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Control And Censorship Of The Church And Conservatives – With Mat Staver: Why such hatred and disdain of the Church from tyrannical leaders? Is this a Constitutional Republic or a Monarchy? What does Trump’s executive order regarding social media and censorship actually do to these super-information highways that affect our elections? Tune in to learn the answers to these important questions and more!

Air Date: 06/22/2020

Guest: Mat Staver

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith and the Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It is WallBuilders Live, where we’re attacking every issue of the day. I mean, whatever the hot topic is of the day, we’re going to take it on with a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. Don’t you want to know truth? That’s where you get it. I

mean, that biblical wisdom applied to every issue of the day is how you get a good society; that’s how you get a free and prosperous society. Learning from history so we don’t repeat mistakes. Learning from history, just so that we have perspective. You know, there’s crazy stuff going on in America right now and sometimes we think like C.S. Lewis used to say, we kind of exaggerate the novelty of our situation.

There’s nothing new under the sun and history helps us to see these things in that perspective, which will give you some peace, but it’ll also give you some answers on how to deal with those things. So biblical, historical and then of course, constitutional. We live in a constitutional republic. We, the people need to know our constitution, we need to know our rights. We need to know how to defend those rights and assert those rights in a proper, peaceful, constitutional way.

And so here at WallBuilders, we’re all about that biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. We do that with David Barton, he’s America’s premier historian and our founder here at WallBuilders. Tim Barton is a national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. You can learn more about all three of us at our website, wallbuilderslive.com. That’s the radio site where you can get archives the program from the last few weeks and months.

And you can also get a list of our stations and learn more about us as hosts and whatever else you want to do on the website, which, by the way, there is one more very important thing to do. I forgot this, I need to add this and you need to pay attention. Because if you really want to make a difference, if you really want to save a constitutional republic, it takes finances to go to war.

We’re in a culture war, a war that’s being fought with ideas. It’s being fought with truth against lies. And at WallBuilders, we bring truth to a culture that has been lied to for many, many years with the leftist propaganda and our education system, in our news media and all those things.

Welcome Mat Staver

And that’s not some, you know, exaggerated term, leftist, it is literally a leftist mindset of dividing people, of wanting government to take over, of destroying the family, removing the church from its influence in the culture. It’s a leftist philosophy and it’s full of lies and a lot of Americans have bought into it over the last couple of decades.

It’s our job to bring that truth and you can be a part of expanding that truth. Please consider making a contribution today at wallbuilderslive.com. Your dollars are an investment in freedom. And when you donate a wallbuilderslive.com, we expand our program, we reach more people, we train more pastors, we train more legislators, young leaders of the next generation. You are a part of that when you donate. Please consider doing that at wallbuilderslive.com

I’m super excited to have Mat Staver with us today. LC.org is the website. We love Mat and the work that they do at Liberty Council. He’s on the frontlines all over the country with lawsuits dealing with religious liberty, dealing with the COVID crackdowns. He’s just doing fantastic job. LC.org is the website. Mat, God bless you, brother and thanks for coming on today.

Mat:

Yeah, there’s a lot of states right now. Some, unfortunately are now backing off, because the restrictions are less, but there’s many where the restrictions are just as strong and even, perhaps even some cases, more egregious, because you’re seeing a contrast between these restrictions on churches to limit them just to a handful of people versus thousands of people that are out there protesting and the governors of the States are part of the protest.

Rick:

Yeah, you know, I was thinking about, I went to Chicago, one of your clients up there, the Romanian church and spoke up there back, I guess three weeks ago or so. And they were so careful to make sure they were following all CDC guidelines. They were doing everything right. This pastor was taking care of his flock incredibly well.

Hypocrisy

And now, they see the protest and nobody is got a problem with it and the public officials being okay with, you know, thousands and thousands of people crammed into closed spaces, but yet that church they threatened to tear down even though they were sitting six feet apart and wearing the mask and doing all that kind of stuff. How does that affect all the lawsuits? Do you think the courts will see that hypocrisy and go, if okay, this was truly a scientific, you know, pandemic scare, all of that you would be unfortunate across the board?

Mat:

Well, I can tell you we’re raising this in all of the lawsuits and we have a number of lawsuits. We got four different ones pending at the Courts of Appeals right now and we have an argument coming up very quickly on one of those cases. In fact, it’s a case out of Chicago. And that will be coming up very soon.

