‘A serious concern’: 55 federal agencies to track employees seeking religious exemptions


A conservative Christian lobby group warns that 55 federal departments have made 57 rule changes to let them know which federal employees or applicants have requested various types of exemptions, including exemptions from COVID-19 warrants.

Liberty Counsel Action, a nonprofit legal organization specializing in religious freedom, noted that other exemptions tracked include requests by employees or applicants not to work on Sabbaths or Sundays.

According to The Christian Postthe rights organization warned that the rules raise “serious concerns about pervasive privacy violations by the federal government permanently recording and storing religious and medical data about those who seek exemptions.”

For example, the Treasury Department’s Office of Civil Rights and Diversity announced that it would log “all religious exemption requests and denials.”

The office will “track and maintain” information about an applicant’s religious beliefs” as well as each person’s “informal dispute resolution,” Liberty Counsel Action said in a press release.

“Correspondence”, “notes and supporting documents” and “recorded oral conversations” of persons requesting exemptions will also be recorded.

“This database will track and record this level of information for everyone from ‘pre-hire, during current or former employment or for [attendees at] a particular event,” the legal group continued.

Meanwhile, the US military will store biometric data, such as fingerprints and digital photographs, related to the “religious preference” of its employees.

In a follow-up statement, Liberty Counsel Action noted that the Department of Homeland Security has implemented a new rule that will allow it to track employees, contractors, subcontractors and certain private employees seeking accommodations. religious.

“The database may include personal information, audio conversations and photos – and this information may be shared with any branch of our government and even with foreign countries,” the statement said.

As Christian Headlines previously reported, the District of Columbia’s Trial Readiness Services Agency announced the creation of a new database that will log information from employees requesting religious exemptions to COVID vaccination mandates. -19.

Late last month, Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) introduced the Religious Freedom of Warrants Act (HR 6502) in Congress to remove funding for these databases.

As reported by Liberty Counsel Action, the bill “would prohibit the use of federal funds for any system of religious accommodation registries with respect to any COVID-19 vaccination requirements.”

Rep. Ben Cline (R-VA) sent a letter condemning the Biden administration for recording the names of federal employees who oppose the COVID-19 vaccine on religious grounds.

“From day one, your administration has displayed a consistent attitude of contempt for Americans who prioritize faith in their lives,” reads Cline’s letter, signed by 10 Republican congressmen.

“The majority of notices do not explain how long the agency plans to store the data, why the agency should share the data between federal agencies, or why the agency should retain the data beyond a decision of ‘grant or deny an employee’s religious accommodation request,” he added. “Your administration has provided no valid justification for these intrusive databases which will only be used to target Americans who refused a COVID-19 vaccine because of their religious beliefs.”

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Manjurul

Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.


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