Personal faith & religious freedoms is something we've given rights to. We respect it societally to the point of having four choices of meat in the meat counter-- the cheap kind, the halal kind, the kosher kind, and the organic kind. Now, this might just be capitalism but it's indicative of the levels of adherence that those within these faiths comply. It's so important to them that they choose their foods specifically, oftentimes paying more than their neighbors.
I remember working for a Kosher Jewish family in town. I served & cleaned up after a few Shabbat celebrations and it was literally five hours of stress. Why? Because Kosher Jewish meals are very strict. We prepared the meal on a Granite countertop that was covered with paper because it wasn't a solid piece of Granite and thus not Kosher. There were two sets of all cutlery and no label on the drawers for ease of use.
Before we began I was given brief training and to illustrate the importance of keeping the dairy cutlery and the meat cutlery separate, my experienced co-worker told me what happened if and when this rule is missed. A friend had made that error in earlier days working for a Jewish family and the entire drawer went into the trash. It was now considered contaminated and no longer usable in their Kosher kitchen.
More than once I wondered if any of it mattered? Would ignorance be bliss? Is it true that what they don't know won't hurt them? I went home that first night to google the why and when I was unable to find solid literal reasoning, I resigned to simply do as they wish. They paid me well after all.
In the news we hear about Muslims being tortured and made to eat Pork, a food their religion prohibits them from eating.
What if you forgot to inform your Hindu friend that those samosas have Beef in them. Would it really matter?
How about your Vegan friends who refuse to eat any animal product whatsoever?
In the end it's about respect right? I respect you enough to acknowledge these rules regardless of the reasons why.
It is for this reason that I feel more transparency is needed with regards to the new and upcoming Covid-19 vaccine. I believe it bares mentioning that the Vaccine we're all anticipating has been made with aborted fetal tissue. Christians have always been against abortion and whether or not I agree with this stance, it exists nonetheless. My father's faith was something I may not have understood but I respected it to the point of attending Mass many times just to please him.
Of course, this Vaccine is not the only one to delve into the use of certain foreign tissues but this is thus far the only one that may very well change how we live our lives. This one might be mandated or if refused, may decide where you go, whom you see, what you do for a living.
How many of you are still reading and how many believe I'm out to lunch? Let's research the use of fetal cells in vaccines. In this article from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, we learn that aborted fetal tissue already exist in the development of Chicken Pox, Rubella, Hep A, and one type of Rabies vaccine. You can read why human cells are used and honestly, in the end it's about efficiency of development. In one paragraph they describe having tried using Monkey kidney cells but "in addition to being cumbersome, costly, and requiring large numbers of animals, this method made it difficult to consistently assure the same quality of starting material."
Introducing MRC-5, a term I hope is one of the most searched terms in the next few months. According to the internet, "MRC-5 (Medical Research Council cell strain 5) is a diploid cell culture line composed of fibroblasts, originally developed from the lung tissue of a 14-week-old aborted male fetus." This fetus was terminated in 1966 and his cells are still used to this day.
Now, it is stated that there are no cells in the vaccine because it has gone through a purification process but I ask you, since when would that matter? I mean, the knife that cuts the meat and spreads the cream cheese must be trashed remember? To think that any purification process would deem the use of these cells as unimportant in the end-result is naive. There are alternatives, albeit inferior ones but choices exist. It is ease of use that determines the use of human cells.
For Catholics, the Pope is the king of the castle and made a statement on this topic in 2003. You can read here the clarity of belief in the immoral aspect of this practice. Scroll down so you can read his words in English.
I suppose though that my idea of right and wrong is of little importance. Heck, we can't even agree to the right to know which foods are genetically modified. Do we really deserve to know if the 'medicines' we're prescribed were made in an ethical way?
Maybe not. Maybe personal rights and freedoms are going the way of the Dodo Bird and being matched with the promise of longevity. For now, in Canada the vaccine appears to be optional but the number of doses ordered is astounding. How are we going to vaccinate every Canadian when we can't even get potable drinking water to them all?
That's a whole other blog post. There are other equally disturbing aspects of this vaccine containing the benign sounding acronym "RNA". But for this argument, the fact that religious freedoms are given in all other ways aside from this one, completely shatters my image of freedom.