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Albany press conference, today 6/3, Religious leaders assert religious issues with vaccines

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Religious leaders to counter legislators' claims that beliefs contrary to vaccination are “utter garbage”

Albany Press Conference, Today, 6/3, 10 am


     Relgious leaders and civil rights advocates will hold a press conference on Monday, June 3rd at 10 am in the LCA Press Room, Room 130 in the Legislative Office Building in Albany, NY, speaking in opposition to Senate Bill S2994 and Assembly Bill A2371, bills that would repeal the religious exemption from vaccine mandates to attend school in New York. 

     Speaking will be Rev. Tom Mahairas of the Manhattan Bible Church, Rev. Walter Sotelo of Citivision, and Kevin Barry of First Freedoms, with more congregation leaders to be announced, who will discuss the many religious traditions and reasons that conflict with some or all vaccinations, and the usurpation of parental authority by the state with compulsory vaccines. 

     Following the press conference, we will be asking supporters to make office visits in the Legislative Office Building and the Capitol and distribute packets of documents that illustrate the many sources of religious objections to vaccination.

     Please click on the Take Action link to send messages to your Assemblymember, State Senator and the Governor, as well as the leadership of the legislature, informing them of the many religious objections to vaccination. 

     Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz, the sponsor of A2371 and Sen. Brad Hoylman, the sponsor of S2994, have repeatedly stated that there are no religious reasons to object to any vaccine, or vaccination in general. “Utter garbage,” is how Dinowitz describes such beliefs in an episode of Assembly Update posted on his Facebook page at:  and on Youtube at

     Dinowitz and Hoylman have repeatedly made false claims that there are no religious organizations that have issues with either ingredients in some vaccines, vaccination forced by the state, or vaccination in principle. They also falsely present identification with an organized religious group as a necessary for religious objections, when the Courts have repeatedly held that membership in an organized religion is not necessary, and all that matters is the personal beliefs of an individual. Sherr v. NORTHPORT-EAST NORTHPORT U. FREE SCH. D., 672 F. Supp. 81 (E.D.N.Y. 1987)

     Dinowitz and Hoylman claim to be unaware of longstanding doctrines and practices of Christian Scientists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Dutch Reformed Church, Seventh Day Adventist, the Amish and Old Order Mennonites, among many other traditions, that conflict with some or all vaccinations.

    They also ignore a wide range of official denominational documents and events that contradict their assertions:

  • In 2005 the Catholic Church issued a document from the Pontifical Academy for Life under the direction of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict 16, "Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared from Cells Derived from Aborted Human Foetuses" which states, “…doctors and fathers of families have a duty to take recourse to alternative vaccines  (if they exist), putting pressure on the political authorities health systems so that other vaccines without moral problems become available. They should take recourse, if necessary, to the use of conscientious objection with regard to the use of vaccines produced by means of cell lines of aborted human foetal origin.”  All measles vaccines available in the United States use aborted human fetal human in the production process.
  • The Russia Orthodox Church just adopted a policy objecting to state-mandated compulsory vaccines, holding that the decision to vaccinate a child or not is a responsibility God has given to parents not the state.
  • Earlier this year the leading Islamic court in Indonesia addressed a recurring problem in the Islamic world declared the measles vaccine used there, “haram” or religiously unacceptable because it includes gelatin derived from pork tissue, which is also a component of all the MMR vaccines available in the US.


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