New York Gets to Decide If You Believe In God Or Not

… and who can act in accordance with their moral and religious beliefs and who can not.

Pay close attention to this story, because this is a wedge issue. Once the state gets to decide matters of religious sincerity and faith on one issue, which they have begun doing in New York, a very dangerous precedent is set and we begin to loose the right to freedom of religion in this country. These excerpts from this “religious sincerity test” interview are ones you have to see.

First some explanation of what you will be watching.

Vaccine laws vary from state to state. All states have medical exemptions so that children whose medical histories include contraindications for vaccines can opt out and still attend school. Just like antibiotics, pain relievers and any other pharmaceuticals, there are is a subset of the population who cannot properly process vaccines or certain vaccine ingredients, and sustain a vaccine injury.

Some states have philosophical exemptions, for families who choose to forgo some or all vaccines for their kids, but New York does not have such a law.

What they do have is a religious exemption.

Families may want to abstain from vaccinating for any number of religious reasons. At the top of the list of course is that some vaccines are made using human cells harvested from aborted fetal tissue, of concern to Jews and Muslims may be the fact that pork products are included in many vaccines, and the moral/religious dilemmas in vaccinating blossom out from there into myriad issues. So you can see why it is important for NY to have a religious exemption.

But here is the catch…

THEY get to decide who is “sincerely religious” and who is not.

And they have begun to use coercive and illegal methods, and repeated, harassing interrogations that last for hours, against families who try to use this exemption, and routinely declare them “not religiously sincere” so that they can deny these exemptions.

Consider the case of Rita Palma. The Palmas are a Catholic family who decided to stop vaccinating on religious grounds. After filing the appropriate paperwork, submitting all her reasoning in writing, Mrs. Palma and her husband began to be dragged into meeting after meeting with the school system to be grilled by their lawyers. Eventually they had to hire a lawyer of their own.

After being treated horribly, the Palmas decided to bring a video camera to a meeting and secretly video tape their “interview” (although the school system was recording audio, so this lawyer knows that a record is being kept of his behavior). They have made three excerpts public, but this harassment went on for an hour and a half.

As you watch, and please watch all three videos, consider what this means for Christians in this country. If a family can be subjected to this emotional battery just to keep their child in school, can you imagine where else that this may be allowed to happen?

As you watch, keep in mind that after this interview, the school district ruled that the Palma’s didn’t actually believe in God. For the second time.

Rita expounds on her experience in this column and in this interview.

The second ‘truth-test’ and it’s all about God, me and Mr. Dave. “Do you have conversations with God? Does He tell you not immunize? If God is on your side, can He be on the side of those who immunize? If God created man and man created vaccinations, how can accepting vaccines represent a mistrust in God? Have your religious beliefs changed in two years?” The video speaks for itself. Ninety minutes of harassment, outrageous questions and praying my husband (and me) would stay in his seat.

NY Bill A883 has been proposed to ban vaccine “Sincerity Testing”. It needs to pass, but not just because of the vaccine issue, but because the state has no business making judgments about the individual faith of citizens. This school system, and their very expensive lawyers, had no business questioning the Palmas like this.

The Palmas “interview” (read witch hunt), and the religious “sincerity test” are the tip of a dangerous wedge and this wedge needs to be removed stat before this kind of abuse is allowed to spread.


Author: Ginger Taylor

I am a thirty something wife of a wonderful man and mother to two beautiful boys. I am a Johns Hopkins educated family therapist with a current case load of one, my autistic son Chandler. I want to God and what He really has to say to us and especially what He really wants from me. I approach Scripture from the Reformed perspective of Luther and Calvin and those that followed them, and encourage lively debate here at Daily Discernment.

7 thoughts on “New York Gets to Decide If You Believe In God Or Not”

  1. Which school district is this and more important, what is this attorney’s name and what is the name of his firm?
    I want to be sure our district never hires this bastard.

  2. Inherit the Wind Pt2.

    this is a very stark look at an Important interview , The lawyer makes some very good points that are very grounded and are easily answered without the “your intruding” on my faith responses.

