Facebook suspended a prominent Christian scholar for 24 hours earlier this week — for speaking out against transgender ideology and President Joe Biden lifting the ban on transgenders in the military — calling his words “violence and incitement,” PJ Media reported.
What are the details?
Robert A.J. Gagnon, who teaches New Testament Theology at Houston Baptist University, was banned Tuesday, the outlet said.
Gagnon also holds a Ph.D. in Pauline theology and sexuality from Princeton Theological Seminary and published “The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics,” PJ Media said.
The outlet said Gagnon posted a defense of his friend, Laurie Higgins, who got a seven-day ban for criticizing Biden’s policy. Then Gagnon himself was thrown in Facebook’s slammer for the following text, PJMedia said:
My friend Laurie Higgins has been suspended for 7 days, for making an accurate and witty satirical post, by left-wing FB overlords who seek to squash all dissent on the issue of transgenderism, no doubt emboldened by the Biden/Harris administration. There’s nothing inaccurate about this post.
- Biden’s lifting of Trump’s transgender military ban will indeed put women military personnel in the awful position of having to shower with biological males.
- Trans-promoters aren’t content with having men invade the domain of women’s sports and shelters.
- “Transgender” ideology is indeed a pseudo-science, compelling people to reject basic biological facts.
- Promoters of “transgenderism” do indeed exhibit traits of a religious cult in their mind-numbing, science-denying conformity. The censoring and suspending of Laurie Higgins rather proves the point, doesn’t it?
Gagnon said Facebook claimed his criticisms violated the social media giant’s “Community Standards on violence and incitement,” the outlet reported.
What did Gagnon have to say?
“There was absolutely no incitement to violence on our part. We abhor violence done to any person,” Gagnon told PJ Media on Tuesday. “This is just a thinly veiled and pathetic excuse for censorship of any critical views toward trans-tyranny over our consciences, religion, and reason.”
He also noted that “only one point of view is being allowed. [Former President Donald] Trump was not the great danger to the Republic. Left-wing canceling is,” the outlet added.
Facebook, however, told Gagnon it has such “standards” in place “to prevent and disrupt offline harm,” PJ Media reported, adding that Facebook didn’t respond to the outlet’s request for comment.
Another professor steps in
Robert P. George, McCormick professor of jurisprudence and director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, spoke out on Facebook against the platform’s attack on Gagnon, the outlet said.
“Censorship on Facebook and some other social media has now gone way beyond the bounds of the reasonable, and is grossly violating representations about free speech made by CEOs and other officers of the major platforms,” George wrote, according to PJ Media, calling Gagnon’s suspension “an egregious case.”
“We need robust free speech in what functions today as the public square. We need dialogue and debate. People need to be able to criticize and forcefully challenge idea — including ideas that are dominant in elite sectors of the culture and among people in the tech industry,” George said, the outlet reported. “What we do NOT need is the silencing of dissent. That is never a good idea. Once it starts and becomes normalized … things do not end well.”
George concluded, according to PJ Media: “If anyone from FB is reading this comment, please, I beg you, reconsider the path down which you are going. It is not a good one. It is a healthy spirit of civil libertarianism we need; not dogmatism and the enforcement of groupthink.”