In this Orwellian era when Christian Conservative viewpoints are under attack and mainstream media, social media, and true news outlets are under pressure to censor Conservative viewpoints, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy (Dem.) moved one step closer to 1984 by Tweeting his support to "Facebook and Apple and YouTube" for removing Alex Jones' Infowars from their services. Murphy even went so far as to insinuate Orwellian censorship is necessary for the "survival of our democracy."
How convenient. Too bad we don't live in a democracy.
These United States of America are a constitutional federal republic. Our form of government originated, is controlled by, and is inspired by our Constitution. As a federal form of government, the 50 states, themselves constitutional republics, are united by a single federal system that is comprised of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. As a republic, citizens elect representatives to govern them based on the law of the land and the Constitution.
In a democracy, majority rules. In a democracy, the ruling party can change the constitution at will to meet their needs. In a democracy, minorities are not protected, do not have equal rights, and are subject to discrimination by the ruling party at whim. These United States of America are not a democracy.
Sen. Chris Murphy wants more censorship, which is in direct conflict with the 1stAmendment. But then, Sen. Murphy is one of those in power.
So what is next, Sen. Murphy? Shall we ban the likes of Candace Owens when she calls out racism because it does not fit the liberal narrative? Shall we reject all Christian organizations wishing to invite the unchurched using social media such as Facebook?
Folks, believe it or not, Christians are now in the minority in the US. Fifty years ago, we referred to ourselves as a Christian nation. A century ago, a major scholastic text was the Bible. Nearly 250 years ago, a group of states declared men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, which led to the Bill of Rights, of which #1 is "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
Christian Post reporter Michael Gryboski wrote an article last week titled, "7 Times Social Media Sites Censored Conservatives." In his article, Gryboski cited the Twitter "shadow ban," Facebook's blocking of nearly two dozen Roman Catholic sites in 2017, Twitter censoring Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn's (R-TN) 2017 video exposing Planned Parenthood executives discussing the sale of baby body parts, and YouTube's 2018 restriction of a PragerU video criticizing Planned Parenthood, among others.
Although the incidents of censorship cited so far address issues much more problematic than "Jesus saves," they are necessary for an intelligent discussion on Christianity in today's world and, as such, pose a threat to the proliferation of Christian ideals among the users of social media. Using Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube's precedent, this article could be censored for language critical to those platforms. How slippery a slope we have descended on?
While Christians cannot welcome censorship, we can grow from it. In John, Jesus reminds us that we are tried only because the world hated Him first.
"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." (John 15:18-19, NIV)
So, in essence, being hated, ridiculed, and censored because our speech echoes Christ is an enviable place to be. It reinforces our status as 'in this world, but not of it.' Remember, Christians, our position is not new. Christians the world over have been persecuted by much worse than censorship for their beliefs. As recently as March of this year Christians in Iraq's Mount Sinjar faced extinction for their beliefs. We should consider ourselves the luckiest of the blessed when our argument is "that's not fair." After all, Jesus himself called us to go out as "sheep among wolves."
"'I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles.'" (Matt 10:16-18, NIV)
Instead, remember that pressure creates diamonds, and great pressure creates the best diamonds.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.... Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him." (Jas 1:2-4 & 12, NIV)
So in the face of Facebook censorship, stand your ground. When Twitter cages your tweets, persevere and tweet that much more effectively. Trust in God, seek His face, be wise in His ways and sound the trumpet as we circle the walls seven times (Joshua 6). For this battle, too, is the Lord's.
– Mark Klages is an influential contributor, a former US Marine and a lifelong teacher who focuses on applying a Christian worldview to everyday events. Mark blogs at https://maklagesl3.wixsite.com/website under the title "God Provides where Hate Divides," with a heart to heal social, political, relational, and intellectual wounds through God's divine love and grace. Mark can also be found on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-klages-04b42511/.