Bil Browning

Free Speech Explained in Four Sentences

Filed By Bil Browning | September 20, 2011 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Media
Tags: Apple, Christian Broadcasting Network, Facebook, First Amendment, free speech, social media

I ran across this story on the Christian Broadcasting Network today and it stunned me for the illogical tone it took with the article. Talk about preaching to the choir...

It's called "NRB Study: Social Sites Censoring Christians" and the NRB, for those who are unaware, silencing our storiesis the National Religious Broadcasters - obviously, an impartial source to start with. The group's study claims that social networking sites are silencing Christians and list "Facebook, Google, Apple, and MySpace" as the main culprits.

They love Twitter, seem unaware that Apple isn't a social networking site, and no one has used MySpace since before they started their "study" a year and a half ago. Apple comes in for an extra dose of criticism for removing two anti-gay apps.

"There is a kind of viewpoint censorship that's going on. And we need to go ahead and stand up and say, 'Stop. Not here. Don't do it. Wrong way. Turn around now,'" [American Center for Law and Justice director of the office of governmental affairs Colby] May explained.
...
"And you have to ask yourself, 'Why just these two viewpoints of the hundreds of thousands that you have?' And when you get the explanation, it's 'Well, some people were ruffled. They felt they were offended by it,'" May said.

Parshall complained that the companies behind these platforms give them "the authority to strip content off whenever other users, for any reason, decide they don't like the opinions of other users."

"Then you're thinking, 'Wait just a minute. We've crossed over into this netherworld where offense is now the justification upon which the rights we have as Americans to fully engage in the culture and to debate all issues is going to be decided?'" May asked.

Allow me to explain this for a moment to our friends nodding along at home and thinking, "Free speech for everyone! First amendment!" after the break. The rest of you can stop here and shake your heads in disbelief at the inanity.

Apple isn't the government. The First Amendment says the government can't censor your speech. Companies can and do all the time.

No one has a constitutional right to make an iPhone app and force Apple to promote it and offer it for sale for you.


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I think we need two more sentences for your definition of Free Speech. The one that the right wing seems to have the hardest time understanding.

Boycotts, blogs dedicated to refuting your statements, and protesters outside of your offices are not censorship. No person, organization, or religion has a constitutional right to patronage, donations, or ability to make statements without being refuted.

Yeah, occasionally Christians have reason for a legit complaint, but generally they are crybabies because others have the same right to put a message out that they do. They wail and moan because they can't control the entire media world, which is exactly what they think their warped sense of evangelism qualifies them to do. Since they imagine themselves to have a monopoly on Truth itself, they think they deserve to have a monopoly on the public arena as well.

S E R I O U S L Y. If they want to control the media then how about they put some of that ingenuity to work and make their own social networking sites, their own media sharing websites, and their own technology products instead of trying to boss everyone else around? Create MyReligiousSpace.com and you're free to do whatever you want with it! Trust me, I won't join! Create iJesusTunes and iJesusPhone and then you can produce all the apps you want! Many, if not most, of us will not be banging down your door to put our views on your website. Geesh.

And therein lies the problem. iJesus and MyReligiousSpace.com would lack the built-in audience necessary for the religionists to evangelize (which is another word for ramming their unwanted views down your throat). No one would be listening to their screeds except the seven other religionists.

A very worthy addition, Chris. If I'd thought of it, the post would be "6 Sentences..."

I question the "NBR Study" claim. There have been many articles about Apple and facbook removing people and groups for religious veiws and most of them abused the terms of agreement just like any hacker/spammer. If all you take into account are the people that were pushing a Christian agenda then it looks like a freedom of speach issue.
When in truth they have probably removed more Muslim groups than Christian and yes there have been alot of articles about that also. Neither of these groups pay any attention to the number of "breast enlargement cream" or "penis extension scams" that have also been removed.
If you don't like the terms of agreement that you signed before using a privately owned website then you also have the right to go else where.