Conflict of Pinterest

Conflict of Pinterest

June 14, 2019

People come to Pinterest for all kinds of things. But apparently, there's one thing users won't find on the app -- and that's tolerance. It was supposed to be a harmless site, a place for swapping recipes and planning kitchen remodels. Now we know: even the most innocuous platforms aren't immune from Big Tech's censorship. And if that's the case, conservatives are in trouble. Because the problem just got a whole lot worse than we thought.

Eric Cochran was an employee of Pinterest, a software engineer. Like a lot of conservatives in the online world, he kept his views to himself. He knew Big Tech was doing "some bad stuff," but he didn't realize how bad until earlier this year, when the number of pro-life laws started exploding across the states. Suddenly, the company's "trust and safety chains" started calling more "all hands" meetings about what they could do to smother this conservative enthusiasm. Eric started digging into Pinterest's product code, employee messages, and policies. The more he dug, the worse it got. The company was quietly blacklisting conservatives, and nobody had any idea.

At first, Live Action thought it was a mistake. Their followers kept trying to pin the pro-life group's messages on their boards and couldn't. Pinterest, it turns out, had blocked as a porn site -- meaning that none of its links could be posted by users. When Eric got wind of it, he gathered up all of the documents proving that Pinterest was hiding or silencing conservatives and sent them to Project Veritas. James O'Keefe published it, outing Pinterest as another radical liberal operative trying to shut down open debate.

As most of us found out after, Pinterest didn't just reclassify Live Action. They also labeled conservatives "white supremacists," banned Bible-related search terms, and scrubbed any pins with the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood's organ harvesting ring as "misinformation." (An interesting term, since even an independent forensic team found them completely authentic.) Almost immediately, Twitter and YouTube tag-teamed on the cover-up. They deleted Project Veritas's content from their sites, and -- in Twitter's case -- suspended the account altogether.

The outrage from most users was automatic. "Misinformation?" fumed Madeline Fry. Is that the new term for anything the Left disagrees with? The platforms all tried to defend themselves, arguing that they were just protecting company privacy. Liz Wheeler at One America News couldn't believe her eyes. "This is CRAZY. Twitter is now censoring Project Veritas for publishing 'internal communications' from @Pinterest in which they call @benshapiro a white supremacist. Did Twitter apply this so-called privacy standard to Wikileaks? Or HRC's emails? Or Trump's tax documents? NO."

Eric, meanwhile, the courageous employee who'd exposed the real agenda, was escorted out of his office by security and fired. He was tired of people believing that "maybe it was just a bug. Maybe it's just an accident. Or, a rogue employee or something." This time, he told me on "Washington Watch," "we had proof." "I saw a Big Tech company saying ... behind closed doors that they believe that Live Action shouldn't have a platform to speak. And the big thing is: I want them to have to ... say this publicly instead of behind closed doors."

"The thing is, it's not just Pinterest. I mean Pinterest is huge, but here's the thing. This is the mindset of people in Silicon Valley, where we're seeing the normalization of censorship. And the biggest thing -- really the biggest thing -- is that this is an all-out war on pro-lifers... because the establishment, the powers that be, see that Roe v. Wade is going the way of the dinosaur, and they're doing whatever it takes. They are 100 percent in to protect the abortion lobby. You're seeing that in Big Tech and you're seeing that in Big Media... and the normalization of this censorship is downright unAmerican."

There are a lot of pro-lifers in the tech industry, Eric insisted. "...[But] they need to expose what's going on. They need to make these tech companies explicitly say that 'We are on the side of the abortion lobby.' ... All they see are liberals who agree with liberals, and then, "people like me, of course, are afraid of what will happen if we say anything different. But I think that's gonna change."

Deep down, the Left knows as well as we do: the real abortion war isn't going to be won in courtrooms or legislative bodies. It's going to be won in the hearts and minds of the people. And those hearts aren't going to be changed by a political debate. They're going to be changed by pictures, personal stories, and a confrontation with truth and science. Pinterest knows it. YouTube knows it. Twitter and Facebook and Google too. That's why they've gone to such extensive lengths to muzzle pro-lifers. The truth is on our side, and they know it.

So what do we do? Refuse to be silenced. "That is my big message to all pro-lifers right now," Eric said.

"This is the watershed moment. This is the time to show people what's happening in Big Tech. We have so many pro-lifers in the tech world who know what Google and Facebook are doing. And I know there [are] so many people who have been afraid of what to do next. But I want to let you know, pro-lifers in these, in these tech companies that see this corruption and see this censorship, come to Project Veritas. People have your back Real journalists, real investigative journalists, are listening to your story. Big Tech is all in protecting the abortion lobby. So my question to pro-lifers is, are you all in? Because there's no more waiting. This is the moment."

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Pro-life Town Tells Abortion: No Trespassing!

June 14, 2019

There isn't a more dangerous place to be these days than in the womb. With liberals making even born babies a target, it's no wonder communities like Waskom, Texas are taking matters into their own hands. If there are sanctuary cities for immigrants, the city decided, then they can certainly make a sanctuary for people just as important: the unborn.

Waskom, Texas wasn't exactly on most people's radar. This week changed all of that, when five leaders of the local community (population: 2,189) made national news with its unique perspective on the abortion debate. The Texas town, which is literally on the border of Louisiana had been talking with pro-lifers in the neighboring state. There was some concern, they said, that if the Pelican State's new abortion law took effect, there'd be pressure to put a clinic near Waskom. It would be the perfect place for a group like Planned Parenthood to lure women over the state line.

