The Hart Home│Religious Freedom is Under Attack in NJ

This Thursday, December 12th, the assembly in NJ will be making a decision concerning religious exemptions in New Jersey for families who do not vaccinate their children due to deeply held religious beliefs but send them to public school. Until now, we have had the freedoms to make the choice to protect our religious beliefs by not vaccinating our children and we were able to send out children to public schools. Schools that we fund with our ever-growing property taxes.

Now, NJ democrats are trying to get this in around the holidays hoping that people will be too distracted to notice that they want 35,000 of NJ families who are currently using a religious exemption (about 2.5% of the population in NJ) to have their children removed from public education.

This disgusts me on so may levels. First, as a public educator, it is my job to ensure that my students receive an education that is free from discrimination. However, this will not be the case for many families who refuse to vaccinate their children. They will be forced to home school, but I am sure, much like California, once this passes they will be moving towards forcing even homeschoolers to vaccinate and submit documentation.

As a catholic woman, this further disgusts me because I live in the United States of America where I have constitutional rights to practice my religion freely. Further, as a catholic I am completely pro-life and I do not believe in the killing of anyone, but in this instance I do not believe it is God’s law that babies are aborted, killed, so that these scientists can get immortal cell lines to grow these vaccines to then inject my son with fragmented DNA from dead children. This violates God’s law in that he shall not murder and it also violates his word that we must keep our blood pure. Vaccines are biologics. You are injecting your children with much more than just a weakened infection.

And as a mother, this disgusts me because it makes big government dictate to me how I am to raise the child that God has given me. It violates my deeply held beliefs and seeks to put me against my God. It is disgusting that NJ government can even entertain the idea that they have any right to do so.

This bill is just the beginning of what they want to do to New Jersey. Up next? A bill that would mandate the HPV vaccine which is killing, paralyzing and sterilizing kids for NINE YEAR OLDS. Why does a 9-year-old need to be vaccinated for a disease that is only spread through sex? There is no logic behind it and I could go on about the deep seeded corruption in government and how their hands are deep in the Big Pharma pockets, but I won’t because this week, that is not at issue.

This week is about how NJ wants to strip me and my son of our constitutional rights to practice our religion freely and to not inject ourselves with DNA from dead babies. By doing so we are complicit to the murder of innocent lives and we are not right with our God. I am praying hard for NJ.

Call to Action:

IF you are just as appalled by all of this, like I am, you need to contact your senator and really, any NJ senator and express your concerns about your religious freedoms. You need to show up at the state house annex in Trenton on Thursday and express your disgust for this totalitarian bill. YOU need to FIGHT for YOUR RIGHTS. You can not be complicit. This is not about being pro or anti, it’s about keeping YOUR RIGHTS to YOUR KIDS.

Book Review│The Undertaker’s Assistant by Amanda Skenandore

undertakerAs Effie explains when she’s asked how she can be an undertaker’s assistant, ““The dead can’t hurt you. Only the living can.” So sets the mood for this wonderfully dark, pervasive novel set amongst a strenuous time in our nation’s history. Effie Jones is a former slave living and working in New Orleans, a place as dark and mysterious as much of the mood of this novel is. Living now, as a freedwoman, Effie is navigating her new life and her return to life in the South as she works for a white undertaker who does not share her skills that she acquired from a Union soldier and is fighting the urge to rekindle her old life and the ties she lost to her own family.

New Orleans

While slavery is now a piece of the past, the racial tensions that are building in New Orleans are not. Effie is among many who are now living as freed people in the southern city and for many, this is not always acceptable. For Effie, there is also an overbearing sense of loss both in her identity and within her ties to her family that was lost in the upheaval of slavery. It is within her past that Effie will also find her new beginnings.

New Orleans serves as a wonderful backdrop for such a turbulent time because New Orleans is itself dark and turbulent. The city really lends itself to the morose overtones that dominate much of the novel. Together, the setting and the political battles that are igniting through the racial tensions created by the end of slavery lend to a well-charted plot and inevitable end.

Racial Tension

The tension between white and black citizens exists throughout the book. People such as Effie are struggling to find their place in the world outside of slavery.  Effie has two encounters with a charismatic state legislator named Samson Greene, and a beautiful young Creole, Adeline that slightly change her course. Up until then, Effie stayed distant from the other girls in her boarding house and had no interest in getting involved in the politics of the city. However, her chance encounters change Effie and bring her into the world of activism and politicism which leads her into her own search for the family that she had long buried in her memories.

The Undertaker’s Assistant by Amanda Skenandore is as much a wonderfully written historical fiction piece as it is the story of one woman’s coming of age in a turbulent part of our nation’s story. The novel is a bit slow in the beginning, but once you get into the meat of the novel, you become invested in the political turmoil, the mystique of the city of New Orleans and in Effie and the characters that she meets and encounters along her own journey.

Book Information

The Undertaker’s Assistant by Amanda Skenandore is scheduled to be released on July 30, 2019, from Kensington Books with ISBN 9781496713681. This review corresponds to an advanced electronic galley that was received from the publisher in exchange for this review. To be linked to special pre-order pricing, click the link above!