Monday, July 16, 2007

Response

I am very disappointed by the decision this morning by the High Court not to allow me to wear my purity ring to school as an expression of my Christian faith not to have sex outside of marriage. I believe that Mr. Justice Supperstone’s decision will mean that slowly, over time, people such as school governors, employers, political organisations and others will be allowed to stop Christians from publicly expressing and practising their faith.
Over two years ago, I was concerned at the number of teenagers who were catching sexually transmitted diseases, getting pregnant and/or having abortions.
The Government's Sex Education Programme is not working, and the pressure on young people to 'give in' to sex continues to increase. This is often because of the media’s focus on sex and the expectations of others.
As a Christian I do not agree with sex before marriage. I believe I have a right not only to state my Christian views on sex, but also to demonstrate my Christian faith and commitment to God and my future husband not to have sex before marriage, through the wearing of a purity ring.
I, along with 11 other Christian girls at Millais School decided before God that we would make a commitment not to have sex before marriage, and as a sign of that commitment, to wear a simple silver ring from the ‘Silver Ring Thing’ movement.
The wearing of the ring was to me, a demonstration of my Christian faith and values, which are based on the Bible – which clearly teaches that sex outside of marriage is wrong and therefore not God's best for us.
Despite the fact that Muslims girls at our school wear headscarves, and Sikhs wear Kara bangles, the school refused to allow me to manifest my belief through the wearing of a ring.
The School Governors originally said it was for Health and Safety reasons that purity rings were banned from school, but have offered no evidence to support the view that wearing a ring could physically harm another pupil or staff member.
I still believe the decision by the Governors of the School goes against the Article 9 rights to Freedom of Religion and my right to express my faith in word or deed, in a democratic, Christian-based country.
I shall be consulting my legal team to consider whether to appeal.
Finally I would like to take this opportunity to thank my parents, family and friends who have stood by me though all of this, and to the many hundreds of people, both locally in Horsham, across the UK and throughout the world who have sent me letters of support and assured me of their prayers.
I would also like to thank the national press and media for the balanced way in which they have covered this story, and have portrayed it for what it is; another example of the loss of the right of Christians to demonstrate their faith in public.
Lastly, but by no means least, I would like to thank my barrister, Mr Paul Diamond, and Mrs Andrea Minichiello Williams of the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship for all their advice, guidance and support through what is a legal and political minefield for a 16-year-old schoolgirl to walk through. I would also like to thank Paul Eddy, of Paul Eddy PR who has guided me through the maze of working with the national press and media.
To everyone I offer my thanks, and I deeply regret that I could not persuade the Court to consider upholding the religious liberty of Christian people in the United Kingdom.
As a Christian though, I live for another Kingdom, and serve another King, Jesus Christ, and therefore I shall continue to live and speak for what is right and true.
Thank you.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

We're all behind you, Lydia! The bravery and courage you have shown is an example for all your peers and their parents to stand up for what is right and what is just. God bless you and keep you safe. --Lisa

Ms. V said...

Probabaly it is because all this religious and social so-called moral that prevent so many women (not just teen) to receive proper advise for contraception.

Same for the abortion; according to WHO, it is estimated about 200,000 women die annually because of illegal abortion. Are those women life worthless according to God's eyes?

No sex before marriage?! you are kidding me? It's 21th C and Bible was written ages ago where there is no contraception available. It probably make sence that it is the only way to prevent STD. BUT, it's not 21th C. Face it and deal with the reality!

Have some sex and relax. Sex is given by God, just enjoy and enjoy your life?

Anonymous said...

lydia - i am so extremely proud of you and your commitment to Christ. i know this endeavor has been exhausting at times as you have vigorously fought for what you believe in. if God is for you, who can be against you? my love and prayers are with you and i cannot wait to see you again.
.dina

Anonymous said...

This news hit Australia , at least me, this morning.... absolutely amazing ..

If a cross is integral to the Christian faith, why is not put a cross on the side of the ring and see what they say about that? I mean the Bible is also integral to the Christian faith (as inscribed on the ring)... there is no reason why a cross has to be worn around the neck.. what would they say if you inscribed a cross on the ring?

And it depends what you mean by integral to the faith.... if a crucifix is just a piece of jewelery it is useless, but if it reminds you of core beliefs it is in some way important ... same with a ring... it can be integral...

Perhaps the teachers should also remove jewelery if rings are such a hazard? I'm sure they might in certain metalwork/practical subjects.. but...it would seem you are doing OH&S a service by claiming a certain lifestyle..

