Religious Exemption From Vaccine Mandate Under Threat



republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

There’s a legal threshold that religious people must achieve in order to be exempted from a vaccine, or any other mandate by the government. It’s the “sincerely held belief” threshold and government and public health officials are preparing to challenge that by basically saying that those people who invoke the “sincerely held belief” standard are lying.

Others believe that there is danger in stretching the meaning of a religious exemption by not questioning those who seek to use it.

Admittedly, the standard is vague. But in addition to a reasonable definition of “sincerely held,” most supporters of the exemption think that abusing the standard to make a political anti-vax statement would be unethical and immoral.

NBC News:

Thomas Berg, a self-described “strong supporter of religious exemptions” and a religious liberty advocate who teaches law at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, said he believes that there is a strong case to deny many of the religious claims and to test religious sincerity.

“In cases where you’ve got a lot of potential insincere claims — and I think there’s evidence that is what’s happening here in which people are raising religious objections when they’re motivated by fear of the vaccine or political opposition to it — testing sincerity makes sense,” he said. “We have to test sincerity or else we have to accept them all or deny them all, so I think the courts will provide room for testing that.”

We know that none of our rights are absolute, that there are limits to even our most sacred rights. But who gets to create the religious exemption “test”? It should be a matter of grave concern because no major religion has a moral objection to vaccines and some religious leaders, including Pope Francis, say a vaccine is “the moral choice because it is about your life but also the lives of others.”

But for some pro-life advocates, it’s also about how the vaccines were reportedly manufactured and tested.

The Christian argument for religious exemptions follows two tracks typically: first, that the vaccine shots at some point in their production used aborted fetal cell lines. The second argument cites a Bible verse that claims that the human body is God’s temple of the Holy Spirit and argues that for that reason receiving the vaccine would be a sin.

Johnson & Johnson did use a replicated fetal cell line in the production of its vaccine, but Pfizer and Moderna did not. They did, however, use replicated fetal cell lines to test the effectiveness of their vaccine. Those cell lines, however, were isolated from two fetuses in 1973 and 1985 and then replicated numerous times over the ensuing decades. They are commonly used in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries to test and create medications.

The fetal cell argument is categorically rejected by some. “There’s a lot more drugs, vaccines and medicines you should not be taking and protesting if you’re really worried about these fetal cells being used,” said Arthur Caplan, a bioethics professor at New York University. “I don’t think most of this is sincere. I think it’s just a way to get out of having to take a vaccine.”

Of course, it doesn’t matter what the “ethics” professor “thinks.” What matters is what a defendant can prove. And since the average person has no idea how his drugs, vaccines, or other medicines are manufactured and tested, the notion that vaccine objectors are lying because they don’t object to how their medicines are manufactured and they just want to get out of taking a vaccine is ludicrous.

It’s an uphill battle to win an exemption from a vaccine mandate on all but very narrow medical grounds. But those on the left, who never miss an opportunity to stick it to religious people, would better serve their cause by not fighting the exemptions. The number of people who file will be very small and by not fighting against a religious exemption, the impression is left that the vaccine mandate isn’t really coercive.

Mandates are self-defeating and cause unnecessary division. It would be much more efficacious to simply keep encouraging people to get vaccinated and leave the moral judgments out of it.

Taliban Has Six Planes With Some Americans Passengers ‘Hostage’ At Airport

Taliban STOP six planes carrying American citizens and allies from leaving Afghanistan airport: Top Republican says passengers are being 'held hostage for demands'


  • Six planes chartered to evacuate hundreds of people from Afghanistan have been unable to leave for days, a top Republican has said
  • An Afghan official at the airport in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif said the passengers were Afghans who did not have passports or visas
  • But Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, the top Republican on the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that the group included Americans
  • He said the passengers were on the planed but the Taliban were not letting them take off, effectively 'holding them hostage'

The Mazar Sharif Airport is located 260 miles northwest of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, where military flights evacuated thousands of Americans and allies from the country amid the Taliban takeover last month

Taliban holding Americans hostage



republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

US President Joe Biden’s plan to speed up the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan weeks ago is still threatening American lives and the lives of people who we promised to protect.

The latest trouble comes from an airport in northern Afghanistan. Americans, Afghan girls, and Afghan interpreters are attempting to flee but have been prevented from leaving the country by the Taliban. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) said on Fox News Sunday that airplanes are stuck at the Mazar-i-Sharif International Airport with Americans on board. The planes are unable to take off because they had not received clearance from the Taliban.

Per McCaul, along with the Americans,  Afghan interpreters were also on the planes:

“We have six airplanes at Mazar-i-Sharif airport, six airplanes, with American citizens on them as I speak, also with these interpreters, and the Taliban is holding them hostage for demands right now,” he said on Fox News Sunday morning. “State has cleared these flights, and the Taliban will not let them leave the airport.”

McCaul added that the Taliban “are not clearing the airplanes to depart” and that the people trying to flee have “sat at the airport for the last couple of days,” in part because “the Taliban want something in exchange.”

