Censoring Christianity: How We’re Being Silenced, and How to Cope
 
Censoring Christianity: How We’re Being Silenced, and How to Cope
Written By Oliver Perry   |   04.23.18

If you are planning to assault a stronghold, you’d want to weaken its defenders prior to your attack. I discussed a weakening strategy in my prior post [i] about patriarchy and gender roles. I described how reducing the public’s valuation of “what is a family” is vital for establishing a Marxist society.

Another weakening strategy is to silence opposition to your plans. Whether society’s defenders are silenced through force, or are shamed into not speaking up, there will be few objections to your plans to change things, and less opposition to your propaganda.

This article describes how some of these attacks are currently being carried out. Some methods block speeches and communications, but the most dangerous method is to convince us that Christians have nothing important to say in American society. Through accusations of “hate speech,” and claims of various phobias, the goal is to make Christianity seem to be a strange practice, to be ignored and purged. This paper concludes with approaches for parrying these attacks.

You can’t do that: Censorship by preventing rallies

The right to peaceably assemble[ii] to gather, hear speeches, and discuss matters, is fundamental to American politics. Yet conservative politicians and speakers are being denied this right. Their events are being attacked, or are being cancelled because of threats. Some examples are:

Other conservative speakers were disinvited because the costs went up too high for the hosts to bear. For example, how many places can spend $800,000 on security like the University of California did for the September 2017 Milo Yiannopoulos event[vii]

Interestingly, protesters believe that their aggressive, violent protests are their own free speech rights[viii] Juan Prieto, a DACA [ix] recipient attending Berkeley, wrote this college newspaper op-ed [x] about why he believes the protests protect him:

“A peaceful protest was not going to cancel that event, just like numerous letters from faculty, staff, Free Speech Movement veterans and even donors did not cancel the event. Only the destruction of glass and shooting of fireworks did that. The so-called “violence” against private property that the media seems so concerned with stopped white supremacy from organizing itself against my community.” [xi]

Whether through administrators cancelling an event[xii] protesters disrupting it[xiii] or preventing it through mob action[xiv] conservative speakers are being censored through the efforts of vocal, threatening protesters. Although these cited incidents largely involve conservative speakers, you will soon see that the protesters’ animosity is really aimed at the roots of American society.

You can’t share that: Censorship by blocking communication

After the 2016 elections researchers sought explanations [xv] for Trump’s victory. One theory is that Trump’s supporters look more to social media [xvi] than do Hillary’s supporters. This bothers people.

“We should all care about how social media platforms play a part in our democratic process. Because unless it’s addressed it will happen again. The midterms are in 8 months. We owe it to our democracy to get this right, and fast.” – Hillary Clinton [xvii]

In response, there has been much activity to block conservative political conversation on the internet. For example, the California legislature proposes to regulate online postings[xviii] Rather than preventing “fake news” it would result in “government-approved news.”

Social media posts with conservative political speech have been blocked on social media:

“The Policy team has came to the conclusion that your content and your brand has been determined unsafe to the community,” it read. “This decision is final and it is not appeal-able in any way.” [xx]

Posts with Christian content have also been blocked:

Facebook is spinning the idea that it can be “a force for good in democracy,” [xxxi] and that it will soon ban “fake news” from its feeds. Since this change would be done by the same people who currently do the banning, Facebook must have an odd definition of “good.” [xxxii]

You can’t say that: Censoring the message

When Ben Shapiro’s February 2016 event at Cal State University was canceled [xxxiii] the protestors said “…it would promote ‘racist, classist, misogynist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, ageist, sizeist, neocolonial, neoliberal and oppressive ideologies.’ ” [xxxiv]

Ben wasn’t the real target of these protestors. Their invective is against our culture, which they think is all of those things. But they dare not debate whether the culture really *is* those things, as they’d lose that debate on the facts alone. Instead, the protesters use intimidation, calling our defense “hate speech.”

Hate Speech

The American Bar Association defines hate speech [xxxv] as

“Hate speech is speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits.” [xxxvi]

The homosexual community regards criticism as hate speech. So does the Islamic community, which has sought to silence all anti-Muslim criticism through international law. [xxxvii] In some places stating Christian doctrine out loud is already considered a hate crime[xxxviii] Could criminalizing Christian speech occur in America? Martin Castro, at the time the chairman of the US Commission on Human Rights, has thinks it should: [xxxix]

“The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance,” [xl]

The concept of “human rights” is being rigged against Christians, and not just in the United States. Apparently society can tolerate anything except Christians[xli] So groups of homosexuals, Islamists, Marxists find us offensive, and seek to criminalize Christian belief and behavior.

