Methodist Health System Unlawfully Denies Religious Exemptions

Sep 7, 2021

DALLAS, TX – Liberty Counsel sent a demand letter to Methodist Health System (MHS) on behalf of four employees and numerous others regarding its unlawful denials of religious exemptions for the COVID shot mandates. 

MHS has advised its employees their deadline to be fully vaccinated is October 1, 2021, and must request a religious exemption by September 10, 2021. However, MHS does not inform its employees that its apparent intent of the “MHS Exemption Committee” is to deny nearly all requests, regardless of merit, in order to pressure its employees to abandon their requests and violate their consciences to keep their jobs. 

The four employees represented by Liberty Counsel submitted religious exemptions because of their sincere religious beliefs regarding the undeniable association between COVID-19 injections and aborted fetal cell lines. All three of the currently available COVID injections are produced by, derived from, manufactured with, tested on, developed with, or otherwise connected to or associated with aborted fetal cell lines. 

The employees submitted the religious exemption form in a timely manner, and all were unlawfully denied.  MHS is accusing the employees of religious ignorance and fraud, either for believing “erroneous information” that the injections are associated with aborted fetal cell lines, or for holding theological beliefs that purportedly contradict their declared denomination’s public statement against the injections.

Texas law dictates that employees at Methodist Health System have the fundamental right to determine what medical care to accept and refuse. It also protects the rights of all health care workers to abstain from participation in abortion. In addition, the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act requires employers to accommodate employees’ sincere religious beliefs. 

The COVID shots cannot be mandatory under authorization of emergency use (EAU). On March 27, 2020, the Health and Human Services (HHS) declared that circumstances exist justifying the EUA of drugs and biological products for COVID-19. That means people must be told the risks and benefits, and they have the right to decline a medication that is not fully licensed. All of the COVID-19 shots (Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson) have received only EAU authorization and not full FDA approval. The federal Emergency Use Authorization law and the FDA, including the FDA Fact Sheet, state unequivocally that each person has the “option to accept or refuse” the shots. In addition to federal law, the FDA includes the Nuremberg Code and the Helsinki Declaration on its website, emphasizing the fact that people cannot be forced to take experimental drugs without their full consent. 

Furthermore, COVID shots cannot be mandatory under Title VII. In general, employee vaccine religious exemption requests must be accommodated, where a reasonable accommodation exists without undue hardship to the employer, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Many people hold sincere religious beliefs against taking any vaccines, or taking those derived from aborted fetal cell lines, or taking those sold by companies that profit from the sale of vaccines and other products derived from abortion. Title VII, as amended, prohibits two categories of employment practices. It is unlawful for an employer: “(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or (2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” 

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Methodist Health System cannot violate federal and state law and deny employees’ religious exemptions to inject a drug into their body. Health care heroes should not be treated like zeros. Do these hospitals really think that they can operate by reducing so many staff that are entitled to make a personal choice based upon the religious beliefs? These irrational mandates will soon cause a national health care crisis because of the reduction of health care workers.” 

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