Letters to the Editor: Dishonest faith-based vaccine objections are misinformed and blasphemous

People opposed to vaccine mandates protest near City Hall
People opposed to vaccine mandates protest near City Hall in downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 14.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Vaccines generally do not have anything to do with abortions or fetuses. This has been widely confused or distorted in the populace. (“It’s time to close the religious vaccine objection loophole,” Oct. 7)

Specifically, the vaccines used for COVID-19 have zero to do with them. The mRNA vaccines are made completely synthetically. The RNA itself is made in a laboratory with an instrument called a gene machine. I have one of these in my lab, and I could go make the RNA today if I wanted to.

The lipids in the nanoparticle that carry the RNA into a person’s cells so they can make the viral spike protein (which confers the immunity) were made in a lab also. The Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines and all their components have never been in anything living — not a cell, not a hen’s egg, nothing.


Both scientific and religious leaders, including the pope, have said that these vaccines do not present any moral, ethical or religious concerns. So, a claimed religious exemption cannot be based on a purported connection between the vaccines and abortion.

Michael Pirrung, Irvine

The writer is a professor of chemistry at UC Riverside and a professor of pharmaceutical science at UC Irvine.


To the editor: To assert a religious exemption that purports to be God-honoring, but which is really a lie, is a dangerous form of blasphemy that invites a supernatural response.

Respect for the rights and safety of others is a core tenet in multiple religions. Karma can be a real pain when we forget that truth and cloak ourselves in the cloth of self-centeredness.

Craig Darian, Hollywood



To the editor: Plaudits to columnist Michael Hiltzik for deconstructing anti-vaxxers’ religious exemption scams.

His insightful take should prompt reflection on how, in our supposedly secular democracy, so many sanctimonious charlatans could develop “a whole industry telling people how to game the exemption” to vaccination mandates.

Don’t blame President Biden. Consider how his predecessor appointed three ultra-conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. Those three appointments formed a majority bloc that reliably accommodates self-styled religious liberty claims lodged to oppose state and local governments’ scientifically sound pandemic measures.

Thankfully, Biden was able to overcome his predecessor’s COVID-19 misinformation. But he long will be handicapped by a high court that bends over backward to accommodate dubious faith-based claims.

Sarah S. Williams, Santa Barbara


To the editor: If Texans want religious exemptions for vaccines, why can’t women use the same argument for an abortion?


Their religion permits abortions. Why not? Spread that word.

Bernadine Bednarz, Los Angeles