What’s so special about ‘religious belief’?

_80407506_178100803Source: The Washington Post

Correction: A previous version of this op-ed misidentified the diocese that voted to ban the use of the masculine pronoun to refer to God as the U.S. Episcopal Diocese. It was the Episcopal church in the Diocese of Washington that passed the resolution. The spelling of Rockland County, N.Y., Attorney Thomas Humbach’s name has also been updated.

Kate Cohen is an Albany, N.Y., writer.

 

Controversy accompanied the start of the school year here in New York. The state, responding to a serious measles outbreak, removed religious exemptions from its law requiring schoolchildren to be vaccinated. More than 26,000 unvaccinated children attended school last year due to their parents’ “sincere and genuine religious beliefs.” Now, unless those kids get vaccinated, they can’t go to school.

Some of their parents have held protests, with signs reading “Let the parents call the shots,” “Hands off my kids” and “Your vote kicked me out of preschool and my mommy can’t go to work,” which is pretty impressive writing for a preschooler.

None of these signs sport Bible verses or Talmudic sayings forbidding vaccination. In fact, protesters decrying the repeal of the religious exemption rarely mention religion, probably because there is little official religious opposition to immunization. “Religious belief” was probably the easiest way around the law, the “abracadabra” that made the problem go away.

Read more

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: