Something about a mandate to get vaccinated or lose your job doesn’t sit right with me. It hasn’t since it was demanded of thousands of people.
How is it right that men in positions of power can demand a mass of humanity to put something inside themselves whether they want to or not? How is it right that they can force people into submission by threatening their livelihood? It is not right, it is a breech of our human rights. I say “NO” to this demand! I refuse to turn my card or my body over a man who has made abusive, coercive, threatening demands.
Let’s get a couple things straight:
First of all, I love my job. The first time I heard about the Alternative Solutions Program within Washington State’s Division of Child Support I knew it was the job for me. I have served the public to the best of my ability, with the utmost integrity and honor. I am mindful that my paycheck comes from the taxes of the citizens of this state and do my best to not waste their money and my time. I have provided thousands of resources to hundreds of struggling parents. I am only one person, but I am a faithful steward to this state and do not want to lose my job.
Second, this isn’t about whether I’m vaccinated. I have strategically decided to keep my vaccination status to myself because it’s my personal business. I want to make it abundantly clear that I have absolutely no problem with the vaccine at all. I fully support its use for anyone and everyone that wants it, whenever, if ever they want it. I have encouraged people to be vaccinated. I have taken people to get vaccinated. I have chosen a personal favorite of the currently available vaccines and have carefully “followed the science” as well as I think any layperson can. No, this isn’t about whether I’m vaccinated or not.
This is about a demand that thousands of women (and men) must either put something inside their bodies they do not want inside them or be forced to lose their livelihoods. I cannot be ok with it. For what they’re worth, here are my reasons why; for your rumination, for your ridicule, to rally you, to assure you that you are not alone, there are THOUSANDS OF YOU, you are heard, you matter and you deserve to do what you think is best for your body. You can stand strong and I will stand with you.
When I was a girl, a man told me I had to put something inside me whether I wanted to or not. I didn’t want to, so he forced me. He coerced me to give in to his demand with a threat. He said bad things would happen to me and my family if I didn’t. Because of the threat, I complied. That decision shaped the rest of my life.
The trauma and shame of giving into his demand led me to a young adult life of self-harm, self-abuse, self-hate and addiction. Then one day, through a simple sunset conversation with God, I found myself on a road to drug free living and healing through Salvation in Jesus Christ.
Once I was stable, I devoted parts of my life to keeping people safe. Most of my efforts have been through advocacy and volunteer work. I have also defended people’s safety and autonomy with financial support to organizations that defend the abused and neglected or free humans from modern oppression, enslavement, bondage and trafficking. Of course, I’ve written as well. I have taught countless children to be “safe, smart and strong,” and to say “NO” if someone tries to do something to their bodies they are not comfortable with. I have taught children that if they say “no," they need to tell other grown ups and KEEP telling until someone makes it stop.
How it came to this, I do not know, but it appears “safety” and “autonomy” are at odds with each other and we've been commanded to surrender our personal choice over our bodies for the sake of public safety or … or… something bad will happen.
Again, I ask... how is it right that men in positions of power can demand a mass of humanity to put something inside themselves whether they want to or not? How is it right that they can force people into submission by threatening their livelihood? It is not right, it is a breech of our human rights! I ask you to say “NO” to this demand as well.
As for me, I say “NO” and stand in solidarity with the heroic men and woman of the healthcare industry who have valiantly and bravely fought against COVID-19 for the last year and a half. If anyone has a right to choose they do! They lived it, fought it, and know that "no" means they may be putting themselves at risk. I say to them and other state workers like myself that I will stand with you and support your right to choose what you allow into your body. I will tell and keep telling others how wrong this demand is.
Please make no mistake, I will still encourage those who are high risk to get vaccinated (although I can’t do this at my state job because it is such a hot, personal topic; we think it best left alone unless we are directly asked about vaccinations). I will still offer rides to anyone and everyone who wants a vaccine that may not be able to access one on their own. I will “like” or “thumbs up” those who feel compelled to share their vaccination status on social media. AND I will support body autonomy and a person’s right to choose what they do with their own body even if it costs me my livelihood. UGH I don't want to lose my job! But yes, even if...
I have fervently fasted, sought spiritual council, read the Bible (specifically Daniel 1-6) and prayed over my decision. In good conscious that is true to my core beliefs, I choose not to submit to the demand meted out. I have gathered as much data as a non-scientific person can gather and may share what I learn as I process this life changing decision. I am making my stand FOR and WITH the health care workers and fellow state workers who will not comply. I will not be turning in my vaccination card on 10/18/21 as Governor Inslee demands. I am hopeful the Governor honors his words to accept religious exemptions and accommodate individuals accordingly. I’m hopeful thousands of men and women in this valley aren’t forced to choose between their religious and moral convictions or their livelihoods. I’m hopeful I, personally, do not have to choose between mine. I'm hopeful we get to herd immunity by choice and no one has to be forced, coerced or commanded do something against their will. It is, and always should be, an individual choice what we allow inside our bodies.
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