A conservative megachurch pastor in northern Texas argued last week he sees “no credible argument against” vaccines for COVID-19.
Robert Jeffress, the leader of the 12,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas, made the comment during an interview with The Associated Press. His comments come as some churches are offering assistance to Americans seeking vaccine exemptions on religious grounds.
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Others have raised moral objections to the use of fetal cell lines to test inoculations.
“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 said.
He went on to tell the outlet he and his staff “are neither offering nor encouraging members to seek religious exemptions from the vaccine mandates.”
During a separate interview with Redeeming Babel, Jeffress said people who claim to be “pro-life” should be “consistent,” which, in his view, means favoring vaccinations.
“I have been praying — like millions of Christians have been praying — for a cure to this pandemic,” he said. “As a pastor, I saw it take the lives of many of my church members. I saw heartbreaking situations where families had to say goodbye to their loves ones, using FaceTime.”
“We saw our church not able to meet for a period of time because of this,” the 65-year-old preacher continued. “We were praying for an end of this pandemic, and I saw this vaccine as an answer to that prayer. And no vaccine is perfect, but I believe that, looking at the odds, I would be much better off taking the vaccine than ignoring it.”
In mid-August, a pastor in Rocklin, California, began handing out “exemption letters” to people who oppose employer requirements to take a COVID-19 vaccination.
Since then, President Joe Biden has mandated all private-sector employers with 100 or more staffers require workers to be inoculated, a rule several have argued violates the U.S. Constitution.
Conservative author and podcaster Dave Rubin claimed Biden’s edict is a “massive threat” to religious liberty and “an absolute assault” on the Constitution.
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