Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a standoff between personal freedoms and bodily integrity on one side and the obligation to protect the health and lives of others on the other. Added to that, there has been a heap of misinformation about the coronavirus and vaccines.
In recent days, with a handful of organizations from Facebook and Google to the University of Virginia announcing vaccine mandates, religious leaders and organizations have considered their own teachings and values on the question of how to show respect for life. And their conclusions vary widely.
The Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life — its body dedicated to promoting church teaching protecting life and to researching bioethics — has said there is a “moral responsibility” to get vaccinated.
Ryan Bomberger is co-founder of the Radiance Foundation, an evangelical group based in Purcellville, Va., that advocates for adoption and other alternatives to abortion. Bomberger said he thinks there are far “too many unknowns” for vaccine mandates.
“I feel like when people of my complexion had to show papers,” said Bomberger, who is biracial. “To me, there are too many questions and we’re moving into pseudo-medical apartheid.”