About Those “Sincerely Held” Religious Beliefs…

Well, the insanity is spreading. Examples are coming hot and heavy…

The GOP has declared a riot that killed nine people and did millions in property damage “Legitimate political discourse.” (As a cousin of mine quipped, “And Pearl Harbor was an over-exuberant fireworks display…”)

An Oklahoma bill proposes to fine teachers $10k for teaching anything “that contradicts religion.”( It doesn’t specify which religion…)The proposed act, named the “Students’ Religious Belief Protection Act” would allow parents to demand the removal of any book with “anti-religious content.” The immediate targets would be any discussion of LGBTQ issues, and study of–or presumably reference to– evolution or the big bang theory. (The bill  was introduced by the same wack-a-doodle who introduced a bill to remove books with references to identity, sex and gender from public school libraries.)

Teachers could be sued a minimum of $10,000 “per incident, per individual” and the fines would be paid “from personal resources” not from school funds or from individuals or groups. If the teacher is unable to pay, they will be fired, under the legislation.

I would be shocked if this lunatic proposal became law, even in Oklahoma–but it does give rise to a question that has recently become salient in the context of vaccine denial: what is religion?

After all, if we are going to protect something, we probably should be able to define it.

I regularly receive a newsletter produced by the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, and a recent issue considered that question in the context of “religious exemptions” from vaccine mandates. Are religious exemptions actually “religious,” or are people simply using the First Amendment as a pretext to get out of vaccine requirements?

Large-scale vaccine skepticism is a new phenomenon, but is it a religious phenomenon? As The New York Times’s Ruth Graham reports, evidence suggests “most objections described as religious to vaccines are really a matter of personal — and secular — beliefs.” In an article titled “Religious Opposition to Vaccines Is Rooted in Politics, Not Tradition,” UVA’s Evan Sandsmark argues that vaccine refusal among Christian conservatives has more to do with their politics than their religious convictions. “If they look to the moral reasoning and sources of authority within their traditions,” Sandsmark writes, “they will hear a message on vaccines that differs considerably from those on offer by many Republican leaders.”

Sandsmark is not alone in pointing out that Christianity is not an anti-vax religion. Numerous Christian leaders, including Pope Francis, have made public statements in favor of vaccination, and many scholars have debunked and dismissed the claims of those who say their Christian faith precludes them from getting vaccinated. As Curtis Chang writes, “Within both Catholicism and all the major Protestant denominations, no creed or Scripture in any way prohibits Christians from getting the vaccine.” Berry College’s David Barr puts the point sharply, “When Christians claim a religious exemption to this vaccine mandate because they don’t want to take it, the biblical term for what they’re doing is ‘taking the Lord’s name in vain.’”

As with so many other issues in contemporary society, the devil is in the definition. The newsletter cited a recent PRRI poll in which 52% of people refusing vaccination insisted that getting vaccinated would violate their personal religious beliefs; however, only 33% asserted that getting vaccinated would violate their religion’s teachings.

So–if the religion one purportedly follows does not prohibit vaccination, must we accept the insistence that these “sincerely-held personal beliefs” are religious?

Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, a scholar of both religion and constitutional law, has long argued for the impossibility of religious freedom as most people envision it, pointing out that laws mandating acceptance of religious exemptions require judges to become arbiters of orthodoxy—  determining which beliefs and practices are authentically part of a religious tradition and thus deserving of the exemption. They must determine whether there is doctrinal support from within the individual’s claimed religious tradition for whatever “sincere religious belief” s/he is claiming. If not–if we must accept as “religious” whatever commitments and beliefs a given individual claims are religious– then we are allowing people to decide for themselves which laws they want to obey and which laws they don’t.

So here we are. 

We have thousands of American Christians seeking religious exemptions from a public health measure that will save thousands of lives. Some significant number of those people are

disingenuously using their faith as a pretense for vaccine refusal, others are expressing their tenuous interpretations of the teachings of Christian faith, and others are invoking their own personal religious commitments while acknowledging that these commitments are not shared or supported by their religious authorities. 

The idiot who authored those bills in Oklahoma probably thinks the courts will define “religion” as whatever he personally believes….