And we’re bringing this issue up because the governor J.B. Pritzker, not only had 30,000 people in one of the marches, but he actually spoke to one march that had about 1,000 people and indeed, he’s even marching with them, holding a banner. He’s in the middle and he’s got people side by side marching down the street with the banner…

Rick:

Breaking his own orders then.

Mat:

Breaking his own orders. Yeah. Yeah. Breaking his own orders. And so, the mayor of Chicago who also was a very vicious against the churches, wanting to bulldoze the church, calling them a public nuisance, she’s out there talking to the protesters as well in throngs of people. So, you have this contradictory, you know, display of just flouting their own orders and on the other hand, trying to suppress the church.

Rick:

And Mat, I don’t want to skip over the huge victory that you had in Illinois as well, because that was a big deal, went all the way to the Supreme Court and the governor backed off at the last minute and unstained made his suggestions for the churches instead of the dictatorial crackdowns. Where does that stand now?

Chicago’s Mayor Against Churches

Mat:

Well, where that stands is right now, the governor’s statewide orders have been lifted, because he lifted that within four hours of having to respond to the United States Supreme Court when we drag him to the steps of the Supreme Court, frankly and that’s still lifted. But now, the mayor wants to impose some additional restrictions, so she hasn’t given up and yet she’s out there marching with the protesters and speaking in throngs of people just like the governor.

Rick:

Do you sense any kind, I mean, we’ve known this for years, but just the hatred of the church, man, I don’t know any other way to put it with some of these? Is that part of what you think is driving this hypocrisy of saying we’re going to keep coming after you guys no matter what?

Mat:

Yeah, I think that’s exactly right. And whenever you have, you know in history, we look back and we see these repressive, maybe communist fascist regimes. What do they do? They first go after the church, because it’s the church that’s ultimately going to resist that fascism, that communism, that control of individuals. And so, they go after the church to silence the church and put the heavy thumb on the church and only allow what the State wants. And I think that’s what you have here.

You have a real distaste of an animosity, frankly, a hatred in some cases against the church and everything it stands for. That’s why many of these governors didn’t put them in the essential category and then they allow all these other things to operate, including abortion clinics, liquor stores, whatever it might be, but they don’t want churches to operate because they really have a hatred and a distaste for the church. And I think you’re seeing that.

And then this discriminatory treatment becomes even more compounded when they’re marching in situations where their orders are completely being violated. So, you’re living under a monarchy, a rule of one by a governor in many cases or maybe a mayor of a particular city or county and they change their positions freely at will. And that’s why we have a constitutional republic to say no, we’re all under the rule of law, there is nobody above the rule of law. And yet these people think they not only are above the rule of law, they think they are the law.

Tyrannical Monarchy

Rick:

You may be raising this in some of your suits as well. But you mentioned it just now, this one person making these decisions, literally making law and executing that law. And of course, we understand emergency situations, a hurricane comes through town or whatever, you got a few days where, you know, you don’t have time to get the legislative body together to deal with a situation. We’re three months into this thing, man and we still have governors that haven’t had to answer their legislators at all.

Mat:

Yeah, that’s a real problem. I mean, the Constitution of the United States, has what’s called the Guarantee Clause. And it guarantees that not only the federal government, but all the states as well have a republican form of government and that’s, of course, our tripartite system with the legislature, the judicial branch and the executive branch.

And when that simply gets moved aside, there’s a constitutional guarantee says, no, this is how we ultimately are established as a republic with the checks and balances with the different kinds of authority distribution. And of course, the primary authority is reposited in we the people, the legislative branch.

And what you see happening with these executive orders going on and on and they’ve never had to even have a vote on it, no response by the legislature, is you have a single individual making the law, a single individual enforcing that law and a single individual just on his or her own just at any moment of notice changing the law with no responsibility to any of the people or to the legislative body.

And that just simply, you know, the governor is an enforcer of the law, not a creator of the law. And that’s what they’re essentially doing, they’re creating the law. And they’re not only just creating law, but they’re actually setting aside and I use that in quote, the constitution, not that they can, it’s never set aside, but they operate as though there is no constitution. So, they even are putting themselves above their state and federal constitutions.

Rick:

But I’m sure these dictators are benevolent dictator, so it’ll all be just fine, right?

Mat:

Yeah. Well, you know when they say that killing babies is essential, but talking about your eternal life and eternal destiny is not, I mean, you really understand what these people are coming from.

Triple Protection in the First Amendment

Rick:

Yeah, no doubt and the church has got to know its rights, pastors have got to know their rights, the flock is got to understand that, hey, the church is not only is it essential. You know, Jack Hibbs was telling me the other day, it transcends all that these terminologies of the what the left is doing right now.

