Application for Religious/Secular Exemption from Mask Vaccine & testing Mandates
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This article was started by Dave Leach R-IA Bible Lover-musician-grandpa (talk) 02:25, 1 October 2021 (UTC)
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(These arguments for a religious exemption are longer than most, but they make strong points I have never seen – not just to justify an exemption for the applicant but for everyone else too; and not just for Christians but for everyone who values Truth. Legal arguments included.)
When your employer or school requires a mask or vaccine, and asks why you want an exemption, tell them this:
- 1 Overview
- 2 Section One: My Reverence for Truth and Revulsion for False gods
- 2.1 This application is secular and religious
- 2.1.1 Secular Features of this Application
- 2.1.2 Religious Features of this Application
- 22.214.171.124 More Profound than Doctrines and Denominations
- 126.96.36.199 Truth: statements corresponding to reality.
- 188.8.131.52 Truth: Distinguishing Good from Evil.
- 184.108.40.206 The Bible models Honest, Respectful Reasoning.
- 220.127.116.11 Truth: Jesus.
- 18.104.22.168 Truth: a pillar of America.
- 22.214.171.124 Test #1 of whether a belief is “religious”: Firm enough belief
- 126.96.36.199 Test #2: Evidence – A test of whether a religious exemption should be issued
- 188.8.131.52 Test #3: benefit to others?
- 184.108.40.206 The fact that others believe differently doesn’t excuse us from defending what we know.
- 2.2 Declaration (Conclusion of Section One)
- 2.1 This application is secular and religious
- 3 Section Two: The Evidence
Section One of this Application explains (1) my reverence for Truth and evidence, (2) the Bible’s emphasis on Truth and evidence, (3) Bible heroes who resisted health laws not based on reality, (4) why mask and vaccine mandates which cannot rationally claim support from evidence must be classified as “religious”, and are presented as false gods, and (5) what the Bible says about bowing down to false gods, and the importance of openly, decisively disclaiming them. Section One presents legal analysis of the First Amendment prohibition of “establishment of religion”, as well as theological analysis.
Section Two of this Application reviews medical research that shows (1) masks do not slow covid spread with any “statistical significance”, (2) masks cause serious medical and emotional problems, most tragically in children, (3) vaccines cause more deaths than covid, and (4) government blockage of proven covid cures points to some other government purpose than reducing covid.
(Section One also incorporates arguments common in other Applications for Religious Exemption: vaccines are developed from a murdered baby, and the Bible calls us to treat our bodies as the Temple of God.)
Bible quotes in Section One of this Application support my reverence for Truth and evidence. These are widely understood as pillars of “secular” America, but their plagiarism into American society without honest attribution does not undermine their deeply religious nature which is unique to the Bible among the world’s religions, and central to Judeo-Christianity.
This application does not object to wearing a mask ever, anywhere, but to a mandate justified not by scientific evidence or any search for Truth (as Section Two establishes) but by considerable fervor of a religious character (as Section One explains).
Mandates are revered like false gods. This application objects to a mandate sustained not by evidence, but by censorship of evidence that mask-wearing not only fails to achieve any “statistically significant” (documentable) reduction of covid, but causes widespread measurable medical harm to wearers, not to mention social, political, and economic harm (which will not be detailed in this Application because it is common knowledge).
The fervor of support for this disruptive mandate, not explainable by any evidence, can only be explained in religious terms. Masks, along with vaccines, are made into idols. Reverence for them is enforced by social pressure as judgmental as reactions to blasphemy. They are made the icons and rituals of government-established religion.
“Blind faith” is what moves humans to censor, or otherwise destroy, any challenge to one’s assumptions. A few Christians ignorantly think the “faith” promoted in the Bible is blind, but the Bible is full of evidence, and challenges humans to test it, and then get in step with reality. But “blind faith” is the faith of other religions which offer no documentable miracles, no fulfilled prophecies, nor any ability to survive scientific scrutiny of those claims which are testable by humans.
The claim of high moral authority, combined with a claim of a strong basis in evidence which is only sustained by censoring opposing evidence since it has zero evidence, identifies government and employer vaccine and mask mandates as the icons and rituals of false gods supported by blind faith.
Blind Faith in idols is mocked by God in several passages. For example:
Isaiah 44: (CEV) 12 A metalworker shapes an idol by using a hammer and heat from the fire. In his powerful hand he holds a hammer, as he pounds the metal into the proper shape. But he gets hungry and thirsty and loses his strength. 13 Some woodcarver measures a piece of wood, then draws an outline. The idol is carefully carved with each detail exact. At last it looks like a person and is placed in a temple. 14 Either cedar, cypress, oak, or any tree from the forest may be chosen. Or even a pine tree planted by the woodcarver and watered by the rain. 15 Some of the wood is used to make a fire for heating or for cooking. One piece is made into an idol, then the woodcarver bows down and worships it. 16 He enjoys the warm fire and the meat that was roasted over the burning coals. 17 Afterwards, he bows down to worship the wooden idol. “Protect me!” he says. “You are my god.”18 Those who worship idols are stupid and blind! 19 They don't have enough sense to say to themselves, “I made a fire with half of the wood and cooked my bread and meat on it. Then I made something worthless with the other half. Why worship a block of wood?” 20 How can anyone be stupid enough to trust something that can be burned to ashes? No one can save themselves like that. Don't they realize that the idols they hold in their hands are not really gods?
Jeremiah 10:3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. 4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. 5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
God contrasts how He has carried us from our birth, with how idols can’t even carry themselves and must be carried, which does nothing for their worshippers except make them tired.
Isaiah 46:1 (BBE) The Lord says, "Bel has fallen to the ground. Nebo is kneeling before me. "Men put those idols on the backs of animals. They are only heavy burdens that must be carried. They do nothing but make people tired. ...3 "Family of Jacob, listen to me! You who are left from the family of Israel, listen! I have carried you since you left your mother's womb. I carried you when you were born, 4 and I will still be carrying you when you are old. Your hair will turn gray, and I will still carry you. I made you, and I will carry you to safety. ...6 Some people are rich with gold and silver. Gold falls from their purses, and they weigh their silver on scales. They pay an artist to make a false god from wood. Then they bow down and worship that false god. 7 They put their false god on their shoulders and carry it. That false god is useless; people have to carry it! People set the statue on the ground, and it cannot move. That false god never walks away from its place. People can yell at it, but it will not answer. That false god is only a statue; it cannot save people from their troubles. 8 Sinners, change your heart and mind. Think about this again. Remember it and be strong. 9 Remember what happened long ago. [The miracles that prove my power, and what they accomplished that proves my love.] Remember, I am God and there is no other God. There is no other like me.
Blind faith in a lie won’t make it true. Government pressure on citizens to physically, visibly, and perpetually participate in a man-made charade imbued with elevated moral authority fulfills every element of a “government-established religion” that I can think of. It is as stupid as our ancestors were, bowing down to carved trees.
Not every stupid thing governent does qualifies as establishing religion. Evolution instruction rulings came close, in which laws were struck down requiring opposing evidence to be taught, while those citing the opposing evidence are ridiculed and dismissed as putting religion above “science”.
“Climate Change” political movements come close, in which those citing the opposing evidence are not heard, and are labeled “anti-science”.
They do not come as close as mask and vaccine mandates which require citizens to physically, VISIBLY, PERPETUALLY participate in the charade that these icons and rituals will save us, enabling the forces of social ostracization to see at a glance who to target.
Not the only example of government treatment of its covid policies in a religious manner is when the Governor of New York literally delivered a covid sermon 9/26/2021 in which she said those who resist vaccines are “not listening to God”, and she wants her “apostles” to go out and spread the message of being safe.
“Yes, I know you (in this audience) are vaccinated. You’re the smart ones. But you know there are people out there who aren’t listening to God. What God wants. You know this. You know who they are. I need you to be my apostles. I need you to go out and talk about it. Say ‘we owe this to each other. We love each other. Jesus taught us to love one another. How do you show that love? Do you care enough about each other to say ‘Please get that vaccine because I love you, I want you to live. I want our kids to be safe when they go to their schools. I want you to be safe when you go to your doctor’s office and are treated by somebody. You don’t want to get the virus from them.” Youtube
Section One: My Reverence for Truth and Revulsion for False gods
This application is secular and religious
It is secular in the sense that it seeks an exemption from worshiping a government religion which has been established in violation of the First Amendment. It uses secular arguments useful in American courts. The ACLU is regarded as secular yet initiates cases on this basis perpetually.
