Court: School's refusal for COVID-shot exemptions is 'religious animus'

 May 9, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Multiple times already Colorado, led by homosexual Democrat Gov. Jared Polis, has been cited for its "hostility" to Christianity. It happened in the state's attack on the faith of specialty baker Jack Phillips. Then the same issue arose in a fight involving state censorship of a web designer, in the 303 Creative case.

Both times the state got slapped hard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Now it's another court, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and a division of the state, the University of Colorado,

That court now has ruled that CU's Anshutz School of Medicine's policies that refused religious exemptions to its COVID-19 shot mandate were "motivated by religious animus."

Those shots are now known to have caused side effects up to and including death.

But CU's practices put the state institution in violation of the First Amendment.

Peter Breen, chief of litigation for the Thomas More Society, said, "The University of Colorado ran roughshod over staff and students of faith during COVID, and the Court of Appeals has now declared plainly what we’ve fought to establish for almost three years: the University acted with ‘religious animus’ and flagrantly violated the fundamental religious liberties of these brave healthcare providers and students. These medical providers were hailed as heroes, as they served bravely on the front lines through the worst of the pandemic, but when their religious principles conflicted with the beliefs of University of Colorado bureaucrats, these heroes were callously tossed aside."

A report from the legal team explained in addition to finding religious animus, the 10th Circuit said the mandates granted “exemptions for some religions, but not others, because of differences in their religious doctrines" and granted "secular exemptions on more favorable terms than religious exemptions,"” all of which was illegal.

A lower court had sided with the religious animosity held by the school, but the appeals court reversed, siding with 17 faculty and students who said the university refused to accommodate their sincerely held religious faith.

"With this ruling in favor of our clients, the Court of Appeals has made clear that people of faith are not second-class citizens—they are deserving of full respect and the protection of the United States Constitution in their free exercise of religion. By unlawfully and intrusively probing our staff and students’ religious beliefs, the university rendered value judgments that not only reeked of religious bigotry but violated our clients’ constitutional rights, as well as basic decency. We are grateful for this strong court decision in favor of religious liberty. The Court of Appeals correctly ruled that no government entity has the right to appoint itself as a doctrinal tribunal that defines which religious beliefs count as deeply and sincerely held and deem those religious beliefs valid or invalid. We are also encouraged that this ruling reaffirms and strengthens our bedrock First Amendment protections for countless many others into the future," Breen said.

For example, the school without foundation decided that Catholics could morally take the vaccine, and any faith member who didn't want to was basing that on "personal" beliefs.

The school also refused accommodations for Buddhists, but granted them for Christian Scientists.

While CU is headquartered in Boulder, the Anschutz division is in Aurora.

It adopted World Health Organization ideology and demanded "fully vaccinated" standards for anyone on campus.

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