Alienating our youth from our culture

In the novel 1984 the government kept changing old books and newspapers[xlii] so the past always reflected current political reality. Much the same is happening with our school curricula and textbooks.

  • The Illinois legislature presumes to introduce mandatory emphasis on “LGBT history.” Since a school day isn’t increasing, other things will be omitted to provide time for teaching this. Ralph Rivera, a lobbyist with Illinois Family Institute, said [xliii] “adding LGBT education to public school curriculums would promote ‘a value system counter to the value system that those students have.’ ” [xliv]
  • A new high school history textbook claims that people who voted for Trump are “angry xenophobes.” [xlv] This claim is more suited for a newspaper editorial, but there it is in the book, ready to be taught to students who don’t yet know better.

These books don’t teach the world as it is, but rather about the world as the authors would like it to be. Then our students become disenchanted because the real world isn’t familiar to them – it isn’t like what they learned from their texts. No wonder that so many college students are ready to abandon things like free speech[xlvi]

Denormalizing Christianity

The goal of these attacks is to make Christianity to seem odd, even dangerous. If the highest values in America have become “inclusion” and “diversity,” then Christians, who insist that there are right and wrong behaviors, must be considered enemies to society. Once Christianity is no longer a mainstream philosophy then Christians can be ignored, even persecuted, without qualms. What happens to America from that point only God knows.

What does the Bible say?

These activists aim at trashing our culture, changing its definitions of right and wrong. Is this culture worth defending? To answer that question we need to understand what role Christianity has, and can have, in American culture and its political life.

First off, God is true to Himself. He doesn’t change his mind on what is right and wrong (Numbers 23:19). No matter what people think is the “right side of history,” [xlvii] God is faithful to his own word.

If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. (2 Timothy 2:13).

Christians aren’t to adapt to the society, but hew to obeying God (Romans 12:2).

Second, Christians are called to witness to our society, including instructing our leaders. As I wrote in a prior article on government[xlviii]

  • God cares about having righteous civil government everywhere.
  • His concern isn’t limited to Old Testament Israel, but continues to this day.
  • We are to honor the governing authorities (Romans 13:1), but the authorities must also honor God (Luke 12:42-48; 1 Corinthians 4:2).
  • The authorities are God’s ministers for good (Romans 13:4).
  • How will they know what good God requires of them unless they are told?

God requires a society-wide obedience, and Christians are instructed to inform society concerning God’s commands. Sometimes we’re persecuted for this (e.g, most of the book of Jeremiah), but that goes with the territory.

You should say that: Normalizing Christianity in America

If our enemies have their way, Christians will be effectively barred not only from political speech but also from evangelizing. After all, to them our testimony is hate speech.

Our first defense is to remember that God defines what is right and wrong. He tells us through the Bible how to live. To substitute any other standard, to judge Christianity as being racist or homophobic, is to repeat Adam’s original sin (Genesis 3:5) and say we know better than God.

So don’t be ashamed of the gospel (Romans 1:16). It empowers you, and reminds you that you’re on solid ground, either when admonishing your elected officials or merely responding to someone who accuses you of “something-phobia” and being intolerant.

Don’t have conversations or arguments on your enemies’ terms, on their own definitions of right and wrong. We’re not arguing about how inclusive to be, but about applying the Bible to society’s ills. A debate can be won simply by being able to define the debating terms and language. Don’t be trapped into using their terms or “facts.”

America has a Christian history and heritage. Those defaming you are the intruders and destroyers. Remind them that they’re trying to fight against God.

You should share that: Overcoming message censorship

The internet is a wonderful thing, but something we’ve wrongly learned from it is that everything is free. In reality it takes money and manpower to keep all of those computer servers running. Usually the website owner doesn’t charge the viewer because they hope to make money through advertising or selling collected data about the people who visit the site.

Hosting something like Facebook takes serious money. And since they’re paying the bills, if they don’t want to host Christian content then we can’t legally force them to do so. Besides, this works both ways. Should an explicitly Christian site, paying its own bills, be forced to take posts from Islamic advocates? So Facebook, et.al, will keep your posts only if they want to, or if you’ve paid them money to keep them posted.

