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Posted by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 3:51 PM
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Hello everyone! I've pretty much decided I'm not going to vaccinate my son anymore. He hasn't had any since 6 months, so its been 3 years. I want to homeschool him, but I am still undecided so I have started looking into exemptions. I am currently in tennessee, but may end up in georgia or florida before my son starts school. We have no "medical" reasons, so I'm looking into a religious exemption. Only thing is, I'm not religious. We are in no way affiliated with a church of any kind. Would it still be possible to claim a religious exemption? Can they deny you? What happens then? How hard is it to be approved for an exemption. Should I get my ducks in a row well before school, or wait till its time to start?

~ We did not inherit this earth from our ancestors - We are borrowing it from our children ~

by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 3:51 PM
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by Gold Member on Jul. 12, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Your religious beliefs can change, so you can exempt a previously vaxed child.  You could also pretend your child is not vaxed to make life easier.

Some states, like NY(contact Gary Krasner  for help -- On the NYS form they request that your letter:

-explains why are you are requesting the exemption
-describes the religious principles that guide your objection to vaxes
-indicates whether you are opposed to all vaxes, and if not, why you are opposed to some vaxes but not others

As long as your letter covered those 3 points then they shouldn't ask for any "supporting evidence".)

and NJ allow the state to question the sincerity of your beliefs; the following is VERY important.

 -For a religious exemption you need to be "against the practice of vaccination". If you give your reasons to be against vaccinations as:

"I'm against vaccination because they use aborted fetal cells" - This is a philosophical reason.

"I'm against pre-marital sex and some vaxes are for sexually transmitted diseases." This is a philosophical reason.

    Again, you have to be against the the practice of vaccination. For a more through explanation of why this is read the Wexler decision below.

-Also, you DO NOT have to be a member of a religion doctrinally opposed to vaccination. You can be Wiccan, Lutheran, Catholic, Jewish, church of the flip flops, and still claim a religious exemption do to your personal religious beliefs against the practice of vaccination. Dr. Mercola does a good job of explaining this in my Religious Exemptions link below (you may have to register to read it).

-One more thing, you do not want to include specific biblical verses as your interpretation could be challenged. You need to describe your personal religious beliefs.

-Require that all questions regarding your exemption be in writing and give answers in writing.  Do not give verbal responses.

How to Legally Avoid Vaccinations

Religious Exemptions

The Wexler Decision

To find out what exemptions are offered by your state (for school and such) check here:

All states except West Virginia and Mississippi offer religious and/or philosophical exemptions, and the supreme court ruled that you do not have to belong to a non-vaxing religion or have clergy sign your religious exemption. Exemptions can be submitted in lieu of vaccination records (I would do it this way).

School Exemptions - Public, Private, Homeschools

Whether or not state exemption laws apply to private schools and homeschools is dependent on the specific wording of each state's law. For example, in 2006, the Texas State Attorney General issued a formal opinion concluding that Texas law does not require private schools to accept religious exemptions unless the school receives state funding. This is in contrast to North Carolina as its religious exemption law does apply to all private schools. This opinion letter is a few years old, but it may help you interpret the language of your state laws regarding exemptions and whether or not private schools need to accept them. Also, daycares often have their own section of the law and exemptions may not apply to them.


State mandatory vaccination laws have their roots in the 1905 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Jacobsen v Massachusetts. A Swedish Lutheran pastor, Reverend Henning Jacobsen and his son objected to a law requiring revaccination with smallpox vaccine because they had suffered severe reactions to the first vaccination. The nine Supreme Court justices at the turn of the century denied Jacobsen and his lawyers the right to present scientific evidence for harm caused by the smallpox vaccine, preferring to believe the lawyers representing public health officials who convinced them that doctors could predict ahead of time who would be injured by vaccination.


  A US Federal Court ruling (binding on NY only) that determined that you do not have to belong to a particular religion to use a religious exemption is:
Sherr v. Northport-East Northport Union Free Sch. Dist., 672 F. Supp. 81, 89-90 (E.D. N.Y. 1987)

"Just say that you believe God (I personally prefer the Universe, but it's best just to conform to the typical Judeo-Christian thing for the sake of getting it done) created us perfect and you believe that it is wrong and arrogant to believe we can improve upon God's perfect creation. Therefore, it would be a violation of your religious principle's to vaccinate your perfectly healthy children."

Sample Religious Exemption Letter (change the state law reference to your state):

To whom it may concern;

(We / I) {First and Last name(s)}, as the {(parent (s) / guardian(s)} of ______________________(name of newborn child) are exercising (our/my) rights under the US Constitution, PUBLIC HEALTH LAW, ARTICLE 21. CONTROL OF ACUTE COMMUNICABLE DISEASES,TITLE VI. POLIOMYELITIS AND OTHER DISEASES, NY CLS Pub Health § 2164 (2002), to receive Religious Exemption from Vaccination, ALL injections, prophylaxis, & testing due to our genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to the practices herein required.

The U.S. Supreme Court held in  Frazee V. Illinois Dept. of Security, 489 U.S. 829,   that a religious belief is subject to protection even though no religious group espouses such beliefs or the fact that the religious group to which the individual professes to belong may not advocate or require such belief.  This ruling is also reflected in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended Nov. 1, 1980; Part 1605.1-Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Religion.


Your signature.
by Member on Jul. 12, 2010 at 5:12 PM

you should be able to find everything you need here


by Member on Jul. 12, 2010 at 7:03 PM

happytexas, the religious exemptions link above  leads to an article about pregnant women receiving the flu vaccine


by Member on Jul. 12, 2010 at 7:31 PM

there is a scetion on my child's health records form for preschool where you just sign saying you are an adherent to a religious group that does not believe in vaccinating...and that's it. Simple for now, we'll see in the future...:-)

by Member on Jul. 12, 2010 at 7:53 PM
Thanks soooo much! :)
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