Forced Vaccination: The Tragic Legacy of Jacobson v. Massachusetts

Posted 11/2/2016


By Barbara Loe Fisher

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There is a lot of talk these days about the beliefs of judges who will be appointed by a new President to the U.S. Supreme Court. It is an important conversation because what those judges believe will be reflected in the legal decisions they make, decisions that could have consequences for centuries.

In states where vaccine exemptions are under attack, advocates for “no exceptions” mandatory vaccination laws argue that you and your children can be forced to get vaccinated because eight men sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court said so in 1905.  Public health officials and industry and medical trade lobbyists often invoke the Victorian era ruling in Jacobson v. Massachusetts1 to deny Americans the freedom to make voluntary decisions about vaccination.





utilitarianism
Attorney Lawrence Gostin has said that Jacobson v. Massachusetts is often regarded as the most important judicial decision in public health.”2 He got that right. He knew he could use it after 9-11 to re-write state public health laws giving government more police power to trample on freedom whenever health officials declare a “public health emergency.”3 4 5

The tragic legacy of Jacobson v. Massachusetts not only haunts public health law making in the U.S., it has come to define it. If you wonder why this summer CDC officials boldly announced they want more police power to yank you off a plane and put you into involuntary quarantine because they believe you might get measles, you can thank the Supreme Court.6  If your healthy unvaccinated child has been kicked out of school while sick vaccinated children are allowed to stay7 - or if you have been fired from your job because you said “no” to getting a flu shot8 - look no further than Jacobson v. Massachusetts.

In a nutshell, the judges sitting on the Supreme Court more than a century ago used bad logic, relied on old science and made the ridiculous assumption that doctors are infallible to give government the green light to force healthy Americans to risk their lives with a pharmaceutical product based on “common belief” rather than fact. Piously waving the “greater good” flag, they threw individuals under the bus by throwing civil liberties out the door.

Here is how the Supreme Court created the legal club being used today to take away your right to exercise freedom of thought, conscience and religious belief when making vaccine decisions for yourself or your children.

Pastor Jacobson and His Son Had Suffered Severe Reactions to Smallpox Vaccine

In 1904, a Lutheran minister, Swedish immigrant Henning Jacobson, objected to a Cambridge, Massachusetts Board of Health law requiring all adults to get a second smallpox vaccination or pay a $5 dollar fine. Pastor Jacobson and his son had suffered severe reactions to previous smallpox vaccinations and he logically argued that genetic predisposition placed him at higher risk for dying or being injured if he was revaccinated.




supreme court
He correctly concluded that smallpox vaccine ingredients were toxic and often caused injury and even death and that medical doctors were unable to predict who would be harmed.9 10 11 12 13 14 15 He made the legal and ethical argument that being required to get revaccinated was an assault on his person and a violation of his 14th Amendment right to liberty and equal protection under the law.16

Jacobson v. Massachusetts Affirms Infallibility of Doctors

But the attorneys representing medical doctors persuaded judges in the state court that Jacobson did not know what he was talking about and ruled against him. Instead of simply paying a $5 fine, Jacobson appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. It was a mistake that led to one of the most unethical and dangerous legal decisions in American jurisprudence.

In a split decision with one dissenting vote, the Court majority, including Oliver Wendell Holmes, said that citizens do not have the right under the U.S. Constitution to be free at all times because there are “manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily subjected for the common good.” They said that state legislatures have the constitutional authority to enact compulsory vaccination laws and exercise police power to restrict or eliminate liberty during smallpox epidemics to “secure the general comfort, health and prosperity of the state.” 

The judges dismissed Jacobson’s concern about being genetically susceptible to vaccine harm. Instead they chose to incorrectly affirm the infallibility of doctors by making this ignorant statement: “The matured opinions of medical men everywhere, and the experience of mankind, as all must know, negative the suggestion that it is not possible in any case to determine whether vaccination is safe.”

Compulsory Vaccination Compared to Military Draft

Comparing compulsory smallpox vaccination of adults with the military draft in times of war, the judges declared that a citizen “may be compelled, by force if need be, against his will and without regard to his personal wishes or his pecuniary interests, or even his religious or political convictions, to take his place in the ranks of the army of his country and risk the chance of being shot down in its defense.” 

Of course, today, most of the citizen soldiers being forced to “risk the chance of being shot down” in America are babies in newborn nurseries17 18 and little children who want to go to school.19 20




health security check
Vaccine Law Can Be Based on “Common Belief,” Not Fact

Although the 1905 Supreme Court judges dismissed concerns about the safety of smallpox vaccine as completely unfounded, they were clearly uncomfortable about Jacobson’s contention that his life was on the line. Not once, but repeatedly, they returned to the knotty problem of individual risk only to ridicule Jacobson and point out that his uneducated opinion was no match for the “common knowledge” expert opinion of medical doctors. In fact, the judges went so far as to say that - even if Jacobson could prove medical experts were wrong about the safety of smallpox vaccination - states still have the constitutional power to enact laws based on majority opinion and “common belief” and not on truth or proven facts. They said:

“A common belief, like common knowledge, does not require evidence to establish its existence, but may be acted upon without proof by the legislature and the courts. The fact that the belief is not universal is not controlling, for there is scarcely any belief that is accepted by everyone. The possibility that the belief may be wrong, and that science may yet show it to be wrong, is not conclusive...for what the people believe is for the common welfare must be accepted as tending to promote the common welfare, whether it does in fact or not.”

