Military Religious Exemption for child care centers - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 12-15-2011, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know that there have been dozens of requests for help on this subject, and I've read quite a few of them.  I'm posting to ask for specific help relating to a specific requirement our local (Air Force) base has requested of us.  I've asked for a policy letter or something to confirm the specific verbage required, but I'm being told (in writing) that PACAF (Pacific Headquarters) to "provide a letter (on official letterhead) from their clergy stating specifically the church's policy regarding immunizations."

 

My church, as a whole, is not against vaccination.  In fact, I do not have a clergy person, because there isn't one within my entire state and the military hasn't sought fit to station us near one in 18 years.  Furthermore, I'm fairly certain that they cannot legally require this, and that it is a violation of my 1st Amendment Rights, and that I have every opportunity to exercise my unique personal beliefs with any organized religion or outside of them. 

 

I've also been told I need a letter from my pediatrician stating that my children are healthy and free of vaccine preventable communicable disease.  I've requested to be given a policy letter, but apparently one does not exist. 

 

Any suggestions on how to handle this?  My husband has told me to contact his crazy cousin, who is an ordained minister, but I don't think I want to take that route.  lol

 

Thank you for your help.

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#2 of 10 Old 12-23-2011, 09:33 AM
 
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I don't have any suggestions on how to handle this but I do agree that it is against your Constitutional rights to require any official statement from any church or religious leader. What if you have your own personal religion that is not associated with any larger group, which is within your Constitutional rights? Maybe make up your own letterhead and your own statement and provide that with a copy of your right to religious freedom.

I've decided not to use the base childcare because the registration process is just too much of a hassle. I can use any number of civilian childcare facilities without having to provide any exemption statements or medical records (which are supposed to be private, anyway). But I don't need full-time childcare (I've actually never used any for my unvaxed kids) and I don't live on base.

Hopefully, someone else can help you. Oh, what about consulting someone at legal about your rights? I don't know if they could help but it's worth a shot. If not base legal, maybe a civilian attorney. Most provide free consultations, at least.

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#3 of 10 Old 12-25-2011, 11:04 AM
 
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mran use the search because there are tons of threads on this here, and they cite Air Force regulations and DoD regulations. A statement from a leader is not necessary. Emmeline II usually commented on those threads and has compiled all the necessary info.

That person is trying to put you off - if they have regulations they follow, they have to give you a letter stating the exact reg's number and paragraph and such. They are making this up to deter you. Ask for the higher up person, and threaten ICE complaints.

 

I never ended up even signing up, instead DS started preschool (I'm a SAHM and just needed a break here and there). Preschool in my state was very easy - I merely got an exemption from the Dep of Health and it took like 5 seconds, easy peasy.

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#4 of 10 Old 12-26-2011, 10:08 PM
 
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I'm not sure about the military but if you go off base for daycare, check on the state law.  Connecticut has passed a law stating that a child has to have a flu shot to be allowed in daycare. It is a joke for a state to be able to mandate what I put in my child's body.  I am adamantly against the flu shot and asked about religious exemption. My pediatrician said that if you allow any shots, you cannot claim religious exemption. The daycare told me that you can change your religion at any time so just sign the form and all should be ok. 

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#5 of 10 Old 12-27-2011, 06:36 AM
 
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If there is a policy letter ask where it can be found and what it is.  All policy letters should be held by the Commander or within his/her reach.  If they can not get you one they are required to find it for you.  You can also go to base legal, they should also be able to help.  And then there is google.  I've found lots of policy letters there. 

A good place to start looking for yourself.

http://www.e-publishing.af.mil

 

http://www.mvrd.org/showpage.cfm?ID=26

 

 

 

Just know that a speedy outcome is not the norm.  In order to get exemptions there has to be religious reasons.  If the military member doesn't want to vaccinated the military member will no longer be world wide qualified.  If the military member is no longer world wide qualified then the military member is not fit to fight.  Someone else will have to take the members place in events that take the member and or his family out of the country.  Some countries will not allow military and their family to be hosted in their country if they are not "medically sound".  As upsetting as this may be to some people... if you want to play the game you need to participate.  And that is why both my husband and I got out.  We realize there are things we have to do that we don't want to do for our own personal reasons.  And to not deal with the hassle of it all it was best for us to leave. 

 

DH was in an area a few years ago that had a meningitis outbreak, though it wasn't a concern for him it was for a few people that ended up in the hospital. 

 

If the military member wants exemptions things will not go well for him/her.  It's Black and White in the military.  And though I dont' agree with it... I get it. 

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by mran View Post

I know that there have been dozens of requests for help on this subject, and I've read quite a few of them.  I'm posting to ask for specific help relating to a specific requirement our local (Air Force) base has requested of us.  I've asked for a policy letter or something to confirm the specific verbage required, but I'm being told (in writing) that PACAF (Pacific Headquarters) to "provide a letter (on official letterhead) from their clergy stating specifically the church's policy regarding immunizations."

