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YouTube Atheists Not Above Censorship (Video Added)

John on February 27, 2007 at 12:48 pm

[Update: Pastor Williams has uploaded the clip to Google video, so I've added it below.]

A few weeks ago, Nick Ginsburne’s right to free speech was attacked by unsrupulous YouTube users. Nick is an atheist who was shut down by YouTube after uploading a video critical of Islam. The video was little more than a collection of verses from the Koran, but apparently that was too much for some cyber-jihadists who labelled it “hate speech.” The video was canned, along with every other video Nick had posted. Atheists everywhere were outraged, and rightly so.

In a surprising twist, Christian bloggers joined their outrage. Irrational Optimism put up a post calling Christian bloggers to stand up for Nick’s rights. His post was highlighed on Instapundit which is how I learned of it. Allahpundit also wrote about it at Hot Air. Anyway, I was one of the Christian bloggers who decided to jump on the bandwagon. Here’s the core of what I wrote:

If Ginsburne’s opinons are banned this week, my opinion could be banned next week.

Well, as you’ve probably guessed, the story has taken another twist involving the banning of a Christian’s speech against atheists. Essentially, the same move that was used by Islamists to ban Nick’s video has now been used by atheists to ban a Christian pastor’s video. Details in a moment, first a bit of background is necessary…

You may have heard of the “blasphemy challenge. This is the brainstorm of a group of atheists who hope to change the world by asking people to create a YouTube video damning their own souls. For their efforts the blasphemers get a lovely parting gift (an atheist DVD). It’s a media friendly idea, albeit theologically muddled. I wrote about it here, noting the basic problem:

As is so often the case, atheists read the Bible more literally than the most ardent fundamentalists. By most accounts, to blaspheme the Spirit is to deny Christ. In short, the only unforgivable sin is disbelief, even then it must be willful disbelief.

I wasn’t the only one to notice the problems with the blasphemy challenge. Pastor David Williams of Bethesda, whose blog is Beloved Spear, created a video mocking the blasphemy challenge and posted it on You Tube. His video lasted a total of six hours. That’s how long it took for a group of atheists to notice it and mark it as “hate speech.” You can still view his video on his site. It was a clever bit of ridicule and, I thought, made the point that atheists often make terrible theologians.

So, while I’m tempted to focus on the hypocrisy of the atheists involved in the latest episode of YouTube censorship, I’m going to resist temptation and stay positive. How about a little quid quid pro quo from atheist bloggers? We all agree that censorship and dishonesty are not in anyone’s best interest. Therefore I’d expect atheist bloggers to stand up for pastor David Williams’ speech and ask YouTube to restore his video. I know some of them will, or perhaps I should say I have faith they will.

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Category: Atheism, Blogs & New Media |

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