California Disallows Relgious and Philosophical Vaccine Exemptions

Gh0st

Well-known member
This actually happened a little over a month ago, but I just got around to reading the New England Journal of Medicine article about it.

California has passed Senate Bill 277 disallowing both religious and philosophical exemptions to certain vaccines prior to being enrolled in both public and private elementary schools, secondary schools, and day-care centers. The vaccines required are diptheria, HIB, MMR, pertussis, polio, tetanus, Hep B, and Varicella (chicken pox). Medical exemptions are still allowable under the current bill.

This bill undoubtedly has its opponents, who have largely argued that this violates their First Amendment right to freedom of religious expression. Also, 16 states, including California, have elevated education to a fundamental right, which is argued this bill violates as well. The Federal government does not consider education a fundamental right.

The U.S Supreme Court has never had to evaluate the application of the First Amendment when it comes to freedom of religion versus protecting the health of others in the specific case of vaccines. Notably, the Court has ruled in other matters of freedom of religious expression versus public health in favor of upholding public health. The biggest example being Prince v. Massachusetts in 1944, which limited parents ability to refuse medical treatment for their children on the bases of religious difference.

Where do you fall on the issue?
 

TigerPaw

Well-known member
Disallow the exemption. Get your kids vaccinated. Doesn't make it harder to get into heaven, lol. I respect religious freedom but we don't have to entertain every irrational belief, esp. when it puts the safety of children at risk, including your own.
 

dado6

Active member
The solution exists.

1) If you want to avail yourself of the 'right' to an education, as defined by the state of California, you need to be vaccinated. If you choose not to be vaccinated, you will exercise that 'right' in a home school environment. Most states have an on-line curriculum that kids can use.
No right comes without responsibilities; the right to bear arms is limited if you do harm, freedom of speech is limited if your speech does harm - not being vaccinated does harm to the general population.

Those few who cannot be vaccinated due to health reasons are protected by herd immunity, that is, everyone else is vaccinated so the fragile few are less likely to encounter the diseases.

All rights are limited, and if you chose to exercise those rights, you need to abide by the limitations.
 

the_big_toe

Well-known member
#1 - I do not agree that education is a fundamental right. You cannot have a "right" to the fruits of someone else's labor, and claiming that people have a right to education essentially says that you have a RIGHT to the labor of a teacher and school administrator,

#2 - Getting vaccinated and getting your kids vaccinated is just the smart, scientifically sound thing to do. It is a good idea for everyone if they do not have a compelling reason (I would say medical reason) to forego it.

#3 - In a free society, I do not think we should force people to do the smart, scientifically sound thing. Thus, if you do not want to get yourself and your kids vaccinated, you should not be forced to do so.

#4 - I have no problem with withholding some of the benefits our society provides (such as a publicly funded education) if you do NOT do the smart scientifically sound thing. I do think that if a group of like-minded parents want to form their own, private school where vaccinations are not required, then they should be allowed to do so.
 

Zunardo

Well-known member
As a Christian, I'm hard-pressed to come up with a biblical foundation for not wanting to have yourself or your children vaccinated. The only folks I can think who would object on that basis would be Christian Scientists (of which I know very little of) and a very few folks who belong to off-shoot Pentecostal denominations that looks upon any secular medical treatment as demonstration that you have no faith in God to heal you when you ask for it - which I would strongly disagree with

Because a parent is concerned about the potential to contract an ailment from the vaccine, that I understand, although I also understand there is a greater risk that one will be struck by lightning. If you're familiar with chiropractic cervical adjustments, you probably know there is a certain risk of damage or dissection of the arteries running thru the vertebra, and that a measurable amount of people suffer a stroke or die as a result. However, that risk is akin to the risk of dying in a plane crash - measurable but minuscule, and most of us consider both to be a very acceptable risk

On the other hand, the government does not require your child to have their neck adjusted as a requirement to enter public school, so that analogy suffers a little.
 

TigerPaw

Well-known member
More appropriate analogies would involve laws and regulations regarding the welfare of minors, and public safety. Esp. involving disease control and sanitary practices.

