In a very short space of time, many Australian citizens have woken up to a very sobering choice: lose my medical autonomy, or lose my career. For some, a job loss will also mean the inability to continue supporting families or making mortgage repayments.
Vaccine mandates will also likely begin to affect places of worship, preventing people from taking part in corporate worship if they decide not to be vaccinated — whether for medical, religious or conscience reasons.
In response to this situation, Christian leaders from around Australia have drafted the Ezekiel Declaration — an 1800-word letter addressed to Prime Minister Scott Morrison about this issue. The drafters appeal to the PM’s Christian conscience, respectfully asking him to reconsider his stance on allowing vaccine mandates to govern the everyday lives of Australians.
The Ezekiel Declaration begins:
To the Honourable Scott Morrison,
As Christian leaders, you should be aware that in accordance with scripture we regularly pray for “and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Timothy 2:2).
We do write however, to you regarding a matter of significant concern. Namely, the proposed introduction of ‘vaccine passports’ into Australian society. For many Christian leaders and Christians, this is an untenable proposal that would inflict terrible consequences on our nation.
We should initially note that we are not the first generation that has been confronted with the question of ‘vaccine passports.’ Writing in 1880, aware of the challenges that a smallpox epidemic brought to society, the Christian theologian Abraham Kuyper wrote,
“Vaccination certificates will therefore have to go… The form of tyranny hidden in these vaccination certificates is just as real a threat to the nation’s spiritual resources as a smallpox epidemic itself.”
Kuyper, A. 2015. Our Program: A Christian Political Manifesto. (p. 249). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press; Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty.
Between 1901 and 1905, Abraham Kuyper would hold the office of the prime minister of the Netherlands. He evidently understood that a ‘vaccine passport’ would represent a measure that was equal to if not worse than an epidemic itself through the oppressive control over people’s lives. As Christian ministers, we would also agree with Kuyper’s analysis on such a measure, and for several reasons.
First, the government risks creating an unethical two-tiered society. While some individuals will receive the vaccination with thanks, others may have good and informed reasons for declining. One such reason is highlighted in the statement of the health minister Greg Hunt,
“The world is engaged in the largest clinical trial, the largest global vaccination trial ever, and we will have enormous amounts of data.”
Australian Department of Health
Free citizens should have the right of consent, especially when the vaccine rollout has been labelled as a ‘clinical trial.’ Imposing a ‘vaccine passport’ when the nation is already divided on the matter risks the creation of medical apartheid. The result being that those who decline the vaccine are ostracised and alienated from aspects of public life. History has never reflected well for those who would promote segregation. As there has been no discussion that the precautionary measures will be retracted once the pandemic has concluded, there is a real concern that many of these measures will remain permanent. A ‘vaccine passport’ would therefore represent the dangerous precipice of a therapeutic totalitarianism that does not promote liberty and human flourishing, but would rather only dehumanise and control its citizens all under the cloak of personal health and safety.
To read the rest of the Ezekiel Declaration and add your signature, visit The Ezekiel Declaration.