Update: This Problem Has Been Fixed. Facebook Has Adjusted Its Algorithm To Better Accommodate Social Justice Language
[More Information About Update and Fix:]
Whenever people write about social justice issues they inevitably use words that describe oppressive and abusive situations. For a period of time at the end of 2019 the Facebook algorithm was interpreting those words as abusive. We wrote them a lot of letters about what was going on and they fixed it.
The blog below describes the situation before the fix took place.
[End Of Update]
Our Facebook page was on a 'Temporary Hold' until this morning because the Facebook algorithm has been changed and dialed to high related to words it flags as "abusive."
We were informed that we did something to violate Community Standards but we will not be informed what it was.
Our page has been placed on hold twice in the last 30 days for a total for 20 days.
We've always tried to shine a light on religious bigotry. Normally we wouldn't hesitate to post the following article. Right now we're afraid to post it. The title of the article would almost assuredly trigger an "abusive speech" flag. We didn't even post the title of this article in this blog post. Click on the story and you'll see what we mean.
Pastor Robert Jeffress Has Made Inflammatory Comments About Jews, Muslims, Mormons And Hindus. He Just Spoke At Trump’s Hanukkah Party.
We hope this problem is fixed soon. Our post reach was turned off for the better part of the last 30 days, just in time for the Christmas season. We know of several other progressive Christian social media outlets affected in a similar manner.
We admire what Facebook is attempting to do but it's affecting us dramatically.
You can't write about social justice, situations where 'the least of these' are being abused or oppressed, without using language describing how they're being abused or oppressed. Artificial intelligence algorithms are going to misinterpret said language.
We're currently paranoid about everything we post. We never know what language will trigger a 'flag' again and cause another hold on our page.
If Christians can't advocate for the sick, the poor, the hungry, the oppressed, the homeless, the persecuted and the ignored we are in serious trouble as a nation. Fixes must be devised. Social media companies must flag appropriate accounts as social justice advocates and code algorithms to examine the language they use under a unique set of criteria.
We have long taken pride in speaking the words of Jesus to power in no uncertain terms. Right now we can't do that.
“You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” -- Anne Lamott
If abuse of 'the least of these' concerns you as much as it does us, please contribute to our Seasonal Fund.
#GivingTuesday - Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world on December 3, 2019 and every day.
It was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. One of the best ways to get involved is give back in your own community. We know tens of thousands of you consider The Christian Left 'your own community.'
An overview or our history is included below. If you're in a hurry and would just like to make a quick contribution you can do so here, and thanks. Here's how to make a Giving Tuesday contribution. Help us keep TCL active and alive.
As we like to point out, we've been here 24/7/365 for a decade, functioning as a haven for Christian progressives and their allies. Anyone is welcome to this haven as long as they genuinely want to be here because they enjoy it.
Others have tried to duplicate our formula and it hasn’t been the same. Most have given up and moved on. Before we existed there was no such place where all of this could happen on a national scale for Christian progressives. Social media made it possible for the first time and we jumped on it.
Of course that's just the beginning. We're far more than 'just a Facebook page.'
We’ve done a lot of things throughout the years. We’ve personally met and spoken with many of the progressive Christian thought leaders in our travels including Brian McLaren, Frank Schaeffer, Phyllis Tickle, Reverend William Barber II, Sister Simone Campbell, Fr. Richard Rohr and Jim Wallis to name just some of them.
We've attended the Wild Goose Festival and other related gatherings many times to network on your behalf.
From the very first day we've put the teachings of Jesus front and center in everything we say and do. We've noticed now, 10 years later, other Christian thought leaders are starting to focus on the teachings of Jesus as well, even writing books about the need to return to his teachings. We'll take that as a compliment and a hat tip to our central message over the last decade.
In 2012 we set up a legal Super PAC for progressive Christians called ‘Christians For A Change.’ It folded after a time from lack of funding but we tried.
We’ve put together the biggest selection of progressive Christian apparel and gear on the internet which doubles as an outreach and a way to partially support the ministry. Our designs get noticed.
