How good is God? I was seriously wondering how on earth I was going to continue to circulate a blog when I couldn’t push it out through social media platforms, but if y’all haven’t disproved the necessity of social media and the overreach of algorithms I don’t know what will. The blog I wrote a few days ago about Jan. 6th in D.C. has reached more people via good ol’ fashioned word-of-mouth than any blog I’ve ever written. I’m amazed and so encouraged that so many of you are seeking to understand and not just accept. I also greatly appreciate your texts, emails, and messages. I’m doing it afraid, that’s for sure. And here’s why…
If you haven’t read the last blog this one isn’t going to make much sense, so make sure you catch it here before you go any further.
Okay, let’s pick up where we left off. If you’ll recall the group of us left the Capitol around 4pm–give or take. We experienced no drama, no rioting, and no police presence of any kind at all. Again, I’m not claiming there was no drama or rioting, just stating we experienced none, which I find unusual given the climate of discussion around this topic. We prayed on our way out, took another picture or two, and started towards our hotel. It was around this time I begin to receive lots of text messages and even a call or two from friends who were “worried about the violence.” I knew that the news would be portraying things a certain way (knowing they’d be slandering the “Trumpers”), but I did my best to share my perspective as I was seeing it. Of course, I had no idea what was taking place inside the building or on the news, because as I mentioned, there was no indication at all things were out of control or there was any kind of an uprising happening. Who knew you could miss an entire insurrection?
Our service was intermittent throughout the day, so I was also cut off from any news or conversation on social media, although I was trying to post and share as much as I could. My sister later told me, “What you’re sharing and what I’m watching do not match.” I think that essentially sums it up.
It took us quite a while to get back to the hotel and wifi, but once we did, an entirely different picture materialized for us. I sat on the bed in my hotel room in disbelief at both the images playing across the screen, but also the violent language that was directed at all the people in D.C. There was no distinction between protesters and rioters. As a matter of fact, there was zero coverage of peaceful assembly at all. It shouldn’t have surprised me the media would include me–a perfectly unaware bystander–in the vicious commentary, but I was overwhelmed to see firsthand how much power the MSM has in influencing a narrative…
Because then came the inbox messages.
A friend who has known me for more than twenty years informed me, in no uncertain terms, she could no longer support me in anyway because she couldn’t support racism. She indicated she wasn’t aware I was a racist. It felt strange to attempt to point out to her the reason she wasn’t aware of such a thing was likely because she knows–from experience of knowing me–that I’m not. So instead, I said I would honor her opinion and her right to unfollow me. That’s called liberty, and I’m about it.
Sidebar: When did it become okay to call anyone you disagree with a racist? This one still befuddles me. And how dangerous is that?
Several others told me how sick it was to be a “part of what happened at the Capitol.” They told me I should be ashamed. I was ashamed. But not of anything I’d done.
It’s not my intention to make myself out to be a victim, but this quickly became a whirlwind of fear. It’s so important we recognize and humanize what’s happening in our world right now before we get too caught up to change it.
Because the story was unfolding so unlike what we’d experienced, I was in a state of shock. I felt afraid, unsafe, and sick to my stomach. Tom and I decided to leave the city immediately, for fear of what would happen if the narrative continued to vilify us further. I desperately wanted to get home to my kids. The reports continued to grow more extreme and the narrative was more widely and immediately accepted than I could’ve imagined–given the months we’d weathered of defended and largely unchallenged riots–and the accusations continued to increase. My company’s Instagram feed was filled with comments like “you employ domestic terrorists” and “you defend white supremacy.” Colleagues reported me, and others, to our CEO which directly threatened my livelihood. People attacked my sister for being related to me as she attempted to defend my innocence. It was quite ugly, I assure you.
Here’s the deal: It was scary for me, yes, but I also get it. These things are emotional. As humans we tend to react rather than respond. I don’t expect people to gain perspective in the moment, but it’s so discouraging to me when I recognize that perspective is not only being denied by most, it’s being absolutely avoided. People don’t always want to see the truth.
The friends and family who at first desired to bridge the gap of understanding, ultimately never did look into the requested links and articles I provided them. They’ve avoided further conversation actually. And the gap broadens. This is the problem with identity politics; we’re taking things personal that were never meant to be personally offensive. Just because there was fraud in this election doesn’t mean any one person is a cheater. It was fascinating to me how many people preferred to accuse, get defensive, and–most frequently–focus on discrediting the sources rather than critically looking at the evidence (that did, in fact, exist ad nauseam).
