The Australian Hairdressing Council has been vocal in its stand against government-led vaccine apartheid on the basis of medical status. Christians need to take a similar decisive stand against mandatory vaccinations for church attendance.
Hairdressers Have Taken a Stand
In August, when Gladys Berejiklian first floated the idea of permitting hairdressers to reopen – provided they refused to serve unvaccinated clients – hairdressers voiced their disapproval of the measures.
For most hairdressers, these radical steps would have meant unwanted negative conflict with valued customers. Jade Edwards, the owner of Edwards & Co salons, accused the government of kicking hairdressers ‘around the football field’ by leaving the implementation of the ‘awkward’ measures to local businesses.
‘I would be super excited to reopen — what I don’t want to happen is for the government to make us choose if people can come back if they are vaccinated because it puts us in an awkward position.’ (Jade Edwards, Salon Owner)
Vaccine Apartheid is Now Widespread
Since these first hints of a double-standard reopening for vaccinated and unvaccinated citizens (what essentially constitutes blatant discrimination against those who cannot, or will not, vaccinate), the idea has gained considerable traction.
By now, the idea that unvaccinated people should have second-class (if any) access to all kinds of public services and businesses has been well and truly accepted by the government. But the ‘vaccine apartheid’ extends beyond mere access to services to employment, with workers in numerous sectors being told they have until November to get the shot or they will lose their job.
Churches the Latest Target
On Monday, Caldron Pool reported the bombshell announcement that the New South Wales government intends to compel churches to refuse entry to unvaccinated members. Originally covered by Chris O’Keefe on 9News, the story alleges that the Premier intends to include places of worship on her list of services that will be considered vaccinated-only.
NSW Government to require churches to use vaccination certificates for entry into worship. pic.twitter.com/Ad1KnVlBcC
— Caldron Pool (@CaldronPool) September 6, 2021
Caldron Pool reports,
‘Once the [70% vaccination] target is reached, places of worship must deny entry to any member of the congregation who is not fully vaccinated.’
While the Berejiklian government has not yet signed off on the so-called ‘roadmap’, O’Keefe reported that the plan was ‘likely to be signed off on this week’.
The Ezekiel Declaration was Right
According to Caldron Pool, the news broke following ‘a barrage of criticism’ slamming the Ezekiel Declaration for ‘preemptively’ and ‘prematurely’ suggesting that the governments might impose vaccine mandates on church attendance.
Since its release, the Declaration has been signed by around 2800 church leaders and over 21000 members and attendees.
Hairdressers Set the Example
In light of the mere suggestion that they might be required to enforce some form of vaccine apartheid, hairdressers in New South Wales took a bold stand.
Sandy Chong, the CEO of the Australian Hairdressing Council, insisted that any approach to vaccinations had to be ‘pro-choice’.
‘…we have to understand that some can’t be vaccinated, whether it’s medical or personal reasons.’ (Sandy Chong, CEO, Australian Hairdressing Council)
‘I am not going to force them to do it if they don’t want to. I believe in choice and people making informed decisions themselves, so it’s really up to them…’ (Jade Edwards, Salon Owner)
Will Churches Take a Stand?
The question now arises, will churches be courageous enough to oppose this government overreach?
Christians have a responsibility to obey the government (Romans 13:1-5), but we also have a duty to meet together (Hebrews 10:24-25) and need to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).
Should they be introduced, these new requirements from the New South Wales government would preclude any unvaccinated individual from fully participating in the life of their local fellowship. They would restrict many in their capacity to serve the body of Christ through the use of their gifts. This is wrong.
It is time for churches, church members and attendees, and Christian leaders to take a stand, call out this blatant government overreach and oppose vaccine apartheid in the church.
Image by Samuel Martins on Unsplash.