COVID-19 in light of the Messiah- loving our neighbors
The novel coronavirus has spun humanity into confusion. The human response, particularly in the United States, has further divided a people already split because of politics, social justice, and the current identity war. This season has been one of the more difficult to live like Christians are called to live because we live in such a politically charged era.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.Romans 12:14-18 (NASB)
If you try to live at peace with all people today, the radical left and right all get angry and wage a verbal war against you–and everyone seems to be either on the radical left or right. In an atmosphere where no one is happy no matter what decisions are made, it is tempting to move wholly to one side and hate those who oppose what we stand for.
Loving our neighbors has nothing to do with masks or vaccines. In fact, if we curse anyone because of his or her decisions, even enmity toward us, we have failed to love our neighbors. Love means denying self, blessing those who curse us, associating with the lowly, and living at peace with everyone as far as it depends on us–a lifestyle the defines neither the left nor right at this point in history. I see the Republicans. I see the Democrats. I see the Republican and Democrat Imperial Cults–which both refer to themselves as in some way ‘Christian.’ But, where are the real Christians? I don’t know if I see many at all.
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Under the standard of Christian love, I now turn my attention toward vaccination ethics. What are the real moral considerations related to the COVID-19 vaccine (and, frankly, all other vaccines)?
Vaccine development is an astounding scientific accomplishment. The first vaccine was developed in 1796 to combat smallpox, which ravaged the world for 3,000 years. Shortly thereafter, physicians began seeking proprietary rights to vaccine compositions. In 1902, Congress passed what would be called the Biologics Control Act, which increased the speed at which vaccines could be developed and introduced a competitive vaccine market. Viruses could be combatted more quickly. But, vaccines became a competitive market rather than a caring gesture. Utopia is more accurate than most viewers think. Vaccine development is a prominent industry, particularly in the United States. Like overall healthcare has become, it is more about the market than public health despite the public health language used by those we see on the screen. More on that later. There are two moral considerations from the outset. 1) Current vaccine races are based on the love of money. 2) The world economic structure depends on health crises. These two facts help us to understand why worldly governments and companies respond the way they do, why the WHO says some of the things it says, and why the world is in its current state. The current one-world religion is a religion of finance.
When we read history, we recognize why the vaccination race has been at the forefront of wold news in the latter part of 2020 and into 2021. Consider the reported progression of COVID-19 . On January 5, 2020, the WHO reported the outbreak in China. By November 2020, the pandemic was popularly perceived as “unprecedented” and several companies around the world were competing to develop vaccines and technologies to combat the pandemic. Companies were competing to make masks to sell. Con-artists started producing knock-off masks. If you didn’t buy a mask, you were a hateful bigot. Eight companies in the race to develop proprietary vaccines were and are :
- Johnson & Johnson
- AstraZeneca PLC
- CanSino Biologics
These companies started research and development prior to June 2020. Their success depended on the worsening of the pandemic in the United States. Pfizer boasts a paycheck of $1.95 billion for the first 100 million doses of their proprietary vaccine, and multiple doses are required for each individual. Corporations have a vested interest in making sure the public receives their vaccines. With the overall business nature of healthcare in the United States, there is much profit to be made from sickness and pandemic related illnesses and deaths. In more ways than one, the United States has produced a culture of death. Her money is dirty and her hands stained with the blood of her own citizens.
Here is a startling statistic for you. In 2019, pre COVID-19, there were 7.579 deaths per 1,000 people worldwide. In 2020, there were 7.612 deaths per 1,000 people worldwide. The death rate was nearly the same in 2020 that it was in 2019. Yet, we are made to believe that the virus was causing more deaths than would have occurred anyway. While I cannot speak as to the cause, I can speak to correlation. Industry and the healthcare marketplace depend on sickness. The pandemic is certainly real. I think it is exaggerated because of our consumer religion. It is not unprecedented. If it was not exasperated for the sake of proprietary industry, we might not have noticed its effects at all. But, to make money you have to create demand and outdo your competitors. That’s the culture we have evolved into as the United States–for the sake of our bottom lines, we put out small businesses, force people to stay home, create unnecessary panic, and make billions for the healthcare and vaccination industries in America.
