Blogs
Featured Image
Olaf LatzelOlaf Latzel - St. Martini Gemeinde / YouTube

Big Tech is censoring us. Subscribe to our email list and bookmark LifeSiteNews.com to continue getting our news.  Subscribe now.

February 12, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — In a stunning sentence late last year, a court in Bremen, Germany, sentenced Rev. Olaf Latzel of St. Martini (part of the Evangelical Church in Germany: EKD) to a fine of €8,100 for “inciting hatred” against homosexuals in private remarks made to church couples. During the seminar, Latzel defended the biblical definitions of gender and sexuality, condemning the Berlin Pride March and referring to gender ideology as “an attack against God’s order of Creation.”

Latzel’s defense lawyer called the sentence, which the pastor is appealing, a “catastrophe,” and warned that free speech was under threat: “While today this is about a view found in the Bible, tomorrow it will be about any other opinion.”

Latzel’s lawyer told the court that the Bremen pastor was condemning behavior rather than people, but the judge stated that the “homosexual orientation of a person is a part of [his] personality.” Some Protestant leaders in Bremen appear to be more concerned by how biblical teachings reflect on their popularity, rather than by threats to their ability to proclaim the Gospel, announcing in response to the sentence that they “condemned in the strongest terms” Latzel’s words. The EKD is a largely liberal denomination, and Latzel’s traditional views have made him a controversial figure for some time. St. Martini church, where Latzel serves as pastor, has even had services interrupted by LGBT activists.

To discuss the implications of this ongoing case, I reached out to Manfred Müller with the German office of Voice of the Martyrs. Müller told me that Latzel was prosecuted in a “political show trial” in “a huge public space rented in order for many people to attend the public spectacle.” His case, Müller said, needs international attention.

What is the significance of this case? Is there a precedent for it?

There is no precedent for it. It’s the other way around: This will serve as a precedent for future cases. That makes it so significant. We have seen this coming for a long time. Even a few years ago some conservative Christian might have already said: If I were to imagine persecution coming to Germany, I might imagine it along the lines of moral especially sexual ethics.

Now, with Olaf Latzel, for the first time a German court restricts religious freedom (Article 4, Basic Law) for the benefit of the homosexual lobby. Or to put it in more neutral terms: to protect the feelings and rights of homosexuals.

At the expense of freedom of speech, religious freedom etc., homosexual rights are protected. This will have consequences (if the judgment will hold against the appeal) for churches in Germany that reject gay blessings and weddings. This could, for example, in the future cause them to lose their status [as charitable organizations]. That would [be] a huge financial disadvantage.

What is the potential outcome for other conservative clergy members?

Already: intimidation to take a biblical stand on this issue. In addition, new realities will be created in the regional church, meaning that in the future pastors with a critical attitude towards blessing homosexual couples or even conducting weddings will not be admitted to the church as clergy. Before being employed, an interview could be held asking them about their stance on those issues. Thus, facts are created and pastors with a biblical view of homosexuality will then no longer exist.

How was Latzel’s trial a “show trial” — a very loaded word in the German context?

By relocating the trial to the public arena (a local theater) instead of the courtroom, thus allowing for more people to attend. Plus, the rush to judgment in the media and the prejudice by all the involved parties. All that created prejudgment and pressure on the judge to make the “right” decision.

How was the trial unfair?

The whole accusation does not hold. There was never the intention to publish what Olaf Latzel shared in this internal Bible study group for couples. It was a closed event. No way that this could or even should have served to spark public hate, let alone “incitement of the masses” (the accusation).

— Article continues below Petition —
PETITION: Dump YouTube, Twitter and Big Tech for threatening our democracy and freedom of speech!
  Show Petition Text
75277 have signed the petition.
Let's get to 80000!
Thank you for signing this petition!
Add your signature:
  Show Petition Text
Keep me updated via email on this petition and related issues.
Keep me updated via email on this petition and related issues.

PETITION UPDATE (2/23/21) - 

LifeSite has signed on to a Media Research Center (MRC) letter to all 50 state Attorneys General, calling for an investigation into Big Tech.

Google, Facebook, and Twitter have monopolized the industry, and are using their influence to collect user data, suppress content, and silence those who voice ideas and beliefs counter to their own.

As we urged prior, action must be taken to combat these efforts, and that is why we’ve joined the MRC in this fight.

