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Sex Cult and Facebook: How the Communications Decency Act Amplifies Obscene Libel

Many people now know that social media providers suppress content at odds with certain political or ideological goals. What’s seldom discussed is that so long as content is irrelevant to those goals, social media will complacently allow it to destroy lives. Here’s a story about that. A few years ago a middle-aged, unemployed, do-nothing internet maven took to Facebook to assert, outlandishly and falsely, that my clients, their six children, and a portion of their church had organized a sex cult and were grooming and preying upon minors. His post… Read more Sex Cult and Facebook: How the Communications Decency Act Amplifies Obscene Libel

Religion, Fundamentalism, Gnosticism, BLM: Part II

Not all religions are fundamentalist, but many political movements are. We should not be surprised when political ideology shares the features and strategies of religion; since both organize power they follow the same patterns, as suggested by the very term “religiopolitical.” David Martin’s Religion and Power says it well: “Religion and all forms of politics participate in the common structure, the dynamics and the vocabulary of the social as such…At the heart of that vocabulary is myth as used by Georges Sorel in his Reflections on Violence…Myth is not a… Read more Religion, Fundamentalism, Gnosticism, BLM: Part II

The Year the COVID Broke

In The Day the Dam Broke, James Thurber recalls the panic of 1913 when the populace of Columbus Ohio became unaccountably and mistakenly persuaded that the dam had collapsed. His description of the disordered flight from town is perfect: although they were “as safe as kittens under a cookstove…some of the most dignified, staid, cynical, and clear-thinking men in town abandoned their wives, stenographers, homes, and offices and ran east” when “a loud mumble gradually crystallized into the dread word ‘dam.’” As is so often the case with stories of… Read more The Year the COVID Broke