Virginia State Certificate of Face Covering Exemption

Religious Exemption

The following downloadable forms are provided to help parents claim a religious exemption from any / all mask mandates implemented in a Virginia State public school. The following exemptions are claimed based on the following: 

  1. WhereasVirginia Human Rights Act, § 2.2-3900.B.1  safeguards “all individuals within the Commonwealth from unlawful discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status, or disability in places of public accommodation, including educational institutions and in real estate transactions;
  2. Whereas U.S. Federal Law Title II of the Civil Rights Act, §§ 201 (a) guarantees “All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public … without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.
  3. Whereas this right was affirmed in the August 12th health order issued by State Health Commissioner Norman Oliver. Which explicitly requires schools make an exemption for Any person who declines to wear a mask because… [of] a sincerely held religious objection to wearing masks in school.

The religious beliefs are as follows: 

  1. Whereas this family fully embrace the spiritual conviction that we are created in the image of God and that our breath is sacred and shall not be restricted for God created us through “dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7). Mask-wearing restricts the life-giving breath of God and our full expression of humanness and existence with our Creator.
  2. Whereas this family fully reject the dehumanization of the mask.  We speak with our face, with our expressions. Our face communicates deep emotional needs and connections with others. Through thousands of years of history, face-covering has been a sign of shame, guilt, uncleanliness, and slavery.
  3. Whereas this family fully rejects any mandate that harms the body. Abundant research shows clear, deleterious mental and physical health effects on children who wear masks. Mask wearing increases Co2 to unsafe levels and depletes oxygen. In addition, there are apparent psychological factors of deterring normal communication functions, the inability to see facial expressions, and the mental consequences of these factors. The Bible emphasizes the stewardship of our bodies, thus the manner in which families decide to care for their bodies should be a personal choice, for the proper determination of said stewardship.
  4. Whereas this family fully rejects the fear and anxiety that a mask symbolizes. The most common phrase in the Bible relates to the command to trust God and not be afraid. It is referenced over 100 times. This is deeply meaningful, especially now in this time of hysteria. There is no rational reason for children to wear a mask other than to bind them in fear. And this directly rejects God’s constant reassurance. “Fear not, for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God.” Isaiah 41:10
  5. Therefore this family, on the basis of the above, as well as fundamental constitutional freedoms hereby submits this certificate of face-covering exemption for sincerely held religious objections to the current VA Health Order issued August 12th. As well as for any future health orders of similar purpose

These religious beliefs have been affirmed to be correct interpretations that align with the Christian faith by five local Central Virginia Pastors of varying Christian denominations including Baptist, Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches, Augustine Presbytery, Orthodox Presbyterian, and non-affiliated, who have countersigned this form for you. Their signatures simply affirm that these beliefs are consistent with the Christian Faith from a diverse background of interpretations of Christian scripture (the Bible).

By providing your signature you are attesting to the school/government that you also hold these beliefs as an individual. Per the code sections above the school may not discriminate against you, your student, or your family for holding and insisting on such beliefs. They must also provide “reasonable accommodation” for in-person learning to your student in a manner in which is non-discriminatory (i.e. the school may not segregate your student from the class in any way). five