“I’ve been busy.” “But the news says…” “…not enough to change the election.”
And the gap broadens.
Friday of that fateful week, Facebook decided the image above of myself and friends in front of the Capitol was “against community standards.” I mean, it’s clearly offensive. A video my husband took of the crowd singing the National Anthem was also unacceptable. For me, the writing was on the wall, and I made the decision to temporarily deactivate my Facebook and Instagram accounts to preserve my content until I could download it. Did you know if your account is deactivated by Facebook, you disappear? All content you’ve provided others (like team pages for business partners for example), all photos, all contacts you’ve developed are immediately and completely deleted as if you never existed?
As it would happen, our president and 75,000 other conservative voices were abruptly purged from social media platforms, as you’ve likely heard, the day after I decided to voluntarily deactivate. I guess I wasn’t paranoid afterall all. That weekend, as Parler (a free speech platform) saw unprecedented growth in membership, Google and Apple conspired to prevent the app’s download, and by the end of the weekend, Amazon had dumped them (and all of us) off their servers.
I could not believe it. What is happening in our country?
Never mind the fact I make my living on these platforms, I was more threatened by the overreach of monopolized power this represented. Over the past weeks since the 6th, an additional 78,000 voices have been permanently eliminated from Facebook for “extremest views” all the way to and including “conspiracy theories” like sex trafficking, for example. Yes, Facebook deems the entire idea of sex trafficking a conspiracy now. And these numbers do not account for the still diminishing sources that have been dumped off of YouTube (owned by Google), podcasts, and websites. As I write, other media alternative apps, journalists, and news sources are at risk and under threat of disappearing and/or being demonetized as well.
And still, the most surprising piece of all of this is how anyone is looking the other way, or continuing to comply with this blatant tyranny against people we all know, and even worse… defending it. Even if you disagree with conservative voices, I think it’s safe to say the outcry for diversity certainly doesn’t have a hard stop at diversity of thought. An echo chamber doesn’t serve to cultivate critical thinking–but rather self-righteousness–and these actions are the antithesis of unity.
Probably the most obvious evidence of a successful propaganda campaign in the world today (outside of the repeated narrative of “there was no evidence of voter fraud, there was no evidence of voter fraud”) is that of the argument I’ve heard almost verbatim from dozens of people who say, “Facebook is a private company and can decide who they want to service.”
Y’all, forgive me, but that story is so tired (not as tired as “there was no evidence of voter fraud,” but still). First off, I hardly think if Facebook started eliminating all female voices or all gender-fluid voices, as examples, we’d ever hear such a defense so much as uttered, but there is a legal response to that old broken record.
Perhaps you’re familiar with Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Trump did everything he could to have it re-evaluated but let me give you the long and short of it. Social media is protected under the law because they claim to be platforms. That means if someone uploads inappropriate images of underaged kids, or if there is a threat of violence posted, these platforms can not legally be held liable. However, once they begin to edit or alter content posted on said platforms, they wander into the land of publishing. As someone who is elbows deep in the publishing process I can tell you publishers are very much held liable for content. So, sure, if these Big Tech giants want to stay in their lane they’er welcome to be protected under the law. But if they want to play publisher, they’re going to be held liable for violation of first amendment rights as well as discrimination and a number of other class-action lawsuits. The bottom line is Big Tech wants to have their cake and eat it too. They want to be able to censor speech and not be liable for the content nor the censorship.
I’m a big fan of protecting private business’ right to choose who they service but ya can’t have it both ways, guys. Let’s step away from that lame defense of what these platforms are doing to people you love (or at least people you used to like), and let’s be big kids and call it out. And then let’s leave EN MASSE. According to Lexington Chronicle, Twitter lost 8.8% in 2 days and 12% on the year; A market drop of $3.5 billion at the onset of this massive censorship. I realize that’s a drop in the bucket for these upstanding business owners (who became outrageously rich off this virus btw), but it’s not chump change.
We have more sway than we realize. And if we don’t start to stand for something, we’re going to keep falling for everything, y’all. Let me put it to you this way: Today, it’s the conservatives. Oh well, you didn’t really like their opinions anyway. Serves them right for being so political on Facebook (admit it: you’ve thought it). But what if tomorrow it’s the people who are praying? What if it’s those posting Bible verses? What if you lose your Facebook account just because you’re friends with someone who is speaking out about something controversial? Y’all, take a minute to research what a social credit score is because it’s happening right this minute in Communist China. What you post and like and who you’re friends with is tied to your purchasing power and social status.*
Do you see the slippery slope this is?