  1. I am FaceBook friends with several people who I met through either work or volunteer activities and one young woman posted recently that although she has been vaccinated, she is loathe to show proof of this to personnel at a certain restaurant here in Bloomington who may ask for it. This was followed by an enigmatic remark “It’s like the mark of the beast.”
    I asked her why she felt this way and what she meant by her latter remark and she said “ It’s a violation of our freedom.”
    Another fellow interjected with “ You don’t have to answer her question.” Oh. My.

  2. The religion now is simply “I/me/my team” – that overrides anything that suggests concern for the country, humanity or the planet – selfishianity….selfishism…etc.

  3. The anti-vaxxers I know use the excuse “I don’t want the government to tell me what to do!”

    But every single one of them, if asked to do something else for the common good, would line up and brag about how good a person they are! And then,

    Something else about this being a free country and they won’t do that ! (Vaccine)

    I wish I could shrug it off, but this pandemic is not in control yet.

  4. “About Those ‘Sincerely Held’ Religious Beliefs…”

    As far as I am concerned regarding the overload of religion crammed into all of our physical orifices, too often on this blog by one commenter who has quoted most of his Bible here, I’m ready to turn to Indianapolis’ The First Church of Cannabis to escape all of the crap thrown at the fan. Religion, like my sexual preferences and my preferred pizza, are my personal business; I am a believer with strong faith and have discussed my beliefs with friends on occasion and then gone on to more important issues facing us at this time. Joan White’s FB friend who is loathe to show proof of her vaccination record to be the “mark of the beast” has outed her political affiliation with her religious comment.

    “The First Church of Cannabis was founded in March 2015 by Bill Levin, who attended Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, a Reform Judaism Synagogue, as a child. He said it was a direct response to the state of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).” The church was granted tax exempt status by the state within 30 days of application; it appears on Facebook to still be active with services on Wednesday nights. Services cancelled this past Wednesday night due to the weather. We are all familiar here with Mike Pence’s RFRA bill(s) but I don’t remember any actual references to what religious entity needed his “Restoration”. We saw legal battles over buying pizzas and baking cakes; Cannabis at least does have some medical benefits, which are basically denied in this state along with denial of farming hemp which has similar healing properties as cannabis.

    The 1st Amendment to the Constitution gives us freedom of religion but no freedom FROM religion. The Biblical spouters, including government officials, are also allowed freedom of speech; also with no freedom FROM speech to protect us from their blathering and obviously passing bills which affect all of us.

  5. At the risk of oversimplification, all of these “strongly held beliefs” stem from irresponsible leaders populating a broken political system. Did any of these folks wake up one morning and think, I have to grab my AK and go protect my constitutional rights? (Its a rhetorical question, by the way.)

    When a governmental system politicizes basic biology resulting in thousands of unnecessary deaths, it’s probably time to man the lifeboats.

  6. Try as I might, I can’t find any reference to vaccines in the Bible. It seems safe to assume that the rules about hand washing before eating and keeping Kosher are targeted at disease prevention, so it seems that those from the Judeo Christian traditions would be encouraged to do what was required for public health.

  7. As I prepare for the month of February’s local government meetings, my research landed me at Pope Francis’s latest encyclical. It’s worth a read especially for those of us in the USA and Britain. Here is an excerpt:

    “Amid the fray of conflicting interests, where victory consists in eliminating one’s opponents, how is it possible to raise our sights to recognize our neighbours or to help those who have fallen along the way? A plan that would set great goals for the development of our entire human family nowadays sounds like madness. We are growing ever more distant from one another, while the slow and demanding march towards an increasingly united and just world is suffering a new and dramatic setback.”


  8. I have a family member on the anti-vax bandwagon and it very much is her religion now (more like a cult actually.) I think she was primed for it by her other religion in which she was told that of all the billions of humans, only 144,000 would make it to heaven. And she, being one of those lucky few “in the know” will be among them. It is with truly religious fervor that she is trying to “convert” me to this new faith of hers, sending blogs and talks and book titles pulled from BitChute, to which they have been relegated because other platforms have misinformation standards. She sees that as persecution, of course. So the religion they are talking about may not be Christianity, but the newly minted anti-vax orthodoxy.

