Hearsay Evidence

Trust is the crucial factor in the vaccination decision, but we have lost trust


Faith Politics

In our everyday decisions we use hearsay reputations to decide, say, for or against a dentist or doctor. Reliable references from former patients are helpful, and as social animals we are inclined to run with the herd to survive.

Hearsay statements are used to prove truth or falsehood but are often unreliable, requiring caution and discernment to judge whether to believe them. In a court of law, hearsay evidence is typically inadmissible, with some exceptions.

In this COVID pandemic, the decision to get vaccinated seems obvious and easy for many. A woman I know got the shot because of the virus risk to her older husband. My brother got the shot because his work requires air travel. An author in her eighties said she weighed the pros and cons, and decided the psychological benefit of socializing without fear was worth it. Many get the vaccination because their doctor says it’s safe for them to do so.

For others, vaccination has become a grave decision. My sister, a registered nurse, got the jab to keep her job and soon suffered severe pericarditis. Should I, with my heart issues, get the Pfizer shot that she was forced to take? Fortunately, I am retired and can say no. Another friend’s wife had the shot because of her social work, but he did not get it, citing numerous studies that contradict officialdom. The information he came up with got me curious.

It didn’t help my confidence to learn that back in 2009, federal prosecutors levied $2.3 billion in fines and labeled Pfizer a repeating corporate cheat for illegal drug promotions. A habitual cheat? I envisioned Pfizer’s CEO wringing his hands during Phase Four human trials of the new jab — trials which aim to discover drug flaws and could take years to complete.

India rejected Pfizer’s demand for a waiver of liability, or total immunity, from any harms that cause serious injury or death. Why did America agree to it?

Should I go with another pharmaceutical? Maybe I should worry the FDA isn’t so reliable either. Who knows for sure if the data is being purposely manipulated to cover up a huge mistake?

So the battle rages on between the hearsay Pros and Cons.

Health professionals in New York are suing the state for forcing the vaccine on them. The state’s mandate disallows conscientious objection. I’m discovering that 40% of medical professionals nationwide have refused the injection. They know the value of regular flu vaccines, so why are they refusing this novel mRNA drug?

“Never in the history of New York state, never in the history of the world, has a government sought to forcibly impose mass vaccination on an entire class of people under threat of immediate personal and professional destruction,” said attorney Christopher Ferrara, special counsel for the Thomas More Society. “This is just another example of how COVID regimes are completely out of control. The federal judiciary has a duty under the Constitution to put a straitjacket on this institutional insanity….Without court intervention, these health professionals face loss of occupation, professional status, and employability anywhere in the state of New York— all because of an abortion-connected vaccine, one that they cannot take in good conscience.” A judge has since ruled in their favor.

Trust is the crucial factor in these decisions, but we have lost trust in one another. Even some bishops are gaga over COVID restrictions — no jab, no Jesus — while self-isolated, skeptical Catholics are being shamed and treated like public enemies.

It’s all very confusing. Needless to say, I await data on long-term side-effects. After weighing evidence, we must obey our consciences and listen to that still, small voice. Reasonable skepticism keeps me and some 30% of Americans from the jab.

He will take delight in obeying the Lord. He will not judge by mere appearances, or make decisions on the basis of hearsay (Isaiah 11:3).


Richard M. DellOrfano spent ten years on a cross-country pilgrimage following Christ’s instruction to minister without possessions. He is completing his autobiography: Path Perilous, My Search for God and the Miraculous.

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