Please take a couple of minutes to READ this LifeSiteNews article about MRC's initiative: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/lifesite-joins-effort-asking-state-attorneys-general-to-investigate-big-tech-for-deceptive-trade-practices

Then, please SIGN and STOP using Twitter, Facebook, Google (YouTube) and Amazon to take back your privacy and freedom of speech!

________________________________________________________

PETITION UPDATE (2/9/21) -

YouTube just completely removed the LifeSiteNews YouTube channel. This isn’t a ban, every single one of our videos is completely gone. Being completely removed from YouTube means we’ve lost access to 300,000+ followers.

This is the latest and appalling affront to free speech which is happening to many conservative and Christian organizations.

Please SIGN this petition and STOP using YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google (owner of YouTube) and Amazon to take back your privacy and freedom of speech!

We are not going to take this lying down!

Thankfully, we have backups of all our videos:

You can watch our current videos on Rumble, here: https://rumble.com/user/LifeSiteNews
Or on our LifeSiteNews Catholic Rumble channel, here: https://rumble.com/user/LifeSiteNewsCatholic

You can also sign-up to receive email alerts about our recent videos here: https://bit.ly/LifeSiteVideoSub

Please help us build Rumble and our other alternative platforms by donating through our secure link: https://give.lifesitenews.com/

After you SIGN this petition, please also see our 'Goodbye Google' resources to find out how to quit Big Tech and learn more about good alternatives!

____________________________________________________________________________

PETITION UPDATE (1/26/20) -

Twitter has again locked LifeSiteNews out of two of our accounts on the platform for displaying a message noting that President Joe Biden’s newly named Assistant Secretary of Health “Rachel” Levine is a man.

Both accounts displayed a simple message which read: “Biden names transgender ‘woman’ as Assistant Secretary of Health. ‘Rachel’ Levine is a father of two who divorced his wife in 2013 after 30 years of marriage.” The tweets also included a link to LifeSite’s article Biden names transgender ‘woman’ as Assistant Secretary of Health, and contained part of the opening sentence of that article, “Joe Biden has announced his intention to appoint a gender-confused man” as Assistant Secretary of Health.

For stating biological or Biblical truths, Twitter and Big Tech are trying to shut down conservative voices.

Therefore, it is now more important than ever to consider dumping Twitter, Google (who own YouTube) and Facebook. To be clear: LifeSite is still using Twitter and Big Tech to encourage others to migrate away from these illiberal platforms.

This is not the first time that LifeSiteNews has been censored by Twitter. In December 2019, Twitter indefinitely suspended our account for a tweet that linked to an article on transgender activist Jonathan “Jessica” Yaniv.

At the time, Twitter gave LifeSite the option to delete the tweet and reactivate our account right away. LifeSite remained steadfast that the tweet did not violate any of the company’s “rules and policies,” and sought several appeals with Twitter, while looking into legal action against the company.

And, while LifeSite's account was eventually restored, we must now consider what course of action we will pursue in this case, over and above appealing the ban.

Meanwhile, since taking office on Wednesday last week, Joe Biden has already signed an executive order which will force women’s athletic programs, restrooms, and locker rooms to be open to men. He has also turned back the Trump administration’s policy protecting women’s sports programs in schools.

Last week, LifeSite was banned for two weeks from our YouTube channel, after the site determined that one of our videos about vaccines violated YouTube’s “community guidelines.” We are also in the middle of appealing this ban.

Please considering SIGNING and SHARING this petition. Thank you!

__________________________________________________________________________

Twitter just deplatformed President Trump premanently! And, other conservatives, including General Flynn and Sidney Powell, were also summarily deplatformed.

Conservatives, Christians and freedom-loving Americans of all political persuasions must now take a decision to preserve their free speech AND their ability to peaceably assemble by dumping Twitter and Big Tech, and by finding other good alternatives to communicate with each other and share their opinions.

Please SIGN our petition-pledge to Dump Twitter and Big Tech, and take back your freedom of speech and privacy. [CLICK HERE for our "Goodbye Google" resources page to find good alternatives to Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and Google!]

When you use Twitter or Facebook to communicate, and, or, Google and Amazon to search for something online, these companies can stifle your ability to share your thoughts and opinions and manipulate your search results, threatening your privacy, your freedom of speech, and even our democracy.

Evidence suggests that Twitter and Facebook's 'community guidelines' are selectively enforced against conservatives and Christians, while Google rigs their search algorithms to direct traffic away from conservative and Christian websites, effectively choking traffic to those sites.

