Earlier this week I wrote and released an article for Theology Review entitled The Importance of Standing Firm Upon God’s Word. Throughout this week I have met criticism due to my views on the issue of same-sex marriage and LGBT. This led to making the decision to delete the post and start again. I was also met with criticism for doing this, despite the fact that ultimately it is my responsibility to manage my social profiles and pages.
This criticism has even gone so far as to label my response as “censorship”. So I want to use this quick post to address this issue, and ask the question, is Theology Review censoring people.
Is Theology Review Censoring People?
The answer to this is a resounding no. But let’s look at this a little more shall we?
On a practical level, the comments that anyone makes on a social media site is the responsibility of those that manage it. So in terms of my social media sites, it is ultimately myself who bears that responsibility. With this being the case it is up to me to judge whether comments and content are appropriate for the world to see.
This week a comments thread got out of hand with the majority of people, including myself, talking in a manner that was not fruitful, nor appropriate. This is exactly why I made the announcement on Thursday that any posts related to TR material would now be filtered through the comments policy that we use here on the website.
As was expected, this made those harsh commenters (and their supporters) a little bit mad. This was always going to be the case. As I knew that as soon as I made that decision, I was going to get complaints from people saying things such as “well I didn’t breach those terms”. In reality, it is me as the lead for TR to determine whether anybody (including myself) has breached those terms.
But the question here is, is Theology Review censoring people.
As stated earlier on, the answer to this is no. All too often in the 21st century, we will throw words around without thinking about what they actually mean. Censorship at its core is about silencing anything that does not conform to what’s expected, or should I say, what is desired to be expected.
In terms of the decision to start using the comments policy to gauge whether comments should be allowed on social media posts. It is certainly far from being about not allowing comments I don’t agree with. It is all about not allowing comments that will not lead to a healthy and fruitful discussion that reflects Christ. This will also go for my own comments as well as anybody else’s.
So no, Theology Review is not censoring anybody. What we are doing is putting needed principles in place to ensure that discussions can be a blessing and not a problem.