Liberty Counsel Questions Biden Administration’s Use of Database of Religious Exemption Applicants

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Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, says that 55 federal departments and agencies now track people who applied for religious exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Staver questions the reason for creating such a database, saying it’s like a blacklist to purge people of faith.

Liberty Counsel is a Christian legal organization fighting for religious freedom. A recent notable case is that they represent 35 Navy members, many of them SEALs, against the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. A federal court granted an injunction against the mandate in January, and a federal appeals court stayed the injunction last month.

“There should be no reason to permanently archive whether any individual asked for a religious exemption. That is none of the government’s business, and there is no good purpose for which to use that information,” Staver told NTD’s “The Nation Speaks.”

On Sept. 9, 2021, President Joe Biden issued an executive order requiring COVID-19 vaccination for federal employees. On Oct. 4, 2021, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force issued guidance to federal agencies regarding collecting information for medical and religious accommodations.

Staver said now there are 55 federal departments and agencies that have been collecting such data. According to a review of Federal Register notices by The Epoch Times, the agencies include the departments of Defense, Justice, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, the Treasury, the Social Security Administration, and the Federal Election Commission.

“Why do they need to have this permanent database that will be archived in the National Archives on a permanent record? There is no real good answer to that,” Staver said.

Most of the Federal Register notices cite the Privacy Act of 1974 as their justification for collecting such data, with some saying to implement Biden’s COVID-19 executive order.

“Why all of the sudden, during this administration, do we need to track every single person who asked for a religious exemption? How can it be used against those individuals?” asked Staver.

By Harry Lee and Cindy Drukier

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