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Goodbye Jesus

Religious Exemption


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The Covid vaccine mandate and religious exemption made me think of my conversations here at ExC.  What I am understanding is the mandate crowd is basing religious exemption off of an objective standard....i.e. aborted fetal cells?  I'm thinking an individual should be able to claim religious exemption with no objective stance necessary.  Granted I haven't looked into the arguments at all, but this one hit me broadside and I thought to myself, I have to ask my buddies at ExC.  Hope everyone is well.

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Our household is well.  Hope the same for you!  


There are two separate issues lurking within that situation that are unfortunately conflated for the majority of people.


1.  What are the limits, if any, on executive power to mandate behavior of private citizens.  In legal parlance: what is the authorizing clause?  - This is distinct from and has no religious implications.

2.  What are the limits on "religious exemption" to conforming to the rules of a free society?


Issue 1 I dare not answer as I'm too ignorant of the various state and federal cases on the issue.


Issue 2 - there must be some rule by which the courts decide what is "acceptable" religious exemption and what is not.  Too much discretion in the hands of inferior courts will rightly lead to claims for violation of equal protection and if a religious group predominates among a particular race, then facially valid claims of "disparate impact" will also be raised.  People hold all manner of deeply held religious beliefs, some require reasonable accommodation, others do not.  Look at how Rastafarians are treated v. tribal groups that use peyote.  Look also at how the Amish are given a pass on compulsory education.  It's a hodgepodge, but religious exemptions must be more than simply "I deeply believe X to a religious degree; therefore I am exempt from state power".  That's the throughline of the position and it is the same sentiment as those nutjob sovereign citizens.


By way of example, years ago I had a file in a very wealthy enclave and the previous attorney declined to close.  The lender asked us for a second opinion (my mentor was still alive at the time).  We scrutinized title and found the previous seller had placed the property in a "divine trust" explicitly governed by the laws of god and not of man, in addition to numerous other useless filings.  The previous owner also had some youtube videos mixing sovereign citizen ideology with pan-african christianity.  Clearly we'd say he doesn't have a religious exemption to follow the laws of land ownership, but he does have a sincere and deep religious conviction.  Should he have been exempt from the laws and mandates of the state?

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