Denied Religious exemption!!! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 26 Old 08-21-2008, 08:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was denied a religous exemption in the state of Nebraska by the Diocese of Lincoln. I went as far as to speak with my parish priest, write a letter to the Bishop and spoke with the Superintendant. I'm Catholic, I'm also opposed to vaccines with every fiber of my being. Church law dictates I should not be forced to go against my conscience and the Vatican upholds my right to conscientious objectioun regarding THIS SPECIFIC MATTER.

Nebraska law states:
173 NAC 3-009
3-009.01 Immunization is not required for a student's enrollment in ANY school in this
state
if he or she submits to the admitting official either of the following:

3-009.01A A statement signed by a physician, physician assistant, or nurse
practitioner stating that, in the health care provider's opinion, the specified
immunization(s) required would be injurious to the health and well-being of the
student or any member of the student's family or household; or

3-009.01B A notarized affidavit signed by the student or, if he or she is a minor,
by a legally authorized representative of the student, stating that the
immunization conflicts with the tenets and practice of a recognized religious
denomination of which the student is an adherent or member or that
immunization conflicts with the personal and sincerely followed religious beliefs
of the student.
I believe them to be in violation of church law and the law of the State of Nebraska and I am
I know I don't post here often. I'm busy with 5 kids! I could sure use a hug!
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#2 of 26 Old 08-21-2008, 09:18 PM
 
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First, hugs to you.

But why did you go to the diocese?

"A notarized affidavit signed by the ...legally authorized representative of the student, stating that the
immunization ... conflicts with the personal and sincerely followed religious beliefs
of the student."

Doesn't sound like the church is needed at all, just a notarized affidavit by YOU that it conflicts wtih the religious beliefs of the student.

Take it all the way up!!! I've always heard they are not allowed to even breathe a word of asking what religion you are, b/c of the church/state issue.
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#3 of 26 Old 08-21-2008, 09:45 PM
 
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You were not denied a religious exemption, because the church does not have the authority to grant or deny.

Nebraska has a very simple process for religious exemptions to vaccines. Print this form and get it notarized. http://dhhs.ne.gov/immunization/Religious_AFFIDAVIT.pdf

Here is a link to exemption forms and info for several other states, for those interested.
http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...d.php?t=953402
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#4 of 26 Old 08-21-2008, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by milkybean View Post
First, hugs to you.

But why did you go to the diocese?

"A notarized affidavit signed by the ...legally authorized representative of the student, stating that the
immunization ... conflicts with the personal and sincerely followed religious beliefs
of the student."

Doesn't sound like the church is needed at all, just a notarized affidavit by YOU that it conflicts wtih the religious beliefs of the student.
the notarized affadavit must be submitted to school officials. He was enrolled in Catholic school. They refused to accept a signed affadavit. To me, it appears that ANY school in the state must accept these. No distinction was made between public and private.
I was informed repeatedly and adamantly, no Catholic school within the diocese would accept an exemption because the Diocese doesn't allow it.
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#5 of 26 Old 08-21-2008, 11:06 PM
 
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I'm assuming the OP is applying to a Catholic school which, in other states, can deny exemptions.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#6 of 26 Old 08-21-2008, 11:10 PM
 
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That is outragous!

Are they aware that some vaxes have aborted matter in them? Def not in line with Catholic beliefs!

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#7 of 26 Old 08-21-2008, 11:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
That is outragous!

Are they aware that some vaxes have aborted matter in them? Def not in line with Catholic beliefs!
I had a discussion with the superintendant regarding this. He isn't budging.
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#8 of 26 Old 08-21-2008, 11:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by vinnyslady View Post
I had a discussion with the superintendant regarding this. He isn't budging.
Go above his head.

And then his head.

And his head.....until someone listens. : for you

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#9 of 26 Old 08-22-2008, 12:28 AM
 
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They are breaking Nebraska state law by denying your exemption. Yes, that's right. They are BREAKING THE LAW.
http://law.justia.com/nebraska/codes...902021000.html

"Section 79-221
Immunization; when not required.

Immunization shall not be required for a student's enrollment in any school in this state if he or she submits to the admitting official either of the following:

(1) A statement signed by a physician, a physician assistant, or an advanced practice registered nurse practicing under and in accordance with his or her respective certification act, stating that, in the health care provider's opinion, the immunizations required would be injurious to the health and well-being of the student or any member of the student's family or household; or

(2) An affidavit signed by the student or, if he or she is a minor, by a legally authorized representative of the student, stating that the immunization conflicts with the tenets and practice of a recognized religious denomination of which the student is an adherent or member or that immunization conflicts with the personal and sincerely followed religious beliefs of the student."
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#10 of 26 Old 08-22-2008, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by janellesmommy View Post
They are breaking Nebraska state law by denying your exemption. Yes, that's right. They are BREAKING THE LAW.
.
That is also my interpretation of it. I am not a lawyer or a judge and I am in no financial position to file a lawsuit (and don't know if I would anyway.)
Is there someone I could report them to?? Department of Health and Human Services?
I also cited the law to them. I know the parish priest has received it but I dont think the Superintendant has yet.
The parish priest said that it didn't apply because it does not violate the "tenets and teachings of the Catholic church" I said it DOES because it violates sincerely held religious beliefs. Catholicism and the belief that vaccinations are wrong is not mutually exclusive.
I honestly think they just thought I'd to their authority.
I won't because I CAN'T!!
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#11 of 26 Old 08-22-2008, 08:40 AM
 
