The New American, by Selwyn Duke: Is being Christian and robustly conservative now against tech companies’ terms of service? It increasingly seems so. A good example is the report that the pro-life, pro-family LifeSiteNews.com was recently blacklisted by its hosting company and given only 12 hours to find a new one — or risk being offline.
LifeSite is a Christian entity that covers a range of issues, with special focus on life, family and the sexual devolution.
As for its problems, LifeSite reported October 27: “This is extremely urgent. I need to inform you that LifeSite just received an email at 8:30 p.m. EST from our web-hosting company alerting us that they will be taking our website down within 12 hours, if not sooner.
“They wrote: ‘we are implementing our ‘SUSPENSION OF SERVICES’ clause…and giving you 12 hours notice to move your web site operations off of our servers…’”
“We received absolutely no forewarning whatsoever about this decision.
LifeSite doesn’t mention the hosting company’s name, but according to the former DNS record and an LGBT-activist blog, it’s San Francisco-based Cloudflare.
While LifeSite covers many issues, it was, unsurprisingly; focus on homosexuality that got it in trouble. In particular, the news organ explains, “The [hosting] company told LifeSite it is acting in response to a months-long campaign of complaints against us by Adam Flanders. Flanders is a convicted sex abuser and homosexual activist who is angered over our reports exposing him and his past.”
LifeSite continues, writing that Flanders “has already succeeded in taking down other pro-family websites by targeting their server companies…”
Tech-company censorship/squelching of traditionalist dissent is nothing new. Facebook’s cancelling/suppression of conservative pages, Twitter’s “shadowbanning” and closing of conservatives’ accounts and Google’s leftist manipulation of search results are already well known.
And as Christian/conservative voices are banished from the public square by big (and little) tech, we’ll have fewer opportunities to speak out against the above…
Our First Amendment only protects against government trampling of speech, and most of the entities affecting this censorship are private. Yet the point almost universally missed is that while you may avoid government laws suppressing speech, social laws are a different matter: All civilizations censor the tongue in some way.
Years ago, for instance, there was a strong social prohibition against using foul language around women and children, and we’ve long had indecency laws. Moreover, espousing ideas considered heretical got you in trouble not just in medieval Europe but in colonial America, where you could be scorned and ostracized. In ancient Greece, philosopher Socrates was convicted and later executed for corrupting the young and “mocking the gods.” And in the 1950s United States, being an avowed Marxist or Nazi meant you couldn’t be successful.
So it’s not a matter of whether we’ll have socially enforced speech codes, but only of what they will be — and, most significantly, of what is censored. Are lies shamed and banished? Or is the Truth? It’s clear what is increasingly being banished today. But seldom understood is why: Conservatives fight for political power at election time. But they generally fail to fight for cultural power anytime.
As philosopher G.K. Chesterton put it, “All conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change.”
The rule, simply, is that if you don’t control the culture, the culture controls you. To be tolerant of evil is to be visited with, and vanquished by, the intolerable.
While this happened in October 2018, it has just recently come to our attention. The giant social media companies are doing this every day now. But, as far as I can tell, this is the first webhost that is attempting to de-platform a conservative Christian website. The “men of the city” were not merely the rulers of the city when they gathered around Lot’s house. They were all the people from every quarter. This was social pressure if there ever was. And it was deadly. Only the angels saved Lot and his family.
“But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter…” Genesis 19:4.
“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.” Like 17:26.