There is some real false equivalence going on online right now surrounding the supposed moral incoherence of a religious exemption for the COVID vaccine due to the involvement of aborted cell lines and (in the case of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines) human desecration and vivisection in the development of these vaccines. The truth is, there is a crucial difference between origin and later misuse that rends the arguments against religious exemption invalid.
That was a mouthful, so let’s break it down.
The four COVID vaccines that are commercially available in the US all rely on abortion for their existence in some form or another. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is manufactured using the PER.C6 cell line – which means at some point in the past, a healthy 18-week child whose only name is PER.C6 was killed, and we then multiplied its cells so we could feed human tissue to diseases to keep them around for use in vaccines. So, yes, despite the naysayers, you are getting trace amounts of aborted child into your bloodstream if you take this vaccine, or the AstraZenica vaccine, which uses a boy named HEK293. This is bad enough, not just if you are a Christian, but if you are a person of conscience, but the other two so-called vaccines (in actuality, experimental gene therapies) made by Pfizer and Moderna don’t use fetal cell lines in their manufacturing process. But before you celebrate, I have to tell you that these, from a moral standpoint, may actually be worse.
Healthy children were ripped from the womb, scalped (yes, literally having the top of their heads cut off), and then the resulting flesh was put on ice to be grafted onto what is now referred to as “humanized mice” so that we could test the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines on them.
I’m not embellishing or being sensationalist. This is what happened.
So, understandably, many Christians and people of conscience have objected to mandates requiring them to desecrate their bodies with this. This is happening in such large numbers, in fact, that a narrative had to be created to combat what should be common sense. So, some employers are now asking employees who claim religious exemption to also abstain from using Tylenol, Ibuprofin, Pepto-bismal, etc. etc. etc. because of the use of fetal cell lines in testing these medications (example blogs here and here). After all, if you don’t want to take the COVID vaccine but you will take acetaminophen, aren’t you just practicing selective outrage?? Doesn’t that mean you aren’t actually religiously opposed to the COVID vaccines but are just using religion as a shield to cover your anti-science foolishness?
Well, no actually. Not at all.
The argument is purposefully obtuse, and it falls apart easily, because there is an inherent difference between creation and usage. Something can be made morally, but used immorally, even while retaining the ability to be used morally.
Let’s do an example to make this clear.
Suppose we have a company that manufactures luxury hatchets (why not?). They come out with a new model of hatchet that uses a severely endangered tree to make the handle. You could rightly be opposed to this. Financially supporting an unethical process perpetuates the problem. You get more of what you subsidize and less of what you tax, right?
Conversely, let us suppose that another luxury hatchet company (there are two because of the great demand for luxury hatchets), is made with sustainably farmed ash hardwood. Then, some misanthropic thugs buy some of these hatchets and go into the last remaining forest of our previously mentioned severely endangered tree species and start hacking them down. This is wrong, but it is a crime of usage, not development. The hatchet can still be purchased in good conscience, because it was not made unethically.
Back to the real world, now. The stupid claim that you have to be opposed to taking Tylenol because you oppose the use of dead children in the creation of the COVID vaccines is ridiculous as soon as you dive into the shallowest bit of detail. Fetal cell lines were not widely used (in fact, I don’t think they were used at all) until the research of Stanley Plotkin in the late 60s and early 70s. Tylenol was developed in the 50s. So do the math, folks. Yes, some horrible people have since seen fit, not just with Tylenol and many other commercially available medications, to later run tests with these medications against fetal cell lines. This is wrong. We should seriously consider abandoning the name-brand versions of these drugs if we can replace them with generics that have not been tested in this way. However, Tylenol was not created on the backs of dead children. It was later misused – still horrible – but this is a crime of usage, not of development or creation.
So to all of the bloggers out there perpetuating this nonsense: What is your goal? To convince decent people who are revolted at the crimes against humanity going on right under our nose that they ought to shut up and become complicit?
Or maybe it would be better to let people with consciences listen to them.
You can take acetaminophen and be opposed to the COVID vaccine. Also, fetal cell research is despicable, and we as the market ought to let our voices be heard. But don’t fall prey to “sin blackmail.”
I’ll take it one step further, in fact. Not only do we need to object to this sort of fetal research, we need to fix our grave mistake of legalizing abortion period. We need to speak out on this boldly, repeatedly, relentlessly, and we need to live in a way that is consistent with these proclamations.
The Roman orator Cato was famous for ending every single speech with the phrase “Cathago delenda est” or, Carthage must be destroyed. This was because he saw an existential threat to Rome by the child-sacrificing Punics, with whom they had already experienced horrible conflict and war. Thanks in part to his unceasing urging, the policy he desired was eventually pursued. So I urge you – especially those of you with a following, platform, column, or voice – join me as I end this article with the words:
End abortion now.