I wonder how many legislators know that the 1905 Supreme Court ruling being used to eliminate exemptions from vaccine laws was based on the idea that “common belief” – not hard evidence - can rule the day?

The 1905 Supreme Court judges tried to defend their decision by explaining that if individuals like Jacobson were able to get exempted from vaccination, it would mean that, “Compulsory vaccination could not, in any conceivable case, be legally enforced in a community, even at the command of the legislature, however widespread the epidemic of smallpox; and however deep and universal was the belief of the community and its medical advisors that a system of general vaccination was vital to the safety of all.”

And there it is again. The Supreme Court told state governments they can make vaccine laws based on “deep and universal” beliefs about vaccination, especially beliefs held by medical doctors, but can ignore the deeply held beliefs of individuals with good reason to conclude they will be harmed by vaccination.

The Utilitarian Legacy of Jacobson v. Massachusetts

What were the beliefs of doctors in the early 20th century? Well, many influential doctors in academia and those leading social reform movements believed in a political philosophy called utilitarianism, which has its roots in hedonism.21 Utilitarianism is a theory of morality based on a mathematical equation: the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.22 23  Legislators like it because law making becomes a simple matter of adding and subtracting numbers, like generals do on a battlefield when counting how many casualties it took to win a battle.

What the U.S. Supreme Court did in Jacobson v. Massachusetts was to codify the utilitarian rationale into U.S. law so government officials could use it to make public health policy. But the morally bankrupt core of utilitarianism was revealed in 1927, when Chief Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes and his colleagues used Jacobson v. Massachusetts to endorse the practice eugenics,24 an idea that Hitler took and ran with during the Holocaust.25

Jacobson v. Massachusetts Used for Eugenics in Virginia

In Buck v Bell (1927),26 Holmes ruled that the state of Virginia could use police power to protect the public health by involuntarily sterilizing a poor 17-year old single mother, Carrie Buck, who state officials had incorrectly judged to be morally unfit and mentally retarded – in effect, genetically defective - just like they said Carrie’s daughter and mother were.27

In one of the most chilling statements in American jurisprudence, Holmes declared, It is better for the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. Three generations of imbeciles are enough!”

The Ends Do Not Justify the Means

In the merciless 1927 Buck v. Bell decision, just as in the Machiavellian 1905 Jacobson v. Massachusetts decision, ethical principles grounded in respect for individual human life and civil liberties were stripped from U.S. law. The reasoning was that if utilitarianism could be used to create forced vaccination laws to immunize society from infectious disease, then forced sterilization laws could be created to immunize society against becoming infected with bad genes. The immoral premise that “the ends justifies the means” created a perfect climate for what became a tyranny of the majority.28




universal declaration of human rights
By 1932, mandatory sterilization laws had been passed in 29 states.  More than 60,000 Americans were involuntarily sterilized by public health officials before the barbaric medical practice was ended by most, but not all, states in the late 1940s.29

Informed Consent Is a Human Right

Utilitarianism was discredited as a pseudo-ethic in 1947 at The Doctor’s Trial at Nuremberg after World War II. The horrifying truth about what can happen when utilitarianism is used to create public health law was exposed for the whole world to see30 31 and gave birth to the informed consent principle articulated in the historic Nuremberg Code.32 The next year, basic human rights that include autonomy and freedom of thought, conscience and religious belief were affirmed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.33

Ever since, informed consent to medical risk taking has been the central ethical principle guiding the ethical practice of modern medicine.34 Except that public health officials and doctors giving vaccines in America today don’t want to respect that ethical principle.35 36 37 38 39 40

In 2005, professors of law and bioethics at Boston University wrote about how Jacobson v Massachusetts is no longer relevant. They said that, “Jacobson was decided in 1905, when infectious diseases were the leading cause of death,” and when “Few weapons existed to combat epidemics.... Preserving the public’s health in the 21st century requires preserving respect for personal liberty...Public health programs that are based on force are a relic of the 19th century; 21st-century public health depends on good science, good communication, and trust in public health officials to tell the truth.” 41

How we can we trust public health officials who think that some children are expendable for the rest? Jacobson v. Massachusetts is a Supreme Court decision that allows government to commit human rights abuses.

Educate your legislators about the importance of protecting human rights in vaccine laws. Browse NVIC.org for more information and create a free account at NVICAdvocacy.org today to learn more about what you can do and how to get involved.

