By Nancy Virden (c)2021
Lydia is a 3rd grader in Mississippi U.S.A. She is 9 years old.
Think about how young and impressionable that is, think about freedom of speech, and then consider the following story.
On October 13, 2020, Lydia wore a mask to school that read “Jesus Loves Me.” The principal forced Lydia to take it off because of the message. Other messages such as sports logos and “Black Lives Matter” on the masks of other students were allowed. The school is being sued.
Obviously, this brings up the issue of freedom of speech and religious freedom of speech in particular. It affects millions of Americans who want freedom of religious speech to continue in this nation.
This situation made Lydia sad. It perturbs me but not for the reason you might think. I am a devout believer in Jesus Loves Me, however I have also been silenced. It wrecked my mental health.
From a child I was told my opinions did not matter. In my marriage my thoughts on a topic or to even to share my day were shut down. In both cases I was isolated emotionally and lived primarily in my own perceptions. This wore me down until I could not live that life anymore.
Do you remember a time when you were silenced? Do you remember history and the hundreds of years an entire race was silenced? How about when women were ignored and treated as airheads? It is relatively recently that children have gained a voice in this country.
We are in isolation now due to Covid and technology. Eye-to eye contact is more restricted. Understanding another’s viewpoint is becoming alien. We need MORE communication, not less.
Our nation’s general mental health needs it. Individuals need it. Lydia and other students with messages deserve the chance to be heard, accepted, and their rights understood. It teaches students how to get along and to hold civil discussions if teachers will remain unbiased. -COMMENTS WELCOME
Today’s Helpful Word
2 Acts 4:18-20
Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
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Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
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