Following Twitter’s suspension last week of a Christian news outlet’s account for posting a tweet that defined a transgender woman as “a man who believes he is a woman,” free speech allies have launched the social media campaign “#AreWeNext?”
Focus on the Family’s The Daily Citizen news service is currently being blocked by Twitter for its recent tweet that stated: “On Tuesday, President-elect Joe Biden announced that he had chosen Dr. Rachel Levine to serve as Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department for HHS. Dr. Levine is a transgender woman, that is, a man who believes he is a woman.”
In an email, Twitter stated it has suspended @FocusCitizen for “violating our rules against hateful conduct. You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”
Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, said in his Feb. 1 blog post that his request for a clarification from Twitter as to what was “hateful” in the tweet has gone unanswered by the big tech giant.
In its appeal to Twitter, The Daily Citizen responded in a letter: “Our tweet does not promote violence against, threaten, or harass Dr. Levine. Yet we are deeply puzzled about how it was misconstrued. We simply explained to our readers the appointment and defined what transgender women are—those born male who believe they are a woman, regardless of whether they have had opposite-sex hormones or surgeries. We believe Twitter’s blocking of this tweet and lockdown of our account discriminates against Focus on the Family’s The Daily Citizen on the basis of our religious affiliation.”
In response, Family Policy Alliance (FPA), an organization that advocates for legislation that promotes life, family, marriage and freedom, has launched a petition and Twitter campaign called “#AreWeNext?”
FPA tweeted: “CENSORSHIP ALERT: Twitter banned @FocusCitizen from their platform. Their crime? A tweet which identified Asst. Health Sec. pick Rachel Levine as a biological male. If stating the facts gets you banned, none of us belong here. @Twitter, we’re wondering: #AreWeNext? RT to speak out.”
Other national organizations who have co-signed FPA’s letter to Twitter include the American College of Pediatricians, the American Principles Project, Concerned Women for America, Family Research Council as well as independent family policy councils in more than 24 states. FPA’s letter to Twitter reads:
“We, the undersigned, are both state and national organizations who represent millions of Americans who all hold to the truth that a person’s biological sex cannot be changed. And we will continue to speak this truth freely. You recently locked out Focus on the Family’s The Daily Citizen from their Twitter account for speaking this truth. We all stand beside Focus on the Family. So, if you ban them, are we next?”
Daly continued in his blog post: “Our comments in The Daily Citizen were not hateful or politically motivated in any way. They simply reflected an understanding of gender that has been recognized and embraced for millennia. This view is not only supported by Scripture, but by centuries of biological science and a commonsense consensus of what it means to be male or female.
“Although this view has fallen out of favor with the gatekeepers of big media, higher education and big tech, it is a view that continues to be embraced and affirmed by millions of people around the world of every religious and political persuasion. From our perspective, it is the height of arrogance for Twitter to assume it has the right to ‘ban’ discussion of this nature.”
Daly concluded his blog by asserting that attacks on freedom of religion and speech should never be acceptable. “Be bold, remain principled—but don’t panic,” he writes. “The Lord is with us every step of the way.”
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