It’s your health. Your family. Your choice.

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CDC Wants to Expand Power to Eliminate Measles What You Need To Know and Do Now

Published 9/13/2016

By Barbara Loe Fisher
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I remember the day in 2007, when I was standing in front of a Maryland country courthouse videotaping interviews with mothers and fathers lined up with children, who had been thrown out of school for failing to show proof they had gotten chickenpox and hepatitis B shots. 12 State public health officials were threatening the parents with fines and jail time and suddenly, as we were talking, men in uniforms with guns and dogs emerged from the courthouse and headed toward us. In the pit of my stomach was the sickening feeling that people in countries throughout history have felt when the exercise of freedom of thought, speech and conscience is met with a demonstration of police power wielded by agents of the State.

Today, the American people are challenged, as they have never been before, to confront the expansion of government authority over our bodies and the bodies of our children, specifically the exercise of police power to take us into custody and isolate us without our consent whenever public health officials believe we are sick or could become sick. At stake is the preservation of human rights and cultural values that have been part of America since the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights defined civil liberties two centuries ago.




Are public health officials getting ready to apprehend and quarantine you or your child if they believe you are, or could become, infected with measles or any other communicable disease they decide is a threat to the public health?

Are they enlisting airline and other public transportation personnel to help them conduct a dragnet that will be easy for you to get caught up in when you travel?

Once you are detained, can they hold you for 72 hours against your will until you agree to be vaccinated or they declare you are no longer a threat?

Is this for real or not?  You be the judge.

CDC Moves to Amend Public Health Service Act

During the last days of summer, while we were vacationing, shopping for school supplies or, in the case of Virginia families, while we were busy pleading with legislators to protect the medical and religious vaccine exemptions in state vaccine law, 34 public health officials at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) were quietly publishing a very long Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the August 15, 2016 Federal Register to amend federal public health law. 5  The part of the Public Health Service Act they want to strengthen is the part that gives them power under the US Constitution 67 to restrict the freedom of a person entering the U.S. or traveling between states if they believe the person is infected or could become infected with certain kinds of communicable diseases. 8

You only have until Oct. 14, 2016 to make a public comment to the CDC and contact your legislators in Congress, so please take this seriously because what the CDC is proposing applies to all Americans who travel outside the country or between states, especially on commercial airlines. In the future, it could extend to any form of transportation when you cross state lines, including by bus, train or car.

Involves States With Police Powers

This Notice of Proposed Rule Making – or NPRM - involves the participation of federally funded state health departments and state facilities, too, because the majority of police power to detain, isolate and quarantine citizens belongs to the states. 910 Many state legislatures, which have legal authority to pass laws controlling communicable diseases within state borders, voted to give public health officials expanded police powers after Sept. 11, 2001 by adopting the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (MSEHPA) 111213 and The Turning Point Model State Public Health Act 14 created at Georgetown University’s Center for Law and the Public’s Health and the CDC Collaborating Center Promoting Health through Law.


pandemic-outbreak
If this NPRM is implemented and the states follow suit, you and your children could be vulnerable to detention and quarantine if health officials decide you are, or could become, a transmitter of measles or other infections because, for example, your electronic medical records reveal you have not gotten every dose of every CDC recommended vaccine. Let’s not forget that no government agency, corporation or person, who creates, produces, sells, licenses, recommends, mandates or administers a federally recommended vaccine to you or your child, has accountability or liability in a court of law in front of a jury of your peers if you become brain injured or die from vaccination.151617

The Quarantine List Was Short But Not Anymore

In a nutshell, the federal government is consolidating and strengthening power that was originally used to prevent persons with yellow fever and cholera from disembarking from ships entering US ports in the 19th century and causing epidemics on land.18 For most of our country’s history, the list of contagious diseases that allowed government health officials to detain and quarantine people without their informed consent was appropriately very short, confined to a few very serious contagious diseases, including yellow fever, smallpox, cholera, diphtheria, infectious tuberculosis, and the plague.

It is worth noting that polio was never put on that list.

In the past 15 years, CDC officials persuaded two Presidents to issue Executive Orders in 2003, 2005 and 2014 to expand the “isolate and quarantine” list. In 2003, Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers, such as Ebola, and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS were added. 19 In 2005, pandemic influenza was added. 20 But in 2014, the Presidential Executive Order did not name a specific disease that would warrant detention and quarantine, it simply described “diseases associated with fever and signs and symptoms of pneumonia or other respiratory illness” that have “the potential to cause a pandemic” or are “highly likely to cause mortality or serious morbidity if not properly controlled.” 21

Now, the word, “morbidity,” means the incidence or how often a disease occurs in a population, 22 and is very different from mortality, which means death. There are many viral and bacterial infections that occur quite often in our country, like bronchitis and the stomach flu. Almost every infection has the potential to cause serious complications, injury or death for some people, but that doesn’t mean government health officials should have the power to take you into custody and isolate you if you look sick or have been around someone who is sick.

