Chris Lange, FISM News
A group of federal workers, contractors, and military service members have sued the White House over religious freedom violations stemming from President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccination mandates.
The lawsuit, filed Sept. 23 in the D.C. District Court, asks the court to uphold the plaintiffs’ 1st Amendment rights by declaring unlawful an August Department of Defense memorandum mandating the vaccination of all military members, and the president’s Sept. 9 executive order, which also requires contractor employees working from home to be vaccinated.
One of the chief arguments set forth in the Complaint is that forced vaccinations by the government are in direct violation of the U. S. Constitution’s 1st Amendment “freedom of religion” clause. Under the clause, counsel argues, individuals have the right to “refuse a medical intervention, including a vaccination, if his or her informed conscience comes to this sure judgment.”
One of the plaintiffs, U.S. Foreign Service Officer Daniel Jackson, said he objects to receiving a vaccine developed with “human cell lines derived from direct abortions,” which, his attorneys argue, place him under “a general moral duty to refuse the vaccine.” Most members of the Christian faith consider abortion to be an abhorrent practice in direct violation of the biblical teaching that human life, which is created by God, is sacred.
Jackson’s lawyers also argue that vaccinations are “not morally obligatory in principle and therefore must be voluntary.”
The lawsuit also accuses Biden of “abject” dereliction of duty and “callous disregard” for the nation’s laws. It also says that the laws are authoritarian in nature:
In our nation’s history there exists a time that our government prioritized expanding power and vesting it in its people; a principle that differs in stark contrast to the authoritarian grip within which we now live.
Lawyers also argue that natural immunity to the virus “provides greater protection than vaccines.” One of the plaintiffs, Secret Service agent Lionel Klein, previously contracted and recovered from COVID-19. Klein believes his body has produced sufficient antibodies to ward off the virus, rendering the vaccine both ineffective and pointless.
Plaintiff Zachary Amigone, a federal contractor who works for 3M, cites “a personal and family history” of adverse reactions to vaccines, stating he “has been determined to be medically exempt from vaccination by a licensed physician.”
Last week, Republican lawmakers introduced the Health Freedom For All Act in an effort to block vaccination mandates for businesses with over 100 employees included in the Sept. 9 executive order. In a statement, bill cosponsor Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) accuses the president of government overreach, stating that “the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not have the authority to force American workers to submit to vaccinations or testing.” She also refers to the mandates as “another attempt by the Administration to skirt the law and do through government coercion what it is failing to do through persuasion,” pointing out that the requirements are “a complete reversal” of Biden’s earlier assurances that vaccinations would remain voluntary.
“Joe Biden promised us before he was president that he wouldn’t use his office to mandate COVID vaccines,” said cosponsor Rep. Jim Banks (R.-Ind.), referring to the mandates as an “unconstitutional and un-American federal overreach” by the President. “Now we know he lied,” he said.