Letters to the Editor: I am a rabbi. The anti-vaxxer argument for religious exemptions is ungodly

·2 min read
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 14, 2021: A member of the LAPD leaves their headquarters on 1st St. in downtown Los Angeles. Los Angeles will officially require its city workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as the vaccination and reporting rules become "conditions of city employment," according to its ordinance. But it remains unclear what will happen to those who have refused to get the shots. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
An LAPD officer walks outside department headquarters in downtown L.A. City employees will have until December to be vaccinated against COVID-19. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The article on the L.A. City Council's vote to extend the vaccine deadline for municipal employees mentions religious exemptions. What a ridiculous premise — an exemption to allow someone to more easily infect others with a disease that could kill them.

If we follow the logic of these anti-vaxxers, we should stop prosecuting murderers who kill in the name of their god. This logic may be ridiculous, but I would argue that it is the logic of allowing first responders to claim a religious exemption from vaccination.

This is not about political beliefs; this is about public safety and following the laws. How can the city expect any of us to follow its rules when some of the people responsible for enforcing them do not? As a formerly incarcerated person, I want all of my crimes expunged. Why should I or anyone be held responsible for our actions when others can get an exemption for their irresponsible ways?

Ultimately, I feel an enormous amount of pity for all of these people — because they are so stuck in their lies and self-deceptions that they are unable to access their humanity and to see the humanity of those they serve. No one is exempt from God's question: How were you of service to another, today and everyday?

Rabbi Mark Borovitz, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Could someone please explain to me why those who were vaccinated in order to enter school as children, and who had to vaccinate their children so they could enter school, are some of the people resisting a vaccination that would allow them to remain in the workplace?

Susan Greenberg, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I needed to get another COVID-19 shot, so I went online and found several appointments available the very next day at my local pharmacy.

Now we're being told that the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to give all city workers, including firefighters and police officers, another seven weeks to get the mandated shots.

This is yet another example of why L.A. is dying. The spineless politicians in this city and county lack the will to do the right thing.

Steve Paskay, Los Angeles

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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