(OPINION) The Rev. Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas said this week that “there is no credible religious argument” against receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Jeffress, an ardent supporter of former President Trump, told The Associated Press in an interview that he and his staff at First Baptist Dallas “are neither offering nor encouraging members to seek religious exemptions from the vaccine mandates.”
Both the U.S. private and public sectors have taken steps to mandate vaccines or frequent testing amid the surge in coronavirus cases, with the caveat that some religious exemptions will be given.
The comments from Jeffress come after members of different Christian communities say that they oppose taking the coronavirus vaccine because fetal cell lines were used in COVID-19 vaccine testing, according to the news outlet.
Fetal cell lines, however, are not present in the actual vaccines. “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,” Jeffress told the AP in an email.
Other religious organizations have objected to the use of religious exemptions or have stated outright that they will deny an exception for anyone who does not want to get the coronavirus vaccine. READ MORE