 

My church, as a whole, is not against vaccination.  In fact, I do not have a clergy person, because there isn't one within my entire state and the military hasn't sought fit to station us near one in 18 years.  Furthermore, I'm fairly certain that they cannot legally require this, and that it is a violation of my 1st Amendment Rights, and that I have every opportunity to exercise my unique personal beliefs with any organized religion or outside of them. 

 

I've also been told I need a letter from my pediatrician stating that my children are healthy and free of vaccine preventable communicable disease.  I've requested to be given a policy letter, but apparently one does not exist. 

 

Any suggestions on how to handle this?  My husband has told me to contact his crazy cousin, who is an ordained minister, but I don't think I want to take that route.  lol

 

Thank you for your help.



 

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#6 of 10 Old 12-27-2011, 07:50 AM
 
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It is true that you can change your religion at any time and then stop vaccinating all together. I don't know about selective vaxing and exemptions, though. I don't think that usually flies. I guess you could be religiously opposed to some vaccines because of how they are made (using animal embryos and stem cells) but those may not mesh with the ones you do and don't want. I've never researched that because we don't vax at all so it is not something I need to know.

It may be that a private daycare has more leeway about which exemptions to accept and which to not accept. In other words, a private daycare place may accept a religious exemption for only the flu vaccine and not worry about the others if that is the only one they are mandated to require.

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#7 of 10 Old 01-16-2012, 12:41 PM
 
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I am the spouse of an active duty AF member.  We have enrolled our son on an on base DODEA pre-school class.  I used all of the information provided on this site.  We live in Alabama which allows for religious exemption.  The school nurse had asked for our son's 'blue card' which is Alabama's immunization certificate.   I brought in the certificate, the DODEA exemption request (which you cannot find on their site but can find here) and a letter which stated the following:

 

To whom it may concern;

I, XXXX, as the parent of XXXXX, am exercising my rights under the US Constitution, Army Regulation 40-562, BUMEDINST 6230.15A, AF JI 48-110, CG COMDTINST M6230.4F , section 3.2, para4, and Army Regulation 608-10, section 4-6, para 2, to receive Religious Exemption from Vaccination, due to my genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to the practices herein required.

The U.S. Supreme Court held in Frazee V. Illinois Dept. of Security, 489 U.S. 829, that a religious belief is subject to protection even though no religious group espouses such beliefs or the fact that the religious group to which the individual professes to belong may not advocate or require such belief. This ruling is also reflected in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended Nov. 1, 1980; Part 1605.1-Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Religion.

 

I think a lot of it has to do with how you present these items.  I went in with the attitude that there should be no problem enrolling my child.  I walked into the nurse's office (with a smile and being polite as should be expected) and told her that I received their letter requesting my son's immunization information.  I handed her my docs, she looked at them and said, "oh, okay".  I asked her if she needed anything else.  She told me no and that was the end of that.    I have never enrolled either of my boys in the CDC but I think I still would approach it the same way.  There are enough ingredients in vaccines to pretty much insult every religion.  Just because the Pope said that aborted fetus is okay to inject into your child doesn't mean that every Catholic is going to be okay with it.   

 

If I were you, I would ask them what reg requires the letter from any clergy.  If they cannot provide the reg, then they are full of it.      Do a search on this site or Google for the reg AF JI 48-110. You will see under section 3-2 Civilian Employees and Contract Workers, subsection (4) Department of Defense schoolteachers, daycare center workers, and children attending DOD–sponsored schools and daycare centers or similar facilities on military installations.  Which states, in part:  In addition, all other age appropriate ACIP–recommended vaccines for children are required unless there is documentation of previous immunization, religious exemption, or medical contraindication. 

 

It does not state that anything has to come from clergy.  I am not sure where you live but I would definitely go to the local Health Department and get your religious exemption cert and bring it with a copy of this reg and the letter above to the CDC. 

 

Hope it all works out for you.

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#8 of 10 Old 01-16-2012, 01:02 PM
 
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I copied that and saved it as a word file. I wonder if there are similar regs in the other branches. My dh is in the Marine Corps so I don't know that they would take a form citing Army regs. Regardless, they should accept the citations of the US Constitution, the Supreme Court and the Civil Rights Act.

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#9 of 10 Old 01-16-2012, 07:14 PM
 
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In this link (http://www.vaccines.mil/default.aspx?cnt=resource/policiesAll&dID=1) shows the same reg that I referenced is also used for Navy.  Since the MC is under the Dept of the Navy, you should be covered.  I think the Navy reg is specifically BUMEDINST 6230.15A.

 

My DH is a former Marine.  Hope yours comes home soon.

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#10 of 10 Old 01-17-2012, 07:28 AM
 
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thanks. bookmarked that.

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