25 October 2021  |

Dear Aunty Sevvy,

I don’t believe in vaccines, especially the Covid vaccine. Why are people being forced to be vaccinated, or they lose their jobs in the hospital, or can’t visit their families in the nursing home, or maybe won’t even be able to go shopping? Isn’t this a form of persecution? 

We Seventh-day Adventist Christians should be trusting that God has made us in a marvelous way, that if we follow the health message and trust in God we will be safe. Why are we trusting in scientists who are against God? 

Signed, Conscientious Vax Objector

Dear Objector

Aunt Sevvy, along with the relevant health agencies in all of the countries in the world, encourages vaccines—and believes that everyone who is able to get one should do so immediately.

What I really want to address is your claim that expecting people to get vaccinated is a form of persecution. 

There always seems to be a cry of persecution when a government makes a decision that everyone needs to participate in something for public safety. In 1969 when the government decided that everyone needed to wear a seatbelt there were people who said, “If I want to die in a car accident, I should be allowed to make that choice!” 

But it isn’t only about you. If you’re an uninsured person in an accident that leads to years of sky-high medical bills, it’ll be me and my hospital and my insurance company that will pay for that. Therefore, it is in everyone’s best interest that you and I both wear our seatbelts. 

Why have so many now decided that as a society we have no responsibility to one another? That your freedom trumps everyone else’s safety? Because we interact in public spaces, we have to care not just for ourselves, but for others. That’s why we have simple rules like driving on the correct side of the road and at safe speeds. Nursing homes are an excellent example of why we have public safety rules: many in nursing homes have died because they were exposed to Covid by visitors or employees who weren’t vaccinated.

Getting a vaccine is not persecution. It’s public health. It’s not about you. It’s about us.

Adventists are tempted to always see another sign that the end times are here. I’ve heard reports of the end times based on supposed persecution my entire life. And none of them have come true. So let’s simmer down a bit on the persecution narrative. 

Just one more thing: 

Yes, healthy people are better able to fight off infections. But it’s been proven repeatedly that viruses are equal opportunity infectors. They do not care if you’re vegan, or if you eat nothing but pork hot-dogs for every meal. If you are unvaccinated you have a 1 in 8 chance of getting sick from Covid, and a 1 in 61 chance of dying. If you are fully vaccinated, you have a 1 in 13,402 chance of getting sick, and a 1 in 86,000 chance of dying from Covid. 

So if I were you, I would worry less about persecution, and more about dying. Even if you don’t care about yourself, take some responsibility not to give others a disease they could die from.

You can write to Aunt Sevvy at DearAuntSevvy@gmail.com. Please keep questions or comments short. What you send us at this address won’t necessarily be, but could be, published — always without identification of the writer. Aunt Sevvy writes her own column, and her opinions are not necessarily those of Adventist Today’s editors.

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