  9. At a recent “Meet Your Legislator” session in southern Indiana, a state representative claimed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 allowed him to be a jerk and walk around the meeting expelling unkown viruses from his lungs into others’ faces, while crowing about his unvaxxed status.

    Religious freedom excuses are nothing more than proclomations of asshole-ism. The fact that the definition of that phrase is intentional so it can be used as a weapon for anyone who chooses to be selfish and show no concern for the rest of society.

    I am a believer in the balance of the Universe, and they will all have to pay a price for their self-centered behavior.

  10. I have to sit in a hospital admin office amongst RNs who lied about their religious objections to this vaccine. I’m older, fat, and care for my mother who is a 3-time cancer survivor and is almost 85. This infuriates me. Their religion, as much as I can determine from random comments and unfortunate encounters on FB, is “you’re not the boss of me!” Several of them appear to be kind, loving individuals who would do anything someone needed…but it’s as if this is a bridge too far. What lunacy has overtaken people to make them, as was said, ‘take the Lord’s name in vain’ for the sake of their deeply held political belief?

  11. Sorry, I meant to say: Religious freedom excuses are nothing more than proclomations of asshole-ism. The LACK OF a definition of that phrase is intentional so it can be used as a weapon for anyone who chooses to be selfish and show no concern for the rest of society.

  12. As far as religious exemptions go, religious exemptions do not allow someone to put their fellow citizens or fellow man in jeopardy.

    Benjamin Franklin said to build a wall between church and state and build it high.

    Secularly, we cannot have a state-sponsored church. So we cannot have specific churches dogma to dictate secular law. Now, if one wants to make a decision that does not affect his neighbor or fellow man, as part of their worship, they are free to do that under the constitution. But, they are not allowed to make decisions and practice religious dogma, doctrine or rituals that would cause damage to the greater good of secular society.

    Sheila is absolutely correct, and quoting the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, I am down there at least once a month. The University of Chicago complex along with Rush and other large educational centers, are all in the same region, it’s a fascinating place for discussion and exchange of ideas. The ideas have to be rooted in some sort of fact. And anti-vaxx beliefs are not rooted in fact.

    The apostle Paul always talked about the thorn in his side. He traveled with Timothy to help him because of that thorn. Now, if Faith healing was a fact, if Faith healing actually worked, why would Paul continuously pray about the thorn in his side but it never was removed? So, Paul prayed for strength, strength beyond what is ordinary. So he could endure and continue his commission.

    If we can go by the philosophical teachings of plato, Aristotle, or read the poem by Epimenides, “we have life and move and exist” we realize that the apostle Paul quoted these individuals and use those teachings to make his point to the Greeks at that time. The apostle Paul also quoted the stoic philosopher and poet Aratus “for we are also his children”
    This phrase was also extremely similar to the Greek stoic writer Cleanthes. Paul used these words to make his point. (Acts 17:28)

    Your life and the life of your fellow man is extremely important. One of Christ’s apostles, Luke, was a well-known physician during his time.

    Anyway, getting back to the main point, nowhere in scripture does it talk about not seeking medical treatment.

    And as a matter of fact, because there was really no treatment for leprosy back in those times, individuals that had leprosy were to constantly announce that they were unclean wherever they went so there would not be any accidental contact or contamination between them and those that were not infected. The clothes and the housing of those who became infected were usually razed and burned. Relatives that were in contact with the individual that was infected were isolated until they were deemed clean. Or not infectious!

    And absolutely positively, one’s personal rights does not usurp the rights of everyone else in any society, but a secular society especially.

    Old and New testament teachings are completely clear on this issue, one is not to put themselves above the many. It says in both testaments to be in subjection and consider others Superior.

    Romans 13:1,2 says to be in subjection to the superior authorities, so we are to follow the law.

    And, if one to actually follow Christ teachings and love your neighbor? If you love your neighbor you aren’t going to infect them so that they are in agony and possibly die.