We’ve partnered with many other progressive Christian businesses throughout the years including the Wild Goose Festival, Chalice Press, The Jesus Seminar, Repairers of the Breach, and the Patheos Progressive Christian page, which is one of our current promotional partners. They feature some of the top progressive Christian thought leaders and bloggers in the world and we feature their best articles daily.
The activities and writing of TCL and its co-founders have been featured on NPR's “The Story” with Dick Gordon, PBS's “Religion & Ethics News Weekly,” the documentary film “Amendment One,” the “State of Belief” radio program with Rev. C. Welton Gaddy, the front page of The Huffington Post, Sojourners Magazine, TIME Magazine online, and Patheos Progressive Christian page.
This summer we sent a TCL mission team to El Paso, TX, where we visited 'the wall' and held a service outside the El Paso Walmart where a mass shooting had occurred in the weeks before.
In January we will send a team to participate in the 'Faith, Politics & the Common Good: Voter's Summit & Presidential Forum,' in Des Moines, IA. After the summit we're going to travel on a substantial portion of a national bus tour with events in every state. The tour will feature progressive Christian thought leaders who will encourage people at every stop to Vote for the Common Good!
We could go on and on but stick around. You'll hear all of our story if you spend enough time with the TCL community.
Here's how to make a Giving Tuesday contribution. Help us keep TCL active and alive.
We'll keep doing all the things we've described above and more!
-- The Christian Left
P.S. Just in case the link above doesn't work, you can copy and paste the following URL to your browser.
"We guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why there are poor
They get the same as the rebel Jesus ... "
~ ‘The Rebel Jesus,’ by Jackson Browne
So true, isn’t it? Brazilian Archbishop Dom Helder Pessoa Camara expressed the same frustration, lamenting that "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist."
All too often, when we take a close look at the way things really work it ends up being ‘every person for themselves,’ ‘anything goes,’ ‘survival of the strongest,’ ‘survival of the fittest,’ ‘kill or be killed,’ ‘dog eat dog,’ or ‘eat or be eaten.’ It’s often called the ‘Law of the Jungle.’ Superiority through brute force, and ‘rational self-interest’ or selfishness are its central tenets.
Jesus came to teach us that it doesn’t have to be that way and these are not God’s ways. He taught that there is another way and it IS ‘the way.’ It’s the way to salvation and it’s really simple. It’s the opposite of the ‘Law of the Jungle.’ It is to ‘love God and love your neighbor as you do yourself.’
So he set about to carry that message to a the world, and he did it. He accomplished his mission. He got it out there, and the world didn’t accept it. The world has never accepted it. Just look how easily modern, right-wing Christianity has abandoned it and turned its back on it. It’s easy to see what Jesus was talking about when he said ‘the road is narrow.’
We don’t hold ourselves up to be some kind of superior human beings when we point this out. We’re simply pointing out an obvious truth. When modern, American Christianity aligned itself with modern, conservative ideology it lost its way. Full stop. The teachings of Jesus were thrown under the bus, sacrificed in order to gain power.
10 years ago we looked around at the landscape and it was obvious we didn’t fit in. We knew there had to be others like us out there so we started carving out a ministry and a community using the innovation of social media. We’ve come a long way since then, but we have a long way to go too. In many ways we feel like we've only just begun. There are so many people out there who still feel lost and alone, like they're the only Christian progressives in the world.
After 10 years you have become family to us. We feel very blessed, like all of our effort has been well worth it!
We’d like to invite you to the first ever face to face gathering of The Christian Left. The details are enclosed in a seasonal and year-end challenge we’ve put together (click here to view). You are among the first to hear about this event. We’re glad you’ve joined us on this journey. We knew you were out there. We hope to see some of you face to face very soon!
- The Christian Left
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. - 2 Timothy 1: 7
Trump is going to lie about anything and everything, especially if he's guilty. He's going to order all his people to stonewall congress, to refuse to show up at hearings, produce documents, or answer questions, just like Lewandowski did the other day. He was an arrogant, rude jerk to congress on top of it.
This is absolutely and utterly over-the-top ridiculous. Trump is in direct violation of the law by not producing the whistleblower report. Next he and Barr will try to tie it up in court. That's their little game. It's time for Democrats to freaking step up! It's time to impeach! There is no choice here. This is probably the biggest constitutional crisis we've faced in 100 years.
