Policy on "Censorship"

Most of the discussion on government control of the Internet comes from a secular viewpoint on "pluralism", relative ethics, and the irrelevance of God to anything important -- i.e., public policy.

The truth is that God owns the cosmos, and that we are all, whether on the Internet or not, responsible to Him for our actions.  The fact that people disagree with that is irrelevant.  The issue is whether that is true.  In just the same sense -- we need to decide whether any other source of moral standards is the true  source -- such as the constitution, or majority vote.  I.e. we need to decide what will be our ultimate loyalty.  

In any event, God is not locked out of the discussion merely by being God.  That is absurd.   As Alan Keyes reminds us, we do not have a "right" to do what is wrong. Such a right would be a self-contradiction.  Our freedom of speach is not a freedom to say whatever we like, still less to do whatever we like.  Our freedom is three-fold: 

(1) to pursue truth.  I.e. to speak the truth as we see it and to be open to correction in an open, honest forum protected by rules of due process.  We are bound to seek truth, i.e. to discipline ourselves to find the truth before we speak.  

(2) to pursue righteousness -- our Godly educated consciences (without God there is no basis for an educated conscience or for the distinction between right and wrong), i.e. to do what is right.  We do not have a right to do what is wrong, only to do what is right.  

(3) to pursue love -- to carry out our truth and righteousness seeking in a loving and compassionate manner. 

Those are the freedoms guaranteed by our constitution, no more, no less.  We do not have the right even to participate in discussion of public policy effecting the lives of others unless we are committed to being truth-seekers.  That is the only possible basis for sustaining a democratic republic.

We are in our quandary because we have lost the sense that God owns everything, and so all morality and obligation appears to us to flow from civil government. Thus all questions of morality appear to come down to whether a behavior ought to be coercively enforced. But civil government does not define right and wrong. God does because only He can.

So the issue before us is not whether the Internet ought to be governed, or whether moral issues apply there. They apply there just as they apply everywhere. The question is whether things like pornography, which are wrong (and which are flooding the Internet with ugliness and evil), ought to be prevented by coercive force or left to public opinion and self-policing.  

Those who think the influence of Internet porn is minimal, on either children or adults, do not know what they are talking about. The Internet does not have any inherent right to be ungoverned any more than the "wild west". Evil is evil, and we are required to forbid evil and encourage good.  That is the meaning of any morality.  

There is no question in my mind that civil government will have to control  evil on the Internet. The question rather is whether we will be able to restore limited government under God so that the control will be fair, honest, and liberating -- and at the same time a scourge to evil and an encouragement to good.

I do not believe that can be accomplished other than under the law and grace of God.   There are several websites listed in the ROAD to EMMAUS website index dealing with these issues. Some of them invite responses. So get out and, in a graceful and educated manner, express your Godly opinion....

Earle Fox


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