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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana, November 30, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Baton Rouge is the hometown of American Conservative columnist and best-selling author Rod Dreher. I live in Scotland, where the Justice Minister has proposed a “Hate Crime” law that could result in our prosecution for remarks we make in our own homes. This is particularly alarming to me personally, for the definition of “hatred” these days is wide-ranging, and some believe that “stirring up hatred” includes stating that men who masquerade as women can be a danger to women, especially when these men identify as “lesbians.” I have frequently said this at home, and now I am saying it in print. Come and get me, copper.

Dreher’s Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents is, therefore, of particular interest to me and, unfortunately, of particular interest to all of you LifeSiteNews fans. The book’s aim is to give us tools for retaining our “small-o orthodox” faith in God, preventing our children from becoming Woke totalitarians, and ultimately defeating the Culture of Lies currently gathering speed in the West. It is, if you like, a companion volume to Dreher’s The Benedict Option, which aims at the same thing.

Live Not by Lies develops Dreher’s ideas by presenting us with heroic — and successful — models of Christian resistance to another Culture of Lies, the Moscow-based communist regime that ruled Eastern and most of Central Europe from 1945 until 1989. Dreher traveled throughout the area, interviewing Christians of different confessions who actively resisted the Marxist regime in Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Romania. Poignantly, Dreher reveals in his book that the Christian resisters who survived the era did not believe the Iron Curtain would fall during their lifetimes. Their goal was not to survive communist totalitarianism but to be faithful to God and His truth.

Dreher’s project was sparked by a phone call from “an eminent American physician” whose Czechoslovak immigrant mother had warned him that the same circumstances that ushered in communist totalitarianism had begun to appear in the U.S. The exact event that triggered this warning was the mob hysteria around the refusal of a pizzeria in small-town Indiana to cater a same-sex “wedding.” It wasn’t just the mob’s calls to burn the pizzeria down, but the fact that the so-called “liberal” elite, including the mainstream media, “normally so watchful against the danger of mobs threatening the lives and livelihoods of minorities” was unconcerned.

Dubious but curious, Dreher spent the next few years asking European survivors of communism if they thought America was drifting toward totalitarianism. They all said yes.

“What unnerves those who lived under Soviet communism is this similarity: Elites and elite institutions are abandoning old-fashioned liberalism, based in defending the rights of the individual, and replacing it with a progressive creed that regards justice in terms of groups,” Dreher writes.

“It encourages people to identify with groups — ethnic, sexual, and otherwise — and to think of Good and Evil as a matter of power dynamics among the groups. A utopian vision drives these progressives, one that compels the to seek to rewrite history and reinvent language to reflect their ideas of social justice.”

The main difference between the defunct Soviet regime and the growing Empire of Woke is that whereas the former featured the “hard totalitarianism” of physical violence, the latter employs the “soft totalitarianism” of so-called “social justice” ideology, cancel culture, surveillance technology beyond the commissars’ wildest dreams, and permissive consumerism. Dreher uses a literary metaphor to illustrate: half of Europe lived out George Orwell’s 1984 and now the West is looking increasingly like Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.  

Dreher devotes the first part of his book to the Woke Revolution and how Big Business, especially Big Tech, signed on to it. Although I was already familiar with the threat Big Tech presents to our liberties, I appreciated how lucidly Dreher presented the evidence. If you haven’t already forbidden your children smartphones, you will after you finish reading Live Not by Lies. You may also quit your shopping habit, turn down the thermostat, and start fasting more often. Consumerism and comfort, Dreher convincingly argues, have made us weak and cowardly.

Part 2 provides the detailed testimony of what life back in the USSR and its European satellites was like under hard totalitarianism. The stories of imprisonment are brutal. What was done to priests and ministers is almost beyond belief — or would be beyond belief if we hadn’t read stories about state violence against martyrs under Diocletian, Henry VIII, and Mary Tudor. But there are also important lessons about radical faith in God, the friendship of small and secret communities, and close-knit, carefully parented families. Dreher believes that uncompromising devotion to Christ, small communities, and loyal families will be absolutely necessary for living not by lies in the coming maelstrom.

