Daystar Television, AFA claim federal vaccine mandate is 'sin against God’s Holy Word': lawsuit
Daystar Television Network, one of the largest Christian television networks in the world and The American Family Association, a nonprofit Christian organization, said in a lawsuit Tuesday that a federal vaccine mandate forcing large companies to require their employees to get the COVID-19 vaccinated is a ”sin against God’s Holy Word.”
The statement from the two Christian organizations comes in the wake of a federal court’s decision last Saturday to temporarily block the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine mandate which requires businesses with 100 or more employees to get vaccinated or be tested weekly for the virus and wear a mask.
Private employers that don't comply with the mandate would also face fines of up to $14,000. Employees can also be terminated for noncompliance.
Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Utah and several businesses had sued the Department of Labor and OSHA over the mandate.
“AFA and Daystar have religious objections to forcing their employees to test their conscience about receiving the vaccine. AFA and Daystar believe that if they implement the required vaccine mandate, they will wound the consciences of their employees and potentially cause them to sin,” lawyers for both organizations wrote in a court filing cited by Deseret News.
“In addition, AFA and Daystar believe that if they even put their employees to the test, the very act of implementing the vaccine mandate is a sin against God’s Holy Word,” they added.
The American Family Association, which is based in Mississippi, owns and operates some 180 radio stations across the country under the American Family Radio name while Daystar Television, based in Dallas, Texas, is owned by the Word of God Fellowship.
The AFA and Daystar said in their filing that because they believe the right of conscience is sacred, they had no other choice but to resist the mandate which doesn’t allow employees to apply for religious or medical exemptions.
“AFA and Daystar must obey God’s Word. They have no other choice. AFA and Daystar have a sincerely held religious belief that they cannot force their employees to test their beliefs or conscience by requiring them to obtain any of the COVID-19 vaccines,” the filing said. “Putting their employees to that test is a violation of God’s Holy Word.”
Last month, Republican Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed an executive order instructing state agencies to resist the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate after calling it “outrageous overreach.”
“The federal government’s outrageous overreach has simply given us no other option, but to begin taking action, which is why I am issuing this executive order to fight these egregious COVID-19 vaccine mandates,” Ivey said in a statement. “Alabamians — and Americans alike — should and must have the choice to roll up their sleeves to get this shot and certainly not forced by government. While President Biden laughs at the idea of protecting your freedoms, I will continue fighting for Alabama businesses and their employees.”
At the time, at least 24 Republican state attorneys general had threatened legal action against the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates and Ivey also joined in.
“If the federal government presses on with these new federal mandates, then the Biden White House has once again failed the American people,” Ivey said. “… I believe is an illegal overreach, and I am confident we will win the battle in the courts.”