By Nathan Pierce
Editor’s Note: The article was originally published on September 15, 2021 by Family Protection Ministries and is republished with permission. Since the original publication, California’s Governor, Gavin Newsom, announced that there would be a statewide mandate for COVID-19 vaccines for K-12 students. At this time, no written guidance has been provided by any state agency or official and no date for implementation has been announced.
The COVID-19 illness upended everyone’s way of life in 2020. In under a year, vaccines were developed to combat the virus. Now, some schools, colleges, businesses, hospitals, and even state and local governments have mandated that their employees, students, and patrons be inoculated. Should government or businesses mandate that we put something in our own bodies or in our children’s bodies, replacing parents’ responsibility to make the best decision for their dependent children?
Some medical experts, doctors, and researchers with impeccable credentials debate the efficacy, effectiveness, and safety of the COVID-19 vaccines. They have spoken out and cautioned against them – only to be censored on multiple social media platforms on a scale not previously seen in the U.S.   How are parents supposed to determine what is right for their children when some medical experts disagree with the government’s recommendations and the authoritative voices of renowned doctors and researchers are censored?
The entire COVID-19 issue has been highly politicized, making it harder to evaluate the evidence presented to us. We need to seek God’s omniscient wisdom, and our own critical thinking must also come into play.
“Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.”Provers 15:22
We need to know 1) the arguments and evidence on both sides in order to make an informed decision about whether or not we should receive any vaccine, 2) how to discern what is fact and what is false, and not just because a source told us one way or the other, and 3) how to discern whether an answer to a question actually answers the question.
It is wise for parents to aggressively seek out good information from multiple sources concerning the risks of and alternatives to any medical care, procedure, or treatment, prior to making a decision concerning a medical service (intervention, care, costs, etc., including every vaccination) for their child. All parents should be able to voluntarily choose 1) which medical service to use for the life and health of their dependent children, 2) which provider they use for that service, and 3) which sources of information to use regarding any medical service/intervention and service provider(s).
At the end of the day, our health and the health of our children is ultimately our own responsibility, not the responsibility of medical experts, doctors, or the government. It may take more effort to obtain a balanced view of the evidence on the COVID-19 issue as information is censored, but we encourage you to do your due diligence, seek the truth, evaluate the arguments and evidence, and make the best, uncoerced, informed decision for your family’s health.
Health and Medical Freedom
Medical freedom isn’t merely about vaccines. Regardless of what we think about any vaccine, it’s also about protecting the right of parents to direct the care, upbringing, and education of their children. Parents need to understand the bigger picture of what is at stake – their God-given parental responsibility and authority over their children is being threatened here in the United States.
For example, a Washington D.C. law enacted in December 2020 allows children age 11 and older to obtain vaccines without their parent’s input, consent, or knowledge. In 2015, the California Legislature removed the personal beliefs exemption for mandated K-12 student vaccines, and in 2019 it severely limited the number of medical exemptions each doctor could give out. School campuses – public and private – no longer became an easy option for parents who determined that even just one specific vaccine was not in their child’s best interest.
We are in danger of losing parental rights if we are unaware that our freedom to choose what goes into our children’s bodies and what medical interventions they will receive is being stripped away.
Government Protects Rights – It Should Not Compel Actions
It is not proper for the government to compel you into doing something, such as putting something in your body, even if it is proven to be good. It is also a very dangerous precedent to set.
The purpose or role of government could be described as protecting the rights of the citizens of the nation that it governs – our rights to free speech, religion, assembly, etc. It does this by protecting our freedom to do things for our own benefit without harming or infringing upon the rights of others. This follows what God says in Romans 13 when he says that “for he [the authority] is God’s servant for your good”.
Government is there to protect us from the evil deeds of others (infringing upon our rights – if you will) by punishing evil. As God says in Romans, “for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil”. 1 Peter 2 carries this a bit further to add a second element:
“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.”1 Peter 2:13-14
Note the punishing of evildoers and the praising of them that do well. These two fundamental tasks are the basic elements of justice.
Even if you consider the government mandates good and appropriate right now, what if you determined a future mandatory injection or device was not in your children’s best interest and you could not refuse? Is the “greater good” worth taking that chance? Would incurring thousands of dollars in medical debt because of your family member’s vaccine injury be worth it to you for the “greater good,” especially when the person was not at high risk for the illness? Medical freedom and freedom of choice must be preserved so we can make our own uncoerced decisions about our family’s health.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), a program set up in 1989 by the federal government to compensate individuals for injuries or deaths due to vaccines, has paid out more than $4.2 billion to individuals who are permanently disabled or died from vaccines – it has paid out more than $4.6 billion when including attorney fees for both awarded and dismissed cases. It is clear that some children and adults are harmed by vaccines.