The church has triple protection in the First Amendment. You know, we got to realize that the community is hurting right now, because these churches aren’t able to gather and meet the needs of the community. Do you think more pastors are starting to catch on or they just still asleep out there?

Mat:

I think more pastors are starting to catch on, but there’s so many that are still asleep. I know, good people that have been in their particular churches for many years, strong supporters of the church are becoming very disenchanted with their churches or church in general, because they want to go back to church and they’re not seeing leadership in the churches that they have supported for so many years.

So, I think some of these churches when they reopen, they may well find the longer they wait, the less of the people that they once had will actually return and I think that’s already happening. But, you know, we need pastors to really wake up. There’s one particular person who I saw just posted on their social media, just really disturbed about the fact that the church in Virginia still had not opened yet.

And someone else posted that well, you know, it may happen down the road, we’re talking to the governor. I mean, this is the governor, Northam that we could care less about churches. And that, you know, we need to give our pastors cover and I said, real leaders don’t need cover, cowards do.

Rick:

Well, it’s feeling like a lot of cowardice out there to me at this, point three months into this thing. I got to switch to free speech from the freedom of religion thing and just this whole social media nightmare of silencing anyone with even the slightest difference of opinion from the mantra out there. Does Trump’s executive order do much on this social media thing? What’s your thoughts on this?

Mat:

Well, it’s a great executive order, I have it here right in front of me. It’s an executive order on preventing online censorship. He specifically mentions Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube saying that they wield immense, if not unprecedented power to shape the interpretation of public events and to censor the debate.

Legal Liability

And so, in here, he outlines the some of the problems. You know, Congress, a number of years ago gave them legal liability immunity in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Well, that was when they said, listen, don’t sue us, we don’t want to be privately sued and because we’re just a neutral provider of information, we’re like a pass through, it’s the people who post on us. We don’t censor anything. Well, that was then, this is now and yet what we’ve seen is they are censoring. So, what…

Rick:

And that’s what differentiates them from, because I used to think, well, it’s a private business, government shouldn’t be able to… but they’re not really. They get special favors from an immunity from the government and that’s what opens them up to this type of regulation that would keep them from doing that anymore.

Mat:

Exactly. And so, you know, you can understand that at the beginning, if they really are just not going to censor, then you go after the person who posted the bad thing, not the entity that actually just hosted that. You don’t sue the billboard company. You sue the person who puts something on the billboard company if you don’t like the message, I mean, or if it’s harmful. That’s what they ultimately made sense back then and that’s why they got the immunity. But it doesn’t make sense now.

And Trump’s executive order actually mentions this and says that that was then, this is now, they are now censoring. So, he says that within 30 days of this order, the head of each agency is going to report its findings. It’s going to be reviewing all of this information and giving an informational report.

Back then, the Department of Justice will review the viewpoint base speech restrictions imposed by these online platforms and going to identify specific things that the government will do to address that. And I think one is not only lawsuits from the Department of Justice for anti- competitive activity and monopolies.

But also, I think, repealing Section 230 and letting these particular censors get a taste of their own censorship, because when they do that there will be consequences. They’re not only censor, they harm people, they literally harm people by posting false information or by, you know, allowing.

Like, for example, you know, they allow things that are actually harmful and hateful to someone, because it supports their viewpoint. And then other things that are factual, they just simply will eliminate it or they’ll question you. You know, they don’t have any business doing that. Put it in this context.

Censorship on Facebook

You wouldn’t want your cellular phone or your phone company to say, Rick, I’m not going to allow you to make that call. You can’t say that sentence, we’re going to bleep it out while you’re talking to a friend, because they’re going to censor everything. No, your phone company is a neutral provider. If you don’t like somebody saying something over the phone, it’s not the phone company’s fault, they’re just a neutral conduit, it’s the person who said it.

But, if they’re starting to censor you on this communication highway, that’s a whole different ballgame. And that’s what you see happening in Facebook and not just censor your words, but maybe even block you. Rick, I don’t like you, because of your viewpoint, you’re a Christian. So, you can’t even use this cellular telephone line or this company anymore.

That’s the problem that we have. And these have become the new modern, sort of public forum. You know, we’ve had the traditional public forms of sidewalk streets and parks and the government certainly can create certain public forums. But here, these are these super information highways and they literally can affect presidential elections by the censorship and there’s no question that they have created different votes for different candidates by virtue of what they allow and what they don’t allow.

