when the vaccine was not available. It is becoming very clear that the vaccine has failed, at least as a means of eradicating the disease, which is what it has been sold to the public as. It appears to provide protection for the most vulnerable but does very little beyond this. The fact that natural immunity acquired from recovery from the disease is treated as a nutty conspiracy theory within the context of vaccine mandates is further evidence of the fact that we are dealing with consciously malicious people in authority. And all of this is to say that there obviously is zero long-term safety data, and you can see with your own eyes that the incredibly powerful propaganda regime actively downplays any and all adverse reactions people have to the vaccines. Everything screams to reasonable people that you cannot trust anything these people say.
If that is not understood within the backdrop of this conversation, we are not going to produce much actionable pastoral counsel for anyone. The goal of the Christian living in the Soviet Union is to stay out of the mass grave and to stay out of the gulag, while we await God to act to bring the whole evil thing crashing down. Everything we counsel our people should flow from this understanding of where we are at in the current moment.