    How many children have had thier medical needs neglected due to Obtuse religeous beleifs? with tragic consequenses there has to be some kind of inquiry as to protect a child from such neglect, however finding a delicate balance must be very hard , since the lawyer in this case is clearly given the task of Vetting this mother deeply – he comes off as intrusive and overbearing as well as indignant.

    but his questions are very easily answered , he asks if god created man – and in so doing given man ability to create and heal whats wrong with vaccinations ? – or something close to that , the answer is nothing is wrong with vaccinations NOT YET , we are still learning the full scope and impact of child vaccinations , To be sure the last 100 years of preventive vaccinations have been one of the greatest medical triumphs ever! , But that does not stop us from asking hard questions like are certain vaccinations harming or damaging our children , I think some vaccinations are damaging & i beleive that certain shots contribute to Autism and other afflictions , but not all vaccinations are suspect , finding and rooting out the ones that are is a dire task we must do to prevent childhood damage occuring. I thank God for inspired doctors and preventive vaccinations, but i also ask God to help us identify the shots we need to abolish as dangerous.

    the parent in question troubles me also , While she has every right to practice her chosen faith , I wonder exactly where her objections or fears really reside, If she feels as i do that certain vaccinations cause damage she should have the right to abstain from them on purely medical grounds especially in this era when we need to find the causes of autism.

    But east coast states are way behind the more progressive states like Oregon,So perhaps a religeous defense is her only option , While personally i do not beleive there is a religeous objection to vaccinations , Obviously she does beleive so and is her right , but the State must inquire as to whether the parent has sound faculties as hard as it is to do it must be done , too many children have suffered at the hands of parents with wierd practices . Even religeous practice.

    As i said before it turns into Inherit the wind Pt2 , clearly something has to be done to empower parents and to investigate vaccinations that may cause damage , And PROTECT the interests and health of the child , A hard balance to find .

    but in the End God has the answers , both to the lawyer and to the heart of the parent . Let us Pray – that as he has given us ability to heal with Vaccinations, That he helps us Find and obliterate the poisonous ones.

  3. Great work on this, thank you (and I live in New York). There is too much out there that invisibly runs against people, or runs over them. Anne VR

  4. I think there could be religious objections to any medical treatment or even to some elements of school curricula.

    What I find scary is that someone actually believe that they can measure sincerity of said beliefs. While consistency to ones religious beliefs might be able to be determined, sincerity seems much more nebulous.

  5. I think sincerity is the wrong word or title here, i agree measuring sincerity can be daunting , but i suspect what is actually at play here is a large bureaucracy protecting itself from the possible repercussions of neglecting a child’s mandated health milestone like vaccination’s , that have become so in trenched in institutional settings like schools , the idea or the thought of “not vaccinating” raises fears that are very well founded. People seem to forget history all too well – up until the early 70’s the we here in America were still trying to defeat variants of scourge and plague – in the southwest plague still exits , we have gotten used to the idea of antibiotics and quick solutions to the scourges of ages past, Scourges that are not gone!, they are subdued but still a threat.

    Vaccinations have been the single most effective way to keep children from devastating childhood illness’s of the past – and vaccinations are embedded into every sector of public health from the military to kindergarten , and it is an amazing effort with billions protected , but we need to take stock – we need to find out are some of these vaccinations indeed damaging.

    enter into this the recent surge in parents with borderline faculties regarding religion and the medical needs of a child.

    so i do think what is actually going on here is the lawyer is vetting these parents quite frankly – i think what he is after is not are the parents or mother sincere in their beliefs or even are the beliefs right or wrong, I suspect what he is after by pressuring so frankly is are the parents logical and do they have “Sound” faculties to make such choices .

    this mother seems at first glance to be very well balanced even in the face of real insult, she also seems able to respond to sound inquiry , this leads me to believe if i were the examiner , that if needed she would bring her child to a doctor and not enforce Obtuse religious doctrine in place of proper medical care.

    remember states like this are slow to awaken to progressive ideas , i am all for empowering the parent in this regard but also safeguarding the child, they can call the interview what ever they like but at the core of this interview is a bureaucracy protecting itself from the very very real threat of recriminations if this child were to suffer due to this practice – and how do they reconcile this with the institutional nature of schools.

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