They are religious in the sense that these “secular” values came to American life from the Bible, are not honored in other religions uninfluenced by the Bible, and do not lose their imperitives upon the behavior of Christians by having been adopted in the “secular” world. This application is religious also in that the Bible is quoted estensively here to prove that not only is Truth a pillar of Judeo-Christianity in general, but there are examples in the Bible of Bible heroes specifically applying their reverence for Truth to resisting government mandates that are harmful to health.
Secular Features of this Application
This application is secular in the sense that this application incorporates a reverence for truth, facts, evidence, science – which are widely assumed to be entirely secular values. They are the pillars of American life, economics, science, politics, and justice.
These values are thought to be pillars of secular America, not because they are not deeply religious, but only because they are plagiarized from the Bible without honest attribution.
The ACLU, a quintessentially “secular” legal institution, explains below the four times the Supreme Court ruled that a state law favored a religion. The mandates from which I apply for an exemption are not laws, directly, but are encouraged by, if not required by, and protected by a mixture of laws, governors’ emergency rulings, rules of bureaucracies, and the “guidance” of government bodies which somehow acquire mandatory powers. The laws holding together this web of powers which, combined, acquire the force of law, merits the same courtroom scrutiny as laws whose effects are direct and honest. The web of powers they enable lays burdens upon me which can only be explained as religious, and compel me to bow down or lose (my job/education/right to travel). These “secular” legal arguments are part of the basis of my application.
Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97 (1968) said a state couldn’t outlaw the teaching of evolution; that law had no “secular purpose” but only a religious purpose. Stone v.Graham, 449 U.S. 39 (1980) said law couldn’t require every school to post the 10 Commandments in every school room, because the principal purpose of the law was ‘‘plainly religious.’’ Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38 (1985) ruled against a “minute of silence” during which school children might, at their option, pray. (Unfortunately, according to the ACLU article, “The statute’s principal sponsor had said that the bill’s only purpose was religious, and no evidence to the contrary had been offered by the state.” v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578 (1987) shot down a law that a teacher teaching evolution must give equal attention to “creation science”, which the Court considered “a particular religious doctrine”.
If a woman has a “fundamental right” to murder a baby growing inside her, [as Roe ruled in 1973; Hellerstedt, 2016, leaves its status unclear] I must have a fundamental right to refuse threats to my health such as masks and vaccines, whose alleged harm to others has no basis in fact, as Section Two establishes. Courts review restrictions of “fundamental rights” by a standard they call “strict scrutiny”. It says any legally enforceable restriction of my fundamental rights must have a “legitimate secular government purpose” and must achieve that purpose by “the least restrictive means possible”.
The restriction must effectively achieve its purpose. It is not enough to merely allege that the “government purpose” is legitimate, is secular, is the least restrictive means possible to achieve its purpose, and is effective. All these must be proved in court under the scrutiny of any opposing expert testimony.
This application shows that mask and vaccine mandates:
Mandates Lack a Legitimate Government Purpose.
Reducing covid would be a legitimate government purpose, and that is its stated purpose, but a number of actions deliberately taken by government that actually make covid worse rule that out as its purpose, beginning with (1) housing covid patients in nursing homes(!), (2) blocking proven early treatment protocols, not based on a fair assessment of evidence, but with a mixture of censorship and wilful ignorance, and (3) grossly inflating covid death statistics which should be legally recognizable as a concession that the true figures cannot justify its mandates. (See Section Two.) Imposition of government religion – requiring citizens to bow down to and live by government mythology, is not a legitimate government purpose in America.
Mandates Are Not Secular.
These mandates have no basis in science, facts, evidence, etc., (see Section Two), yet are imbued with moral authority greater than that enjoyed by many churches. Therefore they do not fit the “secular” category claimed for them. The only category they fit is “religious”.
Mandates Are Not the least restrictive means...
...to achieve their purpose. Proven early treatment protocols are a zero restrictive means to control covid, yet government steps in to block those remedies, not with a fair assessment of evidence, but with a mixture of censorship and willful ignorance. “Herd immunity”, which has already been achieved by pre-covid standards, should be accepted as justifying no further government or employer intervention. (See Section Two.)
Mandates Are Not Effective.
Well, not in reducing covid. They are extremely effective in furthering government-established religion. (See Section Two.)
Mandates Are not proved.
(See Section Two.)
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.... - The First Amendment
Religious Features of this Application
Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. ...5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, [I tolerate no rivals]... - The First Commandment
My appeal is jointly to the First Amendment and the First Commandment. I must not bow down to any degree, in any sense, to the Mask/Vaccine idols enabled by government. My stand for Truth whatever the cost, and opposition to fraud, are deeply religious values unique to the Bible and not honored in other religions, philosophies, or political systems uninfluenced by the Bible. My “free exercise of religion” is to not only stand for Truth, but also to oppose the false religion being imposed on me and on millions of others.
The second section of this application for a religious exemption from mask wearing summarizes some of the peer-reviewed evidence that the officially alleged benefits of mask wearing to protect against covid are not “statistically significant”, while the harm of wearing masks, even for short periods, is heavily documented. The official claims are not true, and are not even sincere misunderstandings, but are deliberate fraud, supported by ruthless censorship, mandates, laws, and a few court rulings which were not based on the interaction of expert witnesses. The depth of the frenzy of support for this fraud goes beyond mere “politics” or financial interest. Its fervor is at a religious level, that of a false religion. A very dark, false religion. A religious, bitter opposition to God-given freedom.
A mask in a spiritually neutral context is spiritually harmless, just as meat or a carved tree is spiritually harmless. But when either is made an idol, or a sacrifice to idols, any unseared conscience requires clear dissassociation with it.
1 Corinthians 8:8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. 9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. 10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
The motivation of conscience, and of the Bible, to disassociate from idolatry not just privately but openly, is not selfish. It is not concern only for myself. It is concern for our entire nation. Hundreds of millions have placed their faith in this anti-science scam under pressure that is very mild by historical standards. Merely losing your job is a mild penalty compared with being tortured to death which has been the majority penalty of tyrants for most nations during most centuries. How many more will gladly take the Mark of the Beast prophesied in Revelation 13-16, when the alternative is being beheaded?
Real ID and E-verify, with their biometric tools, already meet every detail of the Mark of the Beast as prophesied in Revelation 13 and 14, except for the significance of “666” and the painful ulcers that everyone who accepts the “mark” will get. (Revelation 16:2.)
Republican Christian conservatives led the march towards these monstrosities in the name of driving out immigrants (which Matthew 25:43 warns is another ticket to Hell). If God’s penalty is Hell for taking the Mark to escape the terror of beheading, will there be no penalty for Christians who, under no shadow of terror, vote to fast-track Mark of the Beast technology? And now Democrats lead our nation in adding, to The Beast’s future arsenal, the capacity to cause ulcers through an unproved vaccine trusted by billions.
More Profound than Doctrines and Denominations
There are religious convictions more profound than agreement with a pastor, or the doctrines of a denomination, or if any church agrees with you, which do not even require church membership to have.
Federal law about religious exemptions may be summarized: “...religion, according to the law and policy, includes not only traditional faiths, but also faiths that are new, uncommon, or informal, or have a small number of practitioners, and some that may seem illogical or even unreasonable to others. Religious beliefs also do not have to be theistic but can be non-theistic, strongly held moral or ethical beliefs. Beliefs based on social, political, or economic philosophies, as well as mere personal preferences, are not considered religious beliefs under federal law. Venable.com
This application, while not citing denominational or church support, leans heavily on the Bible, which 71% of Americans believe is the Word of God. (55% believe it is the infallible “Word of God”.) And yet the principles heralded here are widely recognized as secular, being embedded in the foundations of American Freedom and in the very concept of Justice which is the goal of America’s courts.
Truth is such a principle. It is a principle so precious that many throughout history have given their lives for it, just to affirm it, in the face of cruel censors determined to destroy whoever dares speak it. Giving your life for a principle is made a lot more sufferable by a religious faith that there is a life after death which rewards what we do here.
Yet some philosophers ask, with Pilate, “What is truth?” John 18:18.
Truth: statements corresponding to reality.
