Church leaders: vaccine passports would be un-Christian
Two of the 1200 signatories of a letter to the PM spoke to Freddie Sayers
Over the weekend, a group of over 1,200 church leaders from a range of denominations sent an open letter to the Prime Minister. It warned that vaccine passports raised serious ethical concerns and risked creating a ‘surveillance state’ that would ‘bring about the end of liberal democracy as we know it’.
We spoke to two of the original signatories — Rev Dr. William Philip, of the Tron church in Glasgow, and Rev Dr. Jamie Franklin, curator of St. George in the Meadow in Nottingham. Both offered a scathing assessment of the concept of vaccine passports and explained why they could not support it:
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Both men were of the view that there has been a failure of church leadership since the start of the pandemic, both to remind the community of the spiritual dimension, and to object to closing the churches last year:
I’m a curate at the bottom of the food chain. I’ve only been ordained for less than two years. But there’s such a dearth of leadership that I felt like it was necessary for me to do something.
They do not accept the argument that the fact of the established Church of England makes it hard to overtly object to government policy, as Church of England leaders have been happy to in previous controversies:
William Philip, who was a medical doctor prior to being ordained, detailed a scenario where members of his congregation might have an ethical objection to taking the vaccine on the grounds of how it was produced, if it included stem cells. Although he personally didn’t object to such a process, he would not seek to persuade otherwise a Christian who felt it was a matter of conscience.
In the headline and throughout the interview Freddie refers to ‘church leaders’. They aren’t leaders – one of the interviewees, a newly-ordained curate, described himself as at the bottom of the food chain. Skimming through the list of signatories, I couldn’t see one who might be described as a ‘church leader’. This is a howl from the lower ranks, the ‘leaders’ are looking the other way.
The modern Church (CofE) have gone native in this secular-Humanist world of Liberal/Lefty a-morality. They are like missionaries sent off to the remotest lands who end up becoming cannibals themselves, rather than converting the locals.
That is the point. The leaders worldwide have been found wanting.
Great to see that there is “resistance” in the church. I think Franklin is right about the “covid science movement” being a competing religion, taking Christmas as an example. A sensitve policy would have offered “contact amnesty” for Christmas eve (ONE evening extra spread). But the competing “covid science movement” cannot tolerate that.
I am not a Christian anymore (if I ever was), but a person of faith nonetheless. I felt quite pulled into their powerful arguments. Although there are a few aspects I disagree with, the main points I took away that I certainly agree with, is that our spiritual, emotional and social relationships are more important than our physical life, the governments’ overreach on lockdown measures is indefensible especially given what we now know about the virus…. and we are all going to die anyway. Those that don’t know this need to face it.
Interesting that, as a Christian, our resistence to their insane lockdown measures should be the thing that unites us!
It’s about time there was some push back against this government and it’s overreaching lockdown policies. Its like walking around a maze in the vain hope that the exit is around the next corner.
It is hard to push back when even here, this place where de-platforming is supposedly not happening, mostly sends my long posts to moderation, and I assume the dust bin of wrong thoughts to never appear again.
But this is nothing, I believe in Dent, and Peter Schiff, that a depression is coming of unparalleled proportions. The annual 6 Trillion printing of $, the MMT (if you do not know the new money religion all the world’s central banks have adopted, MMT, it is worth a google), making hundreds of millions Westerners NOT producing, but giving them money to maintain their consumption, is not viable. The container ships are so fast unloading from China, but leaving empty – this is not possible for long. China is buying gold at a furious rate, and I think may do a Crypto backed by gold and give the Dollar a real challenge as it is so undermined by the spending. I would say go out to the local coin shop and get a Britannia (modern UK Gold Coin made by the Mint, or a Philharmonic, or Krugerrand, or Panda, or Kangaroo) every year, because I think a push to gold reserve in some money, crypts likely, is possible and gold will triple and paper half. (Probably not, but may be, and gold will always have some value) The end is nigh.
An excellent and thought provoking discussion, with the two christian guests showing immensley more leadership and christian thinking than their beaurocratic leadership. I agreed with all of their well made points.
Thank you for this – I completely agree with these two men and have been shocked and demoralised by the abandonment of the principal message of the Christian gospel in order to comply with over the top lockdown restrictions. So grateful that they make their case so clearly and passionately.
Glyn, I’m an atheist, but I too am shocked by the abandonment of the Christian message. If the church does allow the banning of the unvaccinated, I will show up at my local churches and make them refuse me entry. Since they often seem eager for converts, it should be an interesting experience.
from the daily mail, “Last year the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, compared the CofE’s attitude to ethnic minorities with that of Nazi-era German churches to Jews.”
So what are you going to do when the head of the Church has become a Secular/Humanist SJW first, and religious last?
But an excellent talk, and I loved finally someone saying that wile the first 100,000 covid related deaths happened 200,000 ab* rtions had been done. Then that several of the biggest vaccines use ab* rted fetus stem sells in the production…. The whole covid response was managed as part of a ‘Death Cult’ trying to destroy lives rather than save them.
My complaint of this talk was they failed to happened on the youth. In many parts of USA 1/3 of the students NEVER even logged into online classes ONCE, they just disappeared. You know they were poor students already and will NEVER get their education from that loss, they forgot the years prior surely, so the building blocks to even repeat the lost year are now gone.
They have been made unemployable, unsocialized, and learned that when they do work they can not show up. Then the starter jobs have been lost, and someone out of school who does not jump on the employment ladder remains behind economically for ever typically. Destroying the young to add 6 months of utter misery to a vulnerable person is one of the biggest crimes against humanity ever done. According to UN UNICEF Millions of third world children will starve and either die or live in misery from the reduction of economic activity in the West from lockdown – look at clothing, Vietnam, Africa, Bangladesh, the sweat shops closed down and clothing is almost being given away due to reduced demand – the mouths fed by them are now empty.
