A pastor and Republican Party chairman has compared the obligation to get a Covid-19 vaccine to the persecution of Jews in the Holocaust in a highly controversial Facebook post.
John Bennett, pastor of Lee Creek Assembly of God in Muldrow and Chair of the Oklahoma Republican Party, received significant pushback when he posted anti-vaccination messaging onto his state party's social networking platforms.
The Facebook post shows a picture of a yellow Star of David with a chip implanted and "Unvaccinated" written on top. The post then implores fellow "patriots" to contact the lieutenant governor of Oklahoma and urge him to partner with the local legislature to ban vaccine mandates implemented by private and public employers.
The post was immediately denounced by local Republican officials and Jewish organizers, describing the post as "Entirely inappropriate" as well as "irresponsible and wrong."
The pushback inspired Bennett to publish a six-minute video in response. "If we don't do something now, it's going to end in the same exact result as we saw when nobody stood up whenever the Jews were told that they had to wear that star," Bennett argues.
Bennett believes that the decision to pressure or force people to get the vaccine will lead to discrimination against those who decide to not receive it.
"The Star of David, when they put that on the Jews, they weren't sending them directly to the gas chambers, they weren't sending them directly to the (incinerator), this was leading up to that," Bennett said.
"They gave them a star to put on, and they couldn't go to the grocery store, they couldn't go out in public, they couldn't do anything without having that star on their shirt. Take away the star and add a vaccine passport." Bennett would also deride the Republicans who called his post out, saying that "...it's not about the star. What it's about is a totalitarian government pushing communist agenda on top of forcing people, against their own liberties, to get this vaccine."
As of August 2021, no plans have been made to require vaccine mandates in Oklahoma, and state law prohibits public schools from doing so.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has also stated that he will not mandate vaccines.