Dear Bishop Welby,
I recently heard an interview you gave in the run up to Christmas (2021) in which you said you couldn’t understand people who don’t want the COVID 19 vaccine and that people declining the vaccine are “immoral.” I couldn’t agree more.
In fact, I would say that “immoral” isn’t strong enough. So what if they’ve had medications that made them dangerously ill in the past, or they had an aunt who took it and snuffed it, or they’ve looked at the data and are concerned that the COVID vaccines have killed more people than all vaccines combined over the last 30 years? Boo-hoo, I say. None of their “reasons” are relevant. You’re either moral or immoral. I’m with you completely, there’s no place for nuanced thinking on this one.
As for the Anglicans among those crying off from getting a little needle in their arm, let’s not even bother finding out why they feel that way, let’s just label them conspiracy theorists and kick them out of the church altogether. I can’t bear to listen to these so-called Christians bleating on about how these vaccines use science derived from the cells of an aborted foetus. Surely it makes sense to kill the odd foetus here and there to save loads of old people?
Forgive me for phrasing that as a question when I already know your answer. Your position is clear. Not having the jab makes a person immoral and having it makes us moral – end of discussion.
Let’s not pander to these people any longer with their “constellation of variables,” their “ethical dilemmas” and their “analysis of the data.” To my mind, one is either trying to be a decent Christian or you’re not, and if not we should call them out, so well done you. You definitely showed them a thing or two about the way a Christian ought to be behave.
I’m not surprised you don’t understand why they don’t take the vaccine, it makes no sense to me either. But just for a laugh, and I think you’ll like this, I asked a couple of these anti-vax types from my neighbourhood over to explain themselves. I didn’t let them in the house obviously, but spoke to them at a distance over the fence.
Neither of them wore a mask, predictably, so to compensate I wore a triple layer. You’ll be pleased to hear that on my outer mask I had printed the words, Jesus Saves, so even from behind my fence and underneath three face coverings I was still able to bring them our Christian message of love over fear. I’ll bet that gave them something to think about.
I began the conversation by asking them why they were murderers now, when, up until 2021, they had always seemed two of the nicer people in the neighbourhood. They seemed a bit put out by this. One of them even tried to show me scientific studies that unvaccinated people don’t transmit the virus at a higher rate than the vaxxed! Do they really think I’m so gullible I’d believe mumbo jumbo they obviously got from the internet?
One of the studies they cited was from somewhere called Harvard (wherever that is) and had appeared in some dodgy conspiracy rag called the European Journal of Epidemiology. The other chap claimed to have read a study by the Oxford Research Group that found the vaccinated were spreading the virus more than the unvaccinated!
Don’t worry, I didn’t fall for any of their so-called “science” from Harvard and Oxford, I just repeated your accusation of immorality at them. They didn’t know what to do with that, believe me.
After a while, the smaller of the two anti-vaxxers (the one I suspect is most likely to cark it if he gets the virus) asked me if I was worried that the introduction of vaccine passports could be a mechanism for controlling the population by a tyrannical government.
Here we go, I thought, just as Archbishop Welby had told me to expect, it was conspiracy theory time! No, I told them. No, no, no! Vax passports are for your health and the health of everybody and that’s all there is to it. Any potential for misuse that happens to be designed into the mechanics of the system is purely coincidental.
They kept arguing, of course, coming out with rubbish like, “But there is no credible medical logic underpinning such measures!” You’ll be proud of me, I didn’t let that go unchallenged and outlined what seems to be your argument back to them.
I told them in no uncertain terms that they are missing the point. It doesn’t matter that the vaccinated make up two thirds of those in hospital with the virus. Nor does it matter that the data now shows that the vaccinated are more likely to catch Omicron and get hospitalised than the unvaccinated.
Nor does it matter that coercing people to have a medical intervention (especially one in an experimental phase) contravenes the Nuremberg Code and Declaration of Human Rights. These details are peripheral to the point. The unvaccinated are immoral. The church says so, and that’s good enough for me.
What these types don’t seem to grasp is that there will always be a bit of collateral damage with even the best health policies. Like the 200,000 deaths resulting from the economy-crashing lockdown policies, or the catastrophic fall in the IQ of our young children, or the nearly half million injuries from the 100% safe vaccines.
Overall, the COVID response strategy has worked perfectly. And hats off to the church for lending her support to such policies in this time of crisis. The good old C of E can always be relied upon to run with the prevailing sentiment of the age. It’s this kind of modern approach to the Gospels that has kept our churches packed to the rafters every Sunday morning!
As for the whinging anti-vaxxers on the other side of my fence pleading with me to see that the “current erosion of our liberties is far more dangerous to us all than this virus,” and that “western civilisation is at risk,” I told them what I’m sure you’ll agree with.
Freedom will still exist if we have vaccine passports, you’ll just have to buy your freedom by agreeing to have some unknown materials injected into you every few months. In a sense, it’s a very similar system to the one outlined in the Gospels where Jesus says, “Follow me for I am gentle and humble of heart – unless you’re immoral, then you can stick it without further consideration or forgiveness.” I don’t remember the scripture exactly, but judging from the interview you gave this is probably pretty close.
In summary, we must count our blessings. I for one go to bed every night these days thanking the Lord that I am a moral Christian – unlike some. I always thought that God and the corporate giants of the pharmaceutical industry were obvious bedfellows, but I didn’t have the nerve to speak out until I heard your interview. Thank you so much for helping me find my Christian voice.
Triple-vaxxed Trevor from Trimley St Mary