Wednesday, September 21, 2011
To control the flow of ideas is to control thought and faith. To eliminate one point of view in favor of another is to ensure that the latter will predominate. This is a form of indoctrination. We are already aware of how politically-correct orthodoxy censors what gets into the mainstream media. However, attorney Craig L. Parshall, has just submitted a report on censorship within new media platforms: An Examination of the Threat of Anti-Christian Censorship and Other Viewpoint Discrimination on New Media Platforms, September 15, 2011
For the sake of accuracy, I will simply present Parshall’s bullet-points as is:
• Apple has twice removed applications that contained Christian content from its iTunes App Store. In both instances, Apple admitted that these apps were denied
access because it considered the orthodox Christian viewpoints expressed in those
applications to be “offensive.” One app had expressed the traditional, heterosexual
view of marriage as set forth in the Bible; the other had stated the view that
homosexuality is inappropriate conduct that can be changed through a Christ-centered
spiritual transformation. Of the 425,000 apps available on Apple’s iPhone, the only ones censored by Apple for expressing otherwise lawful viewpoints have been apps with Christian content.
• The search engine giant Google has committed past practices of anti-religious censorship. For content reasons, it refused to accept a pro-life advertisement from a Christian organization, an issue that prompted litigation in England. Google is also alleged to have blocked a website in America that had conservative Christian content. It had blacklisted certain religious terminology on its China-based Internet service, and in the United States it bowed to questionable copyright infringement threats from one religious sect, which had complained when a blog site criticizing it had quoted from the sect’s materials. Google blocked that blog site on alleged copyright violation grounds, disregarding the obvious “fair use” provisions of copyright law. Such a practice could block the ability of Christian “apologetics” ministries to quote from primary source materials when using Google platforms to educate the public on the teachings of certain religious groups. Also, in March of 2011, Google established new guidelines for its “Google for Non-Profits,” a special web tool program, but specifically excluded churches and other faith groups, including organizations that take into consideration religion or sexual orientation in hiring practices.
• Facebook has partnered with gay rights advocates to halt content on its social networking site deemed to be “anti-homosexual,” and it is participating in gay awareness programs, all of which suggest that Christian content critical of
homosexuality, same-sex marriage, or similar practices will be at risk of censorship. The written policies of the new media demonstrate that anti-Christian
censorship will occur.
• The seven other new media platforms and providers (Apple, Facebook, MySpace,
Google, Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon) all prohibit various formulations of “hate speech,” a dangerously undefined and politically correct term that is often applied in the culture to stifle Christian communicators.
• All of these seven giant web-based platforms and service providers have declared the intent to ban undesirable content by using dangerously broad, vague terminology (e.g., banning speech that is deemed to be “offensive,” or “inflammatory”). Similar policies have been struck down by the Supreme Court in numerous First Amendment cases in other contexts on the grounds that they chill free speech rights.
• Facebook, Google, Comcast, and AT&T have issued written policies that prohibit controversial ideas on so-called “hot button issues” (Facebook), or that severely limit the kinds of expression that can be used regarding subjects such as abortion (Google), or that ban content merely based on the viewpoint-complaints of other users (Comcast and AT&T).
• Three of these entities have express anti-religious free-speech policies, forbidding such things as “politically religious agendas” (Facebook), or content that advocates against gay-rights groups or that might criticize, for example, the doctrines of a religious organization or sect because its tenets conflict with the Bible (Google), or content that might contain any expressions of so-called “homophobia” (MySpace).
• Two of these new media companies have policies that expressly grant special free speech rights to expression related to political issues (Apple and Facebook), while at the same time severely restricting religious expression.
• Apple and Comcast both have policies that authorize censorship of content which they determine, in their sole discretion, to be inaccurate or lacking in factual truth, or that they consider to be “misleading.” Such a broad editorial standard elevates those companies to the dangerously exalted position of being the final arbiters of truth and accuracy.
Up until now, this encroaching totalitarian censorship hasn’t affected my own blog, but there is no reason why it shouldn’t, if this repressive trend continues. Most recently, “Under pressure from homosexual activists, PayPal has decided to deny service to famed Brazilian pro-life and pro-family Christian activist Julio Severo.” And it won’t end there. Pay Pal is presently deciding the status of two other Christian organizations. Peter LaBarbera appropriately charges that, “Apparently it’s now open season on Christians in the corporate world.”
Our cultural biases are always declaring “open season” – perhaps silently – on one idea or another. In this regards, evolutionist Karl Giberson cites a good example of the overwhelming influence of the cultural biases of the university:
• [Evolutionist] Ernst Haeckel nudged the racism of the Third Reich along its malignant road by suggesting that…”You must draw [a line] between the most highly developed civilized people on the one hand and the crudest primitive people on the other and unite the latter with animals.”(Saving Darwin, 76)
• How shocking it is today to acknowledge that virtually every educated person in the Western culture at the time …shared Haeckel’s ideas. Countless atrocities around the globe were rationalized by the belief that superior races were improving the planet by exterminating defective elements…there can be little doubt that such viewpoints muted voices that would otherwise have been raised in protest.”
Why was it that “virtually every educated person” believed this way? Cultural bias! What promoted such a malignant cultural bias? The sources that controlled the flow of information! The conclusion is straightforward – our 1st amendment rights of the freedom of speech (and consequently ideas) must be protected, even when some might regard our speech as “offensive.”