Science was impossible before the belief that reality is testable, that nature is governed by discoverable laws. and that objective claims about them may be documented as being “true”. The Bible supports this belief. Pagan cultures, lacking it, are science-challenged.
Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
The Bible values Truth and models correction of fraud, even on the subject of physical health.
Daniel retched at the thought of eating the disgusting meats loved and mandated by the king, which were also forbidden by God, so he proposed a medical study to prove that turning vegan was healthier than that.
Nebuchadnezzar, like Biden/Fauci today, had his own idea about what is best for the common people, and imposed his opinion by force. Daniel, like myself and millions of others, was motivated by a mix of religious objection, concern for his health, and opposition to a law out of touch with reality. (The fact that he expected his test to demonstrate better health shows he was not concerned only with violation of God’s laws, but that he presumed God’s purpose for prohibiting “unclean” meats was better health.) The “prince of the eunichs”, like businesses and hospitals today, was forced by the fear of severe penalties to serve as Health Policeman over his clients.
The medical study showed – but wait, I don’t want to give away the ending. Read it in Daniel 1.
Similarly, our government loves masks and vaccines which many renowned doctors put on a health scale somewhere near eating live monkey brains. I, like Daniel, say the matter should be decided on the basis of evidence. Will the judges of this Application be as open to evidence as the Prince of the Eunichs was?
The Pharisees wanted Jesus to wash his hands before meals. Jesus said that was a law of men, not of God, and it is a fact that people don’t get sick from not washing their hands before meals. (Nor do American restaurants encourage that today.) Bible translations call those rules “traditions”, but commentators agree they had the force of law, violation of which was punished, as our hygiene laws today are punished.
That wasn’t the end of Jesus’ rebellion. Jesus followed that up by reasoning that the Pharisees’ habit of displacing God’s laws with their own undermines any legitimate authority they have to enact laws of their own! So after He did and said that, the Pharisees – but wait, I don’t want to give away the ending. Read it in Mark 7:1-23.
Similarly, our government displaces God’s laws with Laws from Hell: protecting baby butchery with tremendous legal, police, and financial resources, and then requiring injection of vaccines developed from a butchered baby.
Daniel requested an exemption based on health. (He didn’t specify anything about violating God’s prohibition of eating unclean meats – in fact, the Bible doesn’t explicitly say Nebuchadnezzar’s meats were unclean; I only presume they were, to account for why Daniel objected.) Jesus simply refused to obey a health law which He regarded as useless and therefore as unnecessarily burdensome.
These sound like “secular” reasons, and they are reasons that should guide all humans. They are also Bible reasons.
In Daniel 3, King Neb had a stupid mandate for everyone, and threatened God’s men: “Do you think any god can save you from me?” God’s men answered, “I know God can. Whether or not He will, I feel a lot safer trusting God to save me from both you and covid, than trusting your mandate to save anyone from either one.” Or something like that.
For their rebellion, the men were thrown into a furnace made seven times hotter just for them; so hot that it killed the king’s most valiant warriors whom the king ordered to throw in God’s men. Did God save them from that?! – but wait, I don’t want to give away the ending. Read it in Daniel 3.
Mask mandates, like vaccine mandates, are obviously not for believers in the government-established religion (a mandate based on zero science yet imbued with moral as well as legal authority is religious) who religiously comply without a mandate, and happily add their own social pressure to the pressure of any mandate, but for “unbelievers”.
Similarly, in Daniel 6, the mandate to ask nothing of any man or god except the emperor Darius, did not target the millions who already believed Darius was some kind of god, but believers in God. Daniel could have avoided being thrown to the lions by simply closing his window shades so peeping toms couldn’t look in and watch him still praying to God. But...
Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
Daniel violated the mandate. Publicly or at least semi-publicly. He was thrown to the lions. But God’s angel – but wait, I don’t want to give away the ending. Read it in Daniel 6.
Still today, the safest course, despite all who would destroy you for taking it, is to honor God. To uphold Truth insofar as we can document it. To openly, unapologetically refuse to respect lies, nonsense, and false religion. God is real. God can save, and will always make it possible for you to do His will, which will always be the most fulfilling life you could ever imagine. Trust Him.
Whether or not this Application is accepted, accept God.
Truth: Distinguishing Good from Evil.
A primary meaning of “Truth” is moral reality. It should be our goal. We should seek it, and seek to correctly distinguish it from immorality. That is, we should learn to distinguish Good from Evil.
The Bible says this is not only possible, but failure to accurately label Good and Evil invites judgment:
Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Relativism denies the existence of objective moral absolutes that are binding on all men equally. Other religions impose moral chains on some, from which others are exempt. The Bible alone holds the same standards before everyone. Far from exempting leaders, enabling them to be tyrants, the Bible scrutinizes leaders most.
The Noble Lie.
Why shouldn’t Youtube and Facebook delete posts describing horrendous side effects of vaccines? Isn’t censorship good that helps trick people into doing “good” (getting vaccinated)? How about exaggeration of death rates from covid for the same reason? Why do people have to hear the Truth (all the facts – all the evidence) if that will only lead them away from doing “the right thing” which is “to have done their part for others”?
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeu said vaccine passports are “all about” rewarding certain freedoms to people who have “done the right thing” — “who have done their part for others” — and that those who “still resist” simply won't get to enjoy those same freedoms. “It seems like a very logical thing.” (The link is to a short video on Twitter of him saying that.)
“Masks work”, Dr. Anthony Fauci told TheStreet.com. So why weren't we told to wear masks in the beginning, TheStreet asked him? “Well, the reason for that is that we were concerned the public health community, and many people were saying this, were concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks and the surgical masks, were in very short supply....”
Slate magazine looked into this issue in an article titled “The Noble Lies of COVID-19”. Do we want our leaders to lie to us, Slate asked? “Do we want public health officials to report facts and uncertainties transparently? Or do we want them to shape information to influence the public to take specific actions?”
“In March 2020, as the pandemic began, Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to the president of the United States, explained in a 60 Minutes interview that he felt community use of masks was unnecessary. A few months later, he argued that his statements were not meant to imply that he felt the data to justify the use of cloth masks was insufficient. Rather, he said, had he endorsed mask wearing (of any kind), mass panic would ensue and lead to a surgical and N95 mask shortage among health care workers, who needed the masks more. Yet, emails from a Freedom of Information Act request revealed that Fauci privately gave the same advice—against mask use—suggesting it was not merely his outward stance to the broader public....
“Later in 2020, Fauci participated in a second noble lie. In December, he explained in a phone interview with then–New York Times reporter Donald McNeil that he had been moving the target estimate for herd immunity based in part on emerging studies. But he also said: ‘When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent. Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, “I can nudge this up a bit,” so I went to 80, 85.’
“In his own words, he ‘nudged’ his target range for herd immunity to promote vaccine uptake....
“The fourth noble lie from government agencies and/or officials occurred...On June 4, using data from February to March, the agency made the case that hospitalizations were rising in adolescents. It tweeted, “The report shows the importance of #COVID19 vaccination for adolescents.” That tweet...raised questions about why the CDC would promote a dated statistic, when the organization had access to up-to-date information...(when) hospitalization rates in this age group had already fallen again.
“...This obvious error was compounded weeks later during a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The...CDC showed a model that claimed that vaccination of young adults was preferable to the disease itself. [Five huge problems with their analysis are explained in the Slate article.]....Amplifying out-of-date statistics and building a model to support vaccination that has questionable assumptions work to support rapid deployment of two doses of mRNA to all healthy kids aged 12 to 17. That may be the CDC’s policy pursuit, and one we are sympathetic to. However, distorting evidence to achieve this result is a form of a noble lie....
“Noble lies—small untruths—yield unpredictable outcomes. Nietzsche once wrote, “Not that you lied to me, but that I no longer believe you, has shaken me.” Public health messaging is predicated on trust, which overcomes the enormous complexity of the scientific literature, creating an opportunity to communicate initiatives effectively. Still, violation of this trust renders the communication unreliable. When trust is shattered, messaging is no longer clear and straightforward, and instead results in the audience trying to reverse-engineer the statement based on their view of the speaker’s intent. Simply put, noble lies can rob confidence from the public, leading to confusion, a loss of credibility, conspiracy theories, and obfuscated policy.”
