Although not religious, I was saddened by Mr. Nemitz’ column (May 9, 2019) presuming that people who express a faith-based objection to vaccinations are “just playing the God card.”

It is indeed sometimes difficult to sort out genuine religious belief from convenient excuse. But the freedom of religion clause of our First Amendment requires that effort in many circumstances. It seems unlikely to me, for example, that Mr. Nemitz thought folks of our generation – or Muhammad Ali to name a prominent example – with a sincere religious objection to the Vietnam War were “just playing the God card.”

Over the years many friends of deep religious faith, Christian Scientists and others, have expressed genuine religious objections to various forms of modern and seemingly necessary medicine.

I have tried at times to convince them that treatment is both necessary and consistent with religious teaching. But I always also tried to respect their right to their religious faith. When Mr. Nemitz, on the other hand, claims to know that all “religions across the board encourage their congregations to be immunized” and that everyone who disagrees with his conclusion is just lying about faith it is instead Mr. Nemitz who is playing his own unfortunate type of “God card.”

 

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