Christopher Klicka, former Senior Counsel for Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), wrote about the importance of parental choice regarding children’s vaccines even in 2001,
“The evidence is mounting that demonstrates vaccines cause harm to some children. The question is whose children will be harmed? Mandating vaccinations is legislating harm on certain children each year. The decision, therefore, to vaccinate or not vaccinate a child must be left to the parents and not the state.”
Said another way: Mandating vaccinations is knowingly legislating harm on certain children each year.
Where there is a risk, there must be a choice, and the choice must stay with the parents of dependent children.
Is My Family Required To Be Vaccinated?
At the time of this writing, California adults have the right to choose whether they will take a COVID-19 vaccine or not, in general. However, government officials have moved on from simply asking eligible Californians to get vaccinated to mandating it to some groups. In July and August 2021, California mandated either vaccination or weekly testing for state workers and for public and private sector employees in health care and schools.  On September 9, 2021, President Biden mandated private businesses with more than 100 employees require their employees to be vaccinated against or test weekly for COVID-19.
The U.S. Department of Justice Office’s opinion in July 2021 was that employers can impose vaccine requirements on their employees, even while some COVID-19 vaccines have only Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and do not have full U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. Some employers have required COVID-19 vaccination for employees. At the same time, Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for an employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs.
For K-12 students, a COVID-19 vaccine is not currently mandated by the state, however, some public school districts have adopted mandates for students 12 and older.  These mandates do not currently apply to children enrolled in a home-based private school, including a Private School Satellite Program (PSP). Privately homeschooled children are currently exempt from student vaccine requirements.
COVID-19 Vaccines Messaging and Censorship
Currently, most of the information provided about vaccinations is heavily biased in favor of vaccines, assuring their efficacy and safety for you and your children with only rare and temporary discomfort. Very little, if any, information is sent from most medical, media, and government sources concerning why some vaccines have a lower rate of conferred immunity. Information is not readily available regarding the harmful and sometimes deadly or permanently disabling effects of particular vaccines due to their contents. How and when and under what conditions they are given is also not easily accessible. Although short-term immunologic and safety testing is performed on vaccines prior to their approval by the FDA, the long-term effects of individual vaccines and of the entire vaccination program itself (including the childhood vaccine schedule) remain unknown.
The same rhetoric is used for the COVID-19 vaccines as for previous vaccines – they work, they are good for you, and they only have rare and temporary discomfort. However, some medical doctors are hesitant to call these “safe” since there are no long-term safety studies, and many alarming reports in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) have been accumulating in association with the COVID-19 vaccines. There have been more reports of death submitted to VAERS after the COVID-19 vaccines than reports of deaths from all other vaccines combined between mid-1997 and the end of 2013.
Information Censored or Suppressed
There is also a disturbing trend on social media where information suggesting other treatments for the disease, those questioning the origins of the virus, or the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines are suppressed, censored, or flagged by the platform (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube) as false information, misinformation, or disinformation. Social media platforms don’t have special knowledge nor are they accountable to the public. What gives giant tech corporations the authority to distinguish between truth and lies, and what is their source?
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16
Practical Considerations for Your Family
Parents should begin to find a compassionate and parent-friendly authorized health care practitioner for their children and family as soon as possible – one who will get to know you as a family and respects your role and responsibilities as the parent of your own children.
Some of the policies recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (an association of many pediatricians) are considered by many to be unfriendly to the rights and privacy of parents and their children. However, there are some individual pediatricians who are supportive of the right of parents to choose which vaccines their children will take and when.
Take the initiative and ask around to see if others have found a parent-friendly doctor. Some homeschool support groups may want to keep a list of possible parent-friendly physicians in their area.
Other practical precautions to take:
- Do your own research on vaccines and other medical decisions and stay informed.
- Be sure that the medical professional is vaccinating the right child. There have been instances of nurses or doctors accidentally giving vaccines to the wrong sibling in the room. See our article “Vaccinations without Permission.”
- Be aware of with whom you are discussing your vaccine decisions. Some doctors have called CPS on parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.
- If your children have any type of life-threatening allergies, consider an allergy bracelet (aka medical ID bracelets) for your child in the case you are unexpectedly separated.
- See our Immunizations page for helpful information and our Vaccination Resources page for medical freedom help.
Seek Truth & Stand Firm
Let’s apply our critical thinking, preserve parental rights, seek and share good information even if it’s censored, and be aware of and fight for our medical freedoms.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”Ephesians 6:10
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Nathan Pierce began working at Family Protection Ministries (FPM) in 2002 to protect private homeschooling in California. He was homeschooled himself from kindergarten through high school and received a B.A. in Political Studies from The Master’s College. Currently, he serves as Director and Legislative Liaison for FPM. He works behind the scenes at the State Capitol, meeting with legislators to advocate on behalf of homeschoolers. He and his wife Betsy were married in 2004 and have seven children. They are involved in their church and homeschool their own children.