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Politics Jeffress says 'there is no credible religious argument' against coronavirus vaccines

20:25  18 september  2021
20:25  18 september  2021 Source:   thehill.com

No major religious denomination opposes vaccination, but religious exemptions may still complicate mandates

  No major religious denomination opposes vaccination, but religious exemptions may still complicate mandates In Northern California, the pastor of a megachurch hands out religious exemption forms to the faithful. A New Mexico state senator will "help you articulate a religious exemption" by pointing to the decades-old use of aborted fetal cells in the development of some vaccines. And a Texas-based evangelist offers exemption letters to anyone — for a suggested "donation" starting at $25.In Northern California, the pastor of a megachurch hands out religious exemption forms to the faithful. A New Mexico state senator will "help you articulate a religious exemption" by pointing to the decades-old use of aborted fetal cells in the development of some vaccines.

Dallas Southern Baptist Rev. Robert Jeffress said this week that there is "no credible religious argument" against receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Robert Jeffress wearing a suit and tie: Jeffress says 'there is no credible religious argument' against coronavirus vaccines © Getty Images Jeffress says 'there is no credible religious argument' against coronavirus vaccines

Jeffress, an ardent supporter of former President Trump, told The Associated Press in an interview that he and his staff at First Baptist Dallas "are neither offering nor encouraging members to seek religious exemptions from the vaccine mandates."

Both the U.S. private and public sectors have taken steps to mandate vaccines or frequent testing amid the surge in coronavirus cases with the caveat that some religious exemptions will be given.

Amid talk of boosters, global vaccine disparity gets sharper

  Amid talk of boosters, global vaccine disparity gets sharper NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Several hundred people line up every morning, starting before dawn, on a grassy area outside Nairobi’s largest hospital hoping to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Sometimes the line moves smoothly, while on other days, the staff tells them there’s nothing available, and they should come back tomorrow. Halfway around the world, at a church in Atlanta, two workers with plenty of vaccine doses waited hours Wednesday for anyone to show up, whiling away the time by listening to music from a laptop. Over a six-hour period, only one person came through the door. The dramatic contrast highlights the vast disparity around the world.

The comments from Jeffress come after members of different Christian communities say that they oppose taking the coronavirus vaccine because fetal cell lines were used in COVID-19 vaccine testing, according to the news outlet. Fetal cell lines, however, are not present in the actual vaccines.

"Christians who are troubled by the use of a fetal cell line for the testing of the vaccines would also have to abstain from the use of Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, Ibuprofen, and other products that used the same cell line if they are sincere in their objection," Jeffress told the AP in an email.

Other religious organizations have objected to the use of religious exemptions or have stated outright that they will deny an exception for anyone who does not want to get the coronavirus vaccine.

Astros right-hander Zack Greinke confirms he tested positive for COVID-19

  Astros right-hander Zack Greinke confirms he tested positive for COVID-19 Greinke has slowly been working his way back to the mound and will start Tuesday's game against the Texas Rangers.Greinke provided an update Saturday, saying he, his wife and two sons all tested positive for COVID-19, adding that all four are fully vaccinated, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle.

An official from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America issued a statement on Thursday that leaders "unanimously affirmed that the Church not only permits vaccinations against diseases."

"In addition, although some may be exempt from the vaccination for clear medical reasons, there is no exemption in the Orthodox Church for Her faithful from any vaccination for religious reasons, including the coronavirus vaccine," the statement added.

"For this reason, letters of exemption for the vaccination against the coronavirus for religious purposes issued by priests of the Archdiocese of America have no validity, and furthermore, no clergy are to issue such religious exemption letters for any reason."

President Biden earlier this month announced a new rule through the Labor Department that states private companies of 100 employees or more will be required to mandate vaccinations or get tested weekly. The rule effects tens of millions of private U.S. workers.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. saw over 147,000 new cases on Thursday and over 160,000 the day prior. In comparison, cases were as low as under 10,000 in June.

Roughly 74 percent of people aged 12 years and older in the U.S. have received at least one dose of the vaccine with about 64 percent fully vaccinated, per CDC data.

Fact check: Chet Hanks video makes false claim about vaccine safety and UFOs .
A viral video by Chet Hanks contains misinformation about COVID-19 vaccine safety and UFOs. Abundant evidence shows vaccines are safe and effective.Hanks, whose parents were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the early stages of the pandemic, recently took to Instagram to share his controversial stance on vaccinations.

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