Of course, the maelstrom may already be here. Between beginning and ending this review, I saw footage of a man in England being arrested by masked police officers, apparently for walking down the street while chatting with strangers. He resists by pulling away, and then breaks down into most un-English wailing. Apparently, he lost his business in one of the many coronavirus lockdowns, and being manhandled by London bobbies has clearly pushed him over the edge. Hearing a middle-aged Englishman scream for help as masked policemen surround him made my blood run cold.

“I have no understanding of what’s going on,” he cries.

Well, anyone who has read Live Not By Lies could tell him. We’ve gone soft, soft as rotten apples, and too many people are willing to give up their rights, and ours too, rather than risk catching a virus that spares 99.9 percent of its victims. Dreher doesn’t address the pandemic in Live Not By Lies, but he has a lot to say about cowardice and what it can do to you.

But that’s a big lacuna, by the way. One of the terrible ironies of reading Live Not By Lies during the lockdown is that public worship has, in many places, been cancelled or curtailed, elderly people are held separate from their families, and friends are not allowed to visit each other’s homes. Christian worship, kin, and community, Dreher’s proposed fortress against the lie, are therefore arguably even more difficult to preserve now to than they were in 1970s Poland.

Thus, if I had an issue with this book, it would be that Dreher did not pen an “Afterword” to discuss the role the unprecedented suspension of civil liberties in the West might play in speeding up soft totalitarianism. And listening to a broken man wailing in the London street, I’m not sure it’s going to be so soft.

Rod Dreher, Live Not By Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents, New York City, Sentinel, 2020, 240 pages, $27 USD. 

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PETITION UPDATE (12/11/2020)

Right before Thanksgiving, YouTube deleted a LifeSite video of a distinguished Canadian physician protesting the "unfounded public hysteria" over COVID-19 and accused us of spreading "medical misinformation."

Our account was suspended, and we were prohibited from posting videos on our YouTube channel for one week. And, while that may not seem like a big deal, it's a huge deal for a news organization like LifeSite.

Then, earlier this week, YouTube again suspended our account – this time for two weeks – over an episode of The Bishop Strickland Show wherein Bishop Strickland said he would not take an unethical COVID-19 vaccine.

We were able to appeal the suspension, and our request was granted.

This means that in YouTube's three-strikes-and-you're-out content-policing, idea-cleansing scheme, we are back down to one strike. But, we still face the threat of losing our account permanently.

And, we're not the only ones.

In a recent turn of events, YouTube just announced that it will remove videos alleging widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

But, what is YouTube afraid of? The truth???

Thankfully, however, there is a one, big bright spot on the horizon: 48 states filed suit against Facebook just this week.

And, although this seems like a step in the right direction, the draconian measures which YouTube just rolled out, which are already wielded by Twitter, are an assault against free speech.

So, the fight for freedom of speech against Big Tech goes on. And, we must do everything we can to protect it!

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition today!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:  

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-youtube-reverses-ban-on-lifesitenews?

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/youtube-bans-lifesite-over-video-of-bp-strickland-refusing-to-take-corona-vaccine

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/lifesites-channel-was-suspended-by-youtube-heres-how-you-can-still-watch-our-videos

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/youtube-starts-removing-videos-that-contain-allegations-of-mass-voter-fraud

https://tennesseestar.com/2020/12/10/facebook-sued-by-48-states-federal-trade-commission-over-allegations-of-monopolistic-practices/  

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PETITION UPDATE (11/18/2020)

Everyone thought the censorship by Big Tech corporations would decrease after the 2020 election, but the truth is that censorship is being felt just as much as it was before the election.

And, given the election outcome, perhaps Big Tech censorship now is even more consequential than it was before the election!

The two biggest social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter, and other Big Tech companies, are still censoring and suppressing stories and posts favorable to conservatives, and especially anything that has to do with election fraud.

Here are a few recent examples:

  • Women for America First organized the March for Trump on November 14, which was shut down by Facebook, MailChimp and Eventbrite. Despite Big Tech’s best efforts to cancel the event, the march went on and gathered a huge crowd.
  • Twitter has been suppressing a large number of President Trump’s Tweets. Most of his Tweets have been flagged arbitrarily with a warning stating: “This claim about election fraud is disputed."