Obviously I am not big on religious fundamentalism to begin with, and I try to be tolerant, but this one combines an especially fringe belief with a significant public risk, to the most vulnerable. We have to quit entertaining every farking religious belief out there, or it never ends. Enough.
 

Gh0st

Well-known member
In my experience, most of the people claiming religious exemption do not have a true religious exemption. It's just the way that prompts the least amount of questions from the department of public health or department of education. Most people are the Jenny McCarthy types who stick to the claim surrounding Autism and vaccines, although this has been relentlessly studied and there is not one shred of proof that there is a link.

There are some groups that do honestly reject on a religious basis, but that excuse has largely been hijacked. The issue, is that it ruins public life for those who truly do need medical exemptions. Such as children with leukemia who just can't be put through the physiologic stress of multiple vaccinations. They rely on here immunity for protection and are the ones put at risk by other people's ignorance.
 

the_big_toe

Well-known member
There are some groups that do honestly reject on a religious basis, but that excuse has largely been hijacked.
Yep. Not a whole lot of these kinds of families in the schools in California where a big stink has been made about this kind of thing:

 

eastisbest

Well-known member
#1 - I do not agree that education is a fundamental right. You cannot have a "right" to the fruits of someone else's labor, and claiming that people have a right to education essentially says that you have a RIGHT to the labor of a teacher and school administrator,

#2 - Getting vaccinated and getting your kids vaccinated is just the smart, scientifically sound thing to do. It is a good idea for everyone if they do not have a compelling reason (I would say medical reason) to forego it.

#3 - In a free society, I do not think we should force people to do the smart, scientifically sound thing. Thus, if you do not want to get yourself and your kids vaccinated, you should not be forced to do so.

#4 - I have no problem with withholding some of the benefits our society provides (such as a publicly funded education) if you do NOT do the smart scientifically sound thing. I do think that if a group of like-minded parents want to form their own, private school where vaccinations are not required, then they should be allowed to do so.
1) Since you're mandated to go up to a certain age and it would be illegal to prevent someone from getting one, I suspect it is a fundamental right.

Kids are held out for being a danger to others. Heck, they're held out for wearing the wrong shirt. Not seeing a problem with the vaccination thing.
 

D4fan

Well-known member
Guess I am the lone desenting opinion here.

For me it is fairly simple. Either we have religious freedom to worship as we believe or we do not. That has nothing to do with vaccine vs no vaccine.

I believe if I were religiously convicted to do any thing harmful to myself I should be permitted to do it, up to and including denial of basic medical treatment to sustain life.

I view the "make them all get it regardless of their opposition" concept analigous to playing God. Society says it is best therefore you will get the vaccine. That makes social policy superior to God's interpreted policy, the logical conclusion is social policy is = or > God.

I find the wording also interesting that enrollment into a private school requires the vaccine not just public. In Ohio, even home schooled children are considered enrolled in a private school, and the county has an administrator that oversees their progress. If that is similar in California, then I guess you could say there is no way around the vaccine, as they do not allow parents to not educate their children.

This goes back to the old argument of "does your constitutional right supersede my constitutional right". I do not even have to wonder the outcome anymore. Seems we as a society have ranked our constitutional rights and the religiously based rights have found their way to the bottom. How long before society declares parents must vaccinate and must not indoctrinate?
 
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D4fan

Well-known member
Yep. Not a whole lot of these kinds of families in the schools in California where a big stink has been made about this kind of thing:

There is a contingent of families located in central California near Modesto that look like the one in the picture. Do not think happy people like these are stirring this issue up in California.
 

TigerPaw

Well-known member
D4, to GhOst's point, do you have any mechanism to determine what constitutes a religious exemption? Or are we on the honor system, and anything goes? If that is the case then it is against my religion to wear seatbelts, use indoor plumbing or septic, properly dispose dead relatives, register firearms, etc etc etc. How about societal laws governing alcohol and tobacco, sex crimes, various protective services for minors, etc? Doesn't there have to some level of rational, impartial judgment involved?

I do tend to generally agree with your comment on matters that only involve you, such as refusing treatment for yourself. And certainly medical euthanasia (which ironically the religious community opposes). But this is not that.
 

winbypin

Well-known member
I am confused.