Displaying symptoms of respiratory illness is wide-open territory, and those symptoms can be due to everything from severe allergies, asthma and COPD to sinus infections, pertussis, measles, chickenpox, and pneumonia.  Other symptoms that could get you detained under the NPRM are vomiting and diarrhea or a fever over 100 degrees, which are common to everything from allergic reactions, inflammatory bowel disease, salmonella and norovirus infections to hangovers and the common cold. How about a headache with stiff neck that could be nothing more than a bad migraine?

CDC Puts Measles in Same Basket with Ebola

So people took notice when the CDC announced on Aug. 15 that there was an urgent need to amend federal public health law to “reduce and mitigate the risk of outbreaks of Ebola, MERS, measles and other communicable diseases in the U.S.”
Ebola and…..MEASLES?


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Let’s see, Ebola is a lethal, highly contagious virus that can quickly overwhelm and damage the human immune system and cause uncontrollable bleeding from the eyes, nose, mouth and every orifice, killing 25 to 90 percent of people who get it. 2324 And then there is measles, which I remember having as a child for a week while I took naps, wore sunglasses and read books with my Mom, ate chicken noodle soup and sipped fruit juice until the spots went away. That was my experience with measles in the 1950’s and it was the commonplace experience of 99.99 percent of baby boomers in America, who got measles or chickenpox.

In 1960, three years before the measles vaccine was licensed, the death rate for that childhood infection was 0.2 cases per 100,000 persons.25 Before the chickenpox vaccine was licensed in 1995, there were about 100 deaths per year in a U.S. population of 260 million people. 26 A case of measles or chickenpox does not come close to qualifying as a public health emergency that requires a person to being taken into custody by a government official.

Have a Rash? You Could Be Detained

And, yet, the CDC is arguing that, “The ongoing persistence of measles in the United States provides a good example of the need for this NPRM,”27 and “Although not a quarantinable communicable disease, every case of measles in the United States is considered a public health emergency because of its extremely high transmissablity.”28

So in the NPRM, the CDC defines a potentially “ill” person deserving of special government scrutiny to be someone with “areas of the skin with multiple red bumps, red, flat spots or blister like bumps filled with fluid or pus that are intact or partially crusted over,” warning ominously that “the presence of skin rash, along with fever, may indicate that the traveler has measles, rubella (German measles), varicella (chickenpox) meningococcal disease or smallpox.” 29


chickenpox
Smallpox? As in the infectious disease that the smallpox vaccine is supposed to have eradicated from the earth? Or is the CDC talking about weaponized smallpox, as in the weapons of mass destruction that have never been found and prompted the U.S. Congress to create a lucrative public-private partnership with the pharmaceutical industry after Sept. 11, 2001 to create lots of new liability free vaccines under the umbrella of “bioterrorism?” 3031

OK, let’s accept that there is an extremely small possibility that the traveler could be infected with weaponized smallpox, but let’s also admit that it is far more likely that the traveler with a skin rash is suffering from a bad sunburn, acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, the hives, or severe allergies and that a mild fever could be due to an old fashioned cold. The specter of babies with eczema, teenagers with acne and families who spent too much time in the sun being pulled off airplanes and detained in CDC quarantine centers32 at airports around the country is comical, if it were not such an obvious warning that Americans are in clear and present danger from federal government overreach.

CDC officials appear to be obsessed with measles in the NPRM. They point out that, “different diseases may elicit different levels of responses at the public health department level, with a more rapid response for highly infectious diseases like measles that can be prevented with timely post-exposure prophylaxis, and a more measured response for less infectious diseases like TB.” 33 The term “post-exposure prophylaxis” means they want to inject you with MMR vaccine.

Tuberculosis has been on the “isolation and quarantine” list for decades. Now the CDC is implying that measles is more dangerous than tuberculosis. Come to think of it, the NPRM looks like it was written with Merck - the sole source supplier of MMR vaccine in the U.S. - at the drawing table.

CDC Wants Airline Personnel to Report If You Are Sick



airline personnel
In the NPRM, the CDC uses their familiar refrain, “communicable diseases are just a flight away,” and this is a heads up that your airport experience is about to become an even bigger nightmare than it already is if their plan becomes law. Frequent flyers, you should know that the CDC wants to, in effect, deputize commercial airline personnel to step up surveillance on passengers, who have rashes, diarrhea, vomiting, low grade fevers, coughing or otherwise “appear obviously unwell” and report them to health officials.34 I wonder how much money it is going to cost the airlines to train their personnel to be infection control nurses and snitch on passengers who “appear unwell” like coughing too much or going to the bathroom too often?

