A needle sticking out of a small vaccine bottle

My Christian concerns

Christians should be vaccinated 

The articles that I have written in the past that have left me the most fulfilled have been my Christian articles. Whether it be politics, the church or biblical truths, all have tapped into topics I felt called to talk about on my platform. When I was challenged to write a column, doing one on Christians was the right choice. 

I know some of you want to explore religion but don’t feel welcome at church. Some people have had super negative experiences with Christians. Some were told that you have to be perfect to be a Christian.

I am here to tell you that no matter your past, your present or how you feel about Christians, you are welcome here.  

That being said, this will be a recurring staple of my tenure as an opinion editor. Bi-weekly I will be publishing this column talking about biblical truths, Christian politics and commenting on culture through my worldview. 

If you have any issues, questions or anything else under that umbrella that you would like me to address, you can email me at opinion@ndsuspectrum.com. Please enjoy. 

I don’t know about the rest of you, but my parents are both my biggest supporters and my loudest critics. They are just as quick to tell me what they think about my opinion piece, and then turn around and compliment me on how lovely my writing is. 

When I debuted this column, my dad looked at me and said that everyone should be upset when they read your work. And while I don’t necessarily agree with his philosophy, I think he was partially correct. 

After all, this is the opinion section, and I don’t enjoy writing fluff pieces. People should be talking amongst themselves about if they think I am coming at an issue from the right angle. Nothing wrong with a little bit of controversy.

While I stand by everything I said in my introduction, the nature of my job is that some people will be upset by what I write, and that’s okay. 

Even if you disagree with me on this topic, you are still wonderfully made and full of value. Even if you think everyone should get vaccinated regardless of religion, great, good for you, but that’s not what I am here to talk about either. 

We are going to talk about vaccines. Whoo, I know you’re so excited. I am only the millionth person to talk about this issue. I know people have many questions about vaccinations, so this is an opportunity for us to learn about this together from reputable sources. 

Are vaccines safe?

First of all, vaccines, in general, are safe and effective. This is not a point I have the energy to argue. Children have been receiving vaccinations for decades in the United States, and we have come damn near to eradicating several debilitating diseases like polio, tetanus, hepatitis, rubella and measles, to name a few. 

To ignore this is to ignore observable scientific evidence of how low infant mortality and early childhood death have become in our country. I am not going to argue facts. 

But that’s not really what most of us are worried about, is it? We want to know if the Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention; yes, they are. “Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.”

How do we know the CDC is reputable? The same way we test all scientific research, peer review. The CDC isn’t reporting one side of the data either; they are reporting that there are side effects. There are side effects to just about every medical treatment. Ultimately, you should ask your doctor if the vaccine is safe for you based on your medical history. Still, again, adverse effects are extremely rare.

The mRNA makes the vaccine unsafe? Again no, all mRNA means for non-medical folk is that a small portion of the virus is injected into the body so your immune system can recognize the foreign entity and begin creating antibodies. So when the real thing comes, you get far less sick than if you were not vaccinated at all. 

Does it stop you from getting sick? Yes and no, Sanford Health reported there hospital numbers on their Facebook of who was in the hospital for Covid-19 and at what stage they were in the vaccination process. 

Of the 231 people hospitalized, 161 were unvaccinated, 70 were vaccinated and 24 were boosted. Of the 52 in the ICU none of them were boosted and only nine were vaccinated. Finally of the 38 on ventilators 34 were unvaccinated, 4 were vaccinated and again none were part of the boosted group. So can you get sick? Duh, of course, you can get sick. The vaccine’s job isn’t to prevent sickness; it’s to raise immunity. 

The last of the common misconceptions is, were the vaccines tested enough? The CDC reports that, “[T]he general stages of the development cycle of a vaccine are, exploratory stage, pre-clinical stage, clinical development, regulatory review and approval, manufacturing, quality control.”

I would go so far as to say if you are a Christian, you are morally obligated to get vaccinated.

Now that’s a lot of steps, but what allowed this vaccine to be made so quickly was that several of these steps can be conducted at once. So it did have to jump through all the hoops to be approved. 

So while it’s important to think critically about your health decisions, when looking at the actual science behind the vaccine, there is little evidence to suggest that they are dangerous for you. If you’re pregnant and don’t wanna get it, ya, that makes sense to me. If you’re allergic to the ingredients, maybe it’s not right for you. But the vast majority of people should be just fine getting the jab. 

So what does this have to do with Christians?

Assume with me for a second that you possess all of the aforementioned. Why would you not get vaccinated? 

I would go so far as to say if you are a Christian, you are morally obligated to get vaccinated. Now I get it; that’s a pretty controversial opinion, but hear me out. 

Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Herd immunity can be reached when enough people are vaccinated against a disease — getting vaccinated means that you can protect others who are at risk, like the elderly, like small children who don’t have young and healthy immune systems. 

The data supports the fact that the vaccines are safe, effective and have rare side effects. It starts to sound like nothing stops you from being vaccinated except vain conceit. 

Furthermore, prioritizing your “personal freedoms” over the health of your fellow Americans is the most un-American and un-biblical thing I have heard of so far. “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is in the declaration of independence. 

How more antithetical can you get than possibly denying your fellow Americans “life”? It’s frankly nationalistic. 

Even outside of the political realm, doing for others things at risk to your comfort is a super common theme throughout the Bible. Jesus, even in his teaching, talks about this very idea. Matthew 5:40, “And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.”

The political correctness of vaccine mandates is a separate conversation for another day. However, if you’re able to, and most of you should be able to, there is no reason not to. We are called to live in service to others and live our lives set apart. 

So let’s do that. Let us show others how much we value them by prioritizing their health and needs. “Do all things without grumbling or disputing that you may be blameless and innocent,” Philippians 2:14.

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