Censorship. The Language of Cowards.

I treasure authentic people. The kind who say what they mean or how they feel, despite who’s in the room, or who’s reading their post.

But in an increasingly “PC” world, authenticity has become a rare commodity. Especially on the web. I’ve been tempted and fallen guilty myself, through the years, to water down a message or article…replacing the word “God” for “Jesus” to be more palpable, or toning down my spiritual fervor to avoid seeming unstable. Or on the flip side, removing ‘worldly’ concepts like drinking margaritas (love my shaker and salt) when writing for spiritual sites, to make sure I appear “Christian” enough. And every time I’ve done it, it feels gross. Like laughing at your boss’s crude jokes or deleting “Merry Christmas” from your email sign offs, to avoid offending. Ewe.

Self-censorship is degrading. But federal censorship is a crime. And I cannot believe how much of it’s happened since the Covid 19 pandemic hit home.

As the outbreak’s evolved, my mask-covered jaw has continually dropped at the blatant, in my opinion illegal, censorship of information shared on platforms like Facebook and YouTube-not to mention the agenda-driven news coming from all media. Both platforms are now removing “fake posts” and conspiracy theories about Coronavirus, including links related to the “Plandemic” documentary, and an interview with a doctor claiming she was jailed for not cooperating with the government’s misuse of vaccines. Both sites say they’ll “continue working to limit the spread of misinformation and harmful content about the virus and connecting people to helpful information.”

Anyone buying this load of garbage has been drinking the Kool-Aide one “we’re all in this together” hashtag too long. I would love to delve into a fact-based rabbit hole of all the reasons cherry picking content from the web is wrong, especially when we’re allowed to post any all kinds of accusatory rhetoric against our U.S. President (love or hate him, he leads the free world) while deeming an interview with a virologist a “national threat.” Dude.

Maybe my devotion to the First Amendment stems from my early career as a newspaper reporter and columnist. During those years and even through my author experiences I’ve come across my share of “haters” upset about how I’ve communicated personal beliefs in my column or reported on a topic. As an innate people-pleaser who dreads conflict, I have to say, it was rough. But with every pushback and confrontation I became stronger in my resolve to report truth and share my unfiltered thoughts, regardless of external pressures. Kind of like the mantra, “imitation is suicide.”

So aside from the medical workers and first responders, I believe the real ‘heroes” emerging through this crisis have been the free-thinking souls who’ve refused to join the bandwagon of those believing in all spoon fed propaganda from the media and continue to offer ideas counter to the mythical garbage regurgitated twenty-four seven on CNN. It’s the public figures, influences and  regular people speaking their minds about issues like the over-the-top restraints on business and socialization rules, the media’s destructive fear mongering, and examining how and why the pandemic is being handled the way it is, that I’ve admired most.

Yup. Public figures like Heidi St. John, have become my hero. This author sat in her car and posted a video this week of her thoughts on the injudicious and extreme ways officials in her state are responding to the virus (proposing door-to-door quarantine checks!) and encouraging listeners to know their rights, which includes not answering phone calls from the CDC asking the type, and amount of vaccinations. (I guess Corona trumps HIPPA?!)  

Aside from her candid speech and resistance to posting popularly held videos reassuring “we’ll all be okay,” I admired her humble defense against those claiming her tone and behavior to be “unChristian.” Apparently, using terms like “fear pimps” (best thing I’d heard all week!) to describe the media and refusing to engage in government-led incentives like “telling on” neighbors seen in groups of more than 5 makes her an anger-spreading anarchist.

Can we set the record straight, for all the well-meaning Christians (or anyone) before this blog is removed? Righteous anger is not wrong. Jesus got angry. Not just that one time when he overturned tables in church. He was a free thinker who went against religious law a few times, when justice demanded. He pissed the Jewish leaders off by healing on the Sabbath. He called out the Pharisees for thinking evil thoughts. He at times called people insufferable, asking God how long he had to put up with them (I just love that so much).

Jesus came to bring peace but he wasn’t a pacifist. He said “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Taking a stand against evil, in reality, can divide family, friends, and yes, even Twitter followers.

I believe if Jesus were right here in the middle of this viral circus he would be doing more than buying heart-shaped yard signs and stuffing teddy bears in windows. I don’t think he’d be wearing camo, picketing the capital with misspelled signage, but I do believe he wouldn’t turn a blind eye to the blatant misuse of government power or march lock step down the clear path globalists are mapping out towards restricted freedoms. 

Followers of Christ are meant to be a “city on a hill,” offering light and wisdom in an increasingly dark and lost world. We’re designed to gain knowledge and use it (“My people perish for lack of knowledge”-Hosea 4:6). I believe Jesus would absolutely be resisting evil (ya know, like using aborted fetal tissue for research) and refuse to casually surrender liberties earned through fore father’s blood.

We’ve all been guilty of ignorance and apathy to some degree. It’s so easy to take the path of least resistance and it sure doesn’t help our follower counts. I’m so thankful for everyone out there refusing ambivalence to what’s going on around us that’ll impact our rights and quality of lives if remaining unchecked. Christians more than any group, should never allow our hearts to be silenced, and be brave enough to look for truth, no matter how ugly or unpleasant. And it’s ugly, Zuckerberg. Censor that.

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JESSICA KASTNER

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