Pastor Ivy Shelton, who heads up the First Baptist Church in town, said no one in the city wanted to take that chance. "We're the last town in Texas on I-20 before you go into Louisiana," he told me on "Washington Watch." "And so with that in mind, we had the thought -- let's try to be, rather than be reactive towards this, let's try to be proactive towards this... And so, [we] began the process of putting a resolution and an ordinance in place." After all, he pointed out, the unborn need asylum too.

Things happened pretty quickly. "We had [a] rally on Sunday night, and then Tuesday they got the city council and the citizens of Waskom got to hear the resolution, the wording of the ordinance. And... the city council voted unanimously to adopt it, making this a sanctuary city for the unborn." At least two of the councilmembers go to Pastor Shelton's church, so I asked him if any of it was controversial. "Our main goal of course is not to get political," he explained, "but our main goal is to be scriptural. And so I just shared with our congregation the reasons that we are pro-life."

He took them through the passages of Jeremiah and Psalm 139 and shared how God has plans for every person before they're born and how God is active in the pregnancy -- as David said, "knitting me together in my mother's womb." "I wanted to show them all the reasons from scripture why we are pro-life. And of course that was not a hard sell for our congregation. Our congregation is pro-life across the spectrum. We have folks that are engaged in this issue. We have folks that are engaged in foster care. We've had young ladies that have decided to have their babies and their parents and grandparents have stepped in and helped them raise their children. So just across the spectrum we try to be pro-life as a church. And so the church was just awesome with all of this."

We're called, he pointed out, "to be salt and light in our culture." "I think far too often -- just in in general -- the church has been on the sidelines. And I think it's time that we get off the sidelines and we get into that public discourse." That's not always easy, he knows. In fact, there are already rumblings that the Left will come after Waskom to scare other cities away from doing something similar. But that doesn't bother Pastor Shelton.

"We come to this with the full knowledge that Satan is not going to be happy with this measure -- and he will be actively working within the systems that he influences to come against us. It will be a battle. I think our mayor said it will -- that we will no doubt be sued over this. And there'll be a court battle, and it's one that we are expecting. But that's okay. That's not the thing that we spend our time worrying about. Mainly we just want to keep our focus on Christ, and we believe that he'll take care of us and all of this."

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

The Heart of a Father

June 14, 2019

By FRC Managing Editor Dan Hart

"What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Luke 11:11-13)

When my firstborn son was a few months old, it was clear that he was not gaining weight like he should be from breastfeeding due to an undiagnosed condition. My wife and I felt helpless and were wracked with constant worry. As a father, I felt desperate, and longed to do anything in my power to help my suffering child. By God's grace, we were eventually able to find the professional help we needed through lactation consultation, and our baby began a healthy weight gain.

I am reminded of this time when reading of desperate fathers in the Gospels who, at their wits end, lay their suffering children at Christ's feet, begging Him to help them. Although my own experience pales in comparison to the severity of the problems these biblical fathers faced, I can still identify with a father like Jairus frantically elbowing his way through the crowd and throwing himself before Jesus, beseeching Him to help his dying daughter (Mark 5:23-43). Or the father with the demon-possessed son, who kneels before Jesus and implores Him, "Lord, have mercy on my son..." (Matthew 17:15-18).

I can picture the sweat on the brows of these fathers as they strenuously assert themselves for the sake of their children. With all their options exhausted, they make one last ditch attempt -- some would have said foolhardy attempt -- to save their offspring at the feet of Jesus. How does He respond?

Jesus, in full union with His Father, reveals the true nature of God the Father's heart in His response: mercy, compassion, and healing. We read that at the moment He speaks the word of healing, the afflicted are indeed healed: "...the boy was cured instantly" (Matthew 17:18); "And immediately the girl got up and walked" (Mark 5:42). What's more, physical healing is just the beginning of God's tender care for the welfare of His children.

Christ does not stop at mere physical healing; His mercy extends to great concern for our spiritual health as well. When the father of the possessed child pleads with Jesus to heal his son, Christ's first response is to teach him the power of belief: "All things are possible to him who believes" (Mark 9:23). And for those who ask for the Spirit, Christ assures us that God cannot help but give more than merely "good" gifts: "How much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spi rit to those who ask him!" (Luke 11:13)

Tragically, there are many in our society who have difficulty relating to God as the merciful and healing Father that He is because of the lack of a loving earthly father in their own lives... This lamentable state of affairs gives Christian fathers all the more motivation to exemplify and live out the true heart of our heavenly Father. Much has been said and written about how fathers must be strong leaders and firm maintainers of discipline in their families. This is certainly true, but it only tells half the story of the true heart of God the Father, and therefore the heart that all fathers must strive for.

The tender care that Christ manifested through His merciful and healing touch and through beautiful parables like the prodigal son (Luke 15) are stirring examples of what a truly loving father must be: a clear reflection of God the Father's tenderness, mercy, and compassion -- guiding and nurturing his children towards discipleship in God's kingdom. This requires what may seem on the surface to be a paradox: Fathers must have the manly courage to be vulnerably compassionate with their children in order to more fully exemplify the compassionate love of our heavenly Father.

Vulnerability and tender care for the spiritual needs of our children may not come as naturally to us, but it is just as important. In order to impart the full heart of God to our children, we must be willing to stretch ourselves and exemplify both physical and spiritual nourishment to our children, just as our Heavenly Father gives abundantly to all who ask Him (Luke 11:11-13).

This Father's Day, may we all find true rest and comfort in the healing and merciful embrace of our true Father in heaven, who unreservedly pours out His fatherly mercy, healing power, and grace to all His children each day.

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

FRC in the Spotlight...

June 14, 2019

Don't miss the new column from FRC's Peter Sprigg in the Federalist, "Trans Activists: We're Normal, But You Must Pay to Fix Us." Also, will California turn dorm rooms into abortion rooms? Find out in the latest piece from FRC's Patrina Mosley in Townhall.

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

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