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Tony Perkins / Jan. 13, 2021

A Nation Tuned to the Station of Freedom

The battles are going to come — they always do — but we have to be just as resolute and unyielding.

For most Americans, there hasn’t really been time to stop and process what happened at the Capitol last Wednesday. Instead, we’re just trying to survive, fighting off daily waves of crackdown and retribution — punishment for a crime the vast majority of conservatives didn’t commit or condone. The people in power, the same ones who called the summer riots “the American Way,” are coming for our rights, our speech, even our livelihoods. Who will be left standing? If history is any indication — we will.

Right now, it’s a little hard to see beyond the present crisis, but our country has been at similar crisis points before. A generation who’s been robbed of the privilege of learning history can’t look backward — but if they could, they’d see that when our voice is threatened, the church always finds a way to respond. That doesn’t mean the next two years will be easy. What we’re witnessing in this moment may be the most dangerous corporate-political alignment this nation has ever seen. “Silencing, blacklists, social credit scores, threats…” We’ve woken up to an American where you support the wrong political ideology and suddenly, Tucker Carlson shakes his head, “you can’t communicate, and you have no legal representation, and you can’t fly in an airplane, and you can’t put your money in a bank.”

But the beauty of the American system is that we have the ability to correct this. In fact, that’s our nation’s story: the great obstacles and the greater comebacks. Our movement is a vital part of that. We can shrink back and wait for our powerlines to be cut or we can use the weapons we have: the airwaves, our broadcast booths, and any other means for getting our message out. Religious broadcasters still have reason to be concerned, attorney Craig Parshall agreed on “Washington Watch.” But this isn’t the first time an army of the Left has tried to cut off our microphones.

It wasn’t that long ago, Craig reminded everyone, that Bill Clinton tried to get a federal agency to create a definition of “hate speech” that they could use to shut down certain radio and television broadcasters. Of course, that fell flat when the agency, after about a year of work and public money, couldn’t come up with an accurate definition of the term. Then, Barack Obama took a crack at it with the FCC, floating the idea of local commissions that could enforce “community standards” and decide if content was appropriate. “That failed to gain traction,” Craig explains, “but it was threatened.”

For decades, liberals have tried to crack down on religious and conservative talk. We’re seeing it right now with Mark Levin. Cumulus Media is demanding that its host stop talking about a “stolen election.” “If you transgress this policy,” its memo warned, “you can expect to separate from the company immediately.” This same thing happened back in the communist era of the 1950s. People who wanted to preach the good news banded together, and look at the result! There’s more Christian programming out there today than there was 40 or 50 years ago when it was attacked. Obviously, there are bullies out there who think they can stop the truth or the gospel from going out. But I’ve got news for them: they never win.

Look at what happened with the Fairness Doctrine. It was entirely dismantled under the Reagan administration — and conservative talk flourished. Why? Because it goes to the heart of the American people who share these traditional values. “You just [have to] wonder,” Craig said, “what is the motivation for not having an open marketplace of lawful ideas?” And the answer is, the far-Left can’t compete with those ideas. So they want their opponents cowed, humiliated, and muted. “We’ve been marked as the enemy, because we oppose the idea that the state is superior to God… But there are those who believe that they have a better plan — and they [think] that we are better off under their soft totalitarian hand than we are with liberty.”

At the end of the day, we need to keep doing what we’ve been doing, regardless of how they mischaracterize us and our intentions. The battles are going to come — they always do — but we have to be just as resolute and unyielding. We’re going to continue to speak the truth in love, seek the face of God and His power, and rely on his strength to sustain us in what is going to be a very challenging chapter in the history of our country.

“The Great Commission is called ‘great’ for a reason,” Craig insisted. “When the apostle Peter got arrested, unlawfully dragged in before the council in Jerusalem, he said, ‘Look, you can do whatever you want to with me, but I can’t stop talking about what I have seen and heard in terms of the Savior, because I walk with him. We have the same commission today.” And that’s the determination the church needs right now. No matter what the other side does to us, no matter what they call us, we’re not going to be quiet.

Originally published here.

Parler for the Course

If the Jeff Bezoses of the world want to shut conservatives down, they’re in for quite a fight. Twitter rival Parler, who is still reeling from being booted off Bezos’s Amazon web service Saturday, is headed to court with a case that could rattle Big Tech’s big plans. “Parler will be back,” investor Dan Bongino vowed. “I will go bankrupt and destitute before I let this happen.”

Fortunately, that wasn’t necessary. Parler found a new domain and web host early Tuesday in Epik. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be blowback for what they experienced over the weekend when Parler became Apple’s number one downloaded free app. The CEOs of Silicon Valley put their heads together and decided that banning President Trump from their platforms was gratifying — but it would be useless if conservatives found another social media home. So, the modern robber barons at Amazon did what corrupt liberals do: they pulled the plug on Parler, ending its web hosting services altogether.

The reason, Americans were told, was because Parler wasn’t doing enough to police any violent content. That turned out to be a ridiculously hypocritical excuse, seeing as one of Friday night’s top trending tweets on Twitter was “Hang Mike Pence,” and yet Jack Dorsey’s company wasn’t suspended. Obviously, the new lawsuit argues, Amazon’s “decision to terminate Parler’s account is… motivated by political animus. It is also apparently designed,” they write, “to reduce competition in the microblogging services market to the benefit of Twitter.” And that, Parler’s attorneys point out, is a violation of anti-trust law. Not to mention, they go on, a breach of contract, since Parler was supposed to have a 30-day notice before Amazon canceled service.