Other religions have no problem with that reasoning. But the Bible honors Truth. Honesty. Lying is justified when necessary to prevent genocide, Exodus 1:15-21. But not to trick people out of their God-given Freedom, even for an outcome called “good”. Freedom is right up there with Truth as a priority with God. To the extent people are deceived, they cannot give informed consent, and cannot be considered free.
Freedom Requires Honesty.
Censorship of medical evidence, to trick people into being masked and vaccinated, is an evil means to an end according to the Bible, but good according to that corner of “secular” government reasoning which has most rejected God. My objection, therefore, is religious, though also consistent with the precarious majority of “secular” reasoning which, through Biblical influence, still values honesty and evidence.
Tyranny Requires Dishonesty.
Tyrants don’t need to tell the truth. They can, indeed are expected, to torture those who dare disagree. Telling the Truth isn’t justification for disagreeing with a tyrant, in a tyrant’s court, whether the tyrant is a dictator of today or a king of the past.
When Israel tired of electing their 78,600 judges/leaders (Deuteronomy 1:13) and demanded a tyrant like all the other nations, 1 Samuel 8, (400 years before the trace of democracy when 10% of the citizens of Athens who weren’t slaves or women elected about seven of their leaders), God told Samuel “they have rejected ME, that I should not reign over them.” 1 Samuel 8:7.
God equates political involvement through voting, which enables people who love God to support righteousness in government, with choosing God to lead us. Conversely, a vote for “Big Government” to dictate how we should live is a genuflect to Satan.
Similarly when Satan reminded Jesus that he could be Dictator of the World by going along with the world’s worship of Satan, Jesus declined. God doesn’t want to be our dictator, our robot programmer, or our puppet master. He wants us to grow up, to spiritually mature, and to learn to govern ourselves with His guidance; in the same way a trumpet student trusts his teacher to show him how to play his parts, not to play all his parts for him.
The Bible models Honest, Respectful Reasoning.
Therefore our freedom is very important to God. God longs to teach us how to “write” our own “music”. God begs us to reason together.
Freedom is meaningless to the extent we are denied honest information. God doesn’t dictate what we must believe, and torture us if we refuse. God presents irrefutable evidence to us, and patiently allows us time to digest it and to choose, as we gradually grasp our choice, whether the principles of Heaven or of Hell will guide our lives – and through our votes, our government.
This is not a process of being ordered what to think, with “unity” and compliance achieved by censoring disagreement and punishing noncompliance. This is a process of reasoning, honestly and respectfully discussing evidence with others who are free to think and articulate their own understanding. Consensus is impossible to the extent your ideological opponent is blocked from explaining his premises and evidence. How can you correct errors you don’t know about? And how can you be warned of your own errors, if you do not give your opponents a chance to scrutinize you?
The Bible has no swordpoint conversions. Although natural consequences follow a life of crime and the Bible contains penalties for crimes, the Bible assigns no physical punishment for mere disbelief. Deuteronomy 13:2. The only tool of conversion is evidence and reason. Judeo/Christianity is a Religion of Reason.
Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, [Hebrew: prove, as presenting evidence in court] saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Reason was Paul’s “manner”, or way of presenting the Gospel.
Acts 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,...18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks....19 And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews....20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached [same Greek word] unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
Reason was how Jesus began His ministry at age 12.
Luke 2:46 And it came to pass, that after three days they [Jesus’ parents] found him [Jesus] in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. 47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
It remained Jesus’ manner of presenting His Gospel, according to the manner in which God presents the Four Gospels [the first four books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John]: out of the 146 situations in which Jesus taught, (counting the sections of red letters in Bibles which print Jesus’ words in red) only 20 – 1/7th – were not verbal interaction with others. And Jesus never censored, or discouraged, verbal interaction. (www.saltshaker.us/Salt/ Prophesying-Slides.pdf slide #15) No other religion or philosophy, except to the extent it was influenced by the Bible, even believes there is such a thing as “Truth”! Much less that it is virtuous to grasp it and articulate it even at great personal cost. Or that it is evil to censor or punish someone for stating the truth as accurately as he knows how. By contrast Jesus promises,
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Reason is so much the essence of Jesus,
...that John 1 calls Him The Word. God created the universe by wise speech, Genesis 1, Proverbs 8.
Reasoning all through the Bible
The Bible tells us to always be ready to reason with others in defense of what we believe, 1 Peter 3:15.
Proverbs 15:22 says that it is through "a multitude of counsellors", not a multitude in which disapproved counsel is censored, that groups succeed. 1 Corinthians 14 describes Christian meetings as “multitudes of counsellors”; not as a place where one person gives a sermon and everyone else listens, but as a place where “all” are urged to interact with each other. (See verses 1, 5, 12, 24-25, 26, 30, 31 which call for “all” to interact; the interaction is labeled “prophesy” but v. 3 defines that as the elements of Christian conversation, and v. 26 lists six more kinds of interaction.)
The Bible models Jesus reasoning with his adversaries; not pulling rank to justify not answering, not dismissing his critics as purveyors of “misinformation” who need to be censored to protect the gullible masses rather than addressing and refuting the criticism, but actually addressing squarely every criticism, leaving his critics speechless and ashamed.
The goal of his adversaries was not to partner with Him in a search for God but to silence him. To destroy Him. They accused him of healing on the Sabbath. "Working" on the Sabbath was a capital crime, punished by stoning to death. Therefore that, along with many other charges, would have justified them executing Him had His legal defenses not been so powerful.
These principles - reverence for truth to the extent that denying it is revolting – are no longer exclusive to the Bible but have become pillars of American freedom, technology, prosperity, security, and justice. They are considered “secular”, but not because they are no longer profoundly religious, but because “secular” America has plagiarized these values, upholding them without attribution to the Bible.
The religious character of these values is clear by considering how differently truth is regarded by other religions, philosophies, and political systems. But plagiarism of these Biblical values is so entrenched in the culture of this generation that honest attribution of them to the Bible, in public – in other words, quoting the Bible in those public forums where voters decide whether to pattern our laws after the principles of Heaven or of Hell – is vilified as being “offensive”.
Without Reason, No Law
Without the Bible’s emphasis on distinguishing good from evil, there is no justice in courts. The American concept of “law” is “equal in its operation on everyone”. That is, fair, “no respecter of persons” as the Bible says in Acts 10:34 and in Deu 10:17, Deu 16:19; 2Ch 19:7; Job 34:19; Psa 82:1-2; Mat 22:16; Luk 20:21; Rom 2:11; Gal 2:6; Eph 6:9; Col 3:11, Col 3:25; Jas 2:4, Jas 2:9; 1Pe 1:17.
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
This verse is a foundation for Equal Rights for all. There are none of Islam’s “apes and pigs” in the Bible, nor Hinduism’s “untouchables”. All humans are made in the Image of God. An important capacity God shares with us is creativity. We can study what is, imagine what could be, decide which is better, and if what could be is better, drag it into what is. What would be better, is called “good”, and what is much worse, is called “evil”. Thus creativity incorporates the capacity to distinguish between, and then choose between, good and evil.
This presents two huge problems: without God’s vision of good, many (1) can’t discern which brings true satisfaction, and (2) choose evil.
The notorious Marquis de Sade was one philosopher who agreed that without God, steered by logic alone, no argument can be made against any crime – not even murder. A leading homosexual author explains:
“Sade used sodomy [homosexuality/gay sex] as a particularly good example of what seemed to be unnatural, unreasonable and purposeless, but which could in no way be proven to be against nature or reason. Sade’s Philosophy in the Boudoir (1795) was a clear apology [moral defense] for the decriminalization of pederasty [man/boy sex] and sodomy…Sade emphasized that there were no rational arguments against any form of social behavior, be it prostitution, lust, murder, or sodomy, and he strongly opposed the suggestion that theft, prostitution, sodomy, lust, or murder were against nature…his most scrupulous biographer, Gilbert Lely, has asserted that he was a homosexual with no remorse….It was against…the church and its institutions that Sade rebelled...thus beginning a political struggle for the rights of pederasts.” (“Sodomites, Platonic Lovers, Contrary Lovers: The Backgrounds of the Modern Homosexual” (Vol. 16, No 1. 1989) by Gert Heckma PhD, of the Gay Studies department of the University of Amsterdam.) From a Sept 19 2021 email from Scott Lively
Isaiah 5:20 (GNB) You are doomed! You call evil good and call good evil. You turn darkness into light and light into darkness. You make what is bitter sweet, and what is sweet you make bitter. 21 You are doomed! You think you are wise, so very clever. 22 You are doomed! Heroes of the wine bottle! Brave and fearless when it comes to mixing drinks! 23 But for just a bribe you let the guilty go free, and you keep the innocent from getting justice. 24 So now, just as straw and dry grass shrivel and burn in the fire, your roots will rot and your blossoms will dry up and blow away, because you have rejected what the LORD Almighty, Israel's holy God, has taught us.
