Over 1,700 Faith Leaders Urge Pentagon to Allow Religious Exemptions from Coronavirus Vaccine

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Over 1,700 faith leaders are urging the Biden Pentagon to approve religious exemptions for troops from the coronavirus vaccine mandate.

The National Faith Advisory Board sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Tuesday with their signatures, requesting that he “immediately” grant religious exemptions from the vaccine for those requesting it.

The Biden Administration made the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory in late August, allowing each military service to implement their own deadlines for when troops have to be fully vaccinated.

However, so far, none of the military services’ leaders have approved any religious exemptions from the vaccine despite requests from thousands.

The NFAB wrote in their letter:

As faith leaders representing millions of Americans from diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds from across the country, we write to express our strong concern about the potential for military members to be stripped of their religious liberties by not being granted an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Given your decades of service in the U.S. Army, you are fully cognizant that young men and women are not currently being drafted into active-duty service; instead, they are choosing to sign up to serve to protect our freedoms. These military members including Navy Seals put their lives on the line in some of the riskiest and most important operations each year. We should be rewarding their bravery and the bravery of all our men and women in uniform, by not forcing them to choose between sincere religious convictions and staying in the military.

With the current threats we face – whether it be an emboldened Al-Qaeda or a rising communist regime in China – losing some of our military’s finest over a vaccine mandate would be a travesty. By not approving legitimate exemptions in a timely manner, you will be threatening the basic liberties of servicemen, servicewomen, and their families increasing the polarization of our armed forces, and potentially risking our national security.

They concluded: “We urge you to grant religious exemptions as soon as possible for every American risking their lives to defend our country. Religious freedom is enshrined in our Constitution and must always be protected.”

The deadline for the active duty Marine Corps passed on November 28, with as many as 10,000 Marines still unvaccinated.

The service said Monday that 2,441 Marines applied for religious accommodation from the vaccine mandate, with 1,902 of those “processed” and “zero” requests approved. Some Marines are appealing their denials.

NFAB – Religious Freedom for Our Military Letter by Kristina Wong on Scribd

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