Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith, media & culture: 12/12/20

Canaries in the Free Speech coal mine. They would be the dead-on-arrival YouTube posts that dare to question the security (and, therefore, the results) of November’s presidential election. As the, in this case, ironically named PC Magazine puts it “New YouTube videos that claim the 2020 presidential election was rigged due to widespread fraud or errors will no longer be allowed on the platform.”  That chilling policy apparently applies to all future postings. For now, previously posted videos raising such questions will be allowed to stand. So, view this while you can:

BTW, I’m not endorsing either conclusion of the ballot fraud debate. I just think both sides should be allowed into the public arena to make their case. And, IMHO, people of faith (like everyone else) should demand that lest the crushing power of government and (just as dangerously) globalist corporate media be used against them. The First Amendment of U.S. Constitution protects free speech. Huge entities protecting us from what they label as “misinformation” is pretty much the opposite of free speech.

Just out of curiosity, I searched the term “election fraud” on YouTube this morning. The top three videos found were headlined “Armed Protesters Gather Over Baseless Voter Fraud Claims” (ABC’s The View), “Trump election fraud claims are hurting Georgia, says election official” (Guardian News) and “Trump Admins False Election Claims Could Result In Voter Suppression Efforts” (NBC News Now). They were pretty representative of all the offerings beneath them. So, so much for the freewheeling exchange of ideas on the Internet. YouTube’s idea of that appears to range from globalist corporate ideas they agree with to cute animal videos.

By their logic, I guess the Catholic Church was just protecting the public from “misinformation” when it wielded the Inquisition hammer (the Cancel Culture of the 17th century) against Galileo for challenging the then-politically correct notion that the universe revolved around the Earth. If history has taught us anything, it’s that the person pushing against establishment thinking often turns out to be right.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s appropriate to hold standards against physical threats, pornography and even offensive language (i.e. the N word) but the censoring of ideas based on government, church and/or corporate group think is a dangerous road to go down.

I suppose the fact that YouTube allowed this video was allowed to go up yesterday (12/11) offers some hope that the concept of free speech at the service isn’t yet totally dead. I hope the Alphabet/Google subsidiary (and its parent company) hears the warning loud and clear.  Global tech behemoths must not be able to censor the free flow of ideas and beliefs in America.


The Chosen celebrates Christmas. As noted here earlier, The Chosen, the first-ever, multi-season episodic drama series about the life of Christ, is a worldwide hit that scored over 64-million views in its first season to become the top crowdfunded media project in history. Now, VidAngel Studios, the company behind the show, has announced a two-hour Christmas with The Chosen musical special.

The Christmas with The Chosen event drops Sunday (12/13) @ 8:00 PM ET via BYUtv and a social media simulcast involving YouTube, Facebook, and The Chosen App). Additionally, the special will air on Thursday (12/17) @ 10:30 PM ET and 11:00 PM ET pm on The Hillsong Channel and TBN respectively, Christmas Eve @ 7:30 PM ET on UPtv and Christmas Day at 11:00 PM ET again on TBN.

Along with cast members of The Chosen, the program features an all-star lineup of Christian artists that includes Chris Tomlin, Phil Wickham, Matt Maher, Hillsong United, For King and Country, the Piano Guys and Mandisa, among others. The special, hosted by The Chosen’s creator/director Dallas Jenkins, will also feature the Christmas episode entitled The Shepherd.

VidAngel CEO Neal Harmon sees the special as something of a 2020 gift to the audience because “The world is suffering this Holiday Season, struggling with a pandemic, political unrest, economic turmoil, and physical separation from friends and loved ones. What we all need is hope. That’s the spirit behind this one-of-a-kind musical and entertainment experience.” He notes that “This entire special takes place at The Chosen’s stunning Jerusalem set in Utah, the setting for Season 2…We think audiences will love what they see.”

Episodes of The Chosen are available to watch for free on The Chosen mobile app and the VidAngel website. Viewers can also cast the show’s episodes to popular streaming devices like Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Chromecast, etc. The series is produced by Chad Gundersen (The Redemption of Henry Myers, Like Dandelion Dust) and Justin Tolley (October Baby).

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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