John 18:37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Jesus is the Word, and the Word is God, says John 1. Jesus is the brightness of God, Hebrews 1:3, who created the solar system and galaxies, v. 2, Isaiah 44:24, Proverbs 8:22-31, etc.
The premise that God exists and created man argues that the design was for man to live in harmony. What architect designs a house so that the different rooms fight and destroy each other? We should logically expect God to have created a way to exist for mankind to live in harmony and peace with one another in the way the members of our physical bodies support each other. Indeed, the Bible’s vision is of a Heaven where people don’t hurt each other. Revelation 21:27, 22:15. Yet who have great responsiblities. Luke 19:17.
But if men sprung up at random from the slime, and survive at the expense of others, then murder is good.
So the question raised by Relativism is, “who is to say hurting each other isn’t better? What makes freedom, prosperity, elections, love, peace objectively good? Who are you to say the values of pagan cultures, built on war, cannibalism, human sacrifice, torture, slavery, and dehumanization of inferior classes of people are not good, and are made better by missionaries replacing all those values with the Bible, along with ‘Western’ literacy, technology, clean water, healthy food, and prosperity?
What about Sadists who like to torture others, and Machochists who like to be tortured? What about primitives who make torture their initiation to prove that they “are a man”, of which they are very proud? What’s wrong with pride? What about people who want to kill themselves? Who are you – who is God – to call that ‘wrong’ and the Bible’s way ‘right’?”
(Relativism’s very definition is relative, there being much argument by those who profess the worldview about what it is. So apparently many relativists are as confused by it as I am. I think most relativists live like Truth-loving Christians when it comes to physical things like starting your car, texting on your phone, or the size of covid virus compared with the space between mask threads, but not values and judgments, like whether saving lives is the only legitimate reason to require masks. Ostracizing conservatives and Republicans is certainly one effect of mask and vaccine mandates, and ostracizing is conducted as if it were as immoral as pulling down your pants in the middle of the street, so a relativist might well reason that a tool for ostracizing is as important as saving lives.)
Who is God, to judge what is “right for me”? Jesus’ answer is that He came to tell us about reality. He knows how we are made: most fulfilled when we love and serve each other – when we are useful. His is The Way to real Life, the doorway to Truth, and the source of existence. For those reluctant to trust Him, He teaches with punishment as needed, which Hebrews 12 points out is what parents who love their children do. His punishment for those who hurt others and will not repent, is to suffer exactly what they have done to others, up to twice the pain they have caused others.
(Jonathan Edwards used to preach that Hell is infinite torture, but no Scripture gives a proportion of punishment suffered to harm caused of greater than twice. (“double”, Rev 18:6-8, Isa 40:2, 61:7, Jer 16:18, 17:18, Zec 9:12, or even less: “according to their works”, Pr 24:12, Mt 16:27, 2Ti 4:14. Also Gal 6:7, Job 4:8, Pro 1:31, Hos 8:7, 10:12, Rom 2:6-10, 2 Cor 9:6, Luke 6:38, and 16:25.)
That ought to be enough education to teach a relativist that not being tortured is objectively better than being tortured.
Jesus is The Life. “Life”, as presented in the Bible, like money, is something that you can have a lot of or a little of.
John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
The “abundant Life” available through Jesus is not mere existence, but fulfillment: it is meaning in life. Purpose. It is good. Objectively good. The Bible is testable. In court when we want to know if a witness to a murder is telling the truth, and clearly understands what he saw, we can’t directly test what he says about the murder but we test what he says about things we can double check, even if we don’t care about anything else than the murder. Similarly we can’t directly check what the Bible says about what is beyond death, but we can check the accuracy of what it says about mundane things that its authors couldn’t have known from human sources, and we can check the accuracy of dates, geography, politics, etc. by looking for contradictions from other ancient sources, even if we care nothing about that, but only about what is beyond death.
By these tests we know the Bible really was written by God, and what Jesus says is objectively true. He is “truth”.
God’s love for us, the gifts He offers us, the purpose for life, is so much the meaning of life that millions have been willing to affirm Life even when enemies of Life threaten them with physical death.
Similarly, being forced to profess falsehoods, like black is white, censorship is good, covid vaccines save more lives than they take, or masks stop covid, is so disorienting and confusing that it causes breakdown in our ability to function, even lessening our will to live. “Jesus did not come into the world to make bad men good. He came into the world to make dead men live!” - Leonard Ravenhill
Truth: a pillar of America.
America came into existence through thousands who, at great personal cost, left behind homelands dominated by governments who brutally prosecuted any who dared contradict their approved narrative with evidence and reasoning.
When the Declaration of Independence was drafted by Thomas Jefferson, each paragraph had abundant Biblical support (see What does the Bible say about the Declaration of Independence even though no Scripture was explicitly cited, and there were only three references to God. (It was enacted with “a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence” in obedience to “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” and it honored God as the author of freedom: “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”.) Yet the Declaration was full of facts, believed true by its signers, who “[held] these truths to be self-evident....” whose importance to them was at a level of religious conviction, calling for their signatures even though they all knew it would cause the death of several and the impoverishment of several more. Which did happen.
Thus America’s very Declaration of Independence was an application for a religious exemption from English rule. England rejected the application. But the application, then as now, was not a “pretty please” request. It was a statement of intent. Our ancestors didn’t attack England, but they defended themselves until England gave up. Similarly, thousands of doctors and nurses are quitting rather than take the covid vaccine, forcing hospitals to cut back on their services.
Test #1 of whether a belief is “religious”: Firm enough belief
in a principle to be willing to pay the significant cost of affirming it is one test of whether a conviction is religious. “Martyrs”, meaning “witnesses”, is the Bible’s term for those who pay the ultimate cost.
Not that a religious exemption from rules or laws should be given to everyone whose opposition rests on firm belief. We don’t give terrorists an exemption from our murder laws just because they believe Christians and Jews are apes and pigs and freedom is from Hell.
Not every religion considers Truth a treasure worth dying for.
Hinduism says we should not care whether or not we are deluded or whether anything we do will succeed: one “transcends the modes of nature” who “does not hate illumination, attachment and delusion when they are present, nor longs for them when they disappear; who is seated like one unconcerned,...who has abandoned all fruitive undertakings....” B’hagavad Gita, Chapter 14, Verse 22-25.
Islam offers little if any reasoning, evidence, or miracles in its own support. The "evidence" it relies on is heavy “dhimmi” taxes, torture, and beheadings of those who refuse lip service.
Why would anyone refuse lip service with a sword resting on one's neck? That can only be explained by reverence for truth at a religious level, preparing people to accept death if that is the cost of affirming what is true and consonant with reality, it being unthinkable – revolting – an abomination – to deny it.
Test #2: Evidence – A test of whether a religious exemption should be issued
is whether what one believes is true is true. Terrorists offer no testable evidence or reasoning that what they believe is in fact true.
Section Two of this application is full of such evidence. And its claims are not meant to be accepted as religiously non-negotiable, beyond dispute, blind faith in alleged facts, but are an invitation to the makers of the rules and/or laws from which this application seeks an exemption, to step beyond their own religiously non-negotiable, beyond dispute, blind faith in alleged facts, and engage in reasoning and examination of evidence.
Should you refuse to do so, to actually look at “the science” together with me, you will show that science isn’t the basis of your rulings. Science is an ongoing system of testing assumptions. Science does not reach conclusions that shut out, much less censor, contrary evidence. Any refusal to continue the scrutiny of old conclusions in the light of new evidence must be categorized as blind religious faith.
To allow your blind religious restriction of my freedom to stand, is to allow you to impose your religion on me. America was created as a refuge from that kind of tyranny.