Rick:

I was shocked at, I watched one of those senate hearings at the numbers that they can move in an election. I forget the guy’s name, but he was actually Hillary Clinton supporter and you know, definitely doesn’t lean our way. And he was the one saying, look, this could be 15-20 million votes moved in one direction or the other. And, I mean, what’s the presidential election? Usually, a 2 or 3 million vote different, so huge, huge impact.

Mat:

Huge difference. Huge difference. And so you know, we’re moving into like a communist type of State run media so to speak…

Rick:

Yeah, if you don’t buy the party line and so toe the party line, they silence you.

Mat:

Right. Right. And you know, we have these federal laws against certain campaign contributions and yet what you have here, these mega companies, they’re putting untold millions and millions of dollars into a particular candidate by censoring a particular opposition or boosting the favorability or the viewability of somebody else that they support.

The Insurrection Act

Rick:

Yeah. Yeah. And blocking you. I did a video the other day on the history of the Insurrection Act and all the Presidents that have used it and just laying out the facts, basically, because people were asking me, okay, if Trump uses this, is that constitutional? And they blocked it. I mean, just giving a history lesson, you know, and constitutional lesson and they blocked it, because it would maybe possibly favor Trump in any way, shape or form.

Mat:

Yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, and they’re very controversial. I mean, there’s a shirt that’s being sold through the social media, through Facebook and it’s ‘Blue Lives Murder’. And, you know, that is a dangerous message.

Rick:

Yeah.

Mat:

And when someone complained, they said, oh, no, this doesn’t violate our community standards. You’re kidding me. You’re talking about the law enforcement officers and you’re advocating that that’s what they do and other people will take it in different ways. So, I mean, it’s really biased and certainly it has, I think, affected elections in the past. And I’m very glad that President Trump is taking some action here, because I think we’re going to see some headway.

You know, right now, there’s a number of attorneys general that are investigating Facebook and Google for antitrust lawsuits to break them apart, sort of like the old baby bells, you know, with Bell company and they went into the baby bells. And we’ll see how that happens.

But I think we can’t continue to go down this road, because also, what we’re going to find is we’re controlled by this media source that literally only permits certain things to come to you and then gives you other kinds of information. So, when you post something on your Facebook, you think you may have several thousand friends, but only maybe, you know, 10 or 12 might be able to see that. You don’t know that, but that’s what Facebook is doing.

Rick:

Yeah, no doubt about it. And so, what you’re saying too, is the with the executive order, it essentially starts the process and then they’ll come back with the findings and the Department of Justice can act at that point. Mat, I kept you longer than I promised I would. I thank you so much for your time today. And LC.org, we want to get people over to the website so they can follow the suit you’ve got going and come alongside you financially, really encourage people to do that. LC.org is the website. Mat Staver, appreciate you, brother.

Constitutional Defense of your Family and Freedom

Mat:

Thank you. God bless.

Rick:

Stay with us, we’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.

BREAK

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Rick:

We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us and special thanks to Mat Staver for joining us today as well. LC.org is the website. Back with David and Tim Barton now. And guys, of course, Mat is out there on the frontlines with all these COVID lawsuits and trying to stop government involvement there as well. But really good information on this executive order about social media and I think he’s right. Social media has become really, it is the highway of today.

David:

It is a highway of today and Rick, even as you mentioned talking to Mat, we’ve all had kind of a change of view on this. Because when this first started, we really saw the social media as private platforms and they’ve got a right for free speech and whatnot. But now the fact that they’re coming together and joining and having common ways of censoring speech they don’t like and particularly with the hearing that went on where it looks like that just Twitter itself can influence 14 million votes by what they exclude and what they include in the presidential election, I mean, that’s massive stuff. And so, it got me thinking.

Monopolies

And Mat mentioned about monopolies and the government’s possibility. And I had to kind of scratch my head and kind of remember what it was on that. So, let me just kind of throw back to monopolies constitutionally. The way that the courts and the government and others have approached this is, we’re free enterprise system, which means competition and free market. And so, when you conspire together to corner the market and eliminate competition, that creates a monopoly and the Constitution does not authorize that kind of monopoly.

So, what happens is the way they define a monopoly is when one entity or group becomes the sole supplier of a particular product or service and there’s a lack of competition and that hurts the economy. So, it goes back to a bill that was actually passed in 1890s, called the Sherman Antitrust Act named after the guy who introduced the bill in Congress, but President Benjamin Harrison signed it. And it was an anti-monopoly law, federal law. It was to protect consumers and allow the feds to impose limitations on companies that discouraged competition or companies that merge to take over something.

