- - Thursday, April 1, 2021

Vaccine passports must not be allowed in a free society. I got my first shot the other day, so my concern is not about that. It is about freedom. 

Many in the government and media will claim this is about public health. It is not. Those of us who received the vaccination are overwhelmingly protected from COVID-19. The science tells us that the effective rate is up to 95%. Soon, enough of us will have received the vaccine that we will reach herd immunity. 

Each year, I receive my flu shot. It is a proven way for me to prevent getting influenza. With all of my travels, it is a necessary precaution. I encourage others to do the same, but the government does not mandate or even give me a document to prove to others that I received my flu shot. I do it because it makes sense to me. 

My mother, who is in her 80s and a cancer survivor, and my wife, who is a Type-1 diabetic, each received their first COVID-19 shot nearly two months ago. After being vaccinated, they now have peace of mind to be able to see family and friends (we didn’t wait until a 4th of July cookout).

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled this week that the current governor overstepped his authority by repeatedly reissuing a mask mandate without approval from the State Legislature. It was another affirmation that no one can ignore the U.S. Constitution — even in an emergency.  

Going to church this Sunday will be liberating. A year ago, I remember telling my mother that we would forgo seeing the Easter lilies at church but would look forward to seeing the Christmas poinsettias. Sadly, she saw neither in 2020.  

On Sunday, we will all be back in church praising our Lord. Our freedoms are endowed by our Creator, and we are thankful to live in a country that defends these freedoms.  

Our family will gather together for an Easter dinner. We will also gather together with family and friends throughout the weekend. We got our shots and we are respectful of others, but we want to enjoy fellowship with each other as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  

In particular, I am so grateful to live in a nation where my right to freely worship is protected. So many of our Founders and earliest settlers fled religious persecution, which is why it was clearly defined in the U.S. Constitution as one of our key freedoms along with others like free speech and a free press. 

Sadly, many people in society today do not respect our freedoms to practice our religion or speak out. Specifically, they want to cancel conservative and religious thought. 

A video obtained through Young America’s Foundation’s Campus Bias Tip Line shows a mandatory resident assistant training program at Western Carolina University telling the resident assistants that they can not promote an Easter egg hunt or Christmas activities on the bulletin boards in their residence halls. They said such activities were “not inclusive” to students who do not celebrate these religious holidays, as Sam Dorman noted in a Fox News exclusive on the situation.

After a student suggested advertising an Easter egg hunt for their dorm, a WCU housing coordinator named Nicole Boucher reminded students of the school’s dedication to “inclusive excellence.”

Ms. Boucher suggested students substitute a scavenger hunt instead, stating that “we can’t assume that all of our residents celebrate Easter.” “Even during the holidays, we can’t say Christmas,” Ms. Boucher said. “We just always say ‘holidays,’ just because we have to be inclusive here at Western.”

Interestingly, staff at Young America’s Foundation reviewed a copy of the Resident Assistant handbook, and no policy was listed regarding prohibiting religious terms. Our Founders never imagined the absence of religion in our society. Instead, they wanted to be sure there was not a religious practice established by the government. 

Those who truly respect diversity should allow students to celebrate Easter and Christmas, as well as Passover and Hanukkah, and other religious holidays. The intention of some on our campuses, sadly, may be to exclude Christian thought. For example, despite the supposed policy against the promotion of religion, one resident assistant sent an email to everyone in the residence hall advertising a talk on atheism. 

Modern campuses are filled with cancel culture against conservatives and Christians. Freedom of speech is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. And it should be revered on college campuses. Sadly, that is where it is most at risk. 

Conservatives and Christians can no longer sit by as our freedoms are systematically chipped away. We have to fight back. 

The left will claim this is divisive, but the opposite is true. Woke America pits one group of people against another. We need to counter with freedom and opportunity for all. These are the things I will be praying for this Easter Sunday.  

• Scott Walker was the 45th governor of Wisconsin. You can contact him at swalker@washingtontimes.com or follow him @ScottWalker.

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