It is not enough to delegate your responsibility to process evidence to a government authority which in turn censors evidence that doesn’t fit its narrative. American law welcomes public input directly to lawmakers. Bureaucratic rules welcome public input through “public comment” systems and public hearings. But Covid mandates have bypassed this system through a combination of “emergency” rulings by governors whose emergency laws generally require no public input, and bureaucratic “recommendations” which are treated by schools and employers as moral imperitives.
Test #3: benefit to others?
A third test, of whether a religious exemption should be issued, is whether issuing it would in fact harm others, or benefit others. The goal of laws is to define behavior which harms others, and then to restrict it with punishments. This requires agreement about what is harmful, by a majority of voters acting through their representatives.
Your restriction of my freedom presumes your belief that not forcing me to wear your mask would harm others: my evidence in Section Two shows that allowing me my freedom would benefit others, and that dropping your mandate for everyone else would greatly benefit others.
The fact that others believe differently doesn’t excuse us from defending what we know.
The fact that you believe differently doesn’t excuse me from defending the evidence I have.
Obviously humans don’t always agree about what is harmful. Ancient civilizations didn’t think human sacrifice was harmful. The Koran doesn’t think slaughtering “apes and pigs” (Christians and Jews) is harmful. Most of the world didn’t think slavery was harmful before 1800. American judges for the past 49 years, and Democrat party platforms today, haven’t thought murdering unborn babies has been harmful. It has been prosecuted as harmful to obstruct those barbaric institutions. The fact that many people still disagree about these things does not excuse you or me from supporting good and opposing evil.
Ezekiel 3:18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
The very concept of equal rights for all has been treated as harmful by most cultures in most of world history. The very definition of “law” as equal in its operation upon all is a uniquely Biblical concept, not found in Hinduism’s caste system, Islam’s eternal physical war against “disbelievers”, or Relativism’s “survival of the fittest”. Disagreement about these basics of decency does not compel us to respect the values of Hell, or to be silent about them.
A Bible and law study called “Lex Rex”, published in 1644 by Samuel Rutherford, sparked reformation of English law with this principle, but it was laid out in the Bible three millennia before. No other religious scripture, uninfluenced by the Bible, protects equal rights for all regardless of wealth, lineage, skin color, or religion. Equal rights are objectively good, and merit our study and support.
Exodus 12:49 (BBE) The law is the same for him who is an Israelite by birth and for the man from a strange country who is living with you. (ERV) The same rules are for everyone. It doesn't matter if they are citizens or foreigners living among you."
Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. [God lives in every heart that opens to Him.]
It is commonly assumed that a difference between American democracy and Israel under Moses was that God ruled Israel, making its government a “theocracy”, while God does not rule here, making it inappropriate to quote Him in the course of shaping our government. But then and now, God leaves it to men whether to follow His principles, and how much to follow them. In Biblical history His nation chose back and forth between the principles of Heaven and Hell like a yo-yo, but God refrained from micro-managing its government. His punishments are recognizable as natural consequences of disobedience, just as we can look back on pagan history and clearly see how much human suffering was the natural consequence of their heartless, God-rejecting superstitions.
Why did God not micro-manage Israel’s government? Or ours, even though America’s Founders considered ours a Christian nation? Why does God not micro-manage the lives of every professing Christian, to keep us from sin by force? Why does God not seem willing to drag anyone into Heaven? Apparently because God considers it tyranny to impose on people more good than they will tolerate. God wants no swordpoint conversions, but love freely chosen.
This explains a legitimate function of voters, to agree on laws that define and prosecute harm, even when their laws depart from God’s and actually cause harm. Even wicked laws, therefore, are a legitimate expression of the limits to how much good the majority of voters, through their representatives, are willing to tolerate. Any application for a religious exemption from them needs to make a respectful case not only that the applicant should be exempt, but that the law or rule does not benefit anyone, although it remains the right of voters to support laws which do not benefit them.
But another religious, Biblical principle that is a check and balance against the right of majorities to limit the amount of good in their laws, is the function of Prophets, to show people how their choices are hurting them.
Ezekiel 3:18 (BBE) When I say to the evil-doer, Death will certainly be your fate; and you give him no word of it and say nothing to make clear to the evil-doer the danger of his evil way, so that he may be safe; that same evil man will come to death in his evil-doing; but I will make you responsible for his blood. 19 But if you give the evil-doer word of his danger, and he is not turned from his sin or from his evil way, death will overtake him in his evil-doing; but your life will be safe. 20 Again, when an upright man, turning away from his righteousness, does evil, and I put a cause of falling in his way, death will overtake him: because you have given him no word of his danger, death will overtake him in his evil-doing, and there will be no memory of the upright acts which he has done; but I will make you responsible for his blood.
1 Peter 2:13 υποταγητε Arrange your lives ουν according to παση every κτισει original formation (of authority relationships) διὰ τὸν Κύριον created by God ανθρωπινη for (the benefit of) humans....
1 Peter 2:13 calls us to do what many Bible heroes did when human authorities departed from God’s vision for them: in submission to God’s vision, to urge authorities to rise to God’s vision – not a very safe thing to do with authorities who don’t like God’s vision. But a very religious thing to do.
King James favored almost the opposite translation of the verse, that favored blind obedience to his absolute authority, and modern translations have been slow to veer from it. But the above translation is true both to the literal Greek words and to the examples left by God’s heroes and by Jesus. This explains why the Examples of Faith in Hebrews 11 did not always obey kings, but often reproved them, at great personal cost. The rest of 1 Peter reviews the other basic human relationships – husband/wife, employer/employee, pastor/Christian/, each of us/each other – similarly calling for subjection to God’s vision, even when the human with earthly authority doesn’t want to obey God.
A widespread Christian theory about the limit to which we ought to obey cruel laws, which we must do according to traditional interpretations of 1 Peter 2:13 and Romans 13:1, is that we should obey every cruel, wicked law right up to the point where we are told to do something which explicitly violates God’s laws.
But the money changers in the Temple didn’t force Jesus to disobey God, before He drove them out with a whip. Matthew 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-17, Luke 19:45-46. David’s affair with Bathsheba didn’t force Nathan to disobey God, before he confronted David with withering judgment. 2 Samuel 12. Ezekiel 3:18-20 says when we don’t warn evil doers of the consequences, we explicitly violate the laws of God, without there being any laws enacted by tyrants involved.
Therefore, when what is believed is true, and can be proved true by the interaction of expert witnesses in court in addition to it being strongly believed, the Bible, which likewise has survived centuries of intense scrutiny to which competing religious writings are seldom if ever subjected, supports the value of affirming it.
Declaration (Conclusion of Section One)
I submit evidence below that mask mandates have none of the support from science alleged for them, and I declare my reverence for Truth. For facts. For evidence. For science. For reality. I also declare that opposition to this truth, to the extent it is sustained not by reasoning or evidence but by raw censorship and social ostracization, is hardly science, but is a false religion, and my opposition to mask wearing is not only based on my reverence for truth and the unthinkability of denying what I know is real, but is driven also by my Biblical duty to oppose the spread of false religious devotion to outright lies and national deception.
I declare that my opposition to mask mandates is therefore religious, and whether or not authorities respect this, courts SHOULD honor my "free exercise of religion" and should prohibit lawmakers from "establishment of religion", which is especially acute when the religion being established is false and based on suppression of evidence.
Courts SHOULD protect my First Amendment “free exercise of religion”, whicb is a “fundamental right”, by not allowing any state restriction of my “fundamental rights” that does not serve a “compelling government interest”, an interest which must not be merely alleged by state authorities, but conclusively proved against the testimony of expert witnesses for the defense.
But whether courts follow the law or not, my support of Truth is a conviction that is profoundly, Biblically religious. It is a conviction I am compelled to declare, and it is an abomination to me to see Truth suppressed instead of addressed, censored instead of reasoned with, prosecuted and vilified, instead of discussed and, if possible, refuted.
Section Two: The Evidence
I'm working on this. But this kind of information is so widely available, that the hard part is deciding which evidence is the strongest.
Multiple journals reject THE ONLY major Covid mask study (Oct 23, 2021)
Update: the study was published 3 weeks after this story was published. See details below.
October 23 JustTheNews A major study out of Denmark that sought to examine the efficacy of face masks at limiting the spread of COVID-19 has reportedly been rejected by multiple academic journals amid hints that the study found face coverings are not effective in protecting individuals from the coronavirus.