And if you are suspected of being sick or likely to get sick with an infection that health officials consider serious enough to qualify for detention, here is what will happen:

After You Are Taken Into Custody

After you are taken into government custody, it appears you can be held for 72 hours without the right to contact an attorney or anyone else to appeal your detention. You will be asked to sign a contract with the CDC that you consent to the “public health measures” being applied to you or your minor child, which may include “quarantine, isolation, conditional release, medical examination, hospitalization, vaccination, and treatment.”35

But even if you don’t voluntarily agree to sign that contract, public health officials can still do whatever they want to do to you because “the individual’s consent shall not be considered a prerequisite to any exercise of any authority” by the CDC.36 And if government officials do release you from detention, you can be electronically tracked and monitored, including by electronic tracking devices you have to wear or by email, cell phone texts, video conferencing and voicemail. 37

It will be easy for the CDC to electronically track and monitor your movements after they release you. Since the early 1990’s, when Congress passed the phony HIPPA “privacy” legislation, federal health officials have been using your tax dollars to create and operate electronic medical records and vaccine tracking systems that use health care identifiers to keep tabs on how healthy or sick you are, what kind of drugs you take, and which vaccines you have gotten. 383940 HMOs are hooked in 41 so your medical information, including your vaccination status, can be shared with gernment researchers, pharmaceutical companies and law enforcement officials.  42

You Can Be Fined and Jailed for Disobeying CDC Orders

And if the CDC finds you guilty of disobeying their orders and they believe you transmitted an infection to someone else, you can be fined “$100,000 if the violation does not result in a death, or one year in jail, or both, or a fine of no more than $250,000 if the violation results in a death, or one year in jail or both.” 43 Plus they have added this curious language without explanation: “Violations by organizations are subject to a fine of no more than $200,000 per event if the violation does not result in a death, or $500,000 per event it the violation results in a death.”44

Right now, measles is not officially on the “detain and quarantine list.” But measles easily could be put on that “isolate and quarantine” list if CDC officials convince the President to issue an Executive Order if or when the NPRM becomes law after Oct. 14, 2016.

Eradicating Measles From the World

It is no mystery why the CDC gave measles a lot of attention in the NPRM. Measles is the next infection that the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control want to “eradicate” through global forced vaccination programs like they did with smallpox and polio.4546 In underdeveloped countries, armed police with dogs join forces with doctors with syringes and hunt down every last citizen to get them vaccinated 474849 with, in this case, it would be an MMR shot or two, or three…or more.

Reportedly, the global measles eradication campaign 50 will kick into high gear after public health officials soon make the announcement that polio has been eradicated from the earth. 51 That declaration will be made, even though vaccine strain polio paralysis is crippling children, who have been given live oral polio vaccine over and over and over again in mass vaccination “pulse” campaigns. 52535455


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The Long Arm of the Public Health Police

It looks like federal health officials are upping the ante in the high stakes chess game that industry, government and medical trade have been playing with the freedom of the American people for a long time. The long arm of the public health police is being felt already in states like Mississippi, West Virginia and California, which have eliminated vaccine exemptions, and forced vaccination lobbyists in dozens of other states are attacking exemptions protecting freedom of thought, conscience and religious belief. 5657 Pediatricians are being encouraged to become belligerent enforcers of vaccination and deny medical care to children, whose parents refuse to give them every one of the 69 doses of 16 vaccines CDC officials recommend. 58  5960 And nobody can forget the manufactured public health crisis in 2015, when a few cases of measles at Disneyland turned into a media feeding frenzy, with calls for doctors to be stripped of their medical licenses for criticizing vaccine safety and providing care to unvaccinated children, and for censorship of freedom of speech about vaccination, and for parents of unvaccinated children to be charged with medical child abuse, sued, fined and jailed.61

Sound familiar?

Most Americans support laws that prevent people infected with a highly contagious lethal virus like Ebola from entering or traveling in the country. That is why there was a justifiable public uproar in the summer of 2014, when public health officials failed to exercise the Constitutional authority they have always had to prevent persons infected with or exposed to Ebola from entering or traveling in the U.S.62
But measles is not Ebola and chickenpox is not smallpox.

Millions of Americans Want Vaccine Freedom of Choice

Public surveys show that 87 percent of parents have declined one or more federally recommended vaccines for their children 63 and one-third of all U.S. adults 64 and 42 percent of Americans under age 30 65 don’t think parents should be forced to vaccinate their children. That is a lot of Americans wanting to exercise freedom of thought, speech and conscience when it comes to vaccination. But even supporters of mandatory vaccination laws need to pause and reflect upon a federal government plan to take into custody and quarantine people who have a rash or cough a lot.


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Just read the hundreds of public comments already posted on the CDC’s website by outraged citizens. 66 After you do that, please post your own comment, too, before Oct. 14 and contact your members of Congress, 67 who may not be aware of what the CDC is trying to do. Signing an online petition or “liking” an article on Facebook is not enough. You need to make direct contact by phone, email or in person with the people who represent you in Congress and express your sincere concerns.

