From: (name withheld)
Subject: Son at Ft Drum.
Date: September 11, 2022 at 8:27:48 AM MDT
My son is a captain in the army at ft drum NY. He requested a religious exemption from the covid vaccine. He was told a medical request would not be accepted. Although he went off base to a private medical facility and got proof he had natural immunity. He did send a request for religious exemption. The local chaplain stated he agreed my sons request was valid. His local pastor at black river Baptist agreed and presented a letter. His past pastor in his hometown of Kings Mountain NC also provided a letter. After a long period of time he received a denial from the military. Stating military need and readiness. He has now sent the appeal and addressed he would take any position where he could continue to serve without taking the vaccine. He has for years now been required to wear a mask daily and every monday get swabbed. He has been refused his PCS to Okinawa stating he will never leave ft drum. He was taken out of his command when his command was sent to Poland. Our military deserve their religious rights protected. The military accommadales so many for reasons other than religious but seem to be on the attack for any who request an exemption although they have an obligation to accommodate. They have ignored their due diligence and give same reason to all. Army need. Thanks for your time.
On Sep 11, 2022, at 11:34 AM, Chris Rodda <[email protected]> wrote:
Hello (name withheld)…
I’m Chris Rodda, MRFF’s research director.
Our organization completely supports the military’s COVID vaccine mandate, and has since the beginning. We find that the requests for religious accommodations to be exempt from the vaccine mandate are overwhelmingly being submitted by service members who willingly got a plethora of other vaccines, some of which also used fetal tissue in their development, without batting an eye, making their objections to this particular vaccine seem very specious, leading us to believe that the objections stem from political opinions rather than any genuine religious belief.
The only cases of objections to the COVID vaccine that we would even consider would be cases in which the service member has a history of requesting religious accommodations to be exempt from other vaccines prior to COVID. Without such a track record of objecting to other vaccines, we simply do not buy that any service member’s objection to this particular vaccine is coming from a genuine sincerely held religious belief.
As for so-called “natural immunity,” all of the science says that any natural immunity from a prior COVID infection is only temporary, and even that temporary “natural immunity” likely does not protect an individual from different variants. We at MRFF go with the science.
Thank you for contacting us,
Chris Rodda Senior Research Director Military Religious Freedom Foundation