Please READ this recent article about Big Tech's attempt to choke information conerning the recent Million MAGA March in Washington, DC: '5 things mainstream media won’t tell you about massive DC ‘Stop the Steal’ rally'

Then, please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition, which calls on the Congress, the president, and governors to defend freedom of speech as Big Tech continues their rampant censorship.

PETITION UPDATE (10/15/2020)

In a remarkable development, Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham have announced that the Senate Judiciary Committee will be issuing subpoenas to Twitter's Jack Dorsey and Facebook's Mark Zuckerburg for their company's suppression of two critical expose news stories about how Hunter Biden and the Biden Family allegedly profited from business deals made because of Joe Biden's position as Vice President.

Please WATCH LifeSite's exclusive video of the announcement by Senator Ted Cruz below.

According to the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Lindsey Graham, the subpoenas will be issued next Tuesday, for hearings to be held on Friday of next week.

This is a MASSIVE development, and should be welcomed by those who champion freedom of speech.

Again, this is all happening because Twitter and Facebook refuse to allow their members to share stories which would be favorable to conservatives.

Here's the timeline:

Yesterday, Twitter and Facebook suppressed a NY Post story about how Hunter Biden allegedly profited from introducing a Ukrainian businessman to his then-Vice President father, Joe Biden. The story also alleges that Vice President Biden then subsequently pressured Ukrainian authorities to fire a prosecutor who was investigating the businessman's company.

And, just this morning, Twitter suppressed another expose by the NY Post alleging that the Biden Family improperly profitted from deals made with one of the largest Chinese energy companies because of Vice President Biden's position in government.

But, right after the story broke, Senator Cruz tried to share the latest story on Twitter and was blocked. Twitter says that they are blocking the stories because they claim that the information was obtained illegally. However, Twitter showed no problem allowing illegally obtained information about President Trump's tax returns to be shared.

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition, which calls on the Congress, the president, and governors to defend freedom of speech as Big Tech continues their rampant censorship.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

'GOP senators decry Big Tech censorship of NY Post story exposing Biden corruption' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/gop-senators-decry-big-tech-censorship-of-ny-post-story-exposing-biden-corruption

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PETITION UPDATE (9/17/2020)

Big Tech is out to kill free speech. LifeSite is out to protect it!

LifeSite has been digging deep into the many claims of liberal bias and selective censorship of pro-life, pro-family, and conservative voices on social media.

And, we are now launching our new series 'Uncensored: Big Tech vs. Free Speech', which will unpack how the actions of Big Tech censors actually affect conservative and Christian organization and individuals.

Please WATCH the first video in our series featuring Brigitte Gabriel, the Founder of ACT For America, one of the nation's premier national security grassroots organizations.

Ms. Gabriel's organization, ACT For America, has been targeted by Big Tech especially in the manipulation of search results.

Big Tech “think[s] they are God and they are exercising their godly power over everybody else,” Gabriel explained. "Because in today's world, anytime you want to find out any information about somebody, what do you do? Google. You go to the internet to find out some information about them. When you research anything about somebody, the first thing that comes up [in the search results] is the Southern Poverty Law Center’s labeling of ‘hate groups.’”

“And who are the ‘hate groups’? Family Research Council is a hate group because they are pro-family. American Family Radio is a hate group…LifeSiteNews is a hate group. My organization is a hate group because we sound the alarm about terrorism and protecting our constitutional freedom. And so they try to character assassinate you. And they control the language.”

LifeSite's research shows that Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter, and others have become far too dangerous for democracy.

They can and do sway elections and public opinion in whatever direction they want, primarily by manipulating search results, tracking our online behavior, and by blocking truthful content from their platforms.

Today, LifeSite is starting to fight back, with facts and with stories of conservatives and Christians who are being negatively impacted by Big Tech's liberal bias.

Please continue to follow our 'Big Tech vs. Free Speech' series which aims to launch a new video each week for the next eight weeks.

And, please sign our petition demanding that Big Tech monopolies are broken up. Thank you!

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ORIGINAL PETITION BACKGROUND TEXT:

The outrageous erasing of the White Coat Summit from the internet is only the latest in a long series of brazen acts of censorship against conservatives and all those who support legitimate free speech.

