A few years ago, and by “few” I actually mean twelve years ago, I described how the secular ideology of tolerance is a false truce. Among other things, I said this:
“All law is imposed morality, and the only question is which morality is going to be imposed, not whether one is going to be imposed. Periods of ‘tolerance’ are times when this appears not to be the case, but the appearance is just temporary. Tolerant times are actually times of transition—as one reigning paradigm replaces another.”Me, when I was a mere 55 years old
Now when this process is going on, you can not only be assured that the truce will be broken, but you can also be pretty certain that it already has been broken, starting about 25 years before the thought first occurred to you. When you ask yourself “why this is all happening now?” the answer is that it isn’t all happening now.
What Spurred This Particular Train of Thought Just Now
As many of you know, we here in Moscow have been “creating content,” as they say in the business. One of the places where we have been making that content available has been Amazon Prime. But within the last twelve months, we have had various items in our line-up axed, as in, not shown to anybody, and all for no good reason. The most recent example of this was our latest episode of Reformed Basics, which you can see below thanks to You Tube. I would encourage you to watch it there quick, before Biden is sworn in . . .
We have also had my Reformed Basics presentation on Sola Fide censored, as well as the Man Rampant episode on the coronavirus with Peter Hitchens.
So this is what the mellifluous (albeit authoritative) voice from Amazon said to us in the course of denying us service.
Thank you for your email regarding Reformed Basics – The Christian Faith in Catechism Season 1 – Episode 4 and 5.. Your title has not been selected for licensing/publication to Prime Video because it is not an accepted content type.An Anonymous Amazonian
But of course it is an accepted content type, as can be ascertained by looking at all the other content they have which is of the same type. And yet this is what was said about Episode 5:
Your title wasn’t selected for publication to Prime Video. All content submitted through Prime Video Direct is licensed at the sole discretion of Amazon. All review decisions are final and this title may not be resubmitted or appealed.Maybe even the same guy
So what should we do about this? Well, I would submit that our very first responsibility is to understand what is going on. What is going on is that we are being trained to see all opinions as equal, but with some more equal than others.
The Soothing Rejoinder
Now when I have squawked about this hubristic foolishness in the past, as I have done, it has frequently occurred that someone with authoritative mien and quite a soothing tone jumps into the discussion to assure me that while it took the apostle’s great learning to drive him mad (Acts 26:24), it must have been a much shorter drive for me.
Why, he says, don’t you understand that the Big Tech companies are private companies? Don’t you understand that they have no responsibility whatever to provide you and your crackpot notions a platform? They are a private company, Wilson. How many times must we say this? Privately owned, privately owned, private, private, private.
Great. Got it. Now do florists, photographers, and bakers.
And is T-Mobile a private company? Okay, got that too. Does the fact they are privately owned give them the right to put all your conversations on a five-second delay so they can bleep out anything that might be unacceptable to the spiritual climate of their own private HR department?
Now I happen to agree that in an ideal set-up Google, and Facebook, and Twitter should be allowed to regulate, monitor, organize, algorithmize, moderate, or strangle whatever content they want to on their own platforms, according to the terms of service. I think My Space should be allowed to do the same thing too. But if we are to do this, as we should, it needs to be an ideal set-up. If they assume such control over content, then they should be treated as publishers, who are then responsible for the said content. But Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects them from liability for whatever their users might say in their posts. In short, they are controlling something they are not responsible for, which cannot lead to anything good.
In pursuit of consistency, I believe that T-Mobile should be allowed to censor your conversations with your mom, and that you should, as a consequence, be allowed to shop for another carrier—but with the proviso that the government not be giving any help to T-Mobile on the sly, whether with subsidies, or regulations, or carve-outs, or exemptions, or whatnot. And again, in pursuit of consistency, I believe that florists, photographers and bakers should be free to do the same. A florist should be able to refuse to do a wedding because there won’t be masks, because it is two dudes attempting, but failing, to marry, or because the florist belongs to a cult that doesn’t believe in miscegenation. Something like Farrakhan’s outfit, only white.
