Religious waiver for vaccinations?

Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by Denton Elliott, Aug 10, 2009.

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  1. Denton Elliott

    Denton Elliott Puritan Board Freshman


    Are there any valid religious objection(s) to vaccinations? In the past we have stated religious objections but I am not sure they are valid. I am wondering if my objections are merely ethical?
  2. N. Eshelman

    N. Eshelman Puritan Board Senior

    Do you use any other medical 'means'?

  3. Denton Elliott

    Denton Elliott Puritan Board Freshman

    Nathan, your questions to me are why I started this thread. I would like to hear others' views. Like I said, I am not sure the religious objections I have used in the past are valid and that is why I am asking here if anyone else has objected to vaccines.
  4. he beholds

    he beholds Puritan Board Doctor

    I think the abortion issue could/would be religious.
  5. Denton Elliott

    Denton Elliott Puritan Board Freshman


    There is no doubt that abortion is objectionable and easily refuted using Scripture. This thread is in regard to vaccination only.
  6. CDM

    CDM Puritan Board Junior

    To start, if you believe them to be harmful to the health of those vaccinated see WSC:

    Q. 67. Which is the sixth commandment?
    A. The sixth commandment is, Thou shalt not kill.

    Q. 68. What is required in the sixth commandment?
    A. The sixth commandment requireth all lawful endeavors to preserve our own life, and the life of others.​

    Q. 69. What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?
    A. The sixth commandment forbiddeth the taking away of our own life, or the life of our neighbor unjustly, or whatsoever tendeth thereunto.​

    Also, see WLC:

    Q. 134. Which is the sixth commandment?
    A. The sixth commandment is, Thou shalt not kill.

    Q. 135. What are the duties required in the sixth commandment?
    A. The duties required in the sixth commandment are, all careful studies, and lawful endeavors, to preserve the life of ourselves and others by resisting all thoughts and purposes, subduing all passions, and avoiding all occasions, temptations, and practices, which tend to the unjust taking away the life of any; by just defense thereof against violence, patient bearing of the hand of God, quietness of mind, cheerfulness of spirit; a sober use of meat, drink, physic, sleep, labor, and recreations; by charitable thoughts, love, compassion, meekness, gentleness, kindness; peaceable, mild and courteous speeches and behavior; forbearance, readiness to be reconciled, patient bearing and forgiving of injuries, and requiting good for evil; comforting and succoring the distressed, and protecting and defending the innocent.

    Q. 136. What are the sins forbidden in the sixth commandment?
    A. The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment are, all taking away the life of ourselves, or of others, except in case of public justice, lawful war, or necessary defense; the neglecting or withdrawing the lawful and necessary means of preservation of life; sinful anger, hatred, envy, desire of revenge; all excessive passions, distracting cares; immoderate use of meat, drink, labor, and recreations; provoking words, oppression, quarreling, striking, wounding, and whatsoever else tends to the destruction of the life of any.​

    -----Added 8/10/2009 at 11:57:30 EST-----

    If the reasons are ethical would'nt they be religious [for us]?
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
  7. Denton Elliott

    Denton Elliott Puritan Board Freshman


    This is excellent! I never even thought about the 6th coming into play...duh on my part. Now I feel comfortable with stating I have religious objections!
  8. Scottish Lass

    Scottish Lass Puritan Board Doctor

    Aborted fetuses/babies are often used in the process and culturing of vaccines. Google 'abortion' and 'vaccine' to find details from myraid sources.
  9. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

  10. Denton Elliott

    Denton Elliott Puritan Board Freshman

    Ahhh...I didn't follow the connection. Thanks for clarifying. Sorry for misunderstanding Jessi. And thanks for bringing this to my knowledge.
  11. EricP

    EricP Puritan Board Freshman

    Forgive me, please, but I'm not sure what connections are being discussed. The notion that aborted fetuses are used for vaccine production is downright silly--while many vaccines used to be cultured (say from egg), more often recombinant technology allows them to be produced from cloned tissue, often mouse, insect, etc. And religious objections to vaccinations from the 6th commandment? If the WCF tells us that " the neglecting or withdrawing the lawful and necessary means of preservation of life" is sinful, in what way does that adversely apply to the MMR, OPV, etc? Using "religious objections" to argue against vaccination (for example by trying to claim how harmful they might be) flies in the face of a whole lot of evidence that they are helpful--note how less often we see iron lungs these days from polio, scarred faces from small pox, male sterility from mumps, etc. I suspect it's a whole lot easier to speak against vaccination from common but harmful disease when many of us live in countries like the US where standard of living (which goes along with food preservation, the ready availability of food refrigeration, good sanitation and garbage removal, clean water, and so forth) and medical care availability is much better than in many less developed countries. I might suggest being careful in using Scripture to argue something like this--it likely would be a stretch of exegesis, and might cause some unconvinced people to look askance at Christianity.
  12. Scottish Lass

    Scottish Lass Puritan Board Doctor

    Here is one of many sources that list the vaccines that use cells as part of the culturing process: Vaccines, Abortion & Fetal Tissue

    I would like to be wrong--do you have a source for your second sentence?
  13. he beholds

    he beholds Puritan Board Doctor

    The question of moral complicity with regard to using the vaccines that continue to be cultivated on the fetal cell line of aborted babies (though the abortions took place 30 years ago or more) may not be black and white, but the fact remains that the Rubella Vax, and the Chicken Pox vax are indeed created from fetal cell lines.

