As I write this, I am still a federal employee, but due to being unvaxxed, that may soon change. There seems to be a deafening silence from federal employees on the topic of the COVID vaccine mandate. Perhaps this silence is due to the fear of being shunned and hated. Perhaps most support the mandate. The reason isn’t clear.
The purpose of this article is to discuss — from a federal employee’s perspective — the potential moral and ethical impacts the vaccine mandate may have and present questions some of us will have to consider as this mandate is implemented, for which there are no easy answers.
It’s hard to describe the anger and horror of the idea that we will likely be required to inject something into our bodies that goes against our principles to keep our jobs. It feels similar to the process of grief (not surprising, because it sure looks like the death of America as we know it). Denial that such a thing could happen to raise a “president’s” poll numbers. Shock that it did happen. Anger that you may be forced to take a “vaccine” to avoid a round-to-zero chance of dying if you even catch COVID. Then there’s the panic, depression, etc.
I have not found any articles talking about how the four million federal employees are dealing with this mandate on a personal level, how they are internalizing this tyranny, and what their thoughts are. It isn’t as simple as jab up or quit. I haven’t slept since the mandate was announced because with a family to support, I don’t know what to do if I’m denied a legitimate religious exemption.
It is important to note that there are not many free-thinking conservative federal employees left who weren’t purged under Obama. In my office of 300, I can count maybe 15 conservative-leaning employees remaining. This means that 95% of the employees in my office speak with one voice, one set of principles, one set of truths, and one set of politics. Bear in mind that this office helps sets critical national policy that costs Americans billions of dollars a year.
Do I want to let the government purge me and others like me? Isn’t that part of what they’re trying to do? Surely I don’t want the government to purge those in the military who can think for themselves. I know what such a purge would mean where I work — it means there would be no one left to ask the hard questions. There would be no one left who thinks about or cares about what will actually work in reality for the average American person and fight for that outcome. Would I be a traitor for not taking this one for the team and staying put so that Americans have at least one voice of reason left in my agency?
As to applying for a religious exemption, who will judge our sincerely held moral and ethical beliefs? How will they judge these beliefs? Will we be blacklisted? Will our appeals be kept private, or shared behind our backs and laughed at? Will there be a way to appeal a decision? Will the union do anything to help? (Hint: no.) Will any religious exemptions be granted at all? Who will pretend to be a doctor or priest and judge someone’s health or religious exemption application? Another bureaucrat…? Great. Here’s how that works: the answer is always no, and this applies to nearly all non-standard requests to any agency. It’s the easiest and safest answer for most bureaucrats to give. You can’t get in trouble for a no, but you can get in trouble for a yes. A yes means you own it.
It is easy for someone to say just quit and find another job…but go where? As much as I hate my job sometimes, I love it, and politics aside, I work with a lot of great people I would miss. Not to mention, in the regulated industry that I’ve worked in for 20 years, just about every company and supplier has gone full vaccine mandate, so the outcome will likely be the same (no jab = no job). Sure, it’s fun to think about quitting and moving to the middle of nowhere to work for yourself. The reality is, if you aren’t close to retirement, have kids, student loans, a mortgage, it isn’t possible to figure out an alternative way to take care of these responsibilities in 75 days.
Some suggest we should stand up to this tyranny. In a perfect world, yes, we should all stand up to tyranny. However, do we give up everything we’ve worked for only to find out that maybe in a year we have to get the jab anyway if or when a state decides you can’t have a driver’s license without it? Or worse yet, maybe they say you can’t have custody of your kids without the jab? Laugh at this last one, but it was just three weeks ago that the union started negotiating how we would be able to test out of being vaccinated…my, how times change.
Do I get the jab to keep food on the table for my family, or do I stand up and quit because this jab and mandate both go against my deeply held moral beliefs? Or do I allow it to be okay to let someone control what goes into my body as long as he pays me? In other words, do I become a prostitute?
Do I get the jab and become a traitor to myself? If they deny my religious exemption and I get the jab, am I a traitor to my son? Does this tell him it’s okay to go against your beliefs sometimes? How do I quantify that for me or him? Only in times when there is no financial way out? That seems so wrong, but I don’t see another way out.
Do I get the jab and refuse to be purged? Is it my patriotic duty to refuse to allow my agency to be completely dominated by one set of values even if that means violating my personal beliefs? As I mentioned earlier, I hope that some in the military take this approach. I shudder to think of a one-party U.S. military.
This brings me back to the title of this article — will I become a prostitute or a patriot? There’s really no answer to this question, and that’s what keeps me up at night. I only need to convince myself…so why is this so hard…?
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