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the courts decision. Your parents have been taught an expensive lesson. Unfortunately, you an 'innocent ' pawn have been used as the media puppy to support their motives.
You have every right to abstain from sex at any stage in your life. However, this should not involve attempting to influence other peoples lives through the wearing of cheap icons.
Earlier you stated you preferred Bruce Almighty to Evan Almighty. An interesting choice of film! Did you fast forward over the scenes involving pre-marital sex and multiple orgasms. It must have been a great moral dilemma. Do I keep watching this funny film or stick to the moral high ground, switch the film off and give my SILVER RING THING a little polish!!
Hypocrisy , hypocrisy , hypocrisy.

Andreas said...

I hope you will continue to live and speak for what is right and true! There has been coverage in several newspapers in Norway as well, and I'm sure there are many norwegians praying for you.

God bless you and your family!

test said...

In what way does a ring seek to influence other people?.. it is a very personal thing... a reminder of marriage, a loved one, a deceased relative, committment to ministry, we use rings for all sorts of things.. I fail to see how people will be "influenced" by a ring when many will not even know what it means.

And in terms of unhealthy influence we should be more concerned about the large corporations who "influence" other people's lives through their advertising of products that are slowly ruining not just Western society, but the sweatshops producing these goods...that is another blog.

p.s. TO anyone thinking hypocrisy you will always find imperfection this side of eternity... so stop trashing the pockets of goodness that you do encounter.

Erik Andre said...

Hi Lydia!

Your words has really made people think. Hope this school problems with the ring will winn. And people see`s that there is good reasons to wait until married.

God Bless.
PS: If you wanna hang out chat on skype or msn. tell me, okay?

I wish you a great day. Take care:-)

Your brother in christ
Erik Andre:)

GOD said...

Stop wasting my time!

Get out there and live your life.

I created humans with an innate sex drive to give you encouragement to procreate.

Admittedly, the pain of childbirth was a little bit cruel. However, taking an apple off the tree of knowledge was always going to piss me off.

As for Bruce Almighty, I would have picked Angelina Jolie for the lead.

Yours truly, God

sl said...

Hi Lydia,

greetings from Slovakia. I found your story in the news June 22nd and translated it to Slovak. Translation was aired on Radio 7 ( www.radio7.sk ) the following Sunday. We follow the further development and support you in our prayers.

greetings

Carl said...

Hi Lydia,

From what I saw of you on interviews and what I have read n your blog you seem to be an articulate and pleasant young lady, which is why I'm surprised that you have taken the stance you have on the Silver Ring Thing.

In an interesting article from The Times, Martin Samuel points out that the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, conducted between 1995 and 2003 and later analysed by Columbia’s Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, found that sexual activity of one kind or another was nearly as prevalent amngst 'abstainers' as it was among the general teenage population, with 4.6% of allegedly virginal, pure, chaste, abstemious teens managing to contract some kind of STD compared to 7% who admitted to engaging in sexual activity. (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/martin_samuel/article1985626.ece)

Take whatever action (or non-action) you like when it comes to sex and sexuality: it is your personal choice and no-one should think less of you for any decision you make. Just don't let your parents try and fool you into thinking it's 'Godly' to abstain from sex, and admit that wearing a ring symbolises nothing more than membership to an organisation - and a scripturally unsound one at that.

Anonymous said...

Lydia,
God stands behind you...and HE is the GREAT Justice....He will vindicate you....Continue taking your stance for HIS values...for He is the Truth, the WAY, and the LIFE...and no wordly judge can EVER take the place of him....I know it's disappointing....but God has so many wonderful things in store for you....even through this stance that you have taken....Keep believing, dreaming, and faith walking....It's just the beginnning.....In His Love, Kandi

Anonymous said...

God is in controll,and He loves you and your faithfulness to Him. Stand strong and be not afraid. When you are faithfull in the small things, He will give you greater things. And when you are faithful to Him, He will bless you. Just continue to stay close to Him, and He will fight the battle for you.

Anonymous said...

Way to go girl. I support you 100%. Keep following what God says no matter what anyone else tells you. All these fools in here trying to say it's not Godly to abstain from sex and all that crap. You remain pure until marriage and you will be blessed. I'm still a virgin at age 23 and I'm so thankful cause I see so many others around me wishing to get theirs back and so many people emotionally torn because of sex. Stay away from it girl and keep up the good fight.

Anonymous said...

