Are religious exemptions valid in a world of absolute medical mandates?
Politicians told us that Covid mandates were a requirement of survival – that this undue restriction on civil liberty and human rights was compulsory. In doing so, a generation was taught to seek safety inside the cage of unquestioned authority. The result has been the creation of a social prison whose jailers walk the streets as our neighbours, friends, employers, and family. Civilisation’s conscience is the State.
How can anyone conscientiously object when they are told what to think?
Far from being afraid of the virus, Australians are terrified of their own opinions. What a shocking thing for a democratic government with a pedigree in English liberty to breed within the youth. Compliance is useful in the short term for winning elections, but it is fatal to a population when they become the victim of bad political leadership.
Due to this creep of social collectivism, personal morality is no longer a valid excuse when objecting to unreasonable law. Only identity groups can petition the government successfully, playing on the natural fear that politicians have of unflattering headlines trashing their careers. Movements that are able to exert social pressure get their way without the need for a valid argument. Take Marxism as the example. Their agitators can do what they like, with Labor and Liberal premiers offering their protests exemptions while denying the rest of the nation the right to celebrate national holidays. Either gathering in a large group during a pandemic is too dangerous – or it is not. The State’s actions show that the risk actually depends on your politics.
Normally, the tyranny of these groups is tempered by the protections of custom and the Constitution. A plodding legal system is slow to adapt, giving ideas time to breathe before they are enshrined into law. In the case of Covid, Climate Change, and Social Justice – the most powerful, internationally funded groups have been allowed to make the rules, often in defiance of the actual majority. These laws can be broad, such as the endless expansion of the green tax system inflating Australia’s energy prices while crippling its productivity, while Critical Race Theory is insidious, festering within bureaucracies and institutions for years before infecting the corporate world as compulsory racist propaganda. Who would have thought that a university degree required a student to make written declarations about hating their culture, skin colour, and history?
Bizarrely, people will endure these depravities in law, but medical mandates are personal. The more severe the imposition on personal safety, the more likely a citizen is to rebel. Mandatory vaccination has always been a point of contest within society. Despite this, it has been somewhat a moot point as only a small proportion of the population object to vaccines that are otherwise universally and willingly adopted by citizens. There has been no need to pick a fight and force the issue. This has given the government an inflated ego when it comes to the Covid vaccine.
No doubt, someone in government examined a spreadsheet and decided that making the Covid vaccine compulsory, either by direct order or coercion, would be easy. Missing from their ‘educated’ guess was the general belief within the population that vaccines, while usually taken up, should remain voluntary. Despite the government spending over a year peddling terror, this philosophy remains at around 85% – far too high for the implementation of a mandatory directive.
A significant amount of people feel safer taking their chances with Covid than Big Pharma. Their fears are factually legitimate, given many countries have halted vaccine roll-outs due to unexpected, deadly side effects. Most of these people are pro vaccination, but specifically against Covid vaccinations. Their position was further entrenched by the press deliberately conflating them with anti-vaxxers. The press thought that if they joined the two groups, they could shame those resistant to Covid by the association with anti-vaxxers – but all they did was show up the levels of dishonesty subverting the public discourse.
Legal history tells us that the harder an unpopular law is pushed, the greater the resistance. If laws are widely unpopular, a sensible government would sit down and hold a review. The problem with ‘experts’ in a bureaucracy is that they have little regard for the wisdom of the masses and lobby politicians to carry on. In 1853, England enforced a compulsory vaccination law that sparked decades of noncompliance while increasing resistance among those who were previously pro-vaccination because the draconian measure made them suspicious. In 1898 the government finally added a ‘Conscience Clause’ to deal with public dissent.
While Scott Morrison has stopped short of ordering Covid vaccinations to be mandatory, there have been suggestions of a vaccine passport and, horrifically, vaccine certification to continue working or entering other businesses. The idea that an Australian government would deny individuals the right to work or trade over a mandatory vaccine is unthinkable. These Canberra thought bubbles burst as soon as they hit the airwaves, yet politicians persist with them imagining that a global consensus between nations will force compliance.
No one should have to justify their objection to these overreaches. The government and its laws are at fault – not the people who refuse to obey them. Unfortunately we are burdened by a spineless legal system and compliant press leaving the population defenceless.
To avoid looking like a serial killer, the government has always allowed medical exemptions. People whose health is considered precarious are given the discretion to decide if they want to undertake vaccination despite the medical data for their protection being strongest. In the case of Covid, it is healthy people who risk the most statistically from the vaccine compared to the virus. The only reliable way for them to escape an unwanted needle is by religious exemption – but where does that leave those without the protection of organised religion? These are not questions of faith, they are matters of physical violation by the State.
In an increasingly secular society, the government has essentially robbed individuals of their rights. The ‘my body, my choice!’ mantra of the left has been replaced by the notion that our bodies are part of the State collective. We are nothing more than pieces of the machine. Conscientious objection is possible in Australia, but without published Holy texts to wave in front of a tribunal, it is extremely difficult for the average person to prove that their moral objection is valid to anyone other than themselves.
If push came to shove, the government would find it difficult to prove that one ethical objection held more weight than the other without dragging organised religion into court and demanding a proof of God/Gods’ validity. This is something that organised religion would struggle to achieve, given that most religions are mutually exclusive of each other while holding the same legal status. Christian Porter’s Religious Discrimination Law is already opening this Pandora’s Box – I strongly advise that we all close it before serious damage is done to the peaceful environment of mixed faith.
If the Australian government makes good on their threat regarding mandatory vaccination, they will unleash a political disaster that may cause more harm than Covid lockdowns. People are already desperate, many of them are poor – the last thing a sensible politician would do is actively enrage them.
Here is the problem facing the government.
Several religions object to mandatory vaccinations, including those with enough social power to disrupt elections. To avoid trouble, politicians allow religious exemptions. If religious exemptions are valid, then it undermines the medical argument that politicians have used to rob other citizens of their constitutionally protected rights. This insinuates that the virus was not dangerous enough to justify the abuse of law and extensive damage to the economy, at which point hundreds of thousands might not only refuse to obey the vaccination regulations – they might turn around and tear apart the State and Federal governments with class actions.
Any crack in the government’s narrative will be catastrophic. This is the reason millions of dollars have been wasted on tasteless, relentless Covid propaganda campaigns. It is why there are stickers stuck to every damn surface and Big Brother announcements reminding us to maintain the fear.
Laws which allow exemptions are aware of their flaws. By choosing who can object to them based upon faith, political affiliation, status, and wealth – the government risks courting anarchy by creating a genuine class divide within Australia. This is exactly what predatory collectivists want. Labor cheers on the Federal Liberals, patting them on the back every time another mandate is rolled out. What Scott Morrison sees as bi-partisan support is actually a reflection of manipulation.
While the law has always been open to interpretation, it should never be wielded as a blunt weapon – nor favour one group over an other.
‘Justice’ and ‘law’ are not interchangeable. Australia has an abundance of law and a crisis of justice.
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Alexandra Marshall (@ellymelly on social media) is the host of "Curtain Call", a Good Sauce show exploring the leading personalities in the culture war. She writes on liberty, philosophy and geopolitics. You can find her on Twitter or read her articles over at her blog.
Elly is also an AI database designer for the retail industry, contributor to multiple online journals and a Young Ambassador with Australians for Constitutional Monarchy.
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