There are aspects of this article that are truly disturbing:
Thomas Berg, a self-described “strong supporter of religious exemptions” and a religious liberty advocate who teaches law at the University of St. Thomas, a Catholic institution in St. Paul, Minnesota, said he believes that there is a strong case to deny many of the religious claims and to test religious sincerity.
“In cases where you’ve got a lot of potential insincere claims — and I think there’s evidence that is what’s happening here in which people are raising religious objections when they’re motivated by fear of the vaccine or political opposition to it — testing sincerity makes sense,” he said. “We have to test sincerity or else we have to accept them all or deny them all, so I think the courts will provide room for testing that.”
One driver for testing sincerity is the fact that no major organized religion objects to the vaccines, and Roman Catholic and other Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders have advised followers to get the shots. Pope Francis went so far as to say that getting vaccinated was “the moral choice because it is about your life but also the lives of others.”
Individually held beliefs, however, could provide some protections.
Just like I, an actual minister, cannot judge a person’s salvation…the courts (and other branches of government) cannot judge the sincerity of an individual’s belief.
True, if a guy says he “religiously” believes that sex is only for marriage, but then hires a prostitute, you have reason to question the sincerity of his belief. However, even then you cannot claim it is proof, since we all fall short of our own standards.
For instance, as a Christian I don’t believe I should jump to conclusions about another’s behavior, yet I do (hopefully less and less).
The “John” could honestly believe sex outside marriage is wrong. Should the government be able to force him to behave otherwise, because he is a hypocrite and has behaved otherwise before?
Finally, all belief’s are individual, even if the reason you hold them is because you trust (wisely or not) some priestly class. It may help an argument if your form of organized religion (e.g. denomination) stands behind you, but, in America, we don’t have state religions. We have individual rights.