Simply put, Twitter, Facebook, Google (who owns YouTube) and Amazon appear to be actively suppressing access to pro-freedom, pro-family and pro-life news and opinion.

Don't contribute to this assault on democracy: Stop using Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon as your default social media platforms and search engine! [CLICK HERE to find a good alternative to Google.]

To repeat: a few liberal and completely unaccountable computer programmers in Silicon Valley are dictating what we do and do not see in our Twitter and Facebook feeds, and in our Google searches.

We, here, at LifeSite, also recently had our Twitter account suspended by the company over "misgendering" a man who claims to be a woman.

LifeSite has also experienced a fall-off in Google search-related traffic since the company updated its search algorithms at the beginning of May.

And, since the November election, Twitter and Big Tech appear to have dramatically INCREASED their censorship of conservatives and Christians as the President Trump disputed the results of the election and when evidence of election fraud began to mount.

Now, it seems likely that they are trying to cut-off conservative leaders (like President Trump) from conservatives on the ground, and effectively exclude us from the national conversation.

But, this tactic will not work. Because Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon are not the only game in town! There are a good number of excellent alternatives which we list in our 'Goodbye Google' Resources page.

The great irony is that, while Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon executives talk a lot about maintaining freedom of speech and diversity, in fact, these hypocrites are ATTACKING free speech point-blank!

This kind of manipulation poses a lethal threat to our democracy, but as we see so clearly now, Twitter and Big Tech have shown no hesitation in excluding conservatives and Christians from the public square.

So, at this point, the only way to stop Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon is to quit using their platform.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition to pledge to stop using Twitter and Big Tech. Then, please CLICK HERE to find alternative search engines and social media platforms. Thank you!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Follow LifeSiteNews on these alternative channels:

Telegram: https://t.me/lifesitetelegram

Gab: https://gab.com/LifeSiteNews

MeWe: https://mewe.com/i/lifesitenewscom1

Rumble: https://rumble.com/user/LifeSiteNews

Parler: parler.com/profile/lifesitenews (currently down due to Amazon removing their web hosting)

Ready to say "Goodbye Google"? Find alternatives for search engines, browsers, email, and morehttps://lifefacts.lifesitenews.com/goodbye-google/resources/

'BREAKING: Twitter permanently bans President Trump from platform'https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-twitter-permanently-bans-president-trump-from-platform

WATCH LifeSite's exclusive series - 'Big Tech vs Free Speech' - of interviews with experts on how Big Tech censorship is killing free speechhttps://www.lifesitenews.com/bigtech/

From YouTube to social media and beyond, online censorship is rampant. Read the latest articles covering this ongoing struggle: https://lifefacts.lifesitenews.com/goodbye-google/censorship/

  Hide Petition Text

So to begin with, the seminar was not public. It should never be on the internet (actually the recording of the event records Pastor Latzel himself saying this at the beginning: This is not to be published.) In the talk Pastor Latzel always speaks of “homosexuality,” not of “homosexuals,” differentiating between sin and sinner. This differentiation has not been taken into account by the court, which would have been absolutely necessary for the verdict.

Can anything be done to redress the situation?

Jesus is Lord. HE can change anything and everything. Speak but one word. He only has to speak one word. That is why prayer is so important. If folks could just pray for our Brother Latzel.

Also, pressure. International pressure. It might be helpful to write letters to the church.

How does this bode ill for the future?

The position for those who are faithful to the Bible and for conservative congregations will change and has already become more difficult. We should not forget that the church Pastor Latzel is serving, the St. Martini church in Bremen, is also [being] harassed. In Germany, the Pietists were seen as crown jewels of society (in Württemberg). But today they are no longer considered socially acceptable.

Featured Image

Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.

Comments

Commenting Guidelines

LifeSiteNews welcomes thoughtful, respectful comments that add useful information or insights. Demeaning, hostile or propagandistic comments, and streams not related to the storyline, will be removed.

LSN commenting is not for frequent personal blogging, on-going debates or theological or other disputes between commenters.

Multiple comments from one person under a story are discouraged (suggested maximum of three). Capitalized sentences or comments will be removed (Internet shouting).

LifeSiteNews gives priority to pro-life, pro-family commenters and reserves the right to edit or remove comments.

Comments under LifeSiteNews stories do not necessarily represent the views of LifeSiteNews.