Tony Perkins / January 28, 2022

DirecTV Channels Its Inner Censor

Faithful America is very talented at bullying the media into doing their bidding.

The media likes to say Christians are a dying, ineffectual voice in the public square. If that were true — if people of faith really had no influence in this country — then why is the Left pretending to be one of them? They talk a good game, but radical Democrats are terrified of the impact that motivated believers are having in today’s debates. So they put on a few clerical collars, cite a couple Bible verses, and declare themselves guardians of the democracy. At least that’s what an organization called “Faithful America” did. It was only later that people started to wonder: faithful to who and to what?

They claim to be “the largest online community putting our faith into action for social justice.” But what they really are, watchdogs warn, is a “religious version of” Just Google the organization’s name — Faithful America — and you’ll see their greatest hits: a “fire Franklin Graham” campaign, petitions against Amy Coney Barrett, Hobby Lobby, various Catholic dioceses, and Dr. Albert Mohler. They’ve tried to cancel Senator Josh Hawley’s (R-Mo.) book, boot FRC off the networks, and, most recently, leaned on cable providers to drop objective media outlets like One America News (OAN) Network, Newsmax, and Real America’s Voice. And they’re doing all of it under the guise of Christianity.

Just this month, the organization’s executive director, Rev. Nathan Empsall, wrote a scathing column in Newsweek shaming Christians for trying to impose their beliefs on America — and blaming that “toxic worldview” for the riots of January 6. “This is not Christianity; it’s an authoritarian cult, one that worships power rather than God. Yet it’s not just the politicians who are distorting Jesus’s message of love and justice. Far too many conservative evangelical pastors and Catholic clergy are also spreading toxic white Christian nationalism.” It’s time, he argued, “to call out the authorities who hijack [God’s] name for cynical power.”

That’s ironic, coming from a bogus faith group whose entire objective is to shut Christians down. “They’re just another fake, Left-wing nest of operatives,” Influence Watch’s Scott Walter argues. “They get taken much more seriously than they deserve.” They try to hijack Jesus to serve a hateful political agenda, and then crusade to silence anyone who disagrees with them. Fortunately, Capital Research Center’s Parker Thayer explained on “Washington Watch,” “they have almost no real-world support, no real grassroots connection. They’re just paid-for advocacy groups that pop up wherever the Democratic Party and the Left need someone to speak for them.”

Of course, that hasn’t stopped the media from using Empsall’s group as a real representation of Christian values. And they’ve had a lot of help from the legacy media, who’s never bothered to see if the organization is even legitimate before giving them a nationwide platform and claiming they speak for the country’s religious population. “They essentially spend all of their budget trying to appear larger than they are,” Thayer pointed out. “The media really isn’t willing to look into this deeper. Sometimes they’ll see that maybe Faithful America signed a letter with 30-40 groups signing on to it. But all of those groups might have been just another part of the Citizen Engagement Lab that don’t really exist in any meaningful sense, aside from what the Citizen Engagement Lab wants them to appear to be.”

Naturally, the media is willing to go along with it, so long as it serves their purposes. And while anyone in this country is free to go out, create an organization, and make a lot of noise, the media shouldn’t be elevating them beyond what they deserve. The press knows good and well this is nothing more than a George Soros-type funded front group — but they play along with the charade anyway, working to undermine the voices of the authentic Christian movement.

Unfortunately, Faithful America is also very talented at bullying the media into doing their bidding. In another victory for the cancel culture, they’ve managed to pressure DirecTV to drop the channel, effective this April. “One America News, Newsmax, and Real America’s Voice aren’t legitimate news networks,” they insist. “They’re dishonest, authoritarian organizations that prop up Christian nationalism while only masquerading as journalism. When it comes to enabling conspiracy theories and undermining democracy, Fox News doesn’t hold a candle to these channels,” they insist in their petition to get Roku and Viacom to follow DirecTV’s lead.

For OAN, the blow was a painful one. DirecTV was the network’s biggest broadcaster and revenue provider. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was so outraged over the censorship that he dropped his own DirecTV subscription. “Why give money to people who hate us?” he said simply. Other conservatives blasted the decision, insisting that it’s only part of a larger scandal by Big Media to sideline conservative views. “Pretty convenient that this comes within a week after Biden begged companies to silence ‘misinformation,’ meaning his opposition,” Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) tweeted.

If you can’t beat ‘em, silence 'em. That’s been the Left’s mantra for years. It just so happens that they finally have a man in the White House who’s as big of a believer in viewpoint suppression as they are.

Originally published here.

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

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