Our church also navigated divisive issues regarding the covid vaccines.  Let’s set the background for this issue first.

Americans have for a long time been accustomed to FDA approval of medications taking a long time.  FDA approval usually requires years of testing and review to guarantee that medications are safe for the public.

Despite this extensive testing, some FDA-approved medications end up being recalled.  The Johnson & Johnson covid vaccine, for example, was temporarily recalled, I believe, because it was causing abnormal blood clotting in some patients early in the pandemic.  The FDA approval process, extensive and detailed as it is, is not foolproof.

As a general rule, approved medications are not necessarily safe for all.  Medications always come with lists of possible adverse side effects.  The risk of allergic reaction or adverse side effects exists with every medication.

Because of the lengthy and cautious nature of our approach to medications, President Trump raised eyebrows even among his most ardent supporters when he announced that he had “fast-tracked” several covid vaccines to be ready within a year!  People were skeptical that such vaccines for such a new and unknown virus could be sufficiently tested for safety in such a short time.

To complicate matters, the vaccines were not given full FDA-approval, but “emergency approval” which, among other things, means that if you did experience adverse side effects, the pharmaceutical companies were not liable to being sued.  Victims were on their own.

To complicate matters further, a number of competent and credentialed scientists and medical experts publicly expressed hesitations and concerns about the vaccines -- from concerns about their effectiveness to potentially lethal side effects.  More investigation was required, they said.

To complicate matters even further, the President’s Democratic opponents also expressed opposition to the vaccines.  Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Governor Andrew Cuomo (NY) and Governor Gavin Newsom (CA), among others, insisted that Americans shouldn’t trust the federal government’s vaccines!

That was until Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 election.  Suddenly Trump’s untrustworthy vaccines became Biden’s mandated vaccines!

Once again, politicians switching sides helped polarize the nation, divide people, and set them against one another.  More on that division and how our church decided to navigate it in the next blog...