Reasonable Accommodation for Religious Exemption

This is a very beautiful explanation written by as to why she does not want to take the vaccine for work.

Do you have a belief, observance, or practice that you consider to be in conflict with the requirements of Executive Order No. 14043? If so, please describe your belief, observance, or practice that you consider to be in conflict with the requirements of Executive Order No. 14043.

It is an honor to have this opportunity to state my sincerely held individual religious beliefs. I was raised in the Christian Science faith; its teachings have informed my conduct and study of Scripture throughout my life. I believe that fear is the foundation of disease and of contagion; that God never made either; and that once fear subsides, disease and contagion recede. I believe that man is God’s image and likeness and therefore a person’s essence is spiritual rather than material. God gave me an immune system that works very well; I do not choose to alter it with experimental vaccines. I depend upon prayer to meet all of life’s challenges, have experienced and observed physical healings through prayer, and have never found God’s protection failing when I trusted in Him.

How does your belief, observance, or practice conflict with the requirements of Executive Order No. 14043?

It is natural for me to turn to God for help in distress, and would be unnatural to allow my body to be injected with a foreign substance. Jesus Christ never resorted to the use of drugs; He addressed the mental and spiritual condition of those who came to Him for help. Under Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964, I cannot be forced to undergo medical procedures that I believe are wrong for me.

How long have you held the belief, observance, or practice that conflicts with the requirements of Executive Order No, 14043?

I have held this belief since childhood, when I was a pupil in the Christian Science Sunday School. I was taught that Psalm 91 is our protection (verse 10, “There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling”), and I still believe that.

Does your belief, observance, or practice conflict with the use of all vaccines, or only particular vaccines? If your belief, observance, or practice only conflicts with certain vaccines, please identify those vaccines and explain why the conflict exists with regard to those particular vaccines.

I am not opposed to the use of any and all vaccines; American citizens have a right to make their own medical decisions. The covid vaccines are offensive to me because I understand that the Pfizer and Moderna drugs were developed using experiments with human stem cells; and the Johnson & Johnson drug actually contains aborted fetal tissue. As in 2005 and 2006 I was office manager of the Midtown Pregnancy Support Center, a Christian pro-life outreach in New York City, I could not very well be expected to go along with that!

Please describe whether, as an adult, you have received any vaccines against any diseases (such as a flu vaccine or a tetanus vaccine) and, if so, what vaccine you most recently received and, to the best of your recollection, when you received that vaccine.

This question is intrusive and inappropriate; nevertheless I will answer it. As a reservist in the U.S. Navy, I was talked into receiving the anthrax vaccine. This was supposed to comprise five different shots over a period of about fifteen months, if memory serves. After the second shot, military personnel were told that the lab had been contaminated, and the shots were discontinued. To this day, I have no idea what I was injected with! I believe that God is Truth, and in accord what I believe is Truth’s leading, I have not taken a vaccine since. I left the U.S. Navy Reserve in June 2011, so it must have been before that.

If there are any medicines or medical products that you do not use because of the belief, observance, or practice identified in Question #1, please identify them.

As a rule, I do not take any medicine, over-the-counter or otherwise; other than occasional antibiotics after a visit to the dentist.

Would you agree to wear a face mask, undergo regular COVID-19 testing, and follow all relevant DOI COVID-19 health and safety protocols, as explained in the DOI Workforce Safety Plan, as part of an accommodation?

No. I have avoided taking a covid test, and will continue to avoid it, as it is an invasive medical procedure that conflicts with my religious understanding and practice. Since August 2020, when Independence National Historical Park re-opened, I have worn the face mask while indoors, primarily as an act of charity so that visitors and co-workers would not be nervous; but believe the time has come for me to discontinue the practice, as it is repellent to me to wear what for centuries has been considered a symbol of subjugation, while I am working at the birthplace of the Bill of Rights! Covering the face is a requirement in some religions, but not in my own. I believe it is my duty to forego the mask and show forth the image of God; that in God “we live and move and have our being,”(Acts 17:28) and that “we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18) The preceding verse states: “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” For me, it is abhorrent to try to inspire people at the Liberty Bell while wearing a symbol of subjugation common in countries that practice a different religion than my own and that take the opposite view of the human countenance and of liberty.

In the Jewish faith, the yarmulke is worn to affirm the presence of God above us and in our midst. It is my sincerely held individual religious belief that when I wear a mask, I am affirming the presence of germs and making that my god. I believe that whatever is uppermost in our thought is our god. I believe, too, that this is what anti-Christ (whatever form that takes) would have us believe – that God is not present and need not be acknowledged.

Would complying with the COVID-19 vaccination requirement substantially burden your religious exercise? If so, please explain how.

Complying with the covid vaccine measure would indeed burden my religious exercise, as it would be difficult to pray in good conscience knowing that I had been intimidated into going against my sincerely held individual religious convictions.

You are welcome to propose an accommodation that you believe will resolve the conflict between your belief, observance, and practice and the requirements of Executive Order No. 14043. You are not required to provide a proposed accommodation, but if you do, your supervisor will consider it.

Here are a few ideas, submitted for your consideration:

I would be willing, at regular intervals, to a symptom self-screening, such as the one required by Amtrak, in which I am asked, “Have you been in contact with anyone indisposed with coronavirus in the past few days? Have you come down with any symptoms?” etc. (According to OSHA, a “screening” is required, not a medical procedure.)

I would be willing to take a saliva test.

I would regularly ask our co-workers and visitors if they would be more comfortable if I were to put on the mask.

I would be willing to have my temperature taken at regular intervals.

I would agree to stand six feet away from visitors while giving talks at the Liberty Bell Center. I have a strong, clear voice that carries, so this would work!

If I were to feel the least bit ill, I would stay home; and if I began to feel ill while at work, I would notify my supervisor and go home immediately.

You are invited to share any additional information that you think may be helpful in reviewing your request.

I thought it would be the thrill of my life to work at Independence Hall and get people excited about the birth of the United States. Instead, I have yet to conduct a tour of the Hall, because it violates my sincerely held individual religious beliefs to do this with a symbol of subjugation on my face. The requirement has substantially burdened my job performance, but this burden could be lifted if I agreed to stand at least six feet away from our visitors while in the Courtroom and Assembly Room. I have had a great deal of experience in public speaking, and know how to make myself heard!

I realize that the mask issue needs to be handled sensitively. It seems to be permissible for some rangers to yell (yes, yell) at visitors for briefly removing their masks for pictures. I respectfully suggest that the tension in the chamber may be diffused if it is understood that, in accordance with my sincerely held individual religious beliefs, I can remove the mask long enough to tell our visitors about the Bell that bears the inscription, “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” It may go a long way toward restoring a sense of calm, welcome, and common sense in the treatment of our visitors.

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