PS, edited, trying to get out of the ‘Awaiting For Approval’ my posts get sent to – sorry Unherd, I guess I am not a group-thinker so must be vetted to protect the purity of essence (POE) of the masses.
I have had many of these same thoughts. Up to us to keep saying it and hope that in the end, someone is listening.
As an atheist that grew up in Glasgow I disagreed at a fundamental level with much that was said, but was really glad to hear the views expressed so clearly. Thank you UnHerd and thank you Freddy.
Who knows ! It may be the churches that propel this much needed movement of dissent by raising their heads above the parapet.
It’s like taking the temperature of the public opinion. What do they really believe? Actually they believe what they are told and do as they are told even if THEY don’t believe it’s right. If the government decides that opinion polls want lockdowns & passports, then mob rules are in play. Even if the mob is fictitious and made up, it’s what the government has decided to tell us. The people in power including the church LEADERS are too concerned & protective about their status & position to speak out . Again the minority are speaking out especially those who are not in power.
Another superb interview from Freddie.I support the letter written by the Church 100%.The views and comments from Rev Dr. William Philip and Rev Dr. Jamie Franklin against a travel passport I endorse whole heartily. I am not anti vaccines usually.
I agree with you.
And I go even further: I find myself in the awkward predicament of not wanting to take a vaccine I would otherwise accept (having reviewed the extant data and listened to a wide range of experts), as a political statement against vaccine passports.
Freddie, awesome interview. Two thumbs up. This is why I subscribe to UnHerd! Keep up the good work. As a spiritual atheist scientist I am deeply disturbed by the religionization of science. Science is science, imperfect by its association with humans, just like religions. When it becomes a pawn in a political chess match its honesty is perjured and all trust is at risk whilst confusion reigns. Lord help us! Thanks to the Reverends.
Yes, I agree, and I’m also an atheist. This interview is one of the most powerful and moving I have seen on Lockdown TV.
Like you, I’m alarmed at the way ‘the science’ has become more like a religion, thanks to the loss of the scientific method, which is supposed to be about challenging the established views with new data and different approaches. Our current viral situation is one of the worst examples of this problem – people and governments are following what people in authority are telling them without question, particularly where this supports their ‘feelings’, rather than a rational and testable argument. It’s deeply worrying and I fear for the future.
vaccine passports would be un-Christian
But it is Christian to worship a “god” who will send all the good people who do not worship their god down the waste chute of the afterlife.
Christianity is evil, and I will. not take lessons in moral behaviour from Christians.
I had not interpreted attitudes to the vaccine as being related to religious beliefs; the former being about extending temporal life but the latter teaching about eternal life.
Why do they assume that only people who have been vaccinated will be allowed in churches?
Because as blinkered unthinking followers of Religion they aren’t really capable of thinking for themselves, nor of understanding that should a vaccine passport be issued they (the Church) could ignore it.
Gosh you must be a troubled soul to have such ungenerous views
Not really – was just venting… Don’t really know why but its been a long day.
Thank you for calling me out on it.
Would they be happy in a church full of lepers? I doubt it.
Their worry is not people being physically banned from Churches really, it is the entire concept of those ‘Allowed’ and those ‘Unclean’ throughout society.
The covid response had nothing to do with Health, it is all about re-engineering society. ‘You Will Have Nothing And You Will Be Happy’ is the mere tip of the iceberg of what is planned. The internal passports they want to bring about are a big start of the real end. They tried making all track and trace by phones and it failed outside China, where it already exists, now this is next.
Crime is intentionally being increased to get people to back cameras and facial recognition of everyone, all the time. Digital currencies will be made by the Central Banks (as the intentional MMT printing will so debase current fiat money) so every penny spent on anything will be tracked, and the Iron Curtain will descend on everyone. This is what the Covid response rules were about, not health.
Not MORE conspiracy theories, please.
Because it appears that the unvaccinated are going to be banned from places where people congregate, including sport venues and public transport. So why not churches?
As one of the “unclean” (unvaccinated), I’ve been steeling myself up for being banned from most venues. Since I’m an atheist, I hadn’t thought of it in terms of Christian values, but of course, Jesus was supposed to have embraced the unclean. So perhaps he, at least, would still accept someone like me with open arms, even if the church won’t.
Thank you Daphne. If only vaccinated people are allowed in churches, unvaccinated Christians will not be allowed. Whichever way they arrange this, a certain group will be banned from church. Without vaccine passports people are excluded who do not want to go where there might be unvaccinated people.
According to the Bible, Jesus would accept you with open arms but, if He did so, you might want to go to church to worship Him!
So you too would be happy in a church full of lepers?
There aren’t going to be vaccine passports. Why is everyone so worked up about something that’s not going to happen?
Because the lockdown was only suppose to last three weeks and look where we are now… I hope you’re right, but I’m not counting on it.
Because people like you didn’t obey the simple rules?
Really? There aren’t? Then why has the government put proposals out to tender paying companies to develop them? Why are the unvaccinated constantly being threatened with being unable to travel or even go to their local pub if they don’t conform? Come back in a year, and if you’re right, well, I’ll be relieved. In the meantime, you are simply making unfounded claims.
I believe you are correct. That said, so many unbelievable positions have been taken the last year(s) I agree we need to speak up for fear the Sheeple will accept whatever Big Pharma and Big Media and Big Tech push forward. Do you also believe transhumanism will never happen?
My view is this one is not yet decided. It’s really up to us to make as much noise about it as possible. Letters to politicians, online petitions, sending links to friends and discussing with neighbours…
Good Lord, you really are a lamb. Pay attention Dougie.
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