We all know the Senate won't convict. It doesn't matter. When impeachment begins the house has dramatically increased powers guaranteed by the constitution. They can compel witnesses and documents. There will be no more stonewalling or fines and/or jail will ensue. The American people must know the truth. Without the truth the 2020 election will be illegitimate, based on false information. Voters must have accurate information to make rational choices.
Why do you think Trump hates the press so much? In general the press digs up accurate information. They rely on their peers to do the same and substantiate the story. They fact check one another.
Everything changes when impeachment begins. The courts fast track everything because impeachment powers are spelled out in the constitution. The American people can't let all these crimes slide. What happens if Trump steals the election again with the help of foreign enemies, like he did last time? That level of risk is way too big. Way too big. It;s time to step up and do what the Founders prescribed for this situation.
He can't pardon anyone unless there's a federal conviction of a crime. Conviction isn't the goal here. The truth is the goal. Voters must have accurate information to make a rational choice at the voting booth. Again, that's the number one reason dictators suppress and harass the press, so they can create their own narrative. Trump is trying to do just that.
We can't sit and tremble in the corner because of all the what-ifs. What kind of leadership is that? Accurate information for the voters is the goal. Trembling in the corner is what Democrats do too often, and they lose. Republican don't think things to death and tremble in the corner. Trump is blatantly saying he can do whatever he wants and the law can't touch him. Barr is going along with it. If we don't step up and lead right now regardless of our fears, we're done. We'll all have to get used to fascism. Better to lead now. Lives are in the balance.
Let's get on with it.
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This article is one worth preserving on our blog.
There are some two thousand verses on justice and poverty in the Bible. Justice and care for the poor and oppressed can be found throughout scripture in every part of the Bible from the law and the prophets to the Gospels and Epistles all the way to Revelation. God lifts up the lowly and brings down the powerful, and feeds the hungry and sends the rich away empty (Luke 1:52-53).
Progressive Christianity stands upon the long liberal tradition of the Church from ancient Judaism through the Enlightenment and into the present. It focuses on the biblical themes of liberation and justice. Progressive Christianity is in some ways a response to conservative Christian neglect of biblical social ethics.
Progressive Christians seek to reintegrate the major biblical themes of social justice back into Christian belief and practice. Fundamentalists neglected the basic biblical mandate to live justly. They have blamed the poor, turned the foreigner and the refugee away, squashed the lowly and gave tax cuts to the rich. Many Evangelicals have, in Jesus’ words become children of the devil (Matthew 25:15).
When we started this ministry in 2009 every day trolls would come to the page and tell us, "You can't be a Democrat and a Christian." They still do but not so often.
In the video below Democratic Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg talks about his faith on The View. It sounds very much like what we've been saying for 10 years. For some reason this outlook of Christianity, which is centered around the teachings of Jesus, has been suppressed in media and culture for a long time. That's finally beginning to change.
People have sacrificed a great deal to carry out this mission. If you view this outreach and message as important work please make a contribution to our ongoing effort. Here's how (click here).
What do you think? This billboard went up in Chicago yesterday and the print ad appeared last month in a Chicago alternative newspaper.
The billboard was financed by an abuse victim using some of the settlement money.
What do you think? What is it going to take for the raping of children to stop?
Jesus said "It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble." in Luke 17:2.
Now we find out the same thing is happening in the US Baptist Church.
Perhaps it's time for these churches to stop worrying about controlling women's reproductive choice and and limiting the human rights of the LGBTQ community and focus on the their own problems. You know, like the kids in their flocks being raped by the people who are supposed to be their role models.
It did our souls a lot of good to hear these two men speak. They spoke truths we've known inside for a long time. (Two Videos Below)
You only have to listen to Ted Cruz for 44 seconds which sets the stage for what follows.
Thanks so much for your kindness and generosity. We'll make this quick and simple.
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About TCL Blog
We’re not about Dogma here. We’re just Christians who think the political and Christian right-wing have their priorities wrong.
Charles Toy is the founding member of The Christian Left. We're sure you will enjoy his passion as well as his wit. Guest bloggers featured often.