Hospital staff must swear off Tylenol, Tums to get religious vaccine exemption

Today I learned 5% of the people working in (these) hospitals have been unwilling so far to get the vaccine.

Regarding the main point of the article, I think the hospital’s position is likely correct.


I think we need a little more nuanced analysis. There are at least three categories:

  1. Pharmaceuticals that use fetal cells (or their derivatives/successors) as part of the ongoing manufacturing process. This would include the MMR vaccine and the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
  2. Pharmaceuticals that use fetal cells for testing/development. This would include the MMR vaccines, the monoclonal antibody drugs, and a great many drugs developed since the early 1990s. (this could probably be divided into 2a and 2b depending on how path dependent the fetal cell testing is/was).
  3. Pharmaceuticals that have been tested on fetal cells at some point. This would include things like ibuprofen, aspirin, and tums.

I’m not convinced that any of these should bind our conscience against use in a categorical way. But I also don’t think we should conflate 2 and 3.


Exactly. Thanks.

To add to what I wrote before: I think we should all take a step back and realize how integrated the use of immortalized fetal cell lines is in pharmaceutical development today. I pulled up a list of pharmaceuticals approved in 2019 ( Novel Drug Approvals for 2019 | FDA) and just did a quick search for each of the first 10 with HEK in Google Scholar. Every drug but 1 had hits and many had dozens. There was probably even more proprietary research being done in house that didn’t make it into the literature. Doubtless not all of these drugs were directly tested on the HEK cells, but they would probably all fall into bin 2 in my comment above. The ubiquity of the use of HEK, PER, MCE, etc. in research makes basically the whole sector complicit.

Sustaining a religious objection to pharmaceuticals in bin 2 above, including mRNA vaccines, would probably require abstaining from most recent pharmaceuticals.


So is the answer, “Aww shucks! They got us.” Or is the answer that the church needs to learn how to blush, and extend our offense to the entire industry?

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I don’t know, honestly. I’m not settled on the ethics. There are multiple goods (apparently) opposed to each other, and I don’t see anyone with a strong and competent voice leading on this issue.

Regardless of the correct ethical position, I don’t think there are as many liars as this article claims. A lot of people will sincerely appreciate knowing what medications to try to avoid, and not all items on this list will be a surprise.

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Religious exemptions are not about consistency. It is not the state’s job to care about my religious convictions or to evaluate how true they are. All they need to know is that I have them. I am not required to have internally consistent religious beliefs.

If the state does want to have a hand in deciding upon religious beliefs then we need to establish religious supremacy, in which case the state should establish Reformed Presbyterianism as the national religion and recognize the dominion of Christ over the United States.

The whole scam of religious liberty is that it either opens up a chasm of unlimited breadth or it is forced to establish some religions as superior over others. Nothing technically stops anyone from objecting to any law whatsoever on the basis of their religion, because a person’s religion need not be true or consistent, and no one can say what I believe in my heart.

We live in a world where literal satanists have had exceptions granted to them for the sake of abortion, homosexuality, and placing idols of satan in state buildings. If the state is willing to grant that these obviously fabricated beliefs constitute religious beliefs worthy of state protection then there are no limits to this argument.

The whole reason people are using religious exemptions for vaccines is that we all know that it is a gross overreach and the religious exemption is a technicality where people can maintain their liberty without causing much disturbance.

Perhaps the more serious issue is that the state has made such a practice of framing injustice by statute, that we are accustomed to the idea that it’s ok for Christians to be satisfied with merely having a backdoor for conscience sake, as if atheists lacking the right to do the good that is clear to them with respect to their conscience is no problem. I find this to be cowardice.

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Is it wishful thinking to wonder if the CEO is being subversive and drawing attention to how integrated this plague is into our daily lives?

In other words, ‘we’re using a religious exemption purely out of expedience.’

That’s not a conscientious objection. That’s using the Bible to flip the bird to the state. What does it profit you to win this tiny conflict if you forfeit your soul in the process?

I should add, I know there are those here who have genuine and consistent conscientious objections. I disagree with that position, but I respect it. But the above ‘objection’ is neither offered in good faith nor appropriate for a Christian (1 Peter 2.11-17). It will bring Christ’s name into disrepute among the pagans. Woe to us if we bring persecution on ourselves for our own stupidity. 1 Peter 2.18-24 has something to say about that kind of logic.


That’s exactly what I thought about the religious exemptions. That is, they are not grounded in any fundamental doctrine of Scripture. The ulterior motive is, as you said, maintaining personal liberty. In that way I find them self-serving. If liberty is at risk, or the vaccines are terrible, or something else is of broader concern (i.e. not just a concern for Christians), then why not attack those issues at the root? I think you hinted at this problem in your last paragraph.

As for religious liberty, I think our country’s founders reacted to abuses of state-church power. Perhaps it is a failed experiment in the sense that you suggest. But how would your proposed solution guard against the excesses of the past?

Clay has certainly alluded to this, but I do find that list somewhat disingenuous, considering aspirin was invented in 1897 and TUMS was first sold around 1930. Fetal cell lines might have been used in testing later, but they certainly were not being used when these OTC products were invented.


That’s not a reasonable answer. I have all kinds of religious objections to the vaccine. Abortion is just one of them. It seem that many here struggle with nuance and with all-or-nothing approaches.

What we are facing here is the same category of error as those who think that John 3:16 debunks Calvinism. When John 3:16 (poorly translated) says “whosoever” they take that to imply that election does not exist.

It also fails to recognize the imprecision of morally complicated situations. For example, if a crazed axe murderer used the heart of one of his victims to cure cancer are we forbidden from using that cure? Of course not. The axe murderer is guilty and should be treated as such. Care should be taken to prevent this kind of “research” in the future. We should take care to not reward the axe murderer for his discovery. But the cure itself would need to be retained.

The issue is that we are being forced to use a cure that we think is dangerous, that we don’t think works, and that was produced using illicit methods.

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Frankly we just need an established religion and the nation probably needs to divide based on it.

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Using abortion as a cover to hide political issues is unbecoming for a Christian. And it will bring Christ’s name into disrepute among the pagans.


Asserting that it is not reasonable is not the same as proving why it is not reasonable. It’s hard to take your assertion seriously when you follow it up with vague “all kinds of religious objections” and then proceed to insult the intelligence of everyone on Sanityville who disagrees with your take.

It’s one of a dozen different reasons to oppose the vaccine, but it’s one of the most well-tested politically. And if my liberty and opposition to abortion brings disrepute to Christ’s name among pagans, that is not our fault.

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6th commandment requires me to take lawful measures to protect my own life. I think that the vaccine is dangerous. Therefore I religiously object to the vaccine.

Christian liberty teaches that God alone is Lord of the conscience. Therefore I will not be bound by conscience to submit to “regulations” of touching, eating, handling, or injecting.

Abortion really is a real reason to not use a vaccine.

I don’t know of anyone here who argues you must use a vaccine that is definitely compromised by the stain of abortion. There has already been significant discussion here as to whether that is or is not true of the specific strain behind the Covid vaccine.

And even if were established definitely that the Covid vaccine was certainly tained by the stain of abortion, that is still not the same thing as asserting that your religion rather than merely your own personal moral authority teaches that it is a sin to partake of anything linked to that stain. That is what a conscientious objection is. Not fallacious uses of Colossians 2.21.

Which makes me think you’re not entering this conversation in good faith.

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