Unfortunately for Parler — and any other open, neutral forum — Amazon has essentially cornered the market on this large-capacity hosting. Until now, they’ve really held all the marbles. Remember, Bezos is no friend to Christian conservatives. This is the same company that excludes faith-based organizations from its charity platform, because of the reckless “hate” labeling of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

This is the hostility and intolerance of the Left on display, and we have to adapt. Of course, the good thing about Americans is that we’ve proven we can adapt, especially when the desire for freedom drives us. And even though the hill is higher this time, I think that with the help of some creative Americans we are going to fight back against these totalitarians and establish our own means of effective communication.

In some places across the country, smaller companies are using the leverage they have to speak out. In Idaho, deplatformed conservatives have been so furious that one internet provider decided to block Facebook and Twitter altogether. “It has come to our attention that Twitter and Facebook are engaged in censorship of our customers and information,” T1 WIFI’s email reads. “Our company does not believe a website or social networking site has the authority to censor what you see and post and hide information from you, stop you from seeing what your friends and family are posting. This is why, with the amount of concerns, we have made this decision to block these two websites from being accessed from our network.”

A company spokesperson said T1 WIFI had been fielding a massive influx of calls and complaints over the last few days about the two social media platforms. According to emails, roughly two-thirds of their customers had asked for the sites to be blocked. If Big Tech moguls want to play this game, and pick and choose who can speak, then they shouldn’t be surprise when local communities push back. Most of them feel like Bongino does, “It’s not about the money. If Parler goes down, everyone else will be next.”

So what do you do when someone wants to silence you? Well, you just speak louder. I’m not about to give up on this country or the freedoms that so many before us sacrificed their lives to secure. We’re going to continue to fight — not in the way the Left fights or the Capitol rioters fought. We need to be smart about it, resolute about it. But we need to have confidence as we stand on the side of truth — and do all we can to make that truth known.

Originally published here.

Impeachment: 'We Never Think about the Consequences’

The new Congress has only been sworn in for eight days, and Democrats have already made a mess of their first week. “One of President Trump’s biggest flaws is not knowing when to stop,” Michael Goodwin pointed out. But the far-Left’s latest impeachment stunt makes it clear: that’s one thing they all have in common.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) barely won the majority back, even more miraculously won the gavel back, and how is she spending both? Trying to kick a man out of office who will be gone next Wednesday anyway. “We’re such imbeciles,” one anonymous House Democrat vented to reporters. “We never think about the consequences.”

Like everyone else, the Wall Street Journal’s Jeffrey Scott Shapiro took issue with President Trump’s speech at the march last Wednesday — and his too-late response to the chaos hours later. But as a prosecutor, he warns, the president didn’t mention violence, “much less provoke or incite it.” Law professor Jonathan Turley, also no fan of the 45th president and his actions, goes a step farther, insisting that Pelosi’s personal vendetta against Trump would “gut the impeachment standard [and] free speech.”

None of this seems to matter to Democrats, who are so worried about the “threat” the president poses to the country that they left town without filing a single article. “Pelosi is politicizing what are very serious and weighty questions,” Marc Thiessen writes in the Washington Post. “Did the president of the United States engage in impeachable conduct? And is it prudent to impeach him when the Constitution will remove him from office in a matter of days?” Most experts, legal scholars, and genuinely concerned citizens say no.

Congressman Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), who watched the events unfold last week in shock and horror, is just as stunned that Democrats would choose this path. “They’ve hated this president so much. They’ve done everything but throw the kitchen sink at him to get him out of office. This [impeachment crusade] doesn’t surprise me. What does surprise me is with the tensions as high as they are [why are they doing this with] nine days left [before] a man leaves office. What is the point, and where is your moral compass?”

Look, Norman said, nobody wants to see this violence. “Joe Biden doesn’t. Donald Trump doesn’t. I don’t know of any politician that does. What took place was a planned attack, and we’ve got to deal with it… But for [Pelosi] to do this, [to] rub salt in the wound of basically 74 million people who voted for President Trump to try to leave his legacy in tatters… it is shocking.” At this point, Norman said, Democrats are just “removed from the reality of the American people.”

They’re also removed from the reality of their own promises. Joe Biden says he wants to unite the country, then turns around and tells reporters the question of impeachment “is up to Congress.” This was his opportunity to prove that healing is what his administration really wants. “If Biden won’t lower the temperature,” Goodwin asks, “who will?”

Either way, the votes aren’t there. Pelosi knows it, and most Americans know it. So what will people conclude? That this is about retribution. And, as I told Congressman Norman, that’s where Democrats are making the biggest tactical error. This only solidifies, in the minds of people who supported Trump, the hate that the far-Left has for him. They’ve seen what he’s been up against from day one, and now Democrats seem intent on proving it until he’s out the door. That doesn’t bring unity or healing. That brings more resentment and resistance against the incoming government. And, as everyone in this city and around the world saw in the tragedy last Wednesday, more anger and hostility are the last things America needs.

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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