September 18, 2021 Column Father De Celles

Vacation. Last Sunday I was away from the parish, finishing up a week of vacation playing golf down in Williamsburg. It was a great week of relaxing with 3 of my priest-friends. The weather was perfect, and I played very well (for me) on all 5 rounds of golf. Thanks be to God for the gift of rest. Now, back to work.

Vaccine Mandate. While I was relaxing, President Biden was busy. In particular he announced that he will force all employers (with 100 or more employees) to require their employees to receive a Covid vaccine or lose their jobs.
Of course, this is not only probably illegal and unconstitutional, but most importantly it is gravely evil. To quote the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “practical reason makes evident that vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary.” This is even more clearly the case with a vaccine that is both morally compromised (e.g., tainted by the use of aborted fetal tissue) and brand new with the long term side-effects not fully known.
I’m not a Constitutional scholar, but here’s the obvious question: If it is true that abortion is a Constitutional right because a woman has a right to privacy when it comes to her body, how does that same woman (and the rest of us) not have a right to refuse a vaccine under that same right to privacy when it comes to that same body?
I’m sure there are interesting legal arguments on both sides, but there is only one right conclusion: the government cannot force us to inject something into our bodies. I guarantee you, if the Founders had known about vaccines in 1791 they would have specifically included a 11th Amendment in the Bill of Rights to guarantee our right to refuse vaccinations.

Some might argue that it’s necessary to protect society from the virus. Well, if it’s so necessary, let Congress pass a law—we are a republic, not a kingdom, Reich or totalitarian state where a supreme leader dictates laws on a whim.
Some argue, but it’s an emergency—the President has to exercise emergency powers! What emergency? It’s been 18 months since the pandemic began, and it’s no longer a pandemic. We’ve had the vaccine and anti-vaxxers for 9 months. Congress could act and we could have a bill signed in a week. This is what we have a constitution for.
Moreover, it is debatable whether it is necessary. Biden said, “The vaccines provide strong protections for the vaccinated,” and “This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated.” If that is true, then why say “The bottom line” behind his mandate is “We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers.” But I thought they were already protected by the vaccine, and the pandemic only affects the unvaccinated….
Biden also argued: “The unvaccinated overcrowd our hospitals, are overrunning the emergency rooms and intensive care units, leaving no room for someone with a heart attack, or pancreitis [sic], or cancer.” Perhaps, but what about all the folks who live unhealthy lifestyles? Don’t they cause the same “problems”? Does that mean the President, or even Congress, can force us all to eat only things he/they deem healthy? Or that we do specific exercises? Or perhaps desist from unhealthy or “risky” sexual practices?

Finally, did you notice the Marxist tactic of “class warfare” being employed, yet again, pitting the victimized “vaccinated” against the oppressive “unvaccinated?” So much for “we’re all in this together.”
In any case, it’s clearly “evidently” immoral, and so obviously unjust. So are free to ignore it, and fight it in court, in protests and in the ballot box.
Once more the self-proclaimed “devout Catholic” Joe Biden shows he is more morally and dogmatically aligned with the Marxist-atheists-secularists than with the Christ and His Catholic Church.

Your FCPS Board At Work. Did you read that last week, at-large school board member, Abrar Omeish, voted against a resolution to honor the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks? She stated: “Why can we not also explicitly recognize the extensive and unwarranted structural discrimination and ethnic and religious profiling following 9/11 that tens of thousands of FCPS students experience on a daily basis.” Wow.

Do Our Kids Use Facebook and Instagram? The parish no longer uses Facebook or Instagram. Do your kids? Consider An excerpt from “Facebook Knows Instagram Is Toxic for Teen Girls, Company Documents Show,” Wall Street Journal, September 14, 2021:
“‘Thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse,’ the researchers said in a March 2020 slide presentation posted to Facebook’s internal message board, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. ‘Comparisons on Instagram can change how young women view and describe themselves’…
“For the past three years, Facebook has been conducting studies into how its photo-sharing app affects its millions of young users. Repeatedly, the company’s researchers found that Instagram is harmful for a sizable percentage of them, most notably teenage girls.
“‘We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls,’ said one slide from 2019, summarizing research about teen girls who experience the issues.
“‘Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression,’ said another slide. ‘This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.’
“Among teens who reported suicidal thoughts, 13% of British users and 6% of American users traced the desire to kill themselves to Instagram, one presentation showed….”

Virginia Election November 2021. If you CAN vote, you MUST vote. But to vote in Virginia’s election for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, senators and delegates this coming November 2 you first have to be registered to vote in Virginia. Again, this can be done by mailing in a paper form or by going online to the state election website. The deadline to register to vote or update an existing registration is October 12, 2021.
To be eligible to vote in Virginia you must: be a resident of Virginia; be a U. S. Citizen; be 18 years old (at the next election); not be registered and plan to vote in another state; not currently declared mentally incompetent by a court of law; if convicted of a felony, your right to vote must have been restored.
Military voters should consider the special rules that apply to them regarding state residency.
This weekend and next, September 25th / 26th, we are hosting a VOTER INFORMATION Table in the narthex. Here you can file an absentee ballot request, register to vote, or update your voter information (e.g., if you have moved). Early voting has already started at three main locations and more open on October 21st. A handout provides you with all the Early VOTE locations and how to avoid the mail system.

Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles