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Patrick Hampton / August 16, 2021

Unmasking the Mandates

What I taught my school-age sons about safety in the COVID era.

It’s the start of another school year and parents across the nation are pressed against whether they’ll send their child to school wearing a piece of cloth that does little to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, comply with “opt-out” paperwork, or remove themselves from the system altogether.

My family didn’t begin this school year in the spirit of worry. Instead, we spent it contemplating God’s Word and trusting His perfect design of our human bodies. I sat down with my two younger boys who are currently attending public school in Tennessee, giving them direction from the book of Genesis about how God made man from the dirt and how our immune system is His answer to disease and pestilence. I explained to them that no man or mandate can come between humanity and how we were so divinely made.

My two sons were all ears as we discussed masks and why some people use fear to draw their own boundaries for what they deem to be “safe.” Contrary to the medical mantras repeated by masketeers, I believe there is danger in reducing oxygen to the brain. We need to be certain about whether, for a child, oxygen deprivation — such as wearing a piece of cloth over the face for an extended period, like an eight-hour school day — could lead to learning deficiencies. No studies or answers have been given concerning this.

I also performed a simple experiment with my sons. One was asked to wear a mask and to then blow out a candle as his unmasked brother did. He was able to successfully put the flame out, indicating that these “coverings” are still permeable and that a figment as small as the COVID-19 virus can still pass through. The experiment left them amazed and equipped with more information than schools and elected officials are willing to disclose.

Finally, I explained how being an American means being entitled to a Constitution that guarantees freedom — a God-given right. I did reassure them that it is also their right to decide to wear masks, but that conversely it is someone else’s right not to do so. I ended the discussion with the fact that our family chooses God’s perfect design over all mandates and advised them to be prepared for when people treat us differently because of our faith-based decision.

Relieved to have had the discussion, my two boys loaded onto the school buses to start their first day — mask-free. Unfortunately, the ride home was met with resistance, as word spread that the bus driver initially would not allow students to board without a face covering. As a father, I felt it necessary to set the example while expressing how serious I am about our beliefs and our decision to trust God with our bodies. After pushing back and seeking answers from the school administration, my son was allowed to ride home maskless. My hope is that other parents — taxpaying American citizens covered by the same Constitution that spells out our God-given rights — take note and do the same.

As parents and students embark on a new school year, I pray that we are all granted the wisdom to not cower to peer pressure — be it from everyday onlookers, angry administrators, or elected officials. May we remember that no one has authority over our children but us, and no one has authority over us other than God.

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