ON CENSORSHIP AND BANNING: BOB DYLAN VERSUS JOHN LENNON AND MORE

ON CENSORSHIP AND BANNING: BOB DYLAN VERSUS JOHN LENNON AND MORE

Okay, say that this site links to a site that someone doesn't like or that might or even does (unbeknownst to me) violate the Terms of Service (TOS) somewhere I network or the like. Here's the least (the least) that should happen.

  • I should be contacted before any permanent action takes place.
  • I should be contacted immediately.
  • I should be given the benefit of the doubt.
  • I should be told who, what, where, when, and why the censorship or banning concerning the link, my post, the other site, the TOS, the accusation/allegation, the views, and the like.
  • I should be given an opportunity to ask questions.
  • If my post/blog offers countervailing arguments to the "offending" material on the other site which countervailing arguments are stronger than the offending material, the censorship or banning or threat of such should be lifted with the link in question remaining on this site. (Being seen as a weaker argument should not necessarily give rise to censorship or banning.)

Why is this?

A person or people is/are behind the linked site. They often have a network of relationships regardless of any censorship or banning efforts of others. If no one may state the error of their views with links attached, several undesirable things happen.

The wider circle of people networked with "offending" sites and the site owners and operators will not see or hear the countervailing view or views aimed directly at them. Their site will remain a one-sided statement that remains un-confronted by other ways of looking at things. This is not good for them or anyone else.

Without being confronted by other ways of looking at what is offending them, more of them remain confident of their position. In fact, the more they are censored or banned without stated direct and clear cause, the more they are reinforced in their belief that the censors and banishers are simply afraid of what the censored and banned holds out as their truth. This then is a recruiting tool for error.

When I was around five or younger, I asked my father about the Communists. The TV was full of anti-Communism. The Reds were the boogiemen. They were the new Nazis. I don't mean they were Nazis. I mean they were the ones to love to hate every bit as much as one was trained to hate the Nazis {and the "Japs" or "Nips" (two "p's"?) as they were called; then came the Gooks and recently the Hajjis}. Anyway, I asked my father, "what is Communism"? My father, God rest his soul, explained in very few words (his way with me always) that there are (were at the time) two major economic systems in the world: Capitalism and Communism. He said America is a Capitalist country. Capitalists own private property whereas communists share everything and own everything together. He didn't go into the issue of leaders or dictators who are more equal than are others, a la George Orwell. I wish he had. The communism of sharing sat very well with me. I didn't like the idea of Capitalism. That's something the system tried to get me to forget. I never really did, although I could have fooled others about that. I was actually fooling myself, as I found out when I had my second religious revelation and finally converted from a level of Theism to Christianity proper.

I asked my dad about blacklisting. You see, Joseph McCarthy (the now deceased but then Senator from Wisconsin), was plastered all over the TV. Also, Edward R. Murrow's talk against blacklisting was replayed often enough that I caught it as a very young person. I know it may seem strange to people, but I listened to speeches and talks even when I was four and five. I didn't understand all the words, but I learned from them and asked questions based upon what I had seen or heard. My dad said that he disagrees with making the Communist Party illegal in the U.S. I asked why? (I always had to ask. If I didn't, he'd leave things where my last question left them without elaboration.) He said, he'd rather have things legal and right out in the open where he can see them. That made perfect sense to me. People driven into cellars, can be up to no good and not be prepared against. I don't mean militarily prepared. I mean emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and then otherwise prepared. My father's point was that then others and he could speak for or against ideas and let the people decide from all the different ideas put out there. I know he was right with the qualifications I've cited above and herein.

Now, the question is always one of where to draw the line. Some "ideas" are just injurious being raised.

Let me elaborate here using a Biblical reference. Whether you hold with literal or figurative interpretations, bear with me. Adam and Eve ate the fruit and put on fig leaves. Before that, nakedness was innocent. After that, the removal of the fig leaves could be either innocent or not depending upon motive, intention, and those subjected to the nakedness. Purity of spirit is not harmful, but the fallen are tempted. All the debates are from after the fall when the removal of the fig leaf is subject to the spirits involved. Do we rise or fall further? Of course, the fig leaf is both tangible and symbolic.

The fig leaf stands in for all coverings whether good or bad. An Internet filter that prevents a four-year-old from stumbling onto an XXX pornography site is a cover. It is a fig leaf. Removing that leaf is problematic. Showing me both Joseph McCarthy and Edward R. Murrow and allowing me to ask my father questions, was not problematic, provided I could continue inquiring.

McCarthy wasn't entirely wrong or right and neither was Murrow from within their contexts. We shouldn't want to remain on that level though. We should be about improving.

Right now, the message of Jesus is being censored and marginalized. It has been being censored and marginalized for nearly two thousand years. It's very strange to contemplate that since the Gospels contain his message, and the Gospels are widely published and readily available for much of the world.

Everything on this site is designed to further his message. Every link supplied within the context of this site is designed to do that. This site is a matter of freedom of religion. It is a matter of freedom of conscience. It is a matter of seeking righteousness.

The message of Jesus implies that much, if not all, of this world is wrongheaded. The message of Jesus calls for change. It calls for radical change — root change. It turns this world right-side up and levels it. That is the destruction of the status quo. That is the destruction of the Anglo-American-Israeli Empire and all the other heads of the Beast. It is the destruction of capitalism. It is the destruction of war. It is the destruction of harmful fig-removal, not all fig-removal. It is the destruction of and replacement/displacement of twisted meanings where bitter has wrongfully become sweet and vice versa. None of that can happen under oppressive censorship and banning. That is known to those who are "in control" of the capitalist system.