I’m reminded of a poem I read years and years ago that left a lasting impact on my heart. According to encyclopedia.ushmm.org, Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Lutheran pastor in Germany. He emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps. Here’s what he wrote:
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
If we don’t start to unite as friends, colleagues, the church, country men–heck, just as humans–than we are in for some dark days. I can’t speak plainly to those who aren’t anchored into the truth of Jesus, but I can speak to those who fear the Lord. Is this the heart of our Savior? Is anything that you’re seeing playing out in this world aligned with God’s word (I mean, other than Revelation)? We are all–each of us–complicit. What if today was the day Jesus’ glory shined down from above–His second coming? I think I understand why Adam and Eve hid.
I’ve often wondered how Hitler got so many to comply with his plans. Not just those who joined him–I know most didn’t go that far–but everyone else had to turn a blind eye as the noose was pulled tighter. We can’t turn a blind eye, y’all.
Trust me, I’m very scared to be speaking out. Friends of mine have been visited by the FBI and those I know to be innocent have been spitefully accused. This is a crazy time in our history. I know it’s much “smarter” to stay quiet, put on the mask, don’t speak up for the friend who is innocent, don’t talk about what you feel the Lord convicting you of. I understand this fear more than you know right now. But I also find comfort and encouragement in Proverbs 1: 28-33. (Thank you Lisa D)
Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me, since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord. Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.
Call a spade a spade, friends. This is garbage, and you know it.
Here’s the silver lining: When God called Elijah to be a prophet and declare judgement on the King and their idol worship, (can you tell I’m studying Elijah?) the first thing the Lord did was tell Elijah to leave, turn towards His provision, and wait (1 kings 17:3). For months, if not longer, I’ve been making excuses as to why I’m still on these evil platforms (namely because I make a living on them, which is no small thing), but God has been calling me to leave. Suddenly, without much warning, social media was taken from me and I had to turn towards God’s provision. And let me tell you what… He is faithful to provide. Please don’t fear following that conviction, if you have it–as I know many of you do, unless you’re lying to me in your emails and texts.
There is no greater place to be than in the complete and total dependence on your Savior.
If I’m being honest, social media has become an idol; A thing I put in the place of God–depending on it for provision, and stealing my attention.
Again, I will call on the church to WAKE UP. It’s time to join the battle being waged in the heavenly realms. I received this message this morning from a stranger and it encouraged me so much that I asked him if I could share it with all of you. He wrote:
Wendy, you don’t know me, but I was forwarded your blog post “I was there” and had a chance to sit down and read it this morning. Thank you for your words!
I, too, have seen and felt the intense spiritual battle all around us for some time now. I have this visual that I am on the battle field and am watching my fellow soldiers getting slaughtered left and right. The prince of deception is working overtime in this moment and none of us are safe from the deceitfulness of our own hearts (Jer. 17:9).
I have had a similar feeling that, as Christians, we have been called for a time as this. We are being called to “wage good warfare, holding faith and good conscience.” (1 Tim 1:18-19), and to put on the armor of God for battle. While I fear much of the Church is happy to take a break in the name of “health and safety” our fellow brothers and sisters are dying both physically and spiritually.
All this said, know you are not alone. There is an army of believers lifting you up in prayer. “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).
Darkness connot drive out light. Light eliminates darkness. The Light is the only way, truth and life. His name is Jesus Christ! He is the Warrior King, the Prince of Peace, El Roi, the Beginning and the End! All praise and glory to His name and His name alone!!
The rubber is meeting the road. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). As Christians, it’s time to put this into practice.
Praying for you and your voice in this time. Stay strong in the Lord, and Him alone!
I mean… what an amazing message to receive, right? What encouragement. And at first I praised God for the strength and confirmation it brought me, but I quickly realized that message is not for me. It came to me, yes, but it’s not for me.
It’s for you.
I know you’re being called by God to big things. I know it’s scary, trust me. I know He’s asking you to do some things that don’t make sense in the natural. Pray. Listen. Do.
He goes before you.
*(Pro tip: Don’t search ever again on Google–they censor your results and accommodate your AI established bias. I once had my left-leaning friend search for a source on Google as I did the same. We typed in the exact same name and were given entirely different results. I was able to easily confirm the source. She was made to believe it wasn’t credible).