Nothing means more to a parent than their children. What is at odds in the debate over vaccinations is how they show it. On one side, you have parents that believe that vaccinating their kids is the best way to keep them healthy. On the other side you have parents that believe saving their children’s souls is more important, and vaccinating their children goes against their religious beliefs. The 1st amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” That right is under attack by mandatory vaccinations in America. Whether we believe in vaccinations or not doesn’t matter, protecting religious freedom is what is at stake. Bobby Jindal said it best, “America Didn’t Create Religious Liberty. Religious Liberty Created America.”
The fight over whether a state can make you get vaccinated has been going on for a long time. The first case was in 1902, when the state of Massachusetts required all residents to get vaccinated for small pox, a man named Henning Jacobson refused to get the vaccination due to having an adverse reaction to earlier vaccines he had received. He was fined five dollars, which he refused to pay. After failing to get the charges dropped, he appealed to the Supreme Court in 1905, Jacobson vs Massachusetts became a well-known case. Jacobson argued that the state was violating his right to personal liberty. The Supreme Court ruled against him, stating that the state had the right to require the vaccine because they were in charge of the health and safety of the people of Massachusetts, much like the courts of today. Putting the rights of the state ahead of an individual’s rights to liberty and religious freedom.
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... their religious beliefs. Parents have a right to make the health decisions for their children without interference from the state and threat of being denied access to a public education (Universal Family Church).
In conclusion, we have seen many different people who believe that their religious beliefs oppose vaccinations. But it doesn’t really matter what the different faiths believe about vaccinations. What is really important here, is their right to follow their religious convictions, as guaranteed in our constitution. People seeking a religious exemption from vaccinations argue that, "the free-exercise clause of the First Amendment mandates state accommodation for members of religious groups who object to the vaccinations on religious grounds" (Vidula, 2010). It is time for our courts to stop relying on a case from 1905, and take a stand for our constitution.
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