  13. Looking back, it is interesting to recall how STRICTLY conservatives defined and applied “sincerely held religious beliefs” 50 some years ago when holding draft board meetings and hearings as to which young men could be granted Conscientious Objector status and exempted from the draft for the Vietnam war. Almost NO men met the high, high, tight standards. even those raised in and attending the “traditional peace denominations” such as Brethren and Quaker. Of course, one must observe that in the tight interpretation used in the 60s and 70s, and the much looser interpretation demanded now, the conservative WERE consistently on the side of death.

  14. The “firmly held religious beliefs” is just more propaganda from the pro-virus wing of the Republican Party. You have a smorgasbord of emotionally charged options to pick from if you have the slightest inclination to get sucked into the mis-information morass of the current Republican party. Personal Freedom, Religious Freedom, Political persecution, and others are all slickly packaged, emotionally charged reasons to be pro-virus.

    Again, I will stress this is all still a cold political calculation by the Republican Party to win at any cost. Promote the virus to tank the current administration? Who cares if it kills people. Attack the capital to make people believe the election was stolen? It’s “valid political discourse”, so who cares if it killed people.

    I still believe you can’t fool all of the people all of the time is true. Unfortunately in this case you just have to fool enough people all of the time to keep the chaos going to win the next election. 🙁

  15. I haven’t any idea of what “sincerely held religious belief” means, if anything, and I don’t think either judges or draft boards do, either. The concept is slippery and subjective and beyond even an Aristotle or a Webster to define. It’s unfortunate that the modifying “sincerely held” was added to the phrase, a phrase already impossible to define for universal meaning and understanding of “religion,” a word itself subject to interpretation depending upon the channel selected to attempt an understanding of the unknown, ranging fromJew vs. Gentile to sophisticated brands of agnosticism and Eastern Philosophy.

    I for one choose the secular god of the moment, public health and the right to go to the store without getting killed by the unmasked, as my “sincerely held” view of how (switching to the religious definition) ALL of us are required to “love” (or at least not kill) our neighbor. Left to my own devices, I would require every American to “take the shot,” with the narrow exception (and with a doctor’s certification) that one who refuses to take the shot risks injury or death due to his/her immunocompromised status, and yes, I know, there will be quacks and politicized doctors who will sign off on such certificatrion, but no system is perfect and we must all do the best we can to blunt the effects of this continuing health emergency. Whatever helps. . .

  16. I love to quote from a Dr. Laura Schlessinger column when it comes to religious freedom discussions. These question were supposedly asked of her about following the Bible:

    a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

    b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

    d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

    e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

    f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?

    g) Lev 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

    h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27. How should they die?

    i) I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

    j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev 24:10-16) Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

    Enough said!

  17. Who we each are is defined as much by culture as thought. Our culture comes, with minimal conscious thought filtering it, from our observations of the behavior of what social media now labels “influencers”, others who we assume are like us but with more developed “taste”, which can be readily expanded from fashion to food to religion to economics to entertainment to politics to pretty much all common behaviors. Many who participate here try with varying success to influence, that way. Much more influential that any of us are those like Tucker Carlson, or politicians or preachers or prancing and dancing entertainers or super athletes.

    Cults are typically formed around super-influencers who focus on relatively small groups and fracture their culture to be distinctly separate from “normal”.

    The dynamics of culture are much more pronounced now because society is absolutely saturated with social and entertainment media, a process that began when those of us long in tooth were born eight or so decades ago. Now it’s as pervasive as the air that we breath and proportionally more influential as a result.

    It is, of course, as key to our economy as to our politics as it’s all paid for by sponsors, every second of it. It has made the products and processes of capitalism the central focus of our lives. I would argue that that has replaced freedom as the core of our individual lives.

    Who we have become, to an objective observer, is simply what makes wealth redistribution flow up in more voluminous ways.

    The question is, is that leading to a more or less stable society?

    I would argue less so to the degree that we are on the cusp of collapse.

    How do you see it?

  18. Here are the lyrics to a song I am writing. It seemed relevant to me given the current ‘freedom convoy’ in Canada (I’m Canadian). It has some intersect with the topic today…I think. The repeated ‘freedom’ line is sung, the verses will be rapped. It has yet to be recorded.