    The easiest scenario that I have heard to determind moral complicity is this:
    if a man was murdered and his wife authorized the use of his organs, would your accepting those for transplant make you culpable for his murder??

    The parents who aborted the babies used for vaccines did not do it to create vaccines, just as the murderer in the above situation did not murder in order to give organs. It is obvious that if either baby or man were murdered for medical benefits it would be a no-brainer that the accepting the benefits of this death would be evil.

    Here is the CMDA on vaccines and abortions.

    Here is an excerpt from one of their articles:
    You can find their moral complicity statement here.
  14. Jon Peters

    Jon Peters Puritan Board Sophomore

    I agree. Choosing not to vaccinate may be your preference but a Biblical mandate? I don't think so. If you use a Sixth Commandment arguement then you still have to wrestle with evidence about whether the vaccinations do more harm than good. From what I have read, much less than convincing me that more harm than good has occured, I have concluded quite the opposite. While a brother or sister may disagree with my conclusions, we should be careful not to judge the preferences of our fellow believers (not that anyone on PB has done so).
  15. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    If the vaccination counters a highly contagious disease, then refusing to vaccinate is a violation of the 6th commandment because it endangers both you AND the health of your community.

    A civil government, in such a case, for the public good, may make it a law that some vaccinations MUST be mandatory for all citizens.
  16. Denton Elliott

    Denton Elliott Puritan Board Freshman


    If vaccines 1) are created (some of them) using aborted babies, and 2) harm the immune system (there is plenty of evidence), then I believe we surely can and should claim the 6th to defend not vaccinating our children. I do agree that we shouldn't condemn others for getting their children vaccinated, but we should inform them shouldn't we?

    -----Added 8/10/2009 at 02:39:18 EST-----

    I know of no vaccine that is proven to be full-proof. Also, if vaccines protect people, then not vaccinating our children MUST NOT affect any other person already vaccinated right? :)

    Also, I believe in freedom. The government should not hold a gun to my head and force me to vaccinate my children when 1) there is no full-proof vaccine, and 2) there is plenty of evidence that they harm our immune system.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
  17. he beholds

    he beholds Puritan Board Doctor

    A negative to not getting vaccines (even the ones created via abortions):
    Rubella is most dangerous for pregnant women.
    Infants not receiving Rubella vax may not be seriously harmed, but they may pass it to pregnant women (b/c they happen to be around them a lot).
    Pregnant woman's baby is now at risk.
    That is not loving your neighbor.
  18. Denton Elliott

    Denton Elliott Puritan Board Freshman

    Interesting Jessi. So you are saying we have a double dilemma. On the one hand we can vaccinate and possibly harm our children and on the other we can not vaccinate and possibly harm an unborn child if our child is around a pregnant woman.
  19. wallingj

    wallingj Puritan Board Freshman

    A balanced article on the fetal tissue in vaccinations and the moral ethical problems associated with it. Vaccines, Abortion & Fetal Tissue

    with a list of alternative vaccines not made with aborted fetal tissue
  20. R Harris

    R Harris Puritan Board Sophomore

    We are about to be bombarded with government claims of the dire necessity to be vaccinated for the "swine flu." Much misinformation has been propagated from both government and non-government sources about the true nature of this viral strain.

    However, the Washington Post reported three weeks ago that the H1N1 vaccine will definitely contain Thimerosol (which contains Mercury), Formaldehyde, and Aluminum - three known neurotoxins, with Thimerosol having received great publicity over the past 15 years as being a potential contributor to the rise of autism in young children.

    While establishment medical authorities are casually dismissing the link and calling people "kooks" who attempt to make the correlation, numerous doctors are on record as to also questioning the impact that thimerosol is making.

    So if you feel that a vaccination poses a health risk to your children, by all means forego it. Your concern is your family, not the profits of Novartis or their obviously biased "experts" who tell you there is no problem. The reality of the matter is that washing hands frequently, having a diet high in fruits and vegetables, and being careful in settings where there is much social contact are often all that is needed to prevent catching the virus. I work in a hospital, have followed the above advice, and have not had the flu for as long as I can remember - despite going several years without a vaccination. (Admittedly, I do not have much direct patient contact, but I am still on the nursing floor units frequently.)

    With regard to scriptural support, I suppose any passage that reinforces your care and provision for your family would be adequate.
  21. Leslie

    Leslie Puritan Board Junior

    The sixth commandment should be a powerful incentive TO vaccinate. It's the same logic as wearing seat belts. While there have been occasions when seat belts have been detrimental to survival in a crash, in the vast majority of cases they save lives.

