If I do not get the COVID-19 vaccine, I could lose my job with a federal contractor. If I get it, I go against my conscience and the liberty I have to protect my family’s health, a fundamental right of Americans. I am not anti-vax, but I hate coercion. My wife and I are bracing for the financial consequences, but we want your advice.
Standing Against the Mandatory Vax
Dear Standing Against the Mandatory Vax,
I am sorry that you and your family have been placed in such a hard position. This is not a spat with a strongly opinionated believer in the hallways of the church; unlike others with an opinion on the issue, you are faced with a possible job loss.
Evaluate some of your options
Companies are required to make "reasonable accommodations" if an employee objects to receiving a vaccine for valid reasons. Such accommodations could include allowing the employee to work remotely or take a leave of absence. The employee could also show a negative COVID-19 test once a week, per the President's mandate. Ask to work remotely, or agree to get tested weekly. It would appear to me that if you are denied those options, then the law would be in your favor should you get wrongfully terminated.
Seek wise counsel before crafting this defense. My understanding is that this route is unlikely to be successful without a history of taking this position with other vaccines.
David Schrock argues this posture from a unique angle: “...we have seen an unending array of executive orders and economic decisions that have further tied the citizens to the state (think: government bailouts) and forced the state on the citizens (think: all the policies of the CDC). Topping the list of government intrusions is the vaccine mandate. And because this mandate has come with all the trappings of a religion, we now have a state that is forcing its religion on its citizens,” (emphasis mine). In other words, argue for separation of religion and state.
Appeal to your superiors
One of my friends used a very strong appeal to a high-ranking superior in the company. While not claiming a religious exemption, he believes that Americans should not be coerced into making a choice about their own health. Quoting from the Nuremberg Trials of 1947, he noted:
“Coercion into medical treatment violates the direct purpose of the 'Nuremberg Code' which was developed after World War 2 in order to set a series of medical principles and regulations. It states (emphasis mine):
"The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the interventionof any element of force,fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision."
He is yet to hear the outcome of this appeal.
Facing the consequences
The financial implications for your choice are potentially numerous. My understanding is that termination would be based on failure to comply with company policy and would, therefore, cause ineligibility for unemployment benefits. You will also face the stress of finding another job, the cost of regular testing, the possibility of higher healthcare costs, the chance of having to relocate, and more.
It is admirable that you and your family are willing to face the loss of your job based upon your convictions. Millions of Americans in a wide diversity of sectors are doing the same thing. Some companies are backing off of stringent compliance expectations.
Set aside your fear, and place your full confidence in God.
“…fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 ESV)
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble….Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:1,10 ESV)
Begin planning now for the possibility of a job change. Consider ways to supplement your income should the day come when you need to seek other employment. Possibly, your company or another can hire you on as an independent consultant. Use your network wisely by letting others know you are open to a job or career change. Networking for an inside connection is the best use of your time. Be specific on the type of opportunity you would consider. Activate your prayer partners.
God’s promises are most relevant in a time when we experience great need and come to fully and sincerely rely upon Him. Should you face termination, you will not be separated from God’s faithfulness. He will guide you through the storm and take care of you and your family. He also promises to work this all out for your good. The final outcome is yet to be determined. May God grant you peace as you trust Him with the consequences, whatever they may be.
Now is also a good time to address any problems you may have with personal debt. For more guidance, especially if your debt is related to credit cards, please consider contacting Christian Credit Counselors. They are a trusted source of help.
Chuck Bentley is CEO of Crown Financial Ministries, a global Christian ministry, founded by the late Larry Burkett. He is the host of a daily radio broadcast, My MoneyLife, featured on more than 1,000 Christian Music and Talk stations in the U.S., and author of his most recent book, Seven Gray Swans: Trends that Threaten Our Financial Future. Be sure to follow Crown on Facebook.