Around the Institute: What’s Happening at First Liberty

February 16, 2024
Around the Institute Pillars | First Liberty Insider

A weekly roundup of exciting things happening at First Liberty.

Pastor Chris Avell: ‘God Sent First Liberty’

Your gift to First Liberty means the world to everyday heroes like Pastor Chris Avell of Dad’s Place Church. Your generous support is why we’re able to represent him free of charge. Thank you for donating!

Here’s Pastor Chris saying how thankful he is for the support he’s received:

Jeremy Dys and Pastor Chris Avell on Fox News @ Night

First Liberty Senior Counsel Jeremy Dys and Pastor Chris Avell appeared on Fox News on Wednesday. They discussed what’s next for the church and its ministry now that the criminal charges against Pastor Avell have been dropped.

First Liberty Censored on TikTok

Censorship of religious voices online is a growing problem. The latest proof? First Liberty was recently censored on social media.

We published a video titled “As Religious Persecution Rises in the West, America Must Remain a Beacon of Hope.” It discusses several reputable reports about the rise in religious persecution globally, including many countries in the West. We warned people of faith in America to be vigilant and encouraged them to renew their commitment to protect religious liberty, a bedrock principle on which our country is built.

TikTok took it down and notified us that the video somehow “violated Community Guidelines” on “civic and election integrity.”

Tik Tok Censors FLI | First Liberty Institute

Thankfully, after our social media team pushed back, the video was reinstated. But it leaves us wondering how many people will get to see it.

Just last month, we submitted a brief at the U.S. Supreme Court involving this very issue. We filed it on behalf of The Babylon Bee, a satire site, as well as its sibling, Not the Bee, a Christian news website. Their content has been censored and shadow banned, which has led to decreased web traffic to each site.

A big part of the problem is that Big Tech companies may claim to be “content-neutral” and an “open platform,” but then turn around and silence viewpoints with which they disagree, including religious and conservative viewpoints.

Social media giants are not applying their own rules and guidelines evenly. They’re “selectively invoking vague policies against ‘hate’ and ‘misinformation’ to stunt the free flow of information and silence conservative voices.” We explain to the nation’s highest court that holding tech companies accountable is consistent with federal law and the First Amendment.

Watch our interview with Seth Dillon, Babylon Bee CEO:

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