In theory, the military said there could be religious exemptions from the Covid mandate. However, in reality, zero of the exemptions are approved. So it was just a paper exemption. Thousands of exemptions were sought. Zero approved.
Most buckled under and got the jab but…some didn’t.
The ruling is historic in that it allows military members to defy a direct order given by their commander-in-chief for religious reasons. This is one to watch.
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas on Monday issued a preliminary injunction against President Joe Biden’s federal Covid-19 vaccine mandate, as it pertains to certain Navy SEALs who were seeking religious exemptions.
“Our nation asks the men and women in our military to serve, suffer, and sacrifice. But we do not ask them to lay aside their citizenry and give up the very rights they have sworn to protect. Every president since the signing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act has praised the men and women of the military for their bravery and service in protecting the freedoms this country guarantees,” wrote Judge Reed O’Connor, in the opinion that prevents the Navy from discharging men and women declaring religious exemptions from the Covid-19 vaccine mandate put in place through Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III.
“In this case, members of the military seek protection under those very freedoms. Thirty-five Navy Special Warfare servicemembers allege that the military’s mandatory vaccination policy violates their religious freedoms under the First Amendment and Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The Navy provides a religious accommodation process, but by all accounts, it is theater. The Navy has not granted a religious exemption to any vaccine in recent memory. It merely rubber stamps each denial. The Navy servicemembers in this case seek to vindicate the very freedoms they have sacrificed so much to protect. The COVID-19 pandemic provides the government no license to abrogate those freedoms. There is no COVID-19 exemption to the First Amendment… and there is no military exclusion from our Constitution,” said O’Connor.
By early November, 99.4% of active-duty Navy servicemembers had been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. The plaintiffs in this case represent about .6% of the Navy and are of Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant branches of Christianity. They object to the vaccine because of the use of aborted fetal cell lines in the development of the shot, the belief that modifying one’s body is an afront to the Creator; receiving direct, divine instruction not to receive the vaccine; and/or opposition to injecting trace amounts of animal cells into their bodies.
Keep your eyes on this one. This is all part and parcel of the extreme narrowing of religious liberty in this country. Given time and not enough outrage, the left will disappear these rights completely.