The CDC’s proposed change to the Public Health Service Act is not about health. It is about taking away civil liberties that keep Americans safe from tyranny. It is about getting permission to tag, track and force individuals against their will to be injected with biologicals of known and unknown toxicity today, so there will be no limit on which individual freedoms the State can take away in the name of the greater good tomorrow.

The question is: Will be American people let them get away with it?

Will you let them get away with it?

Or will you stand with the growing citizen army of enlightened Americans who are defending the human right to freedom of thought, speech, conscience, religion and informed consent in this great country of ours. You know what needs to be done. Stand up and protect your civil liberties now, so you will never have to wish you had when you still had the freedom to do it.

Before it is too late, browse our site and go to NVICAdvocacy.org to learn how to become a vaccine freedom advocate in your state.

It’s your health. Your family. Your choice.

References

Defending the Religious Exemption to Vaccination

Posted: 6/28/2016


 By Barbara Loe Fisher

To activate and view hyperlinked references, please click here once and then click any superscripted number below to access a hyperlinked reference, or scroll down to the bottom of the article to view all hyperlinked references.



Every summer, Americans celebrate the 4th of July to mark the day in 1776 when the American colonies agreed they would no longer be ruled by an aristocracy. The Declaration of Independence begins with, “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” That Declaration was a rejection of oppression by a ruling aristocracy and the pledge that this country would uphold the unalienable natural right to life and liberty that belongs to every person.
american-flag-freedom.jpg240 years later, we find ourselves again fighting for freedom from oppression because we have allowed the rise of a new ruling aristocracy, an elitist class of privileged citizens who want the legal right to judge, shame, segregate, discriminate against and punish fellow citizens who do not share their beliefs.  Nowhere is this truth more self evident than in the oppressive implementation of one-size-fits-all mandatory vaccination laws that fail to respect biodiversity or human rights and crush citizen opposition, in violation of the informed consent ethic and freedom of thought, speech, conscience and religious belief. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
When a ruling aristocracy uses the heel of the boot of the State to create fear and oppress average citizens for their beliefs, there is no other word for it but tyranny. The appropriation of unaccountable authority by medical trade and the militarization of public health in the 21st century should be of concern to every person who values life and liberty. 26 27 28 29

U.S. Supreme Court: Vaccines are “Unavoidably Unsafe”

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with what Congress said in 1986, and that is:  government licensed vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe” and pharmaceutical corporations should not be liable for vaccine injuries and deaths. 30 31 Today, when your child dies or is permanently brain injured after vaccination or the vaccine fails to protect your child, you cannot hold the vaccine manufacturer or the doctor who gave the vaccine accountable in court in front of a jury of your peers.
With this free pass, in 2011 and 2012 the multi-billion dollar vaccine machine powered by medical trade, industry and government rolled into the legislatures of Washington, Vermont and other states with the goal of eliminating religious and conscience vaccine exemptions that have been in place in the U.S. for more than half a century. 32  NVIC has worked with families and other grassroots organizations to protect vaccine exemptions in 15 states but, in 2015, Vermont lost the conscience exemption and California lost the personal belief exemption protecting both exercise of conscience and religious beliefs. 33

Vaccine Machine Invades Virginia

This year, the vaccine machine invaded Virginia.  A proposed law was introduced in the House of Delegates in January 2016 to strip away not just the religious vaccine exemption, but also the medical exemption for all children, whether they are being homeschooled or are enrolled in public or private schools. 34 An individual physician would no longer exercise professional judgment when granting a child a medical exemption but would become a government agent enforcing the narrow one-size-fits all federal vaccine contraindication guidelines 35 36 approved by the Centers for Disease Control, which means that 99.99 percent of children would not qualify for the medical vaccine exemption in Virginia. 37
virginia-house-of-delegates.jpgVirginia families pushed back quickly and hard against the draconian bill that would make Virginia the state with the most oppressive forced vaccination law in the country. 38  Although the bill was temporarily withdrawn this year by the attorney lobbyist and obstetrician sponsoring it, 39 similar legislation is expected to be reintroduced in 2017 after a report is released by the Joint Commission on Healthcare this fall.
Virginia has a very tiny 1.1 percent vaccine exemption rate for kindergarten children, which is lower than the national vaccine exemption rate of 1.7 percent. In fact, Virginia ranks in the top 10 states with the lowest vaccine exemption rates. According to the CDC, only 305 kindergarten children in Virginia have a medical vaccine exemption and 891 children have a religious vaccine exemption. 40
So why has the vaccine machine attacked a state with one of the lowest vaccine exemption rates in the country to persecute 1200 kindergarten children and their parents?