So, the healthcare industry (not to be confused with all healthcare or healthcare workers) is a basically immoral industry. The United States government’s buy-in to the healthcare industry is basically immoral. It is immoral because it comes from the love of money. In today’s world, if people are buying health from you, you own them. Money is power.
Even though the industry is immoral and worldly, we must ask the question for individuals thinking about receiving the vaccine. Even though the industry is immoral, it may or may not be immoral to receive the vaccine. The vaccine, itself, is amoral–it is not inherently good or evil. I turn my attention, now, to the ethical considerations of receiving the vaccine.
There is a misconception about the vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna do not, in fact, contain any aborted fetal stem cells. Cells cultured from fetal cells harvested in the mid 70s were used to test the vaccine in order to ensure they worked. Which means the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were tested in a way vaccines have never been tested before, to my knowledge. The cells that the vaccines were tested on did not even come directly from people and the vaccines needed not be tested initially on human test subjects. I will write about abortion ethics later. We should ask whether or not receiving a vaccine made using stem cells from aborted fetuses is morally right. But, those questions are removed from the debate about the COVID-19 vaccines.
It is beneficial, though, to discuss the use of 1970-80s elective abortion cells to culture those used to test the vaccine. The use of such cells does not make the one using them a participant with the one who aborted the child. If I die and my body is used for science, the scientists are not guilty of murdering me. In fact, I hope my body can be useful for others. If, however, a market is built around haggling for fetal cells, we have an ethical problem to deal with like that of the vaccination industry. Such an industry in unlawful in the United States. There is also an ethical consideration related to the individual’s ability to opt-in. I can say that I approve of my body being used for science after my death. A fetus has no opportunity. His or her freedoms are stripped. The unborn child is the most oppressed class of person in America. If a vaccine contains stem-cells, then, the one who produced the vaccine has done so immorally–not because there is something unethical about using bodies for science, but because there is something immoral about not seeing all human beings as created with equal worth and sanctified under God. The question is not one of mere treatment of a stem cell but of human identity, personhood, and the worth of human life.
To mandate anything for anyone is an act of dictation. The more our culture becomes a culture of expertism and activism, the more will be dictated from the top down. It seems to me, we might better honor people and facilitate equity by informing the public and trusting people to make their own decisions like adults.
Should you get the vaccine?
I am not here to tell you whether or not to receive the vaccine. We are not responsible for the sins of others or the industry. What people mean for evil, God means for good (cf. Genesis 50:20). Kati and I will probably not receive the vaccine because we are concerned about the possible side-effects related to fertility. The side-effects of any vaccine cannot be known until it has been around and those side-effects have manifested. I firmly believe in God’s sovereignty and His promise to heal the land upon the repentance of the nation (2 Chronicles 7:14).
You do not have to feel guilty about a COVID-19 vaccine. As far as conspiracies go, there might be evidence suggesting a conspiracy to get as many people to take the vaccine as possible because corporations love money. Such is the case anytime worldly people push their agendas. The vaccine is not the mark of the beast. We do not have to fear a pandemic that changed things so little on its own. We should, though, know that the pandemic is real. Despite its inseverity, it can and does kill. We count the costs reasonably in the context of our current cultural economy, not jumping on any political fear-mongering train, and make decisions to the best of our abilities. We live without regrets because God is the righteousness of those who are in Christ.
- Rutschman, Ana Santos. “The Vaccine Race in the 21St Century.” Arizona Law Review 61, no. 4 (December 2019): 735.
- Arthur Allen, Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine’s Greatest Lifesaver, New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 2007. 50.
- Pub. L. No. 57-244, 32 Stat. 728 (1902)
- CFRA via https://www.forbes.com/sites/moneyshow/2020/06/16/9-pharmaceutical-companies-racing-for-a-covid-19-vaccine/?sh=7f2e91b376ad
- NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, Pub. L. No. 103-43.