Lydia,

I am amazed by your bravery, courage, and single minded devotion to the Lord and your faith. You have inspired me with the truth you so clearly spoke; that we as christians do not belong to this kingdom. I truely believe that these events are a part of God's purpose for you. I am so proud of the steadfast example you have become to others. It is so refreshing to see that even as a young woman you are willing to fight so that the expression of christian values and faith are not lost in your community. You are in my prayers and thoughts. Your committment will not get any easier with time. At 22 I can promise you that. But the Lord is faithful and he will give you the grace to withstand ridicule and temptations. May God bless you sweet girl!

~Kenda Conley (Abilene, Texas)

Anonymous said...

Lydia,
I'm very proud to say my daughter also wears a ring like yours. And I want to encourage you to hang in there and stand your ground. You may have lost your court case, but you've gained the admiration and respect of the world, and, I'm sure, the blessing of God himself. So you really haven't 'lost,' have you? Have a great life! God bless! -Jean Bailey Robor www.jeanbaileyrobor.com

Giuliano said...

Personally I think this "silver ring thing" is a load of rubbish.
Just stop for a second and think with your head, not with a book written God knows when, or with other people's heads. With your head.
Why should God, the creator of the universe and everything in it, care if someone is a virgin or not, or if someone has engaged in premarital sex? Why should he?
I mean, he lets us tear each other to pieces in wars, or just in everyday life, why should he care about something so small and insignificant?
If a woman leads a good life, without harming anyone, helping people, and she engages in premarital sex, do you even remotely think that God would condemn her to the fires of hell?
This hypothetical woman dies and she finds her self in front of God, just picture it:

"Good to see you! you've done great in life, you helped loads of people, you're soul is as pure as.. hey what's this? premarital sex? sorry, it's hell for you.. i really hate doing this, but i turns out this guy who wrote the bible took what I told him a little too litteraly.. say hello to Mary Magdalen for me and tell her i'm sorry she has to roast for the rest of eternity".

pretty unlikely isn't it?
Everyone chooses what to do with his or her own life, this is your choise, i respect it, but respect the choise of many other boys and girls that while believing in God, choose to have sex with the people they love.
Sex is part of love, it makes you whole with that person.
I had a look at the silver ring thing site, and i dissaprove of the way it's been laid out.. it's being offered up as a solution to sexually transmittable deseases, but it certainly isn't, awareness, responsability and using contraceptives are the correct ways of not catching an illness or not having unwanted children, then why the hell don't people just grow up and take precautions?

Ken D said...

Lydia, you are to be commended for being a servant of God. I myself have held your belief and being a 35 year old christian in a 10 year marriage to my wonderful wife, I am forever greatful that I made the same choice you have made. What is so impressive is at your young age you understand our need to minister to others and I would add that this ring would only create further interest in this program. Good luck and know that many Christian here in the United States are praying for you.

ThunderBird18 said...

Hey Lydia,

It is so incredibly encouraging to see that the flag of purity still has bearers to carry it onward. At 20 years old, attending a "party" school, I am at best an oddity, at worst a freak when people find out that I am saving sex for marriage. Thank you for taking a stand and letting your light shine. Don't be discouraged by the hostile court decision...James says to "count it all joy when you fall into various trials." You will be blessed for it in a place where moth and rust does not destroy.

It is so encouraging to see the hand of God moving, especially across national borders. Keep up the good work!

mike said...

i'm from the philippines.
just read about your case on yahoo news. it's really so admirable for someone as young as you to be taking such a stand. i believe your courageous stand is an inspiration to many- both young and old alike.
indeed, the court decision is a sad commentary on what society's coming to. in our country, there is so much more freedom to express our faith.
maybe there can be some other way for you to express your stand without violating school rules. maybe carrying a bag with a similar message?
may God bless you as you continue seeking to follow His will in your life.
mike

John said...

If the school won't permit a ring on your finger have you considered a tattoo across your forehead?

Regards,

All the management

TATTOOZE,
LEWISHAM
LONDON
UK

Italian said...

I believe that if you want to remain vergine you must make it but you do not have to osteggiare the ring like that it makes you to be better than others. You door within of you the the purity and not sfoggiar it. However God has not commant to make sex after the wedding but the Church, representative of God in earth, has stipulated this and other laws. You have 16 years you would have to think to enjoy the life responsibly to you.

Anonymous said...