You may agree or disagree with the efficacy of Hydroxychloroquine against the coronavirus, but everyone should agree on this point:

No Big Tech company should have the power to erase from the internet the medical opinions of licensed practicing doctors simply because they do not like what they have to say about the coronavirus or their experience treating it.  Americans and other free peoples do not need leftist computer programmers deciding what the best course of medical treatment is for them.

Google/Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Apple and their Big Tech friends want to control what you see, what you read, what you think, and ultimately, how you vote.  Not only do they spend hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbying congress and buttering up big Washington DC think tanks, but now they brazenly and directly censor any content they don't want you to see.

Big Tech, like other interest groups, aggressively lobby to help their businesses thrive, but increasingly, Big Tech is using blatant internet censorship to impose its radical world view over those they consider to be "deplorables."

This must stop, but it won't unless we demand it as forcefully as legally possible.  We believe that we have reached the point were Big Tech must be broken up if legitimate free speech is going to survive and continue to thrive on the internet.

Please sign our petition to demand real consequences for Big Tech's suppression of legitimate free speech.

In 2016, emails revealed by Fox News' Tucker Carlson proved that Google tried to influence the election by affecting voter turnout.  Thankfully they failed.  But they didn't give up.  Instead, they have been preparing and testing how to manipulate information to continue to abuse their monopolistic power.

In 2018, Google/Youtube et. al. succeeded in manipulating the Irish abortion referendum by blacklisting pro-life videos, manipulating pro-life search terms and results and intentionally withholding pro-life information.  Again, this is not an opinion or a conspiracy theory, Project Veritas obtained first hand information proving the intentional censorship by Big Tech.

And the Coronavirus has just made things worse.  You see, scared people are more easily manipulated into giving up their freedom of speech.  Children are being kept from going to school, tens of millions of Americans are out of work, and rioting has broken out in most major American cities.

Now, more than ever, freedom of speech is necessary to secure all of our freedoms.  Freedom of speech is crucial to truly exercise the freedom to vote for the person that best represents one's own views, or the freedom to decide what course of medical treatment to accept - especially the decision to control what vaccines are administered to our children.

Some experts, like Dr. Robert Epstein, a behavioral psychologist who has testified before congress against Big Tech believes that we may already be too late to control Big Tech's tyrannical control over information.

President Trump took a step in the right direction with his Executive Order calling for increased regulation of Big Tech.  But much more can be done and needs to be done right now.

In an era where almost everything is polarized, there is an overwhelming support for breaking up the Big Tech monopolies.  A recent Pew poll found that 75% of Americans believe that Big Tech companies have too much influence.

It is time to bring serious accountability to Big Tech for their attempts to use their monopolies to kill free speech.

It is time to break up Big Tech. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Google, Facebook, Twitter shut down ‘frontline’ US doctors who promote ‘cure for COVID’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/google-facebook-twitter-shut-down-frontline-us-doctors-who-promote-cure-for-covid?utm_source=featured&utm_campaign=standard

Americans overwhelmingly agree Big Tech has too much power: Pew poll - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/americans-overwhelmingly-agree-big-tech-has-too-much-power-pew-poll

Leaked Google employee's email reveals effort to boost Latino vote, surprise that some voted for Trump - https://www.foxnews.com/tech/leaked-google-employees-email-reveals-effort-to-boost-latino-vote-surprise-that-some-voted-for-trump

Undercover video proves Google interfered in Irish abortion referendum - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/americans-overwhelmingly-agree-big-tech-has-too-much-power-pew-poll

 

 

 



 

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Dorothy Cummings McLean is a Canadian journalist, essayist, and novelist. She earned an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Toronto and an M.Div./S.T.B. from Toronto’s Regis College. She was a columnist for the Toronto Catholic Register for nine years and regularly contributes to Catholic World Report. Her first book, Seraphic Singles,  was published by Novalis (2010) in Canada, Liguori in the USA, and Homo Dei in Poland. Her second, Ceremony of Innocence, was published by Ignatius Press (2013). Dorothy lives near Edinburgh, Scotland with her husband. 

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