The team of Danish scientists earlier this year carried out a major randomized controlled trial study to determine how effective masks might be at stopping COVID transmission. The study, begun in April, involved around 6,000 Danish citizens, half of whom wore face coverings during "normal behavior" and the other half of whom went without them.
The study concluded in June. Yet the Copenhagen newspaper Berlingske reported this week that it has been rejected by at least three elite medical journals so far — the Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, and JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.
"They all said no,"
The researchers are ethically bound to not publicly announce their findings until it is published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, so all we have, months after their study was completed - the ONLY major study of mask effectiveness specifically for Covid - is hints dropped by the extremely frustrated researchers.
Hints that the study finds masks are ineffective.
Hints like :(Results will be published) as soon as a journal is brave enough."
Or, "its results may run against the grain of current public orthodoxy on mask usage."
Or, asked by the paper if the study's results could be considered "controversial," another researcher said: "That's how I want to interpret it."
The research was ready for publication 5 months ago.
Although its authors feel ethically bound to refrain from self-publishing their results, critics have managed to view the paper and have published their criticism of it, yet without fully revealing its findings, and without the researchers having a chance to defend themselves. Their criticism offers us more hints: they say inherent design flaws in the study — including possible noncompliance factors within both the control and study groups — could unfairly skew the results in favor of non-mask usage.
The study "poses a serious risk of mistranslation" due to concerns that "null or too-small effects will be misinterpreted to mean that masks are ineffective," the writers stated. The academics warned policy-makers against "interpreting the results of this trial as being anything other than artifacts of weak design."
Update: What the Study Showed
That article must have shaken something loose, because three weeks later, November 18, it was published. The study indeed seriously challenges the assumptions supporting public mask wearing.
3030 participants wore surgical masks, of whom 42 (1.8%) got sick. 2994 didn't, of whom 53 (2.1%) got sick. That difference is not "statistically significant".
Here is the math they offer to explain the statistical insignificance of that 0.3% difference: "The between-group difference was −0.3 percentage point (95% CI, −1.2 to 0.4 percentage point; P = 0.38) (odds ratio, 0.82 [CI, 0.54 to 1.23]; P = 0.33). Multiple imputation accounting for loss to follow-up yielded similar results. Although the difference observed was not statistically significant, the 95% CIs are compatible with a 46% reduction to a 23% increase in infection."
That means that masks might reduce infection by 46%, or they might increase infection by 23%, for all these numbers tell us. Later the numbers were presented as: "the findings were inconclusive and cannot definitively exclude a 46% reduction to a 23% increase in infection of mask wearers in such a setting. " The researchers had expected to prove a 50% reduction in infection from mask wearing. That didn't happen.
The study summarized previous mask studies:
A systematic review of observational studies reported that mask use reduced risk for SARS, Middle East respiratory syndrome, and COVID-19 by 66% overall, 70% in health care workers, and 44% in the community (12). However, surgical and cloth masks were grouped [not tested separately as in this study which used only "high-quality surgical masks with a filtration rate of 98%"] in preventive studies, and none of the 3 included non–health care studies related directly to COVID-19. Another systematic review (18) and American College of Physicians recommendations (19) concluded that evidence on mask effectiveness for respiratory infection prevention is stronger in health care than community settings.
Here is a surprising finding that makes little sense: "A total of 52 participants in the mask group and 39 control participants reported COVID-19 in their household. Of these, 2 participants in the face mask group and 1 in the control group developed SARS-CoV-2 infection, suggesting that the source of most observed infections was outside the home." !!!
The participants contracted other viruses. 9 who wore masks, 11 who did not. However, the study was not "powered" to [focused on] accurately measure that.
Conclusion: "...a recommendation to wear a surgical mask when outside the home among others did not reduce, at conventional levels of statistical significance, incident SARS-CoV-2 infection compared with no mask recommendation."
Now watch this careful wording: "The findings, however, should not be used to conclude that a recommendation for everyone to wear masks in the community would not be effective in reducing SARS-CoV-2 infections, because the trial did not test the role of masks in source control of SARS-CoV-2 infection." In other words, all that was proved was that wearing a mask won't protect YOU. The study doesn't indicate if it protects others FROM you.
(How could you measure such a thing? You would have to take 3,000 people coughing and sneezing with covid, put masks on them, expose them to tens of thousands of healthy people who can't possibly catch covid from anyone else, and see how many they infect?)
The authorize theorize that perhaps there is so little difference between wearing or not wearing masks because the droplets carrying covid measure billionths of an inch after all, (aerosols), rather than the millionths of an inch that masks can stop: "How SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted—via respiratory droplets, aerosols, or (to a lesser extent) fomites—is not firmly established. Droplets are larger and rapidly fall to the ground, whereas aerosols are smaller (≤5 μm) and may evaporate and remain in the air for hours (39). Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 may take place through multiple routes. It has been argued that for the primary route of SARS-CoV-2 spread—that is, via droplets—face masks would be considered effective, whereas masks would not be effective against spread via aerosols, which might penetrate or circumnavigate a face mask (37, 39). Thus, spread of SARS-CoV-2 via aerosols would at least partially explain the present findings."
Two Analyses of this study: "Masks DO work", and "Masks DON'T work"!
Masks DO work: Bangor Daily News is mad at people who read, in this study, that masks don't work! The study "did not find that masks don’t work in slowing the spread of COVID-19." Well, no, it did not positively even test whether wearing a mask might protect others from you, but it certainly threw cold water on your hope that wearing a mask will protect you from others.
Plus, this article points out, at the time of the Danish study, most Danes were not wearing masks. IF wearing a mask DOES protect others from you, (a theory awaiting evidence), then if everyone wears a mask, that protects you too! So MAYBE masks work after all! Although that theory awaits clear evidence, this article points out that the CDC called the theory "likely". “The relationship between source control and personal protection is likely complementary and possibly synergistic, so that individual benefit increases with increasing community mask use,” the CDC concluded earlier this month.
Masks DON'T work! Business World is mad at people who read, in this study, that masks still might work. "One would think the study’s findings would encourage greater scrutiny on the efficacy of mandatory mask mandates, considering the absurd burden it places on individuals and businesses, not to mention the likely violation of civil liberties."
BW says the context of this study is "study after study showing that masks in the public setting do tend to be ineffective. And a CDC Report of Sept. 11, 2020, which found that amongst those infected by COVID-19, 85% 'always' or 'often' wore masks, while 70% of those actually hospitalized for COVID-19 'always' wore masks."
BW complains about the flip flopping mask mandates: "up to March 2020, the advice had nearly always been: 'don’t wear masks' Yet, suddenly, mask proponents, imposed an about-face. It became 'yes wear it publicly because it protects you.' Then it changed to: 'no, actually it doesn’t protect you but it protects others.' The current manifestation seems to be: 'well, wear it to raise awareness of COVID-19.' The foregoing is bizarrely contradicted by CDC Director Robert Redfield’s Sept. 16 statement: A 'face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine.' Which in turn weirdly contradicted the CDC’s own Sept. 11 Report (particularly in an e-mail to Health Feedback), which stated that it 'clearly stated that wearing a mask is intended to protect other people in case the mask wearer is infected. At no time has CDC guidance suggested that masks were intended to protect the wearers.'”
"Note that an Oct. 23 study (Dhaval Adjodah, et al), published on medRxiv, had to be retracted when it claimed that mask mandates resulted in reducing COVID-19 cases, only to find infections in the subject areas rose after the study was released."
BW argues that asymptomatic spread is disproven, so why mandate mask wearing for people without symptoms, if masks are supposedly only useful to protect others from you?
"Then, finally, there is this: a study (Shiyi Cao, et al) published Nov. 20, described 'a city-wide SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid screening program between May 14 and June 1, 2020 in Wuhan. There were no positive tests [no one tested positive] amongst 1,174 close contacts of asymptomatic cases.' In short, and if true: asymptomatic spread is not real. And if that is the case, with nearly 98-99% of COVID-19 cases being asymptomatic or mild, what could then justify mandatory mask wearing?"
Therefore, "if the science on public mask wearing shows that such is useless or doesn’t work...or at the very least uncertain, then for the government to make public mask wearing a mandatory requirement is arbitrary, capricious, and even perhaps despotic."
