(2) YOU NEED TO MODIFY THE FOLLOWING Exemption Letter TO SOME EXTENT (esp. between the first and last paragraphs) TO INDICATE THEY ARE YOUR OWN BELIEFS (not just a form letter).
Dear [HR DEPARTMENT]:
[EMPLOYER] has directed me to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine, or suffer adverse employment action up to and including termination. However, I cannot receive a COVID-19 vaccine because to do so would violate my developing, but sincerely held, religious beliefs.
All of the currently available COVID-19 vaccine used cell lines originating from aborted children in their manufacturing or testing. As a Christian, I believe that life begins at conception and ends at natural death. The Scriptures reveal that God knows us even before we are conceived. See Jeremiah 1:4 – 5 (“The word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.’”). And God’s creative powers are effectively at work while we are yet in the womb. See Psalm 139:13 – 16 (“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”).
The Christian Church has condemned abortion – the killing of human infants while in the womb – from earliest times. The Didache, a conduct code of the early Christian community, dated by some as being as early as 70 AD, is in accord with Scripture, stating: “[D]o not abort a foetus or kill a child that is born.” Loeb Edition of the Apostolic Fathers (also translated as, “Thou shalt not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is begotten.”). A Plea for Christians, written around AD 177 by Athenagoras, stated, “[W]e say that those women who use drugs to bring on abortion commit murder, and will have to give an account to God for the abortion.” Tertullian, in his Apologeticum, written in 197 AD, wrote: “Murder being once for all forbidden, we [Christians] may not destroy even the fetus in the womb, . . .”
Hence it is my sincerely held religious belief that abortion is murder, a violation of one of the Ten Commandments (“You shall not murder.” Exodus 20:13), and, for that reason, it would violate my sincerely held religious beliefs to cooperate with, or be complicit in, abortion in any way.
The COVID-19 vaccines were developed or tested using cell lines that were generated or derived from tissues of aborted fetuses. J&J used an aborted fetal cell line in manufacturing its COVID-19 vaccine, while Moderna and Pfizer used aborted fetal cell lines in testing the efficacy of their vaccines. (See James Lawler, MD, “You asked, we answered: Do the COVID-19 vaccines contain aborted fetal cells” Nebraska Medicine, Aug 4, 2021,https://tinyurl.com/COVID-VAX-Fetal-Cells.)
So, it is my sincerely held religious belief that, in being vaccinated with any of the currently available COVID-19 vaccines, I would be cooperating with and complicit in abortion – the ending of an innocent human life – and that such would constitute a sin against God and a violation of His Commandments, for which I would be held morally accountable by God.
For that reason, I am requesting a religious accommodation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the related, relevant State revised statutes, prohibiting discrimination based upon religious belief in employment, that will excuse me from having to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. I further request that no adverse employment action be taken against me on account of my religious beliefs.