Recently, a rabbi made Torah statement supporting committing genocide. He later qualified his statements saying that he meant in self-defense only. I posted on it: "DESTROY THEIR HOLY SITES. KILL (ARAB) MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN, WROTE JEWISH RABBI MANIS FRIEDMAN OF THE CHABAD-LUBAVITCH MOVEMENT." This rabbi had even attracted the famous singer/song writer, Bob Dylan, who is a born-again Christian. (See: "Chabad rabbi: Jews should kill Arab men, women and children during war," by Nathaniel Popper. Haaretz. June 10, 2009. Since he said this, is it now "illegal" to link to him wherever he is? His views are in many ways worse than David Duke's. Duke doesn't call for genocide. He's wrongheaded, but he isn't calling for exterminating any nation/family/tribe of people. He's a self-defense person too. I am not. Neither was Jesus. Duke says Europeans have a right to pride every bit as much as any other group. I'm against pride. So is Jesus.

The rabbi is right that the Torah calls for extermination in no uncertain terms. The god of that is the god of those-who-take-deserve. That god is the god of fleshly survival of the fittest and the fittest are the mightiest, violent warriors. That god is not my God. That god is not the God of Jesus. This truth is not going to be seen and understood via a cursory overview of the Bible. It isn't going to happen by listening to capitalist, war-advocating, self-described, Christian preachers. Understand here that I'm not saying that Yahweh is not the God of Jesus. I'm saying that Yahweh is God and was severely misunderstood. I'm saying Jesus came to explain God/Yahweh — to remove the hypocrisy that was inherent in Moses's teaching. Jesus also said that Moses gladly accepts Jesus's more enlightening instructions. I believe it.

Is God the mightiest, violent warrior? God is God's system. Jesus is at the top because he is at the bottom of this wrong-side-up-pyramid world. God gives back the people's standard that they will stop that standard. The standard of God is both right and wrong. This is a paradox. It is not "possibly" true. It is absolutely true within the fullest sense context of Jesus's words and deeds. God wants us to have the right standard only, which is Jesus's standard. We suffer the consequences of our own making. Weeding out the offending is a standard, and we are all weeds if we apply it. Jesus did not weed. He showed the withering of the fig tree to say don't withhold the inheritance of all because if you do, you will suffer the consequences.

And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. (Matthew 21:19 KJVR)

Remember, that fig tree was God's, and God can resurrect anyone and anything. Jesus cleaned the temple but he did not draw human blood nor did he crush any child's testicles nor would he (there is no "it depends" contrary to John Yoo's false claim). Nor did he torture anyone, not even any demonic spirit. The demonic spirits ran inside of and drowned the pigs {very symbolic, as swine wallow in the mire and will greedily and gluttonously eat anything (devouring spirit; Satanic), not that they can't be tamed to be otherwise}.

Put yourself in God's position trying to teach you higher knowledge. If you do that, you'll be learning that higher knowledge. How does God bridge the gap without having to stoop a bit to the lower level? Can humanity rise so that God doesn't have to do that at all? Can God's right hand know what God's left hand is doing? God calls for mercy, but are we thoughtful of the position in which we place God? Sure, it's contextual since we don't have the final control. The servant never exceeds the master. We can though rise to share all. That's the beauty of God and Jesus. We can have real, total peace; abundance without depriving anyone; and a harmless existence. It's available. The Christian Commons is a step and path in that direction.

Now, here's more of the deal. One cannot be just anything and also be a Christian. One must turn, repent, and atone. One must do one's best to live the life Jesus taught. This is why, while I'm glad Bob Dylan professes Christianity, his famous song, "Gotta Serve Somebody" is in need of clarification/elaboration. We do serve for good or bad. John Lennon mistakenly answered Bob Dylan with an atheistic song John wrote, "Serve Yourself." John and Bob didn't have the conversation of what/who is the real "self"? Jesus had that conversation with God and generously worked at allowing others into the conversation.

"Gotta Serve Somebody":

Bob is right that even if you own guns, tanks, and banks, you're still in service. However, if you own the bank and you decide you want to serve the Lord and LORD, you're going to have to give it up to the cause. Translate the mammon into what will end the very system of mammon.

"Serve Yourself":

John Lennon actually said he thought Jesus was alright. That's careless language. Anything that is alright is worthy of being followed. John was good/bad at careless language. He's held up as very nearly saintly by many "leftists." Hardly. He was a Pied Piper. He was not committed to anything enough to give up his multi-multi millions. When told to shut up about anti-war or be thrown out of the U.S., he shut up. When asked for money for violent revolution he said you can count him out/in. Now, was that simply artistic license? He was a Zippie to some extent. (See: Reference Library: John and J. Edgar Hoover; Subject: FBI releases Lennon file; Date: Thu, 25 Sep 1997.) He appeared to be an atheist, anarchist, capitalists, and hedonist of a type. Whether or not he professed to be committed to pacifism in all mundanely understood instances, at this point I don't know.

This all goes to the question of where to draw the line concerning dramatics, contrivance, reality, ritual, and leads into questions concerning everything. Where entertainment for personal gain enters in is an important issue to avoid the subversion of Christianity. This is why I added my comment to my post on the Hillsong video: "How Great is Our God."

To be a real Christian means just that: to be real. The fake is not a Christian. Coming out of (leaving behind) fakery is a process of Christianizing though. Christianization is the rediscovery of purity.

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And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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