Thursday, February 3, 2011

What Use is Freedom of Speech if you Can't Use it

A major news outlet had an article touching on how a John 3:16 ad painted on a player's face was too offensive for Fox to show to the audience of the Super Bowl 45. See here. Perhaps they were trying to dodge other controversial ads that may try to ride the coat tails of one that isn't, but it raises a question. If the thought police at a network can block even advertising on television, or for that matter radio, what use is free speech? Is free speech now only available on sympathetic small radio stations or the non-viewed TBN health and wealth channel? Is free speech only available in public parks and door to door in a neighborhood? The medium of our time is internet. To this point it is largely free to sharing the gospel, but there have been times when large website companies have done the same type of thing with restricting Christian advertising (a la google on ads a few years back, which I think finally reversed itself). The second and third biggest mediums tv and radio seem to be free only to an extent. All of this is merely to raise the question: what value is freedom of speech unless it can be heard in major forums of the day?

On the same link above, there is a discussion on a Doritos commercial and Christians. It seems that in this situation the advertising cuts both ways. I don't know that that Doritos thing bothers me at all, in fact, pastors joke about that among themselves. Pastors wouldn't (in the vast majority of cases) take that Doritos commericial seriously. It seems that either ad, the John 3:16 , or the Doritos one, could be shown in a country such as ours. But... neither is allowed. This underlines the question again about what it means to say we are free to speak in a digital age, beyond talking to someone walking their dog in a local park, lol. :)

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