Another perspective of the fact that this study disproved any SIGNIFICANT benefit from masks, for wearers: How could masks protect others from wearers, while unable to protect wearers from others? Their inability to protect wearers from others shows masks do not significantly block germs traveling from others, through the masks, to wearers. How does that not also show masks do not significantly block germs traveling from wearers, through the masks, to others? There is nothing about masks that permits only one way travel. If germs can travel through one way, they can also travel the other way.
The inability of masks to block germs traveling from wearers to others, through masks, was graphically demonstrated by a doctor who exhaled vape "smoke" through different masks. (See description above.) Vape droplets are larger than the largest droplets theorized to carry covid, yet the droplets passed through almost as easily as they passed around the masks. The masks affected the direction and speed of exhaled breath, but not quantity.
In fact, if masks COULD actually TRAP large droplets and keep them from going into the room, wouldn't they become soggy after a couple of minutes? Doesn't the fact that they remain dry for hours prove they don't block droplets?
CDC Report: No Statistically Significant Benefit from School Masks
The CDC writes: “The 21% lower incidence [of covid] in schools that required mask use among students was not statistically significant compared with schools where mask use was optional.” May 28, 2021
Several things are incredible about this study.
The study doesn’t say whether even one person was actually sick. The study only counts “cases”, which as you know from the news includes people who test positive for covid even if they have no symptoms. (“Asymptomatic”.)
The CDC report explains the two tests relied on: the infamous PCR tests, and “rapid antigen” tests. CDC writes, “COVID-19 cases among staff members and students are defined as laboratory-confirmed reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction or rapid antigen positive test results self-reported to the school by staff members and parents or guardians of students or by local public health officials.” The two tests, and their wide range of reliability, are explained by UC Davis Health.
This analysis will keep the word “cases” in quote marks to remind readers that the CDC uses the word very differently than the rest of America does. The rest of us assume a “case of Covid” means where a person is actually sick.
The study doesn’t say whether any students ever even tested positive. Case numbers among teachers, other staff, and students were combined. “Number includes both students and staff members with a case of COVID-19 during the study period.” If all the “cases” were among only the adults, that would be consistent with general reports that children are more resistant, but we will not find out from the CDC.
The failure to distinguish between students and adults in counting “cases” leaves the report unable to guess whether mask wearing by adults or by students is the reason adults reduced “cases” 37% in schools where students were ordered to mask up. “This finding might be attributed to higher effectiveness of masks among adults, who are at higher risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection but might also result from differences in mask-wearing behavior among students in schools with optional requirements.”
The relative general immunity of children also helps explain why the study found that covid “cases” among both students and staff were only about half what is experienced in the general population. CDC reports 3.08 “cases” of both staff and students per 500 students, while the general population experiences 5.28 “cases” “per 500 population”.
How is 21% reduction of “cases” under mask mandates not “statistically significant”? Look at the quote again, and consider how much better a headline the sentence would be in conservative news reports, by deleting that “21%”:
“The 21% lower incidence [of covid] in schools that required mask use among students was not statistically significant compared with schools where mask use was optional.”
Reporting the difference as a “21% lower incidence” certainly takes the edge off the finding that it is not “statistically significant”, which a skeptic might guess is the reason it was called a “21% lower incidence” rather than a half of a percent lower incidence, which truly is “statistically insignificant”. Try to be patient with a bunch of numbers.
A chart at the end of the report says that where masks were required for students, there were 2.44 cases per 500 students, or 0.488%.
(Watch out! Calling it “per 500 students” feeds the impression that those “cases” are among students. But as pointed out earlier, the report doesn’t say if any students tested positive, much less actually got sick.)
For schools where masks were optional, it was 4.42 cases per 500 students, or 0.884%. That is a whopping 70% higher number of “cases” where students faced mask mandates!
But it is only a 0.346% higher rate of “cases”.
But where does CDC get the 21% figure?
The chart reports mask mandated student cases as 2.44 (2.15–2.77) and optionally masked student cases as 3.81 (3.42–4.25). The numbers in parenthesis are “confidence intervals”, which the study “estimates” at 95%. That “means that if the same population is sampled on numerous occasions and interval estimates are made on each occasion, the resulting intervals would bracket the true population parameter in approximately 95 % of the cases.”
Comparing 3.42, the minimum “cases” to expect without a mandate, is a 23% increase over 2.77, the maximum “cases” to expect with a mandate. In other words, “we can expect at least 23% more cases without a mask mandate.”
Well, 23% is close to 21%. That’s the best I can figure, in the absence of the CDC explaining where it got 21%.
Still unclear is how either a 21% increase, or 23%, is “statistically insignificant”. Or whether we should instead go by the 0.346% figure, which makes the difference seem truly negligible. How can we clear up this confusion?
Suppose you need your house painted, so you ask two painters to give you a bid. You hope you can get it done for $4,000.
One contractor offers to do it for $3,999. He will save you $1. The second says “I can save you twice as much as the other guy. I can do the job for a scant $3.998!”
Which figure gives you the most realistic view of your options? The fact that the difference is only 0.9997%? Or the fact that the second painter will save you twice as much?
State Mask Mandates Ineffective
“Mask mandate and use efficacy in state-level COVID-19 containment”. By Damian D. Guerra, Daniel J. Guerra. May 18, 2021
This study compared covid rates of states with mask mandates, with those of states without. This study is a “preprint”, not yet peer reviewed, and therefore not intended to be relied on as if it were. But in the absence of better information, it seems more useful than nothing.
Here are quotes from the study, selected by Redstate:
The study notes that “80% of US states mandated masks during the COVID-19 pandemic” and while “mandates induced greater mask compliance, [they] did not predict lower growth rates when community spread was low (minima) or high (maxima).” Among other things, the study—conducted using data from the CDC covering multiple seasons—reports that “mask mandates and use are not associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 spread among US states.”
“Our findings do not support the hypothesis that SARS-CoV-2 transmission rates decrease with greater public mask use,” notes the U of L report. Researchers stated that “masks may promote social cohesion as rallying symbols during a pandemic, but risk compensation can also occur” before listing some observed risks that accompany mask wearing…
The study has more value than what the study itself establishes. A section of it summarizes a dozen previous relevant studies, with links.
Conclusions Mask mandates and use are not associated with slower state-level COVID-19 spread during COVID-19 growth surges.
...Prior studies have conflicted on whether masks reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission. For USS Theodore Roosevelt crew, reported mask use was lower among COVID-19 cases (56% vs. 81%) . There were no infections for 47.9% of patrons of two hair stylists with COVID-19 with universal masking , but PCR tests were not obtained for the other 52.1% of patrons , and first wave COVID-19 hospitalizations were no higher in public schools (high density with minimal masking) than elsewhere in Sweden . A randomized controlled trial (RCT) of Danish volunteers found no protective benefit of medical masks against COVID-19 infection . In RCTs before COVID-19, viral infections were more common for Vietnamese clinicians with cloth masks than medical or no masks (which were indistinguishable from each other) , and N-95 respirators (but not medical masks) protected Beijing clinicians from bacterial and viral diseases compared to no masks . To be sure, mask use compliance in RCTs is not always clear . Mask use was 10% and 33% for Beijing households with and without intrahousehold COVID-19 transmission, respectively . This suggests greater mask use may reduce COVID-19 spread. Hence, our second objective was to assess whether COVID-19 case growth is negatively associated with mask use.
... We found little to no association between COVID-19 case growth and mask mandates or mask use at the state level. These findings suggest that statewide mandates and enhanced mask use did not detectably slow COVID-19 spread.
Non-Covid, yet Relevant, Mask Studies
A review with useful links, emailed to me by Bill Whatcott 9/30/2021.
In May 2020, a CDC journal named Emerging Infectious Diseases published a “systematic review” of 10 RCTs that “reported estimates of the effectiveness of face masks in reducing” the spread of the flu in community settings. A “pooled analysis” of their results found “no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks,” regardless of whether they are “worn by the infected person” to protect others, or if they are worn by “uninfected persons” to protect themselves from people who are infected.
All of those flu RCTs are highly relevant to Covid-19 because:
- both diseases are transmitted by RNA viruses that produce respiratory tract infections.
- more than 87% of virus-laden respiratory particles exhaled by people with either disease are less than 1 micron in diameter. These can easily penetrate surgical and cloth masks because the average pore sizes of:
- surgical masks are at least 17 to 51 times larger than those particles.
- cloth masks are at least 80 to 500 times larger than those particles. (More details about this are provided below in the section on laboratory studies.)