    You’re a Free Agent
    Anthony Hendriks

    Freedom, we all want freedom. Freedom, we all need freedom.
    You’re a free agent, you do what you do
    It’s your life to live and you’ll live it as you want to
    You don’t like the rules, don’t like regulations
    It’s your way or the highway, knock me and my way
    Freedom, we all want freedom. Freedom, we all need freedom.

    You got your tribe, and you got your chamber
    You got your privilege, feels good you’re a member
    You don’t trust many, politicians are a joke,
    Were it up to you, you’d blow them up in smoke
    Freedom, we all want freedom. Freedom, we all need freedom.

    But what will be left when you burn the place down?
    What will become of the pride of your crown?
    Your sons and your daughters and the ones that you care for?
    When the darkness you foster turns up at your door?
    Freedom, we all want freedom. Freedom, we all need freedom.

    Take a look in the mirror, what do you see?
    A man or a woman who want to be free
    But freedom can’t live when others are stepped on
    Bruise your brother and sister, and it’s all just a con
    Freedom, we all want freedom. Freedom, we all need freedom.

    Bein’ a member has its reward
    But turn on the people, you’re choosing a sword
    And someone will come to pay it all back
    No sleep for you, but prepare for attack
    Freedom, we all want freedom. Freedom, we all need freedom.

    The freedom you seek is just an illusion
    The anarchist’s coming to give you contusion
    His flagstaff is raised and aimed at your head
    Oh that you’d chosen care for others instead
    Freedom, we all want freedom. Freedom, we all need freedom.

    So forget that you live in a world made for you
    The world’s much too big to just run with your crew
    Open your heart to the dude down the street
    The mother and child and all you might meet
    Freedom, we all want freedom. Freedom, we all need freedom.

  19. On Jan 6th I tuned into the radio shows and most of them were in horror of what was happening. Most exclaimed this is not who we are. Let the other side burn down the businesses with their protesting. Anyone breaching the Congressional building should be held accountable. Unfortunately we see the same political rhetoric from both sides as gas prices soar, inflation climbs and the poor are being hurt by Washington’s poorly run economy.
    But on Jan 6th we knew that Whenever a large crowd assembles the government needs to take action. The FBI knew well in advance of the situation snd our taxpayer dollars went to waist.
    Remember in the previous summer when CNN said we mostly have peaceful protests while businesses burned to the ground adding to the desert and removing opportunity from black communities it was taking.place in.
    Mainly on Jan. 6th its rhtoric, why?
    Washington literally cant be overthrown as it takes one person in charge at general status or higher to create a coup. The government has the capability to hear the “chatter” of groups. If the current President says go home the day of January 6th, then he is not much of a coup leader, maybe atmost buffoon of the day.
    Violence over the last two years was funded, supported, overlooked, by many groups and and misrepresented by the corporate media for what it was.

  20. Kathy,

    Are you Hebrew? If you are a Jewish, I understand why you might want to quote exclusively Old Testament texts.

    Marcus Kalisch said of Leviticus the 19th chapter, “This remarkable chapter is perhaps the most comprehensive, the most varied, and in some respects the most important section of Leviticus if not the Pentateuch.”

    As far as Leviticus 20:20, it doesn’t say that they should be stoned to death, it says that they should die childless! So that is misleading.

    I could pick apart the entire comment, but, Sheila said not to do that! So, I’m not going to do that. That being said, I would have to admit, When you take things out of context, one is no better than the hypocrites that do the same thing on the other side. Laura Schlesinger or no Laura Schlesinger.

    My suggestion is to read the entire 19th chapter of Leviticus and then, you can understand what the Hebrew laws were, and why they were there. Later on, move to the Christian Greek scriptures. See how they Actually fit together like a hand in a glove. I find it entertaining that people can criticize what they have no knowledge about! That’s pretty sad.

  21. The equation of January 6th as “legitimate political discourse” is akin to saying assassination is an acceptable form of succession.

  22. I think if a person can get at the heart of religion, he/she will find it to be intrinsically conservative.
    If religion is diluted (polluted?) with political ideology, it becomes corrupted and no longer can be called religion. But we can’t seem to stop the practice of corruption. Thomas Merton called it the Promethean Instinct. It is human nature to deploy what belongs to god for self-serving purposes. The theft of holiness and its consequent transformation to the ordinary deludes us into a state of self-righteousness and, at its worst, erases our humanity. The tragedy, like that which afflicts certain of our anti-vax brothers and sisters, is the toxicity they bear without an awareness of it.

