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Here’s more proof that religious exemptions to mask mandates or vaccine mandates aren’t legitimate and shouldn’t be offered to anybody.

The Valley View Local School District in Ohio instituted an indoor mask mandate for all students when they began classes last month. But the district included a giant loophole: They said that if a student submitted paperwork signed by a “religious official” saying there’s a faith-based reason someone shouldn’t wear a mask, the student could get out of it.

So one parent, Kristen Grant, immediately got ordained by the Universal Life Church — a place typically associated with ordaining random people so they can perform a friend’s wedding ceremony.

Grant used her new status as an ordained ULC priest to write mask exemptions for anyone who wanted them… and the district accepted every single one:

Grant offered to sign the forms for anyone in the community, and eventually signed for over 150 students in Valley View, as well as students in Miamisburg, Springboro and other districts.

Grant pointed to a few Bible verses, including one from 1 Corinthians, saying, “A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God.” She confirmed that she didn’t ask the students she signed for whether they believed that.

“It’s not my job to prove, or really ask, and it’s not my business what their religion necessarily is,” Grant said. “I’m a Constitutional Christian. I think the Constitution is there for a reason. God created our bodies in a perfect way. People told me I was exploiting Jesus. People can think what they want to think but in my heart I feel that God has called me to help people through this situation.”

Some districts, including Miamisburg and Greeneview, have rejected mass religious exemption requests. Valley View Superintendent Ben Richards said despite the strict requirements on his district’s form, his school board discussed the issue and “did not want to restrict people” too much, so the district approved all 169 religious exemption requests it received.

In short, a heartless thoughtless Christian woman who doesn’t take COVID seriously decided to take a shortcut to becoming a “priest,” all so she could help students spread COVID to their friends and teachers and prolong the pandemic… and the district allowed it because officials there were too scared to say otherwise.

Guess what? There was a surge of COVID cases in the district by the end of the month.

The irony is that the ULC only has two rules… and Grant ignored both of them. The first is doing “only that which is right.” The other is that your actions can’t “impinge upon the rights or freedoms of others.” But by allowing COVID to spread, putting the health and safety of others at risk, Grant broke the only two rules of a religion she decided to join just for shits and giggles. Even the Bible verse she cited about how a man “ought not to cover his head” suggests doctors or other emergency workers shouldn’t have to wear protective gear…

Last night, the ULC sent me this message in response to an inquiry about the situation:

ULC Ministries does not make available any vaccine exemption letters.

Furthermore, becoming ordained as a minister with ULC Ministries does not give a person the authority to create a vaccine exemption letter or sign a vaccine exemption letter on behalf of the Universal Life Church Ministries.

They did not say if they would take any actions against Grant.

The point is clear, though: There’s no rational reason to allow religion exemptions to vaccine or mask mandates. There are no longstanding rules explicitly forbidding taking simple precautions to protect people from a deadly virus. But conservative Christians, selfish to their core, would rather use a religious lie in the name of fake-freedom than take simple steps to protect themselves and their communities.

(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Rich for the link)

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.