This would be one standard, consistently applied, across all businesses. But this is actually only possible if secularism if false, and if Jesus rose from the dead. Which leads us back to the God of Abraham, but before we get there, I would like to say a few other things.
The Ranty Bit
The left doesn’t believe in freedom, people. They don’t believe in it. They don’t like it. They don’t want it. They are not striving to get us there. That is not on their agenda. And a lot of ostensible conservatives have to stop pretending to themselves that they actually do want it.
I know what it is like to stand in a university classroom, wanting to deliver a lecture, being shouted at by the Cancel Kids. And do you want to know what they were saying? They were chanting, “We believe in free speech!” followed by that all-important qualifier, “But this is hate speech!” In short form, they believed in free speech, provided they agreed with it.
They don’t believe in freedom. They detest free speech. They hate free assembly. They loathe free gun ownership. They despise free markets. They are leftists. So what on earth makes you think they are dedicated to free elections?
Obama won with 69M votes, carrying 873 counties. Trump got 75M votes, carrying 2497 counties. And Biden got 81M votes, out of 477 counties. And before anybody attempts to “school” me—as they assumed they schooled Charlie Kirk, whose numbers I am simply passing on here—by pointing out that we don’t elect the president by adding up all the conservative counties where nobody lives, my retort is that I know that part. I am pointing at something else entirely. I do not look at those numbers as though the Electoral College counts by county. Rather, I look at those numbers and marvel at how water is now flowing uphill. I am looking at the Obama/Biden ratios. Leave Trump out of it. I am looking at the massive swell of popular enthusiasm for Biden, as registered in the popular vote, that managed to manifest itself in a lot fewer places. It is as though the middle of the river crested into flood stage, while the water along the banks receded. That is suggestive of something weird, is it not? I wonder where those curious places might be, and whether or not they rhyme with Shishigan, Transylvania, and Morgia.
But if I pass on something like this, as something worthy of discussion, am I treated as a responsible citizen asking a preeminently reasonable question? Why, no. I am treated like a drooling idiot with three heads, with two of those heads caved in and lopsided.
You think the modern left is dedicated to free and fair elections, do you? Perhaps you have them confused with your great-grandfather, who was a campaign worker for Truman.
I am dismissed because we are now living in a world where dismissal and cancellation work. And it is obvious that they work because we are not outraged by the egregious behavior of Big Tech. They do what they do, out in the open, and they pay no price for it. In this demented setting, moderate and oh-so-reasonable Christians know how to tut-tut over the bigoted florist who does not know that the fact that he is on Main Street and open to the public means that he has to serve the public, and then these same oh-so-reasonable and hopeless compromised Christians chide with me—don’t you know that Amazon is a private company? What a maroon.
The God of Abraham
I have said it before, and am privileged to say it again. Religious liberty is a Christian value. Every form of true liberty is a Christian value. These are liberty apples, and there is no obtaining these apples from any place other than the liberty orchard. That orchard was planted by the Lord Jesus, and has been tended by His people ever since.
So I am appealing to the will of the living God. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and this Christ is the arche who holds all things in the created order together. Everything goes where He requires, and one of the things He requires is that we respect the liberty of others.
But secularism cannot do this. Secularism has no transcendent reality. We are all currently standing under their eight-foot dropped ceiling of acoustical tile, and then we are informed that their arche, the principle of their integration, is just a foot or so above their dropped ceiling, right next to the HVAC air return. But people in the hallway below have started to squabble and fight, and their principle of integration, it turns out, has the fatal deficiency of not being able to integrate anything.
Put another way, religious liberty is a religious value for Christians. Religious liberty is not a religious value for the secularist, and this helps to explain why, when conservative Christian voices are silenced, the response of the secularists helps us to see that for them this is a feature, not a bug.
And when conservative Christian voices are silenced, and the “reasonable” Christians shrug, not caring, and not understanding the play that is being run, what this indicates is that back home in their closets they have a little picture of that secularist arche taped to the back wall of their hidden closet. And thus we are assured that we can have all the liberties that the god next to the HVAC wants us to have.