Audio has leaked of a White House official discussing how to combat people who declare a religious exemption from the vaccine mandate.
Human Events senior editor Jack Posobiec first reported the story on the Human Events Daily podcast.
In the audio from September, DOJ attorney Marty Lederman is heard advising the Biden administration on how to fight back against employees religious exemption requests from the federal vaccine mandate.
In audio of the call the attorney can be heard saying that in “cases, for instance in the New York case that’s currently going on against the State of New York, the Thomas More Society is representing a bunch of doctors and nurses who claim that they would sin gravely in cooperation with the evil of abortion. How would they be doing so? The claim is that all three of the current vaccines, either have fetal cells that were obtained by abortions in the vaccine itself, or in the case of Pfizer and Moderna that those vaccines were tested using fetal cells that had been aborted, and even the connection to the previous testing, makes them cooperative with evil in a way that their religion prohibits.
“I don’t want to say anything too categorical but I believe that this claim will be very difficult for agencies to successfully claim that’s either insincere or not religious, even if it is. Even if we know that many of those claims are not sincere, or are sincere but not religions, this is the most common behavior you’re going to confront probably, and it’s likely that you will have to take as a given the employee’s claim.
“Not always, right, but one response that some hospitals have started to give is, ‘well do you know that Tylenol, and Tums, and Preparation H, those were all tested using aborted fetal cell lines, too.’ And I expect that employees will then say ‘well I didn’t know that, but now that you tell me that and I’ll stop using those products as well.’
“And then we will turn to the, ‘what does the government have to do once the employee makes that shown.’ And here, basically there is a compelling interest, obviously, in keeping our workforce and the public with which we interact safe from COVID.”
As Posobiec said, the indication appears to be that the administration doubts the sincerely held religious beliefs of the people claiming religious exemptions from the vaccine.
But even if they are sincere in their beliefs, the administration is actively looking for ways to circumvent the objections to the mandate.
Biden, who is a Catholic, which is a faith that opposes abortion, has danced around that for decades.
In June, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the president’s faith and how that squares with his support for abortion rights.
“The US Conference of Catholic Bishops are writing a document to clarify who should receive communion,” the reporter said at a White House press briefing. “This is targeted at politicians who have high public profiles. What’s the president’s reaction to this?”
“Joe Biden is a strong man of faith and as he noted just a couple of days ago, it’s personal. He goes to church nearly every weekend. He even went when we were on our overseas trip. But it’s personal to him, he doesn’t see it through a political prism, and we’re not going to comment on the inner workings of the Catholic Church,” she said.
The reporter then asked if the decision by the bishops would have the President “reconsider his public support for policies that increase access to abortion or abortion rights?”
“Again,” she said. “the President’s faith is personal. It is something that has helped guide him through some challenging moments in his life. And that’s how many Americans see their faith as well. Not through a political prism. So I would suspect that he will continue to attend church, as he has for many, many years.”