Freedom of Conscience, Religion First Became Law in Virginia

For the answer, you have to look no further than the history of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the principles upon which the United States of America was founded. Virginia is the hallowed ground where freedom of thought, conscience and religion was first defined as a natural right and was codified into American law. Virginia is the place where George Mason and Thomas Jefferson wrote the Virginiathomas-jefferson.jpg Bill of Rights and the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom and where, over the years, the General Assembly has enacted the strongest religious freedom and parental rights legislation in the country.
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution approved by Congress in 1789 says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
That First Amendment was based on the Virginia Bill of Rights adopted by the Virginia General Assembly before Congress approved the U.S. Constitution Bill of Rights.
Section 16 of the Virginia Constitution states that:
  1. “All men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience;” and
  2. “No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever,” and
  3. “The General Assembly shall not prescribe any religious test whatever” on citizens.
This means it is a violation of the Virginia Constitution to eliminate the legal right to exercise religious beliefs according to the dictates of conscience, or to force citizens to belong to an organized religion or a particular church in order to exercise conscience and religious beliefs.

Virginia’s 1786 Act for Religious Freedom

There is another law in Virginia that protects freedom of religion. Virginia’s Act for Religious Freedom was adopted by the Virginia Assembly in 1786, three years before the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution was approved.
This historic Act is very clear about what religious freedom means, stating in the first sentence that, “Almighty God hath created the mind free.”
Here Virginia law is saying that freedom of thought was given to mankind by God.
virginia-statue-for-religious-freedom.jpgThe Act goes on to say that, “All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments, or burdens, or by civil incapacitations… are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion...”
Here Virginia law is saying that a human being has a natural right to freedom of thought, conscience and religious belief and must not be coerced or punished for exercising it.
The Act accurately points out that legislators and rulers are “fallible,” that they do not have the right to assume “dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others….”
Here Virginia law is emphasizing that human beings, including government officials, are not infallible and that religious faith is individual, a matter of conscience, and that legislators do not have the right to impose their ideology, opinions and beliefs on others.
Even more strongly, the Act states that, “our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.”
Here Virginia law is pointing out that individual opinions about math and science differ, just as opinions about religion differ, and an individual’s exercise of religious belief must not limit the individual’s exercise of civil rights.
Finally, in a ringing defense for freedom of thought and religious liberty, the Virginia Religious Freedom Act declares without qualification that, “No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities…..We are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present, or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right.”
When Virginia law talks about natural rights, it is referring to what today are often described as human rights. Among the human rights recognized globally is the right to freedom of conscience and religion. Conscience can be defined as the part of your mind or an inner sense that tells you what is right or wrong and guides you to a morally right action.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948 after World War II states that, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”
universal-declaration-of-human-rights-(1).jpgWhen explaining religious freedom to his friends and colleagues, Thomas Jefferson said that freedom of religion belonged to, “the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.” 41 Jefferson believed in a Creator but he did not identify with an organized religion nor was a member of a church, and his reference to “Infidel of every denomination” likely was an affirmation of freedom of thought, which also includes the freedom to be agnostic or an atheist and have no religious beliefs.
In other words, freedom of religion encompasses freedom of thought and conscience and applies to all personal beliefs about religion.
Additionally, the ethical principle of informed consent to medical risk taking has been defined as a human right since 1947. 42 43 44 Today, informed consent is globally recognized as central to the ethical practice of medicine. 45 Informed consent means you have the right to be fully informed about the benefits and risks of a medical intervention, such as use of a pharmaceutical product like vaccines, and be free to make a voluntary decision without being coerced or punished by anyone for the decision you make.
Your human right to exercise informed consent to medical risk taking without being coerced or punished for the decision you make is very similar to the language in the Virginia Religious Freedom Act that protects citizens from being punished by government officials for exercising the natural right to freedom of conscience and religious belief.

Virginia Reaffirms Religious Freedom Act in 2007

In 2007, the Virginia Assembly reaffirmed the Religious Freedom Act of 1786 with a major caveat and that is, “No government entity shall substantially burden a person’s free exercise of religion… unless it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person is (1) essential to further a compelling governmental interest and (2) the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”
This caveat sets an appropriately high bar for substantially restricting a person’s free exercise of religious belief. For example, if the state argues it has a compelling governmental interest to prevent an infectious disease epidemic, government officials must still demonstrate that mandatory vaccination laws are “essential” to achieve that goal, and then, further demonstrate that those laws are being implemented in “the least restrictive” way.

