BIG MEDIA APPROVES
THE BANNING OF BOOKS
Some years back, a reader complained that Christians were always whining about being discriminated against and having their views marginalized. “You’re the largest religious group in the country,” she wrote “Nobody’s persecuting you.”
It was a sentiment that shimmered with ignorance. But it could perhaps be explained by how hard press outlets were working to obscure the many ways traditional religious ideas are systematically excluded from public discussion. At that time, suggesting people of faith weren’t able to express their opinions freely would have brought derision from across the media spectrum.
These days, making any sort of moral pronouncement that reflects a traditional faith perspective is very likely to get you called a bigot, a Nazi, a purveyor of hate — or worse. It can also get you banned from Facebook and other online platforms.
And it’s become harder to cover up that reality.
Amazon.com, the world’s largest purveyor of books (among many other products) recently banned the published works of the late Joseph Nicolosi, who was perhaps the nation’s most prominent Catholic psychotherapist specializing in sexuality issues.
Nicolosi was an advocate of so-called “conversion therapy.” His books document the process of helping people overcome same-sex attraction (or at least to bring it under control) and work through their gender-identity conflicts.
Now, it is true that there are opposing views about the effects (and appropriateness) of conversion therapy. I’m not qualified to evaluate the specialty, and anyway, that isn’t the point of this post.
NBC covered Amazon’s banning of Nicolosi, observing that…
“His books are some of the most well-known works about conversion therapy, the pseudoscientific practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
“‘I would say many survivors of conversion therapy could trace their trauma to Nicolosi,’ Sam Brinton, head of advocacy and government affairs at The Trevor Project and a survivor of conversion therapy, told NBC News. ‘His work lent credibility under the guise of “science” to conversion therapy, even though the practice has been disputed and discredited as dangerous and harmful by medical experts.’”
Note how the NBC story takes it as a given that…
- conversion therapy is a pseudoscientific practice that’s disputed and discredited as dangerous and harmful;
- as well as how Nicolosi’s views were presented under the guise of “science”;
- and that those who have been through conversion therapy are survivors who trace their trauma to Nicolosi.
That there is much evidence in support of conversion therapy and that many medical experts recommend it go unmentioned.
Now please don’t bother blitzing me with your arguments either for or against conversion therapy. I’m well aware that it’s controversial.
The point to which I wish to draw attention is that the NBC report is a tacit endorsement of Amazon’s effort to impede access to books by a distinguished Catholic clinician — books which many sexually distressed people have sought out.
The online retail giant acted in response to pressure from a concerted campaign — including a Change.org petition drive — to suppress Nicolosi’s work. Amazon management made the decision; NBC News applauded it.
Welcome to the brave new world of corporate censorship. In this enlightened atmosphere Big Tech moderates (to use a term currently in vogue) information set before the public, while Big Media justifies the practice.
And it’s not limited to banning of books.
The New York Times recently demonstrated how our corporate censors attempt to squelch concern about curtailment of free expression in its coverage of the Social Media Summit called by President Trump to examine the question of online speech regulation.
In one of the pettiest news reports you’ll ever read, White House Correspondent Katie Rogers dismissed the event as an opportunity for Trump to show a group of his supporters “who had made the journey from the internet’s backwaters”…
“…how much he appreciated their work helping shape the online narrative about his presidency and a re-election fight…” as well as to go “in search of outside-the-box campaign ideas from a group that also has little use for playing by the rules.”
Rogers drew attention to how one of the participating groups had been “criticized by the Southern Poverty Law Center” (which to my mind is a badge of honor); highlighted an attendee who “preened in the background in a floor-length red gown emblazoned with the word ‘freedom’; and devoted several paragraphs to a Rose Garden confrontation between former Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka and a reporter.
Just for good measure, she noted that the confrontation was filmed by James O’Keefe…
“an activist who likes to capture videos under false pretenses to embarrass liberals and journalists.”
How’s that for balanced and dispassionate reporting?
I didn’t attend the Summit, so I can’t say whether the event was worthwhile. Nor do I have any idea what actions might come from it. But I suspect this White House gathering was something more than the circus which Katie Rogers would like us to believe it was.
At the very least, Trump expressed a clear commitment to free expression…
“Today I am directing my administration to explore all regulatory and legislative solutions to protect free speech and the free speech rights of all Americans,” he said. “We hope to see transparency, more accountability and more freedom.”
All that’s as may be. But these days, we have absolutely no guarantee that the freedom of expression which has been an essential element in American life will continue. And especially when it comes to faith-inspired writing (which Dr. Joseph Nicolosi’s work surely was), it would not be overly paranoid to expect increasing attempts by our online gatekeepers to limit the dissemination and influence of the Judeo-Christian moral perspective (through banning of books and other means).
Get ready for a fight.
Granted, conversion therapy is a hot-button issue. perhaps the hottest in the area of sex and gender. But there are plenty of other controversial books that question the LGBTQ worldview. One of the most critical is the Bible. Michael Brown, host of the nationally syndicated “Line of Fire” Christian radio program, asked recently in a Christian Post essay whether Amazon will ban the Holy Scriptures next…
The Gateway Pundit has video from the Social Media Summit. Writer Cristina Laila comments on the tone of some coverage which this event has garnered, pointing out that…
“The same fake news outlets who peddled the Russian collusion hoax for over two years are complaining about conservatives meeting at the White House with President Trump to discuss the blatant social media bias against Trump supporters.”
Frontpage Magazine’s Daniel Greenfield notes that there’s considerable book banning underway in the most unexpected of places: libraries, many of which have been taken over by leftists and are morphing into what he calls “anti-libraries.”…
“The anti-library is dedicated to limiting knowledge and eliminating the past. The fewer books there are, the easier it is to make sure that they are the right ones.”
Check out his sad, Orwellian vision at…
But people are fighting back — at least against Amazon’s censorship. Several pro-Nicolosi online petitions have appeared, such as this one…