Religious exemptions to vaccines are about the soul’s right to breathe
by Marco Caceres [excerpted from full column here]
People view and practice religion in different ways. I have always tended to see religion more as a journey of growth in spiritual wisdom—of being open to all prospects for experiencing the creative power of the universe and learning from the teachings of sages, mystics and prophets (both past and present). I have sensed that the journey has been guided by my conscience—that inner still small voice that has often been said to be the highest authority.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supercedes all other courts.”1
In one of his many sermons, 19th century Church of Scotland minister Robert Herbert Story described conscience as the “compass we must steer by.”2 He said that even if it is not pointing due north, “we cannot help it: as long as we believe it to be true, and have no means of checking it, we can be trusted to it.”2
Obey your conscience. Be true to yourself and to God’s voice in you, first and before all else. You might mistake the teaching of Scripture: you could not, if in earnest about it, mistake the teaching of the living voice of God within.2
The relationship between religion and conscience is closely intertwined. However, I had never previously stopped to reflect just how much until faced with the possibility of losing my religious freedoms as it relates to something as deeply personal as bodily integrity. Spurred on and financed by the pharmaceutical industry, the unceasing lobbying efforts within state legislatures in the United States to eliminate religious exemptions to vaccination and the resultant pushback by American families defending their religious freedoms, has put into clear perspective what is at stake here. Continue reading