Opponents of vaccine mandates to fight COVID-19 seeking religious exemptions in the United States have run into church leaders who argue that excuse against the jab does not fly.
And one pastor has used a "prolife argument" in favor of vaccination against the coronavirus earning some wrath on his Facebook page.
An estimated 2,600 Los Angeles Police Department employees are citing religious objections to try to get out of the required COVID-19 vaccination, The Associated Press had reported on Sept. 16.
In Washington state, thousands of state workers are seeking similar exemptions,
Pastor Robert Jeffress, a supporter of former President Donald Trump and leader of the 12,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, caused a stir among some vax-skeptic evangelicals when he said "there is no credible religious argument against" COVID-19 vaccines.
"There is no credible religious argument against the vaccines," Jeffress told The Associated Press.
"No vaccine is perfect. But I believe that looking at the odds, I would be much better off taking the vaccine than ignoring it. So, it was really a no brainer for me," he said in an interview with Curtis Chang on April 21 on Redeeming Babel.
In that interview he said, "I think people who say that they've been vaccinated by the blood of Christ, and they don't need the vaccine will tell that to a lot of my great faithful Christian church members who have died from this virus."
Jeffress said in that interview. "I think somebody who is pro-life and outspoken on that is I am, has a duty to be consistent with that.
"I believe if we are intent on protecting life inside the womb, which I am, we need to also be careful to value life outside the womb and do everything we can to preserve it. And I think, certainly the controlling [bible] passage for me in Philippians Chapter Two is do not merely look out for your own personal interest, Paul said."
Jeffress said in last week's interview that he and his staff "are neither offering nor encouraging members to seek religious exemptions from the vaccine mandates."
In that interview he also said, "Christians who are troubled by the use of a fetal cell line for the testing of the vaccines would also have to abstain from the use of Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, Ibuprofen, and other products that used the same cell line if they are sincere in their objection."