Vaccine Freedom of Choice: A Human Right

informed-consent.jpgWhen we defend the natural right to exercise freedom of thought, conscience and religious belief, we are not called upon to talk about different scientific hypotheses explaining how and why vaccines can cause injury and death, or why the CDC is unaccountable and a whistleblower should be subpoenaed by Congress to testify about the risks of a particular vaccine. The arguments about vaccine science and who is right and who is wrong about it will be argued for the next century.
Our responsibility is to defend without compromise the human right to exercise freedom of thought, conscience and religious belief for ourselves and our minor children for whom we are legally responsible, without being discriminated against and punished with denial of education, health care, employment or other societal sanctions that violate our civil rights.
There are three general statements about vaccination in the U.S. that cannot be disputed, which are:
  1. Like prescription drugs, vaccines are pharmaceutical products that carry a risk of injury, death and failure. 46 47 48 49
  1. There are genetic, biological and environmental high risk factors that make some individuals more susceptible to vaccine reactions, but doctors cannot predict who will be harmed. 50
  1. The U.S. Congress and Supreme Court have declared government licensed and mandated vaccines to be “unavoidably unsafe” and more than $3 billion dollars in federal vaccine injury compensation has been awarded to children and adults under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. 51
These three basic facts about vaccination affect your human right to exercise freedom of thought, conscience and religious belief:
Because vaccines can injure or kill and doctors cannot predict who will be harmed, and the U.S. government has acknowledged that fact and indemnified pharmaceutical corporations and doctors, while awarding financial compensation to children and adults who have been injured or died from government licensed vaccines, 52 you have the human right to exercise informed consent, freedom of conscience and religious belief when making a decision about vaccination for yourself or your minor child.

Judeo-Christian Tradition Affirming Duty to Follow Conscience

The medical practice of vaccination is only 220 years old and came thousands of years after the founding of the world’s major organized religions (Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism). There is no major religion with a written tenet opposing vaccination.
open-bible-psalms.jpgHowever, there is a strong Judeo-Christian tradition affirming the duty of those who believe in God to follow their conscience.  If you are a Christian, you can find passages in the Bible, which affirm your beliefs as a Christian to follow your conscience and the guidance given to you by God through prayer. Prayer for guidance is central to many Protestant denominations. 53
For example, there is Timothy 1:5 - “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
There is Proverbs 3:5 - “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
There is Colossians 2:8: “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”
There are many more Bible verses that affirm the need for Christians to have faith in God and be guided by scripture and follow their conscience.
Also, the definition of moral conscience is discussed in detail in the catechism of the Catholic Church, which holds that, “Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process of performing or has already completed. In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right. It is by the judgment of his conscience that man perceives and recognizes the prescription of the divine law.”
In even stronger terms, the Catholic Church warns that, “a human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself.”
If you are of Jewish faith, your foundation is the old testament of the Bible and the Torah, which emphasize that man is created in the image of God and that each individual human being has worth and a right to equal and loving treatment. Preservation of human life and reliance on God is central to the teachings of Judaism.
There is Psalm 146 -  “Halleluyah! Praise HASHEM, O my Soul! I will praise HASHEM while I live, I will make music to my God while I exist. Do not rely on nobles, nor on a human being for he holds no salvation. When his spirit departs he returns to his earth, on that day his plans all perishPraiseworthy is one whose help is Jacob’s God, whose hope is in HASHEM, his God. He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them, Who safeguards truth forever…”
Whatever your sincere religious beliefs, you do not have to be a member of an organized religion or church to hold them and defend your human right to exercise freedom of conscience. In America, you should not have to live in fear that you will be judged and punished for exercising freedom of thought, conscience and religious belief.

Assault on Cultural Values and Beliefs in America

freedom-is-never-free.jpgMandatory vaccination laws that violate human rights are the tip of the spear of the political assault on cultural values and beliefs in America, including freedom of conscience and religious belief. 54 This assault began in the 20th century with the tragically flawed 1905 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Jacobsen v. Massachusetts 55 56 that used the pagan ethic of utilitarianism 57 58 59 to devalue the life of the individual and endorse state forced vaccination. That morally corrupt legal decision served as the basis for another morally corrupt Supreme Court ruling in Buck v. Bell in 1927, when Virginia doctors were given the green light to sterilize Carrie Buck in an endorsement of state eugenics laws based on the cruel utilitarian “greater good” rationale. 60 61
The 1905 U.S. Supreme Court justices may have given state health officials the legal authority but they will never possess the moral authority to demand that individuals sacrifice their lives for what the State has defined as the “greater good.” Laws that fail to protect freedom of thought, conscience, religious belief and informed consent are a violation of human rights and the false ethic of utilitarianism should never be used to implement public health policy in America.

Virginians Ready to Defend Human and Civil Rights

The ruling aristocracy operating the vaccine machine has chosen Virginia as the battlefield to wage a war on religious liberty because they know that if freedom of thought, conscience and religion can be gutted in Virginia, it can be gutted anywhere.
The citizens of Virginia who understand what is at stake stand ready to defend human and civil rights on the hallowed ground where freedom of conscience was born in America.
act-now.jpgBecause the right of the State to tell us what to do to our bodies and the bodies of our children ends where our right to protect our lives and our children’s lives begins.
Because we believe that every life is important and we will not look the other way while those vulnerable to vaccine injury and death are being sacrificed in the name of the greater good.
Because when the State considers one of us to be expendable, then we are all considered expendable.
We are the daughters and sons of liberty. And we will defend freedom of thought and conscience and religion in this great country of ours because that is what it means to be an American.
Before it is too late, browse our site and go to NVICAdvocacy.org to learn how to become a vaccine freedom advocate in your state.
It’s your health. Your family. Your choice.
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