When it comes to issues like legalizing drugs and abortions, the argument is the government shouldn't be allowed to tell anyone what to do with their bodies.

When it comes to vaccines, the argument is the government knows best?
 

TigerPaw

Well-known member
Not so much the gubmint as doctors, and medical profession. Disease control. But fair point I guess.

Btw, I'd also rely on the expertise of the science and the medical profession on those other issues as well.
 

the_big_toe

Well-known member
1) Since you're mandated to go up to a certain age and it would be illegal to prevent someone from getting one, I suspect it is a fundamental right.
You bring up some good points. I will have to give them some thought. My initial gut reaction is to say that access to education is a fundamental right, but that the education itself is up to the individual (or their parents) - similar to the right to food; you have every right to buy or grow your own, but the government is not obligated to provide you with it. But that seems like it may be a distinction without a difference, so I will have to give it some thought.

Like I said - good points. :thumb:

Kids are held out for being a danger to others. Heck, they're held out for wearing the wrong shirt. Not seeing a problem with the vaccination thing.
Oh, and I agree with this. As I said, I do not think the government is obliged to provide the education, so the government may place conditions upon a child/student receiving a publicly funded education. I think it is perfectly valid for one of those conditions to be that the child is vaccinated unless there is a medical reason that they cannot be vaccinated (thereby assuring some additional degree of safety for students who, for medical reasons, are unable to receive vaccinations).
 

the_big_toe

Well-known member
Guess I am the lone desenting opinion here.

For me it is fairly simple. Either we have religious freedom to worship as we believe or we do not. That has nothing to do with vaccine vs no vaccine.

I believe if I were religiously convicted to do any thing harmful to myself I should be permitted to do it, up to and including denial of basic medical treatment to sustain life.

I view the "make them all get it regardless of their opposition" concept analigous to playing God. Society says it is best therefore you will get the vaccine. That makes social policy superior to God's interpreted policy, the logical conclusion is social policy is = or > God.
I actually agree with you, but I draw a distinction between the government forcing you to vaccinate your child (which I would be opposed to doing) and the government not providing your child with a taxpayer funded education if you do not meet certain conditions (such as getting your child vaccinated). If you do not want the vaccinations, simple - just do not enroll your child in a school that requires such vaccinations.

I find the wording also interesting that enrollment into a private school requires the vaccine not just public. In Ohio, even home schooled children are considered enrolled in a private school, and the county has an administrator that oversees their progress. If that is similar in California, then I guess you could say there is no way around the vaccine, as they do not allow parents to not educate their children.
I agree with you here, and I would probably take it even one step further - I would allow private schools to set their own policies with regards to students being vaccinated. I might require them to be sure to disclose such policies to the students and their parents each year, but then, at least the families will be able to make their own informed decisions. I suspect the vast majority of schools would voluntarily mirror the public schools policies, but there might be one or two schools in a region that opted for different policies.
 

the_big_toe

Well-known member
There is a contingent of families located in central California near Modesto that look like the one in the picture. Do not think happy people like these are stirring this issue up in California.
Yes, I am aware that there are Amish in California (I suspect there are actually Amish in almost every state), but as you said, I doubt that they are the ones making a big stink about the issue. Something tells me the Amish lifestyle and belief system does not appeal to the Jenny McCarthy types that are the ones that are protesting the loudest about this.
 

Gh0st

Well-known member
Guess I am the lone desenting opinion here.

For me it is fairly simple. Either we have religious freedom to worship as we believe or we do not. That has nothing to do with vaccine vs no vaccine.

I believe if I were religiously convicted to do any thing harmful to myself I should be permitted to do it, up to and including denial of basic medical treatment to sustain life.

I view the "make them all get it regardless of their opposition" concept analigous to playing God. Society says it is best therefore you will get the vaccine. That makes social policy superior to God's interpreted policy, the logical conclusion is social policy is = or > God.

I find the wording also interesting that enrollment into a private school requires the vaccine not just public. In Ohio, even home schooled children are considered enrolled in a private school, and the county has an administrator that oversees their progress. If that is similar in California, then I guess you could say there is no way around the vaccine, as they do not allow parents to not educate their children.

