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Focus on the Family Gets Shut Down by Twitter

The Daily Citizen, a division of Focus On The Family (Focus) was shut down by Twitter based on a tweet from January 19th, 2020. Focus has been informed that they must remove the post in order to allow access to their account. For the present time, the ministry is choosing to fight rather than submit to Twitter’s demands. The tweet in question is as follows:

“On Tuesday, President-elect Joe Biden announced that he had chosen Dr. Rachel Levine to serve as Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of HHS. Dr. Levine is a transgender woman, that is, a man who believes he is a woman.”

The details of this story can be seen from The Daily Citizen website and does not need repeating here. 

What Is The Remedy? 

There seem to be three broad choices for a resolution to this issue. Each has its own repercussions and, of course, speaks to the broader issue of censorship of conservative viewpoints. 

Resist Twitter

Currently, Focus On The Family is choosing to resist removing this tweet, even though Twitter has long since blocked it from being seen. Lawyers, lawsuits, and some media buzz is swirling around the issue. However, as we all know, Twitter is a private company and can make its own content decisions. The lack of consistency across political spectrums, and the reality that Twitter holds a monopoly in their market space have, so far, not been addressed by either congress or the courts. A breach of “consistency” in the courts will cost millions of dollars and years to adjudicate. The same is likely true for legal confirmation that Twitter is a “monopoly”. Perhaps there will be bipartisan support for Congress to eventually act. 

If Focus chooses to stubbornly refuse to delete the tweet (that can’t be seen), they will get some press, but mostly they will chew up legal dollars fighting a long, uphill battle. 

Concede to Twitter

Focus on the Family could concede and remove the hidden tweet. Going forward, they could be more careful in what they publish on the platform. Is this what the Lord means when Scripture says we should live peacefully with our neighbors? 

  • 1 Thessalonians 4:11 – live quietly and mind your own affairs
  • Romans 12:18 – live peaceably with all

When, if ever, do we accept the reality of this world, of which we are not citizens (Philippians 3:20)? 

On the other hand, when do we show righteous indignation as Jesus did turning over the tables of the money changers (John 2:14-15)? Where is the line between living peacefully in a world (that is becoming more antichristian every day), and standing up boldly for what is right?

Change the Tweet

Finally, Focus On The Family could offer an amended tweet that would be acceptable to Twitter. The question is, what would that look like while still communicating the thought? According to Wikipedia, Transgender “people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from the sex that they were assigned at birth.”

Original Tweet: Dr. Levine is a transgender woman, that is, a man who believes he is a woman.”

Modified Tweet: Dr. Levine is a transgender woman, that is, one who was assigned as a man at birth but who now expresses herself as a woman.”

Do you think the modified tweet would be found acceptable to Twitter given it simply defines the term? Is Focus allowed to express an opinion, which differs from Twitter’s, regarding a protected class of people (transgenders)?

My Point

The more conservatives try to squeeze into the narrowing band of politically correct phrases, the more absurd the woke restrictions become and the more attention that absurdity gets, even from our biased media. This is just not the time to “turn over the tables.” I think we all need to calm down, but continue to work toward change using the courts and the lawmakers as we try to live peaceably with all. 

Jeff Hilles | BCWorldview.org

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