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Did you talk about the Catholic church and it's teachings on moral conscience?
"The Catholic Church has always upheld the right to follow one's properly formed Moral Conscience. It is considered a primordial right which cannot be interfered with, especially in religious matters. This right is fully supported by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Vatican.
The Catholic Church teaches that Moral Conscience is sacred to Catholic tenets and must be obeyed as described in the Catechism and numerous encyclicals, especially by the Fourth Lateran Council,
"The Divine Law is the supreme rule of actions; our thoughts, desires, words, acts, all that man is, is subject to the domain of the law of God; and this law is the rule of our conduct by means of our conscience. Hence it is never lawful to go against our conscience; as the Fourth Lateran council says, 'Quidquid fit contra conscientiam, aedificat ad gehennam.'" ["Whatever is done in opposition to conscience is conducive to damnation."]
As instructed in Catholic Doctrine, Dignitatis Humanae by Pope Paul VI, 1965,
"It is through his conscience that man sees and recognizes the demands of divine law. He is bound to follow this conscience faithfully in all his activity so that he may come to God, who is his last end."
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, attested by Papal Authority as the sure teaching norm for the Catholic faith further instructs on the duty to adhere to Moral Conscience:
1776 “Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment…For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God…His conscience is man’s most secret core and sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.”
1777“When he listens to his conscience, the prudent man can hear God speaking.” (CCC 1777)
1782“Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters.” " from cogforlife dot org
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#12 of 26 Old 08-22-2008, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I did speak with him about moral conscience. His response was that of course the Church says one should never go against their conscience but the Church also states that that conscience should be "properly formed."(implying that mine is not? I DID take offense.)
He said it would go against his moral conscience to allow an unvaccinated child in the school, posing a danger to other children. (Yes, I confronted that, too.)
He suggested I pursue a medical exemption if I felt that strongly about it. I pointed out that allowing a child in with a medical exemption being morally okay to his properly formed conscience but not allowing a religious exemption was an oxymoron. One is safe and the other one would cause an epidemic of disease in the school? Still not budging.
I don't see the logic in it.
I guess the bottom line is: His conscience and my conscience are colliding. Ever had your conscience collide with that of a priest a refuse to back down? Its rather daunting but I am within my legal right and I feel strongly that this is my moral right.
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#13 of 26 Old 08-22-2008, 10:30 AM
 
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They are breaking the law. Perhaps you should post on the main board and try to find out who you complain to. My first thought is the State AG but there may be steps before that.

And that doctrinal support BS is old:

Sample Religious Exemption Letter

Quote:
To whom it may concern;



(We / I) {First and Last name(s)}, as the {(parent (s) / guardian(s)} of ______________________(name of newborn child) are exercising (our/my) rights under the US Constitution, PUBLIC HEALTH LAW, ARTICLE 21. CONTROL OF ACUTE COMMUNICABLE DISEASES,TITLE VI. POLIOMYELITIS AND OTHER DISEASES, NY CLS Pub Health § 2164 (2002), to receive Religious Exemption from Vaccination, ALL injections, prophylaxis, & testing due to our 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.



Sincerely,

Your signature.
Date

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#14 of 26 Old 08-22-2008, 10:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by vinnyslady View Post
That is also my interpretation of it. I am not a lawyer or a judge and I am in no financial position to file a lawsuit (and don't know if I would anyway.)
Is there someone I could report them to?? Department of Health and Human Services?
I also cited the law to them. I know the parish priest has received it but I dont think the Superintendant has yet.
The parish priest said that it didn't apply because it does not violate the "tenets and teachings of the Catholic church" I said it DOES because it violates sincerely held religious beliefs. Catholicism and the belief that vaccinations are wrong is not mutually exclusive.
I honestly think they just thought I'd to their authority.
I won't because I CAN'T!!

Don't back down!!!! Round up other parents who feel the same as you and keep yourself in their faces as much as possible. Call the local media. Make a huge deal out of it.

I bet they'll give eventually.

Loving mother, Devoted Wife
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#15 of 26 Old 08-22-2008, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Don't back down!!!! Round up other parents who feel the same as you and keep yourself in their faces as much as possible. Call the local media. Make a huge deal out of it.

I bet they'll give eventually.
I am worried about making a HUGE deal out of this. For now I am homeschooling.(makes me feel like I have a target on my back.) I don't want to be made a target or a public example. My religious exemption is valid but what if in making this public, the DHHS tries to make a public example of me by forcing the vaccination of my children? I also don't want my child ostracized because he isn't vaccinated. Its really no one else's business.
Unfortunately, I don't know any other Catholics who feel the same way and have been denied entrance to Catholic schools. :
Honestly, how would you feel if you're child's unvaccinated status became the subject of public ridicule? i am not ashamed of not having vaccinated my children but its a sensitive matter and an unpopular choice!
Also, if I am homeschooling, technically I am the admitting official. Do I file my affadavit with the health department in my county and if so do I file it for all of my kids(even the ones too young for school?) or do I just leave it alone? I want a legal exemption on file.
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#16 of 26 Old 08-22-2008, 11:50 AM
 
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Why do you need this?