    Another reason--anyone not vaccinated should not EVER go to a developing country. In the states where most people are vaccinated, there is herd immunity so the unvaccinated are protected against some of the infectious diseases. Overseas the infectious diseases that are prevented by vaccination are rampant. Churches and mission agencies are negligent if they permit an unimmunized young person to go on a short term trip.
  22. CatherineL

    CatherineL Puritan Board Freshman

    We struggled a lot with the question of giving our children MMR (containing Rubella, which was initially created using tissue from aborted babies) as well as Varicella. I'm surprised more people don't know about the connection with abortion - even the Merk website clearly states that this is how the vaccinations originated (although it also clearly states that the vaccines themselves don't contain fetal tissue, which sometimes people mistakenly believe). The Catholics tend to be more up to date on these things than we are.

    Jessi's point is the impasse we came to - not only would a child not vaccinated against Rubella be a danger to any pregnant women, but also an unvaccinated girl grows up to be a women who could potentially be exposed to the virus while pregnant, almost certainly hurting her unborn baby.

    So, our solution at the moment is to allow the MMR vaccine, but not Varicella. Varicella was produced quite recently, despite the outcry (at least from the Catholic community) about the MMR vaccine's production using fetal tissue. Although chicken pox can be dangerous as an adult, we don't perceive the danger of not being vaccinated to be anywhere as bad as Rubella.
  23. he beholds

    he beholds Puritan Board Doctor

    Yep. We give most vaccines and are still weighing Rubella--I am not concerned about vaxing for chicken pox, I had it and survived.
    I am pretty convicted about causing pain or death to a person with a weakened immune system (elderly) or pregnant women just for my ideals. At this point, I feel that my pro-life stance, which is the right and only proper stance, could put others in detriment, while not actually doing anything for the cause, when it comes to vaccines. (It could be argued, though, that future vaccines will be created via aborted babies because so many accept its use in history--I would hate to have my name on the list of approvers.)

    It is a hard choice. But in the end, I do not feel personally responsible in anyway for the abortions, even if I did use the vax. I feel that what man meant for evil, God meant for good can apply (it may not, though--I am not basing my theology on this issue!) and that the babies aborted were not my fault, even if my children (and even me--I was vacinated as a child for Rubella) do somehow benefit from it. I would in no way support the killing of a baby FOR my good--and that is currently illegal. But I don't feel that I would be sinning to vax. So I don't have moral/religious convictions not to vax--though for the practical argument (will my use appear as support for future abortions?) I am withholding for now.

    I do think I would have religious convictions not to vax against HPV. If sin causes that disease, I don't know that I feel right denying that fruit.
  24. Idelette

    Idelette Puritan Board Graduate

    Yes, I was just about to mention the Vaccine for HPV! I read some states are requiring schools to mandate the vax....I would certainly protest against this if I were a parent! And there has been much debate about this vaccine and whether it leads to promiscuous behavior.

    HPV Vaccine: State Legislation
  25. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    It really is important for you guys to get your children vaccinated. There are many diseases out there that are life-threatening and not vaccinating them puts them in danger, and I'm sure one of the Ten Commandments (7th) comes into play here. There are also vaccinations that are not needed bc the disease isn't life-threatening to most ppl like the flu vaccination for if you want to skip this one as I do go for it. I feel it's irresponsible not to vaccinate your children.
  26. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    lol sorry just woke up! 6th commandment....
  27. Anton Bruckner

    Anton Bruckner Puritan Board Professor

    I highly urge my fellow Pbers to do research as to this swine flu and its so called vaccine. You guys are basing your need to take this vaccine on the notion that the government is ethical and paternal.

    This is not a clear cut case as thou shalt not kill or the Biblical case law against leprosy. There are many worldview factors that are coming to bear on this issue which will set a precedent as to what rights the government has over personal freedom and privacy of the individual citizens.

    I for one will try everything in my power to not have to take this vaccine since the vaccine makers have been granted immunity and other fishy things.

    Please brothers and sisters do not be naive.
  28. Denton Elliott

    Denton Elliott Puritan Board Freshman

    Won't you only cause issues with a woman's unborn baby if the mother has never been vaccinated? I remember I had a bad vaccination as a child and had to get a "real" vaccine later in life. Also, the vaccine itself is not 100% so I can't see how not getting vaccinated could violate the 6th. or 7th :lol:
  29. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    I don't consider the swine flu situation to be normative for the broader question of vaccinating children. Those of us old enough to remember the last swine flu vaccination fiasco are suitably jaundiced about this one.

    I'd also recommend avoiding yellow fever vaccine unless absolutely necessary.

    On the other hand, I would not have much regard for a parent who wouldn't vaccinate a child for polio or tetanus.
  30. Denton Elliott

    Denton Elliott Puritan Board Freshman

    There are no new cases of polio since they stopped administering the live vaccine which was the cause of perfectly healthy individuals contracting polio!!!
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