To avoid ad disruptions in any of my ‘Think Divinely’ sponsored ads, if I chose to pay for any, I must comply with the new Facebook terms. These terms, at face value, appear fair enough. But dig deeper and I can’t help but wonder if I were to promote, through a paid Facebook ad, the traditional Christian view of marriage, for example, as being a holy union between a male and a female, would Facebook then choose NOT to run my ad? From reading the agreement, I think so. And if I don’t sign the agreement, I cannot run any ads on Facebook’s platform.
The problem with Facebook is that it has algorithms for pages, like my Think Divinely blog page, and those algorithms prevent my posts from being seen by all my followers unless I choose to “sponsor” one of them. If I want more people to read my blogs, I must pay for that via an ad. But now, I can’t run an ad unless I agree to these new terms, which heavily suggest that if I run an ad that holds contrary views to the accepted sexual practices of today, I’m being discriminatory. Thus, the ad will not be approved.
In essence, what is happening here, and what may continue to happen with other social-media platforms, is that the ability to voice views contrary to the sexual conduct of modern culture will be prohibited via sponsored ads. Christian sexual ethics will receive less and less exposure via paid ads from here on out. As time goes by, the ‘snowball effect’ may result in our views not being allowed in the larger marketplace of ideas. We will be cut off from expressing contrary views.
If believers express traditional Christian views of sexuality in a hate-filled manner towards those who practice differently, I agree that should not be allowed. We don’t need more hate. I wonder, however, if not allowing someone, like myself, to sponsor a blog post on the traditional Christian view of sexuality would fall under the ‘discrimination standards’ Facebook has set up for itself? If not allowed, isn’t that discrimination towards those who hold traditional, religious views on sexuality?
How do we balance the freedom of religion, and the right to share those views, with the freedom of sexual expression? I certainly don’t demand that ads sponsoring sexual standards that go against my religious views shouldn’t be allowed. I see those all the time! Yet, I am being forced to sign an agreement by Facebook that, one can infer from the language in the agreement, would limit my ability to express contrary views to today’s sexual ethics. (In those views, I would not be demeaning others, but state traditional, Christian ethical standards.)
What can I do about this? Not much. I’m just one Christian blogger with no power over the Facebook giant. I must choose to sign this thing or not be allowed to ever boost any post again, regardless of its content.
I certainly don’t like where this is headed. I can’t imagine what life will be like for Christians in the future. I fear for the freedom to express Christian views, but then I am reminded of Paul the Apostle. He, and the new Christian believers in 1stCentury Rome, faced similar opposition. They held their ground, and it was their lifestyles, their actions, and their conduct among non-believers that eventually helped people recognize that Christian morals help families flourish.
One man, as father, and one woman, as mother, is still the best environment for children. Kids needs the influence of both sexes to understand the fullness of the human experience, as expressed in male and female.
Here are more Christian sexual ethics that actually help society, not hurt it: not having sex before marriage is the best way to prevent STDs and unwanted pregnancies; staying faithful once married is a good way to keep your marriage healthy, lessening the chance of divorce.
When faithfully practiced, traditional Christian sexual ethics help to maintain strong families. Now I know there are plenty of stable kids who weren’t raised traditionally who have turned out fine, but, generally speaking, the statistics show that children can flourish when Christian ethics are practiced in a loving, encouraging way. (Again, I realize that not all Christian families are perfect; these are general statements, but when practiced the way Jesus loved, families will flourish.) The result of this shift in standards is broken families and often, children suffer the most.
This is where we find ourselves today – Christians are standing against a tidal wave of 21stCentury sexual mandates that threaten to drown out voices of opposition within the pool of public opinion. And we must answer this question: will we stand up for Christian values, against the popular status quo of the day, like the 1stCentury Christians did?