3 December 2021 |
A November 11 letter signed by Stephen E. Brooks, the secretary of the Southwestern Union Conference asks the North American Division to develop legal protection allowing their territory to “disregard the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Emergency Temporary Standard,” a federal document mandating cautionary measures to protect employees from COVID in the workplace.
The letter says it is written
On behalf of, and with the approval of, the executive officers of the Arkansas-Louisiana Conference, Oklahoma Conference, Texas Conference, Texico Conference, Southwest Region Conference, Southwestern Adventist University, and the Southwestern Union, which reflects our convictions, and also, we believe, those of the Seventh-day Adventist members in the Southwestern Union Territory.
The ETS establishes binding requirements to protect unvaccinated employees of large employers (100 or more employees) from the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace.
This includes vaccine, masking and testing mandates:
Develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, with an exception for employers that instead establish, implement, and enforce a policy allowing employees to elect either to get vaccinated or to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at the workplace.
The letter says that the ETS violates
the freedom of conscience and personal choice of our employees and members. Furthermore, it is our believe that the church should not be the enforcer of government policy as we believe in the steadfast adherence to the Seventh-day /adventist Church principle of separation of church and state. The Southwestern Union and its entities request that the North American Division advocate on our behalf in opposing this federal government overreach and violation of church-state separation.
The General Conference has issued recent supportive statements on vaccines, which can be read here.
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