You are truly a selfish, egotistical and naive person. Does anyone really care about your silly crusade and your dad's loopy church. I bet your barrister and lawyers loved taking your money and will encourage you to appeal - if God's on your side then he has a funny way of showing it.
Three words - GET A LIFE

Anonymous said...

umm in response to Ms. V- you have no understanding of God's love or mercy so, don't make sarcastic remarks about Him not caring. He does care fully about every single person that ever lived. Secondly, we were created to love God, if you read the bible, *which by the way is "God-breathed", you would see that to love God is to obey his commandments. *(avoid sexual immorality (sex before marriage) is in there oh, about well 100 times in the new testament). Ok, back to your comments on illegal abortions...I wonder why they need abortions in the first place? Oh wait...yeah...its because they had premarital sex. I think it's funny that you think we are all depressed and neglected people because we "can't" have sex. We can have all the sex we want- we just choose not to because we love God and we love our future spouses enough to give them our virginity. I am sorry if that doesnt make sense to you but, keep your ignorance for God's love away from your comments attacking Lydia. God loves everyone, Lydia loves God, and she is trying to save the same lives that you are in defending the abortion laws. no premarital sex=no abortions. Control your body and save a life woman!

Anonymous said...

P.S. God loves you Ms. V, we will be praying for you.

Anonymous said...

I think it is quite entertaining that a few people commented on Lydia being egotistical...these people obviously have an enormous ego if they think they are above God and his commandments. (Thou shalt not commit adultery--which is sex with anyone outside of marriage---no marriage, no sex)Also, it seems as if Lydia has quite a life as she is spending her time fighting for something and you guys are just spending your time telling other people to get a life while you are just wasting your time putting others down on the internet all day.

Anonymous said...

hi Lydia i think you should just keep trying and keep wearing your ring God is proud of you for standing up for what is right God Bless You

Anonymous said...

Hi Lydia my name is Amber and i just wanted to say you are a huge inspiration to all of us boys and girls who are wearing a silver ring you went through alot and will be faced with a lot more than that and so will we all you are a blessing i also am wearing a ring and i never take it off please dont let peoples words bring you down keep it up girl and God Bless You

Victoria said...

It is refreshing to see another girl my age standing up for what she beleives is right and shining the light that God has given her. Remember, when you are persecuted you will be blessed. Also remember what Ephesians says about obedience and rebellion (be sure not to were your ring at school out of rebellion or spite)so that you may set a good example. Stay strong and remember Phil. 4:13. : )

God bless

By the way, this American is praying for you.

OTHMANE said...

Hi , I'm Othmane, i was born in Morocco but i live in Italy

I want ask you this:

Why you can wear your "purity ring" and the Sikh people can't wear their Kara, or why Islamic people can't wear their Veil?

Excuse me for my bad English.

worship_jcever said...

Thank you so for standing for saving sex for marrige! I made that commitment when I was 13 received a "true love waits" ring. The True Love waits organization is like The Silver Ring Thing, it's a christian organization dedicated to inspiring and educating teens on saving to share one of God's percious gifts for sharing it through the bonds of Marrige. Some of the things that that have helped me learn more about my commitment other than to save sex for marrige are two books (if you have not already read them)I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris and Wait for me by Rebecca St.James. These are all real affirmimg things that have encouraged me to think of this commitment not as a burden but as a freecom. Anyway I could go on and on about this subject, but I just wanted to say thank you, your family, and the people supporting you for fighting for freedom! Isaiah 32:8 "But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands." God Bless, Abigail from Martinsville,VA.

"Post-Google" by TAR ART RAT said...

Regarding your quote: "Over two years ago, I was concerned at the number of teenagers who were catching sexually transmitted diseases, getting pregnant and/or having abortions.
The Government's Sex Education Programme is not working, and the pressure on young people to 'give in' to sex continues to increase."

Realistically: Is it possible that teenagers have just been dumb and reckless since the dawn of time? and maybe nothing will ever change this...?

Good luck.

Alison said...

I thought it was very brave of you standing up to your beliefs. Well done! Do churches sell purity rings?

Allie.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Poland and I know your unpleasent event from school and court from polish newspapers. I'm very glad, that in the world are people with so beautiful faith and principles like your and your friends from the Silver Ring. Life with God in the friendship make reality more and more happy. I wish you to stand to your principles, lots of hope and a lot of happiness coming from Jesus. In Poland I and my sisters will remember in the prayer for you and your friends. I greet you warmly. God bless you and your family. :-)

Michael from Cracow

P.S.

Sorry, if in the above text are mistakes, but my English is poor.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Malaysia and heard about you! Keep up the good work, never go weary in doing good. We'll support you all the way! God bless and Jesus is on the throne.