Biden Administration Creating Alarming List of Religious Americans

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

A report from a conservative think tank warns that this could be a test run for such data collection on a broader scale by the Biden administration, which is compiling a list of those workers at a little-known federal agency who have requested vaccine exemptions for religious reasons.

In a notice quietly issued on Tuesday, The Pretrial Services Agency of the District of Columbia quietly announced the establishment of the “Employee Religious Accommodation Request Information System” (“ERARIS”), which “maintains personal religious information collected in response to religious accommodation requests for religious exception from the federally mandated vaccination requirement.”

An article about this notice was published on The Daily Signal, a news and commentary website of the Heritage Foundation, a think tank. The Heritage Foundation fellows Sarah Parshall Perry and Giancarlo Canaparo have suggested that PSA was selected because the implementation of such a system within this tiny agency was not likely to attract much attention to a scheme that the Biden administration actually hopes to roll out to the federal government as a whole.

“A tiny administrative agency in the District of Columbia announced a new policy Tuesday that will likely serve as a model for a whole-of-government push to assemble lists of Americans who object on religious grounds to a COVID-19 vaccine,” Sarah Parshall Perry reported for the Daily Signal.

Additionally, in a follow-up post, the authors further hammered the point home, noting that other federal agencies are taking similar actions as well.

It was reported in the Tuesday article that the purpose of the organization’s new system was not fully explained in the announcement – at least not as it was explained in the article on Tuesday.

As per the policy, “the primary aim of the secured electronic file repository shall be to collect, maintain, utilize, and – where appropriate and necessary – disseminate information related to employee religious exception requests that are collected by the Agency” as part of its efforts to comply with the federal vaccine requirement.

“PSA will use the information in processing religious accommodation requests and to determine the appropriate health and safety protocols for employees in the context of the federally mandated COVID-19 vaccination. The secured electronic file repository enables PSA to log, track, and manage employee religious exception request information,” it adds.

“In other words, the list will help the agency make a list,” Perry and Canaparo noted.

Additionally, there is no indication as to what will happen to the information collected in the database once the decision has been made about a religious accommodation request.

The information may include “religious accommodation requests, including Request for a Religious Exception to the COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement form, notes, religious affiliation, or records made during consideration of requests, and decisions on requests,” the announcement reads.

In addition, there are no explanations as to “why the Biden administration chose to test this policy in an agency with a majority-black staff, who are both more religious and less vaccinated than other groups,” Perry and Canaparo wrote.

“So much for the president’s commitment to ‘racial equity.’”

Indeed. There is nothing like the horror of the Tuskegee syphilis study to bring out anti-war sentiments in our nation, and the Biden administration appears to be testing out an Orwellian database of religious exemption requests on something that is staffed mostly by black people, but that goes right under the radar because it is the little Pretrial Services Agency that actually exists.

“With the Pretrial Services Agency, Biden likely expected that the policy would land quickly and without a splash. As it is, the notice of a new announcement provides less than 30 days for public comment,” Perry and Canaparo noted.

“Biden may not be winning points for transparency, but he’s doing his best to win first place in subjecting Americans with sincerely held religious beliefs to differential treatment,” they added.

If one looks closely at this database, it is very difficult not to come away with the distinct impression that it is geared toward targeting the small but steadfast minority of Americans who have openly expressed sincere religious objections to this vaccination.

Nevertheless, to compile these lists is something that is difficult to comprehend. What possible benefit could compiling these lists offer the federal government, District of Columbia residents or taxpayers as a whole?

Several other agencies in the Biden administration are undergoing similar measures since Perry and Canaparo published their original pieces.

In a piece published Saturday, the Heritage Foundation fellows wrote:

“A little digging at the Federal Register revealed that there are at least 19 total federal agencies — including five cabinet level agencies — that have created or proposed to create these tracking lists for religious-exemption requests from their employees.

“The list includes the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of the Treasury, to name only a few.

“As the nation’s largest employer, with over four million civilian and military employees, the federal government has received tens of thousands of religious exemption requests. It now appears that an increasing number of federal agencies are keeping and preserving those individuals’ names, religious information, personally identifying information, and other data stored in lists across multiple government agencies.”

Perry and Canaparo questioned, “Why?” Exactly, that is the question.

What is the reasoning behind the Biden administration’s belief that it is necessary and acceptable for the federal government to collect such information regarding its citizens?

Throughout the pages of dystopian novels and history books alike, there appears to be a striking similarity between so many pandemic-related policies and those associated with totalitarian regimes. Again, it begs the question as to why there are such similarities between then and now, especially when there does not seem to be a legitimiate reason for doing this?

The United States has major U.S. cities that periodically check the papers of any person living in the city, a federal government bent on forcing as many private and public employees to comply with vaccinations as it can get away with, and now there are government databases of federal employees who are simply asking for the right to obey their conscience rather than man.

We cannot afford to continue to ignore these troubling trends at this point in time.


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