You’ve considered the risks and benefits and
you want to make your own decision regarding vaccinations.
There are three exemptions in the US—medical,
religious and philosophical. All states have medical.
A medical exemption to all of the vaccines is difficult
to obtain, though you may be able to get an exemption
for one or two. Understand also, the Department of
Health can override you
July 17, 2008
Forty-eight states (all except W. Virginia and Mississippi)
have religious and 19 have philosophical. New York
does not have a philosophical exemption - yet. We can
change that- SUPPORT
THE "PHILOSOPHICAL EXEMPTION" BILL (Bills
Read NYSED "Public
Health Law - Title VI - Section 2164." The
law provides, “(the law) shall not apply to
children whose parent, parents or guardian holds
genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary
to the practices herein required (immunizations),
and no certificate shall be required as a prerequisite
to such children being admitted or received into
school or attending school.”
In other words, you may apply for a religious waiver
by submitting a Religious
Exemption to Immunization Form to your school
building principal. Most of the time, you will need
to include a personal letter with the form.
Your beliefs have to be truly religious and they
have to be sincerely held. This is a ‘two-tier’ test.
The first one is genuinely religious in nature.
Most people I talk with hear "religious exemption" and
panic, “I haven’t been to
church in six years. And I have an issue with the Catholic
First, you do not have to be a member of an organized
religion. Second, the above can be true and you can
still believe in religious principles that directly
connect to the rejection of vaccines. In fact, I believe
it’s impossible to have a conversation about
rejecting vaccines without mentioning
God and Faith. You just need to find the correct words
to express religious thoughts and concepts that connect
to refusing vaccinations.
The Bible states, “Praise
the Lord who forgives all sins and heals all diseases.” Psalm
This line of scripture expresses a simple idea; placing
Faith in the healing power of God can cure disease.
I believe the immune system is a gift from God. Inviting
disease into a gift from God disrespects His divine
gift to us, corrupts the body and consequently the
soul. It separates from a Faith we have in God that
he can cure all diseases.
The following further illustrates this point:
“As for God, his way is perfect; the word
of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who
take refuge in him. For I have kept the ways of the
Lord, I have not done evil by turning from God.”
Additionally, vaccinations are fear-based and founded
on a threatening principle. Mankind says that if I
do not vaccinate, my child may get sick/die and may
cause others to get sick/die. This idea is far away
from the peace that God represents for me and the love
He encourages us to feel for humankind. The pessimistic
principle of vaccinations contradicts the love I feel
for my fellowman as an instrument of Jesus Christ.
Participating in the spiritually dark (and diseased)
process of vaccines disconnects me from my mission
to connect with God. To participate in this dark and
diseased process gives energy and credence to harm
and disease and offends my faith. For me, Jesus is
about hope, love, optimism, peace and contentment.
Scripture that illustrates my feelings:
“The Lord turns my darkness into light.”
God said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever,
follows me will never walk in darkness but will have
the light of life.”
“There is no fear in love, but the perfect love
(I have for my God and my children) drives out fear.”
John 4:18 “Such love has no fear, because perfect
love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear
of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully
experienced his perfect love.”
“God has not given us a spirit of fear and
timidity but of power, love and self-discipline.”
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under
trial because when he has stood the test, he will receive
the crown of life promised to those who love him.”
To me, this means that God needs us to persevere through
disease, have Faith in His Supreme healing powers and
know that addressing sickness will make us grow stronger.
“What if I am asked if I give my
children medicine when they are sick? Or I give them
First, if they start asking you questions, make sure
you have legal representation. Do not go into a taped
meeting without an attorney or an advocate. Second,
explain to school officials that injecting disease
into a healthy body and helping a body in crisis are
two very different actions.
Medicine helps a body in crisis; medicine is an optimistic
hope for restored health. Medicine and vitamins work
for the goal of maintenance/restoration of health and
Vaccinations are diseases injected into the blood anticipating
sickness. Accepting disease into a healthy body turns
your back on the gift of the immune system that God
has blessed you with; inviting this disease will only
bring more disease. Hope for, and pursuit of, good
health is different from accepting and preventing disease.
The foundations of these principles are completely
different. Medicine and vitamins do not disrespect
the gift God has given us.
Helping a body in crisis has nothing to do with "interference,
" and "substituting man's power," with
the healing power of God. Sometimes school district
attorneys will try to trip you up by using these words
and altering your presentation of your belief system.
This is so they can claim your objections to vaccinations
are based on medical or philosophical grounds. DO NOT
let them lead you down that road.
They may claim that it is illogical to use medicines
and vitamins if God can heal all diseases. Repeat,
"Restoring health to a body in crisis is different
from injecting disease into a healthy body." If
they repeat the question, offer the same answer, over
and over again. We found the need to repeat ourselves
numerous times during our interview.
The attorney who interviewed me and my husband claimed
we used the words, "substitute" and, "interference," during
our meeting. Upon review of the tape, it was evident
we did not.
“But my kids have already had some
Society puts a tremendous amount of pressure to vaccinate.
Doctors pressure, even threaten, parents who refuse
to vaccinate. Some pediatricians will not take unvaccinated
children as patients.
Parents may ostracize others who do not vaccinate.
Family members will also tell parents who want to follow
their Faith, they’re “crazy.” Many
parents understandably give in to the pressure.
Parents have told me that God sent them signs for years
that vaccinations were not part of God’s plan.
These parents did not listen until, in a conversation
with God at a deceased loved one’s grave, they
felt compelled by the spirit of God to follow the signs
and their faith. They explained to the school that
it took a long time to follow the signs from God and
their true Faith, but their resolve is now strong and
they will not turn their back on God. "Many parents
ask Jesus Christ for forgiveness for
not following what they knew in their heart to be His
word to them."
“I don’t think my religious
beliefs are anyone’s business.”
Schools have the legal power to compel you to prove
to them your beliefs are sincere and genuine. When
determining your sincerity, they are permitted to consider
your forthrightness and demeanor. That means you must
COOPERATE. It does not help you to be defiant or righteous,
it actually harms you. They have all the power.
If they deny you, you can appeal the decision through
the Commissioner of Education (he usually sides with
the school) and/or the State and Federal Court Systems.
The Courts consider the attitude and overall demeanor
and the forthrightness of the complainant. It helps
you to be completely cooperative because it can make
you look like David and them Goliath. The school has
virtually unlimited funds- your tax dollars and those
of your community members. Most taxpayers do not.
“My first school accepted a letter.
Don’t all schools do that?”
No. The law is broad and schools have the power to
interpret it in any way they see fit. I was denied
my waiver, yet in the next town over, religious waivers
are no more than a letter in the nurse’s office.
Most schools accept a letter. If they do not stop at
the letter, it is imperative to set the proper groundwork
so you will ultimately prevail in higher courts of
“What if I get called in for an interview?”
Find an attorney or I will accompany parents on a “sincerity
interview” for a fee. I would suggest you bring
your own tape recorder and set aside several hours
beforehand to prepare yourself for the questions that
may be asked. I will help prepare you as part of the
“What happens if I get denied?”
You can appeal to the Commissioner of Education, the
State Court and/or the Federal Court system. The Commissioner
of Education usually upholds the school district’s
decision. You have the best chance with Federal Court,
as they will most likely adhere to the Federal Supremacy
Rule, but that is also an expensive route.
You may select an attorney or pursue an organization
that helps with civil rights and/or religious freedom
issues, i.e. the ACLU or Liberty Counsel to name two
resources. If I have helped you write your letter,
I will also help you interest the ACLU or Liberty Counsel
in your case. If they will not help, I have other attorneys
that can help you.