Unless you’ve paid them to take your posts, if the social media site blocks your posts then you’ll have to go elsewhere. But this can be a powerful thing if a lot of people can be also convinced to go elsewhere. For example, Facebook makes money off of page views. If total viewership decreases then so does their advertising income. A long term viewership decrease can lead to policy changes, management change, or even going out of business.

Their vulnerability to viewership loss makes social media sites sensitive to a public relations campaign of shaming. A lot of “Facebook hates you” publicity could lead to decreased income for them. What happens next depends on whether these sites desire making money more than they desire to promote ideology.

So Christians should keep the heat on their social media providers. They might end up prevailing, winning a change in policies. In the meantime, the posts could continue to be banned, etc.

If you’re interested in changing to some other provider you do have choices. Here are some suggestions:

  • You can host your own website. This is priciest, running to maybe $100 per year, but *you* are in control. You can even have no advertising if you so wish!
  • An easier, likely cheaper, way of getting your own website is to do it through WordPress or Blogger hosting companies. Sometimes you can get hosting for free, meaning the host makes money off of advertising.
  • Someone may create another site like Facebook for your posts.

You can rally: Overcoming harassment in the public square

Conservatives and Christians have no problem in creating and attending political events. The problem has been dealing with uncivil dissent, and with colleges having biased views of free speech.

Our opponents also have no problem with attending these events. However, they come ready to interrupt and riot. They don’t believe we have a right to speak[xlix] but go beyond that and ensure that nobody *can* hear.

The police are adequate to handle such disruptions – if they’re allowed to do their job. The disruptions and riots are largest and most destructive where the politicians, or school administrators, actually stop the police from doing their work. Who will hold the politicians and school administrators to account?

When such riots occurred in the Berkeley campus in May 1969 [l] the governor, Ronald Reagan, said in response:

“All of it began the first time some of you who know better and are old enough to know better let young people think that they have the right to choose the laws they would obey as long as they were doing it in the name of social protest.” [li]

He then took action that definitively shut down that protest – called the National Guard to restore order. Once rioters learn that they don’t have “space to destroy” [lii] they’ll learn to behave and protest in a civil manner.

We must insist that our leaders rein in violent protestors. They must learn that uncivil protest is expensive, both legally and to their careers. Once this is established political events, for conservatives and others, will be less hazardous to attend.

Conclusion

Don’t be intimidated by name-calling or labeling. Keep on speaking about Christ, applying the Bible to society and defending our Christian-based culture. Everything else – posting, meetings, etc. – amount to mere details. Remember, if God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)


Join IFI at our May 5th Worldview Conference

We are excited about our fourth annual Worldview Conference featuring world-renowned John Stonestreet on Sat., May 5th in Medinah. Mr. Stonestreet serves as President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He is a sought-after author and speaker on areas of faith and culture, theology, worldview, education and apologetic.  (Click HERE for a flyer.)

Mr. Stonestreet has co-authored four books: A Practical Guide to Culture (2017), Restoring All Things (2015), Same-Sex Marriage (2014), and Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview (2007).

Join us for a wonderful opportunity to take enhance your biblical worldview and equip you to more effectively engage the culture:

Click HERE to learn more or to register!


Footnotes:

[i] https://illinoisfamily.org/marriage/patriarchy-gender-roles-marxism-educational-campaign-destroy-family/

[ii] https://www.loc.gov/law/help/peaceful-assembly/us.php

[iii] http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-trump-protest-scene-20160311-story.html

[iv] https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ann-coulter-speech-university-of-california-berkeley/

[v] https://www.cnn.com/2017/09/14/us/berkeley-ben-shapiro-speech/index.html

[vi] http://dailycaller.com/2018/04/12/anti-islam-events-wisconsin-minnesota-shut-down-antifa-splc/

[vii] https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/09/24/update-barricades-ring-sproul-plaza-as-berkeley-braces-for-milo-yiannopoulos/

[viii] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/17/opinion/conservatives-campus-speech-wisconsin.html

[ix] https://www.factcheck.org/2018/01/the-facts-on-daca/

[x] http://www.dailycal.org/2017/02/07/violence-helped-ensure-safety-students/

[xi] Ibid.

