If you have been feeling as if you are limbo as is the whole country, you are not alone. This past year has taken its toll on all of us I believe.
Lack of relationship by being quarantined or social distancing dulls our response to people and leaves us wanting more interaction with people. It can cause depression and in having conversations with some people I can sense that are depressed. I have felt that way myself a time or two but my faith brings me out of it quickly.
Whether your buy into all that has happened or not, it has taken a toll anyway. We were made for relationship, not isolation. But when this particular week is over some of us will need to be deprogrammed from all the media hype and propaganda we’ve been exposed to regularly and for a very long time now. I’m ready for a long walk on the beach. Hopefully that can become a reality in the near future. But first, I’ve got to plan my garden!
Though being in the news business, makes it necessary to try and keep up with some things going on, I’ve tried to stay away from mainstream media because 99.9% of it just isn’t true and it certainly isn’t journalism, or not at least what I was taught many years ago. It makes me cringe when all media is lumped into the same group. Not all are the same. Thank goodness as a community newspaper, we can be the last holdout on giving in to the craziness.
This year is the Georgia Post’s 100th birthday. Amazing, especially these days. We are looking for ways to celebrate and include the community. We will do a publication in late March and will need sponsors so make plans. It will include stories on what it was like in 1921, photos and stories from previous owners. We do not have any newspapers from 1921 which is a shame. We have no idea what happened to them and neither does anyone else we’ve asked about them. There are none at the Probate Court either. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions or historic photos or stories, please let us know.
Personally, I start my 14th year at the Georgia Post. I’ve been in this business since 1977 but was also on a high school newspaper. It has been ups and downs and there have been many changes along the way in how a newspaper is produced. Technology, of course, has made it easier in some ways, but not so much in other ways. People want to use social media a lot which really is not a good things in the greater scheme of things. But we have to adapt as well and are trying.
Lately, social media is getting a bad name and is in the business of censorship. Many are abandoning it or trying to find different platforms. Will that change? I certainly hope that we don’t allow censorship.
Freedom of speech is given to us by the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. It gives you the right to express opinions without government restraint, no matter who you are or what party you belong to at the time.
These last few weeks we have witnessed the First Amendment being trampled as censorship ramps up across our country and at all levels and on all major platforms.
While we may have that freedom most of us do exercise the right to refrain from hate speech or going to far with our speech. But free speech means to speak candidly and these days people only want you to agree with them.
America’s First Amendment was adopted in December 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights. It doesn’t specify what does and does not constitute free speech. That has largely fallen to the courts when challenged. But in general it does guarantee the right to express ideas and information. It means people can express even an unpopular or unsavory opinion without fear of government censorship. All forms of communication is protected, whether we agree with it or not. I don’t agree with flag burning but it is protected under the First Amendment.
But, some speech is not protected which includes obscene material such as child pornography; plagiarism of copyrighted material, defamation (libel and slander) and real threats. Speech inciting illegal actions or soliciting others to commit crimes are not protected either. However, we see this happens every day without any repercussions to those who commit such illegal speech.
People say hateful and crude things or post or social media and they are given a pat on the back by people who chime in. We have forgotten what our country stands for and what our forefathers went through to make it into a free country. When someone doesn’t respect others, it says a lot about them.
These days we can’t even have a decent conversation with someone with opposite views as ours without someone getting upset and taking their toys and going home. This is a form of bullying, something we say we don’t tolerate, but we do tolerate it. Sometimes under the guise of keeping peace. Yes, the Bible tells us to be peacemakers, however, it doesn’t want us to tolerate hate speech.
Christians have kept silent for far too long because they didn’t believe they should speak up. We see the result of that silence. We didn’t stand up and fight when they took the Bible and God out of our schools and we are not fighting the hate speech. Churches at some levels and with some pastors have aided in silencing us. It’s sad really but we must not ever give up hope or forget that in the end God wins. Blessings.©2021
VICTORIA SIMMONS Is a columnist, author, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org