As millions of Americans face exclusion from society for refusing to take a vaccine, a group of college students in Illinois won a small but important victory for liberty and religious conscience.
Loyola University is reversing course and allowing the 11 students to refuse the COVID-19 vaccine on religious grounds after their lawyers threatened to take the school to court, the Washington Examiner reported.
University reverses course
The Chicago-based Catholic school says that its vaccine mandate is “informed by our Jesuit, Catholic commitment to the common good, solidarity, and justice,” but is allowing religious and medical exemptions.
For students to return to class this fall, they must have either received the shot or successfully pleaded an exemption by Aug. 6.
At first, Loyola denied the request of 11 students who said they could not take the vaccine in good conscience because of the use of fetal cell lines in developing and testing the vaccines, Liberty Counsel, the firm representing the students in what was almost a lawsuit, said.
The school was violating its own non-discrimination policy as well as state and federal law, the firm argued. Loyola backtracked after receiving a demand letter.
Liberty Counsel hailed the victory but said the school must stop forcing students to choose between the COVID-19 vaccine and their education “immediately.”
“This is a great victory for these 11 students, but Loyola University needs to drop its unlawful mandate immediately,” founder and Chairman Mat Staver said. “No school, employer, or government may force or coerce anyone to take these injections.”
An exception to the rule
While many will find Loyola’s reversal encouraging, it is certainly the exception to the rule. As USA Today noted, Dr. Anthony Fauci has warned unvaccinated people to expect a “flood” of mandates making their lives virtually impossible once the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approves the vaccine, and the deluge has already begun.
New York City just became the first city in America to require all patrons at restaurants to show their vaccine passport, and many workplaces are forcing employees to choose between their jobs and refusing medicine they don’t want.
Young college students are being coerced to take the COVID-19 vaccine as well to receive their education, despite facing a trivial risk from the virus itself.
Vaccine passports have divided the country, with one side embracing them as a “public health” measure, and the other pushing back on what many see as an authoritarian encroachment on individual choice leading to medical apartheid.