[xii] http://freebeacon.com/issues/hampshire-college-apologizes-abruptly-canceling-conservative-speakers-event/

[xiii] https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=10164

[xiv] http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article167886312.html

[xv] https://www.cjr.org/analysis/breitbart-media-trump-harvard-study.php

[xvi] http://mediaschool.ohio.edu/mdia-professor-explains-how-social-media-impacted-the-2016-presidential-election

[xvii] https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/968321022427652096?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

[xviii] https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2018/04/09/california-bill-would-shut-down-free-speech/

[xix] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2018/04/10/facebook-accused-of-deeming-black-pro-trump-sisters-unsafe/

[xx] Ibid.

[xxi] https://www.dailywire.com/news/25744/bombshell-report-twitter-admits-censoring-ryan-saavedra

[xxii] https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/shadow-banning-how-twitter-secretly-censors-conservatives-without-them-even

[xxiii] http://insider.foxnews.com/2018/03/06/dennis-prager-lawsuit-against-google-youtube-restricting-conservative-videos

[xxiv] https://www.prageru.com/petitions/youtube-continues-restrict-many-prageru-videos-fight-back

[xxv] https://www.christianpost.com/news/facebook-gives-no-reason-blocking-dozens-catholic-christian-pages-192546/

[xxvi] https://blogs.franciscan.edu/faculty/he-was-rejected/

[xxvii] https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/facebook-freezes-out-christian-vlogger-for-quoting-bible-about-homosexualit

[xxviii] http://www.deonvsearth.com/instagram-blocks-users-from-sharing-christian-faith-born-again-follower-of-jesus-christ/

[xxix] https://www.christianpost.com/news/i-am-a-christian-producers-say-facebook-blocked-message-calling-people-to-identify-as-christians-135960/

[xxx] https://barbwire.com/2017/12/12/facebook-grants-free-speech-to-anti-christian-radicals-but-censors-christians/

[xxxi] https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10104067130714241

[xxxii] http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/politics/2018/april/christian-posts-blocked-will-christian-speech-be-allowed-in-the-new-facebook-world

[xxxiii] https://www.thecollegefix.com/post/26350/

[xxxiv] Ibid.

[xxxv] https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/initiatives_awards/students_in_action/debate_hate.html

[xxxvi] Ibid.

[xxxvii] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-islam-blasphemy/wests-free-speech-stand-bars-blasphemy-ban-oic-idUSBRE89E18U20121015

[xxxviii] https://www.christianheadlines.com/columnists/al-mohler/criminalizing-christianity-swedens-hate-speech-law-1277601.html

[xxxix] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/09/09/commission-says-religious-liberty-should-not-top-civil-rights/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.d87d7f8c129a

[xl] Ibid.

[xli] https://www.christianpost.com/news/the-irony-of-the-new-tolerance-it-doesnt-tolerate-christians-119964/

[xlii] https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/book-1984-by-george-orwell-why-does-party-rewrite-90507

[xliii] http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-met-illinois-legislature-lgbtq-20180412-story.html

[xliv] Ibid.

[xlv] http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/04/16/anti-trump-american-history-textbook-blatantly-biased-critics-say.html

[xlvi] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/12/us/college-students-free-speech.html

[xlvii] https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/12/obama-right-side-of-history/420462/

[xlviii] https://illinoisfamily.org/faith/how-to-judge-the-president/

[xlix] https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=9964

[l] http://thefederalist.com/2017/04/24/heres-ronald-reagan-college-kids-went-ape-uc-berkeley/

[li] Ibid.

[lii] http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2015/04/25/baltimore-mayor-gave-those-who-wished-to-destroy-space-to-do-that/

Oliver Perry
Oliver has lived in Illinois for decades.  He wasn’t born here, but got here as fast as he could.  He found his bride at church and still adores her.  Together they’ve raised three children to successful adulthood. Oliver sees that even today the Bible speaks authoritatively on society, its government and its laws. He hopes that through these articles you will be encouraged to also think along these lines....
Related Articles
Alliance to Censor Speech on the Internet
Alliance to Censor Speech on the Internet
Watch Your Language–or Else
Watch Your Language–or Else
IFI Featured Video
Pro-Lifers Respond to Gov. Pritzker’s Signing of the RHA
Get Our New App!