So, a great example just 20 years ago was Microsoft. Microsoft had a monopoly, because they had an operating system that they combined with a web browser, Internet Explorer and they were the only ones that had that. And so, the court ordered Microsoft to share their software interfaces with all the other companies for five years and that’s what gave rise to all the technology competition industry.

So, this stuff about having a monopoly on information or whatever, that’s always been unhealthy. And so, the Sherman Antitrust Act, it was to prohibit anything that’s anti-competitive. And so, you know, I thought Mat’s example was great of the analogy of a phone company, they don’t say, hey, we’re not going to allow you to make that call, because we disagree with what you’re saying on that phone call, so we’re going to censor you your phone calls. No, if you’re an open platform, you let the content go out.

And so, what’s happened is these guys are creating a monopoly on viewpoints and communication, dissemination of viewpoints, the way that it gets out now, they pretty much got wrapped up. And so, the whole concept of breaking up monopolies, I mean, I’m seeing social media in a different light than I did even five or six years ago.

Because the way they’re now cooperating with each other, creating the algorithms they create, they’re all having the same political viewpoint and they’re all using the tools they’ve got to stop that and that’s just not a good deal for free speech or competition or free market or anything else.

Antitrust

Rick:

Well, if I could push back a little bit on the antitrust thing, you know, if it was just a company providing a product like Microsoft, I actually disagreed with them do anything like that to Microsoft, because they created the product. And you know, if you have a better company, come along IBM was the giant before that.

But this is different in other ways as well, because they literally are controlling it like a utility line and a utility line has to have government involvement. So, we give up land. We allow for, you know, eminent domain to take that right away on the side of the highway, to put those lines in there, government gives them certain immunities. And that’s where I really started switching on these guys like Facebook, is we give them all kinds of immunities and government privileges and government favors.

And Cruz really kind of woke me up on that. Senator Cruz, when he started doing those hearings and expose it all, I didn’t realize that. I thought it was just, you know, some software platform out here that few people start on it and then hundreds of millions and then billions but you know, they’re not involved with it. But wow, they are, they get all kinds of government favors.

David:

And by the way, Rick on what you said, I’m all for competition. If you can corner the market in competition, I’m all for it. And the courts have called that, they called an Innocent Monopoly. For example, if Chick-fil-A corners all the food market, because they have better service and better products, so be it because there’s competition out there.

Rick:

And the world will be happier. I mean, they just will, because they’ll eat good chicken.

David:

It’ll be our pleasure. So, that kind of Innocent Monopoly is, it’s alright to have a monopoly if you can create it in an innocent way.

Tim:

Well, and more specifically, it’s okay to do something if the free market dictates the behavior of that.

Control And Silencing Of The Church And Conservatives- With Mat Staver

David:

That’s right.

Tim:

Right. And we’re really talking about is and so often, you have what would be referred to as crony capitalism, which we are totally against when the government It picks and chooses favorites. When the government says, okay, so you’re a private corporation here are the rules, except for Facebook and Twitter and Google, for you guys, we have some special privileges for you.

Well, no, no, government can’t pick and choose favorites and give special favors and funding and different tax breaks to different organizations and companies. And this is where the problem is with crony capitalism, is why we’re so many young people are looking at capitalism and they are saying, oh, capitalism is a sham, it oppresses, it does this and that.

Everything about capitalism that you would look at and disagree with is where the government has involved itself in capitalism and the government is playing favorites. The free market does not play favorites in the sense that it does not pick the winners and losers. In the free market, it is the individuals, it is the consumers that pick the winners and losers. And if Chick-fil-A becomes a monopoly in the free market, it’s because they did the best job, serve the best food and the people liked them the best and those are the kind of winners you want.

Rick:

So good, man. So good. Folks, if you enjoyed this truth today here at WallBuilders Live and get some more. It’s right there at wallbuilderslive.com, we’ve got archives the program for the last few weeks and months. And your contribution at that website is an investment in this truth and getting it out there to more people across the country. So, be sure to do that at wallbuilderslive.com today.

We’d love to have you as a part of this, either by donating or by coming to one of our programs, either becoming a Constitution coach or sending your legislators to our legislators conference or your pastor to our pastors briefings in Washington D.C. Come alongside us, help us save the country. It’s so important for every citizen to do their part.

Thanks for listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.