Are you sending them to school this year?

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#17 of 26 Old 08-22-2008, 12:02 PM
 
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Unfortunately, I don't know any other Catholics who feel the same way and have been denied entrance to Catholic schools. :

Also, if I am homeschooling, technically I am the admitting official. Do I file my affadavit with the health department in my county and if so do I file it for all of my kids(even the ones too young for school?) or do I just leave it alone? I want a legal exemption on file.
K, I'm confused. Are you homeschooling or applying to Catholic School? If you are homeschooling, have you checked the state law and confirmed you actually need an exemption? Most states don't require exemptions for homeschoolers.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#18 of 26 Old 08-22-2008, 12:09 PM
 
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It sounds like she wanted to send them to school, but is currently homeschooling because she was denied the exemption?

I'd contact with other homeschoolers in the area and see what they've done.

I don't see where the state would be able to force vaccination. They might decide to uphold the school's ability to keep your kids from attending, force you to either homeschool or use a different school, but I can't see how this would translate to forced vax.
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#19 of 26 Old 08-22-2008, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It sounds like she wanted to send them to school, but is currently homeschooling because she was denied the exemption?
Exactly.
But it appears the law in Nebraska still applies to private schools. "Any" is not an ambiguous term. It only has one meaning.
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#20 of 26 Old 08-25-2008, 11:56 AM
 
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At the bottom of these replies is a series of 'Ads by Google' and one of them is a vaccine exemption lawyer. Most lawyers wont take any money unless they win and if you do win, then you can make the school or the church or the state - whomever you decide to sue - pay for your lawyer fees. Anyhow, the address it gives is vaccineexemption.org

Good luck!

Me with my baby girl Maeleigh (Oct 08) and My (step) baby girl Whren (May 05) in Heaven with her mommy .. And introducing our little JuneBug (June 10) We heard the !!!
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#21 of 26 Old 08-27-2008, 10:53 AM
 
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wow that really sucks. You are super strong to homeschool as you are fighting for what you believe in.

I'm catholic and thinking about catholic schools in the future. I can't believe you have to go through this.
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#22 of 26 Old 08-28-2008, 01:20 AM
 
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Maybe this has already been said...
However, according to the national government's definition of religion it is as far as someone's own strongly held personal belief.

So in your case if you felt like you needed a church official sign the form, could you try for someone in your own community or further down on the totem pole? Find out what is necessary to repeal his decision...
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#23 of 26 Old 08-28-2008, 04:33 AM
 
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Maybe this has already been said...
However, according to the national government's definition of religion it is as far as someone's own strongly held personal belief.

So in your case if you felt like you needed a church official sign the form, could you try for someone in your own community or further down on the totem pole? Find out what is necessary to repeal his decision...
I think the problem is that it's a Catholic school, and the Catholics in charge there do not see it as a religious problem. Therefore, they aren't letting her use it, b/c their religion (and I have mostly Catholic friends so I know very well how widely beliefs vary inside of Catholicism) doesn't believe the vaccines are a problem.


It might still be against the law, I don't know. Actually I remember reading that schools aren't allowed to ask what religion you are. The problem is that they KNOW what religion you are, but then again, they aren't allowed to ask in regards to this? Hmm.

Does this school allow kids of other religions to go there? If so could you say you converted to Christian Science or something? (grasping at straws)
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#24 of 26 Old 08-28-2008, 11:59 AM
 
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I think the problem is that it's a Catholic school, and the Catholics in charge there do not see it as a religious problem. Therefore, they aren't letting her use it, b/c their religion (and I have mostly Catholic friends so I know very well how widely beliefs vary inside of Catholicism) doesn't believe the vaccines are a problem.


It might still be against the law, I don't know. Actually I remember reading that schools aren't allowed to ask what religion you are. The problem is that they KNOW what religion you are, but then again, they aren't allowed to ask in regards to this? Hmm.
In most states private schools can reject exemptions if they choose. But in the OP's state it is not optional by the law. The school is breaking the law.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#25 of 26 Old 08-31-2008, 10:47 PM
 
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Did you tell the old Father that these vaccines are made from aborted fetal tissue? Ask him why that is O.K.? (Let him guess which vaccines!)

That should get his cossack in a tizzy!

I am in California, I am not vaxed and neither are my kiddos. We attended both public and private schools. I even had classmates with polio and teachers whose spouses had polio. No one bothered me.

The CAtholic Church has always felt that the children belong to the parents, and as such, parents made decisions like this for their children, not the state or the church.
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#26 of 26 Old 08-31-2008, 11:23 PM
 
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It's not a matter of it going against his conscience. He is breaking the law. His conscience doesn't matter one whit, what he is doing is ILLEGAL. He needs to understand that, or you need to get a lawyer.

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