- - Friday, October 22, 2021

If you dismiss even one tyranny or one small injustice for the sake of personal comfort or blind conformity, you consent to the expansion of powers that ultimately will control you entirely. 

My family has decided to stand up. 

Last week, my wife celebrated her tenth anniversary at one of the largest hospitals outside New York City by doing five c-sections in one day. She’s an excellent OB-GYN who has taught and trained dozens of new doctors throughout her career. In addition to her medical degree, she holds a bachelor’s in microbiology and a master’s in public health. She is a board-certified physician with a stellar reputation for patient care and one of the most respected doctors in her department. 

She worked in the hospital through the entire pandemic - unlike Dr. Fauci - treating and operating on patients, including those with COVID-19. I’m proud of her dedication and accomplishments. 

Today, however, she’s been suspended and is awaiting termination because she has suddenly been deemed dangerous and unable to assess her own risks, take her own precautions, or make accommodations she knows will keep her and her patients safe.

Worse, she’s been told her religious beliefs are illegitimate.

Her hospital denied her religious exemption to the vaccine and, when asked on what basis that decision was made, said she was not entitled to that information. Dozens of other people of faith were also denied without explanation. 

Like the left’s racially divisive rhetoric, the vaccine has been used by President Joe Biden, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, and others to drive a wedge in society needlessly. It’s become cultish. They have created an environment of coercion, even using the names and titles of clergy to dishonestly promote absolute adherence to vaccine mandates and the stripping away of religious liberties. 

Despite evidence, America’s clergy are being used as pawns in a dangerous game driven by left-wing politicians, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has thus far been silent on this assault on religious liberty.

Every clergy member, who, for the sake of encouraging vaccination, has failed to with equal fervor protect every Americans’ rights of conscience, has enabled one of the greatest assaults on religious freedom in this country’s history. 

Our religious freedom doesn’t change according to the pronouncements of professors, medical bureaucrats, elected officials, human resources administrators, or even clergy. It accrues to the individual. That may cut against our reflexive deference to today’s so-called expert class, but it’s what makes our system so special.

A recent Axios/IPSOS poll indicated only 36 percent of respondents favored firing workers or placing them on unpaid leave if they didn’t get the vaccine. One would credibly speculate that number would be even lower if the objections were based on their sincerely held religious beliefs.  

Big Pharma has bought off Big Media. The politicians have acquiesced to the left. Businesses are being coerced. The clergy are abandoning us. 

As it has been throughout our history, it is now up to average Americans to stand up for their rights. 

If this country is going to survive, we must protect each other’s rights, even if we have different points of view. The Constitution isn’t suspended because government officials are drunk with power over circumstances they have shaped into an interminable public emergency. 

We must accept the sacrifices inherent in sending a clear message that the majority of this country will not permit the erosion of our rights to combat a very treatable and survivable virus. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated more than anything that our social order is fragile, that our Constitution is under threat, and that when you give the corrupt government an inch, it will take a mile. An engaged and educated citizenry is always the biggest threat to the radical political minorities that attempt to subjugate the majority.

My wife and I are going to fight this discrimination, banding together with others. We know it’s hard to face this type of coercion and public vilification, but Americans must know they are not alone in this fight. My family is with you too, and we’re not backing down. 

• Tom Basile is the host of “America Right Now” and “Wake Up America Weekend” on Newsmax Television, author and former Bush Administration official.

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