WAIT FOR A SECOND! How can that be? Wasn’t the word from the Biden Administration that the Taliban were now nice guys who will let everyone leave? President Biden wouldn’t lie to America—just ask the mainstream media, they’ll tell you that.

A video of the McCaul interview is at the bottom of this post.

According to the Washington Examiner.

Ascend, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering Afghan teens and young women through mountaineering said it has people on planes forbidden to take off.

Marina LeGree, the founder and executive director of the program, told the Washington Examiner, “We’ve been stuck for 6 days. First, our own State Dept caused a delay and now it’s the Taliban and Kam Air in endless negotiations about price (or so we’re told).”

That makes sense because everything Biden’s far-left administration does is meant to extract a price—not a cash price but a political one. And the ignorant way they handle the evacuation was all to generate love from the progressive wing of his party who wanted it done differently than Trump planned it because “orange man bad.”

Ms.LeGree continued:

My group is mostly Hazara girls aged 16-23,”  “It isn’t safe for them to be held in the large group of anxious people, jostling for space. Gatekeepers are now letting in more and more people to the holding area for a price, and those people are trying to bribe their way onto the manifests. It isn’t at all clear who is in charge, or how this will end.“

The Taliban would love to have those young women to sell as wives and sex slaves.

CBS reporter Christina Ruffini backed up the story and even was allowed to read parts of a State Dept. memo,

Excerpts of an email from the State Department to members of congress viewed by CBS News acknowledged that charter flights are still on the ground at the Mazar-i-Sharif airstrip in northern Afghanistan and have permission to land in Doha “if and when the Taliban agrees to takeoff.”

“The Taliban is basically holding them hostage to get more out of the Americans,” a senior congressional source told CBS News.

(…) three other sources confirmed there are Americans in the area waiting to evacuate through charter flights.

The folks in the State Dept. told CNN, “It didn’t have any information on this specific situation but noted the US no longer has resources in Afghanistan.:

Gee whiz, no resources.  How did that happen? Maybe the spokesman who spoke to CNN can go to the executive suites at Foggy Bottom and ask them.

“We understand the concern that many people are feeling as they try to facilitate further charter and other passage out of Afghanistan. However, we do not have personnel on the ground, we do not have air assets in the country, we do not control the airspace — whether over Afghanistan or elsewhere in the region,” a State Department spokesperson told CNN.

“Given these constraints, we also do not have a reliable means to confirm the basic details of charter flights, including who may be organizing them, the number of U.S. citizens and other priority groups on-board, the accuracy of the rest of the manifest, and where they plan to land, among many other issues,” the spokesperson said.

Ya think?  Is it that the spokesperson is too stupid to understand that Secretary of State Winkin and Blinken, and Nod helped make that decision along with a feeble-minded President, NSA Jake (not Ed) Sullivan, who lied to America about the recent Israel conflict with the terrorist Hamas,, and a Pentagon leadership more concerned about white rage than protecting our country and our troops.

Folks, I have to be honest. This particular white guy is raging. No, I’m not going to commit any violence. That is not the way anyone should handle things. But I am angry as all hell about the Afghan screw-up, be it Biden’s stubbornness to do it any but the way Trump laid it all out for him, the fact that we left weapons behind so the terrorist Taliban is better armed than many of our allies, and that no one in this administration seems to give a flying freak about the promises we broke and the people we left behind.  And they keep feeding America with lies and excuses.

Of course, we have no assets in Afghanistan, and it’s all their fault–not because they pulled out—but HOW they pulled out.

It’s hard to understand how any of these people sleep at night.


Rep. McCaul: Executions Taking Place of Afghans Who Were US Partners



republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said Sunday executions of Afghans who were U.S. partners are now taking place in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the executions show “this is the same old Taliban.”

“Executions are taking place, we are getting videos coming in, stories and interpreters as being blocked by the Taliban,” he said.

“The retaliation has been severe,” he said. “Stories of interpreters being taken out to their families and watching their wives and families being beheaded, executed before they execute the interpreter. This is not a new and improved Taliban, this is the same old Taliban… reverting back to with the same brutal practices.”

According to McCaul, what’s needed is the ability to “see the threat so that we can respond” and “eliminate it.”

“We don't have that capability anymore and we're going back to pre-9/11 right now but it's worse,” he said. “It's worse because now they are fully armed with our weapons, our helicopters, and pallets of our cash.”

McCaul also lamented that no Americans have been allowed to fly out of Afghanistan since U.S. troops left, saying there were six planes waiting and wouldn’t be cleared, and “the Taliban is holding them hostage for demands right now.”

“My concern is they are going to demand more and more, whether it be cash or legitimacy as the government of Afghanistan,” he added.

“This is really turning into a hostage situation where they are not going to allow American citizens to leave until they get full recognition from the United States of America,” he said.

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Rescue Groups: Biden Tally Misses Hundreds Left in Afghanistan