I’ve been trying to digest the concept by Sen. James Seward, R-Oneonta, of respecting the religious beliefs of others, as well as parental rights, in simplifying a form to become exempt from vaccinations because of religious beliefs.
It doesn’t matter to me how someone worships or their particular religious beliefs. However, when that belief threatens potential or proven harm to others, it no longer becomes a freedom to be embraced. It becomes a threat to others and quite frankly should not be tolerated, especially in our school system. Maybe Mr. Seward and whomever else is in favor of making it easier to opt out might feel differently if one of their family members was taken ill from contracting a preventable infection due to one of these religious exemptions.
If these religious zealots, or whatever you want to call them, don’t want to be protected from preventable disease, then I would like to opt-out of paying school taxes from my district if a single exemption had been granted. After all, isn’t it my right to expect the school system to protect all that attend and not promote the spread of preventable disease? Are we entitled to a list of all exemptions? Should the non-vaccinated be segregated from the general population? Are my tax dollars being used to promote the spread of preventable disease? You can spin this any way you want. But like Forrest Gump said, “Stupid is as stupid does.” And yes, I think this whole religious exemption situation is stupid.
Freedom of religion is wonderful in concept. But when it becomes a threat to others, it loses the cloak of being a right under the Constitution and is borderline criminality.