Monday, July 22, 2019

Crocheting our way to a new world. . .

Charges of media bias are old news.  But in this new world of social conscience tilted toward one side, groups without political identity are taking on political views and exhibiting media bias against conservative values, religious expression, and, in particular, toward President Trump.  While readers of this blog know that I am not a rabid fan of our current president, I am appreciate of his efforts to rein in abortion and those who want to control religious speech and expression in the public sphere.  Others find President Trump the symbol of all that is evil in America.

Consider this.  A group of folks who enjoy knitting and crocheting have utilized Facebook to be a meeting place of those who get excited about yarn.  It seems just the kind of group that would fit social media and would bring together a diverse group of people with a common interest.  You would think.  The Federalist reports that this group of millions of hobbyists in Ravelry have been warned that there is no room in their group or on their pages for anything that might suggest support for President Trump or his policies.
Ravelry has banned support for President Trump and his administration on their wildly popular fiber arts membership website, because ‘support of the Trump administration is unambiguously support for white supremacy.’

Ravelry’s unapologetically discriminatory policy does not mince words. ‘New policy: Do not post in support of President Trump or his administration,’ reads the title of the document detailing their intention to silence the artists and presumably advertisers with whom the social media site’s owners disagree.
‘We cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy,’ it says, in Orwellian prose. ‘Support of the Trump administration is undeniably support for white supremacy.’
A number of other fiber arts businesses and online networks quickly expressed their support for the incendiary Ravelry statement…
Ravelry’s advertising guidelines boast 7 million users in “nearly every country in the world” reaching 5 to 6 million daily page views. SimilarWeb ranks the site first in the hobbies and leisure crafts category, and estimates 13.59 million monthly visits, 56 percent of which are from the United States. As this article was being written, 5,204 “revelers” were surfing the site. There, they share, buy, and sell patterns for everything from crocheted shawls to felted sculptures with, of course, the site’s owners taking a cut of the financial transactions.
In other words, there is only one political view allowed and that is the anti-Trump stand.  So, if I am not a big Trumper, why do I point this out?  This is precisely how censorship works.  It does not have to count on government control or impetus to rule certain kinds of speech intolerable.  In fact, it works best if those in media all the way down to hobby groups take up the cause on their own and become the thought police on behalf of any one point of view.  What can happen in politics will certainly happen in religion as those who refuse to be swept up in the GLBTQ agenda and the pro-choice crowd will soon find their access to media, social media, and even comments within a hobby group curtailed.  My point is this.  People tend to think that the conservative voices in America are the ones trying to silence people but it is just the opposite.  Long ago the media took on Planned Parenthood, feminism, and the GLBTQ crowd as their own personal causes.  This has expanded and many of those now in charge of a host of unrelated forums are extending the reach and making it more and more likely that someday those who stand for the cause of life, who value marriage and family as Scripture speaks of them, and who hold to a Biblical sexual morality will find their own access to media restricted and their points of view labelled hate speech. 

On a personal note. . .

It has already happened to this blog and I have already had to defend myself and the idea of open comments against those who insisted this was a venue for hate speech.  I do not moderate comments (though I do remove spam).  Those who comment freely and their comments (from the wise and witty to the stupid and embarrassing) need to pay attention.  While we should not succumb to the pressure to be silent, we need to remember that people are listening and watching and working to shut down venues that do not hold to the politically correct line.  So if I am going down, I would rather have it be for intelligent comments that reason against such goofiness than people sounding off without a filter in place.  Comment freely but comment intelligently and read your comment before hitting post.


Carl Vehse said...

"This is precisely how censorship works."

In an example closer to home, yesterday at the LCMS convention in Tampa, prior to the start of process for electing Synod VPs and other officials, a motion was made (at 1:26:35 in the July 21 morning session) to add this Standing Rule:

"Voting lists in any form, written or electronic, from outside interest groups, under any title (United List, Congregational [sic] Matters, et ceteral [sic]), will not be allowed on the convention floor at any time during the convention by voting delegates, advisory delegates, or guests.

"Delegates are encouraged to used the biographic synopsis and statements of nominees and their own personal notes.

"Upon passing this amendment, the chairman of the convention will immediately instruct pages to collect all lists printed on paper and give all delegates a moment to delete the list from their electronic devices.

"The lists are not to be used from this time forward in the convention."

The motion to confiscate or destroy delegates' private property was even supported by a former Southeastern District president. Although no point of order was raise about this motion violating the LCMS Constitution, Article II, the motion was defeated with a 77% no vote.

Anonymous said...

Carl, is it also censorship when the government will not allow campaign signs with a certain distance of a government voting booth? Please discern between good order vs. chaos on the convention floor if any group can promote their list; between only allow a certain politic bias vs. not allowing any political speech.

Carl, are you joy-Fully Lutheran?

Carl Vehse said...

Anonymous on July 22, 2019 at 9:49 AM, your question dealing with restrictions on the placement of signs owned by political candidates within a certain distance of polling places is an irrelevant analogy.

As with individual delegates at the synod convention, there are no restrictions on voters bringing as part of their own personal property information, lists, or other printed or electronic documents on political candidates or referendums, which they can refer to when casting their ballot. (There are restrictions on leaving such political material at the polling place, or passing out such material to other voters within the polling place.)

Confiscating or requiring the destruction of private property is a violation of the seventh commandment. Would you be joy-Fully Lutheran in supporting that?

Archimandrite Gregory said...

why have we not developed a conservatve social network where libs are uninvited?

Anonymous said...

I am joy-Fully Lutheran. If rules are set forth that restrict materials and even take private property in a non-public, restricted environment, in this case; it is acceptable as a matter of keeping the 4th Commandment! or the delegate can leave or remove the items that are contraband.

You are breaking the 8th Commandment to suggest they are policing someone's personal notes and items. NO one is doing that and just because a foolish comment is not responded to/condemned, doesn't mean it would ever happen.
Private property can be taken in any number of situations and its not a 7th Commandment issue, like if a child brings their favorite toy to school, the teacher takes it away without breaking the Commandments.
Don't make life harder than it already is,
Anon July 22, 2019 at 9:49 AM

Anonymous said...

And yet another post unravels in the comment section, thanks to Vehse Srickert.

Carl Vehse said...

Anonymous on July 22, 2019 at 11:51 AM, did you not read or hear the wording of the motion that would require the chairman to "immediately instruct pages to collect all lists printed on paper and give all delegates a moment to delete the list from their electronic devices"? This confiscation or requiring the destruction of private property would have been a violation of the seventh commandment.

While there is a Standing Rule that delegates are not to conduct electronic communication on the convention floor, their cell phones, tablets, and laptops are not confiscated or destroyed in an effort to accomplish that.

Carl Vehse said...

Anonymous at 12:02 PM, you are already breaking Rev. Peters' instructions to "comment intelligently."

Anonymous said...

Is lib the opposite of con?