  23. There are no “religious authorities” in any testable sense.
    Religion often fractures hope of a civil society.

    “The ideas have to be rooted in some sort of fact.”-John Sorg, who endlessly quotes his interpretations of a book cobbled together by ancient goat-herders and edited and re-edited by various eras to fit their needs.
    And always touted as the actual words of some entity that created the universe.
    Back in the day, we just said “Wow! How arrogant!”

    This kind of superiority complex is where the seed of chaos sprouts:
    ” I find it entertaining that people can criticize what they have no knowledge about!”

  24. After working years as a nurse, I know people have all kind of reasons not to be compliant with a professional health plan. We didn’t always agree with them, and gave possible negative consequences to their choices. Of coarse we charted those conversations as not wanting to be held libel for their decision not to follow medical advice.
    Thank God we have a safe, effective and free vaccine that for the most part keeps us from having to be hospitalized & dying. We chose to take ours.
    A lot of the anti-vax attitude sprang up with the not proven association with autism in children. It has continued to grow exponentially since them. It seems many people are grabbing at reasons/ideas to quell their fears & build tribes of like minded, instead of taking vaccine to give physical protection. I think that fear/anxiety is at high level these days and we all have a choice as how to deal with it. I hate when I see or hear politicians/pundits lie about health and other issues that cause harm to Americans. It ought to be a crime.
    I’m of the belief that “search for truth” is of the essence of Science & Religion and they can go hand in hand. Studying religion scientifically goes a long way into freeing from suppresive dynamics.
    All the cultures over all time had their religions & laws. We hope with our attempts with Democracy to take the good of all prior efforts/knowlege and progress to a healthier/fairer culture for everyone. Our laws need to be made in good faith toward those aims.

  25. Wow…. I visit this page a few times a day and maybe even the next day to see the comments.

    Thank You Everyone for meaningful and insightful comments!!!

  26. Max,

    Absolutely correct! Mia Culpa. It was Leviticus 20:14. and absolutely it discussed death. death by stoning or other means. But also, the burning in fire or the beheading or the hanging, or impaled on a spear or pole was done postmortem.

    This is all the mosaic law, and, If you are a practicing disciple of Judaism, Well, these laws would still Be in effect.


    The Dead Sea Scrolls compared to today’s Bible, shows that the Bible has not changed. Now that’s fact Ormond! A bunch of goat herders? That intellectual epiphany? Well, that’s actually been disproven a long time ago. See what I mean? Don’t criticize what you don’t know.

    Actually, if one where to be even more specific, There have been approximately 1700 ancient copies of various portions of Hebrew scripture. comparisons of these were done, and some of these documents and copies were from approximately 200 BC concerning the Hebrew scriptures. They were found to be nearly identical with a few exceptions of spelling Which are easily corrected.

    There have been Writings on the Temple Wall at Karnak Egypt which discusses Pharaoh Shishak being ruler over Judah during the time of Solomon’s son Rehoboam’s kingship. 1st Kings 14:25, 26 brings out the very same events.

    The King Nabonidis Chronicle described the fall of Babylon. people Made the assumption that The king of Babylon during that time was King Nabonidus And that there were no individuals named Belshazzar. ancient stone inscriptions have later revealed that Nabonidus was the father of and co ruler with Belshazzar in Babylon at that time. (Daniel 5: 30, 31)

    The Book of Job , 26: 7 reads , that the earth is suspended on nothing. This was written several millennia before It was realized that the earth was not sitting on the back of a giant turtle which in turn was standing on the back of giant elephants.

    The Book of Isaiah , 40:22 says that God is dwelling above the circle of the earth. This was during a time that everyone thought the earth was flat or sitting on the back of a turtle That was standing on the back of giant elephants.

    I understand you are a skeptical individual, But the fact remains, after many years of research, and discussion, and reading papers and books by secularist archaeologists, that there’s absolute proof of the accuracy of scripture.