This goes back to the old argument of "does your constitutional right supersede my constitutional right". I do not even have to wonder the outcome anymore. Seems we as a society have ranked our constitutional rights and the religiously based rights have found their way to the bottom. How long before society declares parents must vaccinate and must not indoctrinate?
I believe that when it comes to your own personal health care, you have every right to object to medical treatment. I think the line is crossed in matters of public health where abstinence from proven methods or directly engaging in risky health practices (deliberate spreading of HIV for example), public health wins out.

I think the vaccine issue is a little more complicated than just demanding everyone partake. It's a proven method that eradicated small pox from the U.S., and has made man deadly diseases almost unheard of anymore. It's been studied and shown very little as far as side effect. While I agree, forcing a vaccine program is too far, I think the idea is that it shouldn't come to that. I think with holding services is not the same as forcing people to vaccinate.

As far as home school, the article did mention that children who were home schooled were exempt from SB277 and were free to do as their parents choose. The state has even provided a home school curriculum.
 

MOUNT-UNION82

Proud Soldier's Dad
I believe that when it comes to your own personal health care, you have every right to object to medical treatment. I think the line is crossed in matters of public health where abstinence from proven methods or directly engaging in risky health practices (deliberate spreading of HIV for example), public health wins out.

I think the vaccine issue is a little more complicated than just demanding everyone partake. It's a proven method that eradicated small pox from the U.S., and has made man deadly diseases almost unheard of anymore. It's been studied and shown very little as far as side effect. While I agree, forcing a vaccine program is too far, I think the idea is that it shouldn't come to that. I think with holding services is not the same as forcing people to vaccinate.

As far as home school, the article did mention that children who were home schooled were exempt from SB277 and were free to do as their parents choose. The state has even provided a home school curriculum.
Well said.
 

Hank Moody

New member
#1 - I do not agree that education is a fundamental right. You cannot have a "right" to the fruits of someone else's labor, and claiming that people have a right to education essentially says that you have a RIGHT to the labor of a teacher and school administrator,

#2 - Getting vaccinated and getting your kids vaccinated is just the smart, scientifically sound thing to do. It is a good idea for everyone if they do not have a compelling reason (I would say medical reason) to forego it.

#3 - In a free society, I do not think we should force people to do the smart, scientifically sound thing. Thus, if you do not want to get yourself and your kids vaccinated, you should not be forced to do so.

#4 - I have no problem with withholding some of the benefits our society provides (such as a publicly funded education) if you do NOT do the smart scientifically sound thing. I do think that if a group of like-minded parents want to form their own, private school where vaccinations are not required, then they should be allowed to do so.
If I'm paying taxes, public employees are at my mercy...lord help them.
 

Hank Moody

New member
I'm pretty sure as a society we've agreed the the line between religious freedom and religious abuse is answered by "does ______ harm people outside of the religion's sphere". I'm sorry, but vaccination doesn't just involve you and your own.
 

TylerDurden

Active member
I'll preface this by saying both of my children have been vaccinated, but I can't help but see the mild irony in the argument that you're irresponsible if you don't get your kid vaccinated because they could catch xyz and then spread it to a vaccinated child.
 

Gh0st

Well-known member
I'll preface this by saying both of my children have been vaccinated, but I can't help but see the mild irony in the argument that you're irresponsible if you don't get your kid vaccinated because they could catch xyz and then spread it to a vaccinated child.
Every vaccine/medication has an inherent fail rate, nothing is perfect. I think the bigger concern is protecting kids that can't medically receive vaccines. Children with things like leukemia, SCID, etc to which these diseases can be particularly devastating. They rely on herd immunity for protection. Choosing not to vaccinate decreases herd immunity.
 

dado6

Active member
Every vaccine/medication has an inherent fail rate, nothing is perfect. I think the bigger concern is protecting kids that can't medically receive vaccines. Children with things like leukemia, SCID, etc to which these diseases can be particularly devastating. They rely on herd immunity for protection. Choosing not to vaccinate decreases herd immunity.
I'm deeply offended by the use of the word 'herd' to describe a group of people :laugh:
 
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