Can a religious exemption for COVID-19 vaccination hold up in court?

CHARLOTTE — Millions have taken the COVID-19 vaccine, but millions more don’t want the shot for religious reasons.

“My faith means kind of everything,” said lay Pastor Bruce Eisenmann, who said he grew up in the church. “I don’t like the fact that it’s made with stem cells, and I also have a real problem with the way it’s being forced on us.”

Many object that stem cell research helped develop all three COVID-19 vaccines.

[Attorney: Most religious exemptions for mandatory vaccines will fail]

However, experts said there is nothing unique about that procedure. In fact, there are many common over-the-counter medications, such as Tylenol, Benadryl and Preparation H where stem cells were used in testing.

“The phone has been ringing off the hook with vaccine-related, potential-client callers,” said Josh Van Campen, an employment attorney.

He said he has been getting a lot of calls due to vaccine mandates.

“I feel like a lot of people are living in an echo chamber of sorts where they think their views about the vaccine are mainstream, and they’re not,” Van Campen said. “We actually have to give a reality check to a lot of these people about the limited rights they have in court.”

He said that most attorneys in town won’t take cases involving religious exemptions and the COVID-19 vaccine because there is not much hope of winning them. He also said that employers have the right to ask workers if they take other medications that were developed with stem cells.

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“Could that blow up your religious exemption?” the attorney said. “It could. Employers are within their rights to test whether or not an employee’s religious beliefs are sincerely held. If there is an inconsistency, then there can’t be valid religious exemption when talking about the vaccine and stem cells.”

Eisenmann said he tries to be consistent.

“Anything that has any stem cell research or animal testing on it, I wouldn’t use,” Eisenmann said.

Van Campen said he thinks a lot of people are throwing their careers away and don’t realize it until they talk to an attorney and discover how limited their options are.

(Watch the video below: ‘Get ready to back it up’: Most religious exemptions for mandatory vaccines will fail, attorney says)