    The Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah, We’re actually written way before they happened. , this includes the 30 pieces of silver, The two sinners hung up on each side. That bones in his body would not be broken, That lots would be cast for his garments, amongst many other things. All these things actually happened. and were prophesied many centuries before the fact. Here is a list of some of the Old a New Testament scriptures that align themselves quite well. Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:3-9, Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:22, 23. Zachariah 11:12, 13. Matthew 27: 3 – 5, Isaiah 53:12, Luke 22: 37, 52; 23: 32, 33 . Psalm 34:20, John 19: 36, Psalm 22:18, Matthew 27:35.

    These are just a few things, there are many many many many more. There is much much more that I don’t know than I do know, So I keep reading and keep learning. I suppose you could explain the constitution in three words or so? What about federalism? What about fascism? What about socialism? What about communism? Life is much more complicated than it needs to be. But, with complication, you have and opening for Con Artistry, conspiracy and manipulation.

  27. What are you saying? When people refuse vaccination on religious grounds they are lying?

    Shocking!! Mercy me! I feel faint! Is the ground spinning, or is that just the firmament/flat earth?

    Of course, this is not surprising at all. A person undertaking a horrible act for religious reasons is always perfectly fine. Apparently. It would be nice if those people exhibited even the tiniest bit of shame. Or empathy.

    The last bit of today’s post is especially interesting. The real statement under consideration regards “sincere CHRISTIAN religious belief.” One must never say that, though, as that would be unconstitutional. So, it’s purposeful deception–lying–again. Surprise.

    It’s nice that your constitution and bill of rights includes so many great ideas. It’s too bad so many of you down there fundamentally (pun intended) don’t believe in those ideas.

  28. Regarding “sincere CHRISTIAN religious belief,” I should clarify. I’m not suggesting the belief is Christian in any sense, only that the _person_ making the claim is Christian. That’s what matters. That Christian person is allowed to modify the laws of the country to suit their needs at whim, but no other group should be afforded that power.

    So frustrating….

  29. While I’ve appreciated Sheila’s blog today, must we all be subjected to reading the arguments of some of those who comment? Please request that person’s email when you feel a need to prove a point. Thank you!

  30. Linda; you are not required to be “subjected” to read anything on this blog, you can simply scroll past those you don’t agree with or not read this blog at all. Each of us has our point of view based on information we have researched to reach our individual conclusion/opinion. This is called “freedom of speech” which Sheila supports and encourages; she is not looking for full agreement with her views or what she chooses to put forth as the issue of the day. Thank you!

  31. I saw an article written by someone credible last year some time, and the author interviewed a representative of every religious denomination she could locate. All of these representatives said that their doctrine did not prohibit vaccination, and, in fact, it was encouraged under the theory of protecting the common health.

    Maybe the “religion” these people are referring to is the ReTrumplican Party, that will pander to literally any lie or claim in order to get the faithful to the polls and seize power so as to shove their agenda down everyone’s throat. You see proof of this discipleship all over the place: banning books in Texas schools, banning mask wearing, striking down vaccine mandates, passing laws that teachers must vet their lesson plans in advance with parents, banning teaching of CRT (even though it isn’t taught below the university level), confrontations and violence at school board meetings by dumb people who have been indoctrinated into believing that CRT IS being taught, intimidation of poll workers and Democrat and honest Republican election officials. Because the Neaderthals who refuse vaccination because they believe it will make them and their children sterile, that it constitutes “gene therapy”, that it is “experimental”, and whatever other lies they hear on their alt/right news feeds vote Republican, the ReTrumplican Party goes along with what they want.

  32. @John Sorg, *please* stop quoting Jewish law out of context. You are being misleading and anti-Semitic (and playing into the notion of supercessionism, which might seem logical to you but is really nasty when you’re an adherent of the religion that is being labeled “obsolete.” Until you have also taken the time to understand the evolution of Jewish law over the past 2000+ years, please don’t start telling people what you think Jews (or Hebrews, not sure how you’re making that distinction) mean in our texts, especially not when your quotes all seem oddly oriented around making us appear primitive and brutal. Cut it out.

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