The liberty and self-governance secured by the United States in decades past are now being taken for granted to the point that they’re now beginning to dissipate, Eric Metaxas, whose show was recently canceled by YouTube, told The Epoch Times.
This a warning for people to realize that they need to stand up for the truth and their values, and they ought to be willing to pay a price to protect them, Metaxas said on EpochTV’s “Crossroads” program.
“When somebody like me gets canceled from YouTube, it’s financially devastating, it’s difficult,” he said. “But I think of what people are going through in places like China, all around the world … so on some level, I feel honored for the slightest bit of censorship or persecution for what I say and believe.”
People in the United States today don’t fully appreciate freedom of speech, according to Metaxas.
“So on some level, the kinds of things that are happening, like my censorship—being ripped off of YouTube—is a kind of a healthy reminder that we ought not to take these things for granted,” he said.
“If you want to live in a free country where you’re able to express your opinion and have free speech and have this free market of ideas, you have to understand how that works, and what shuts that down.”
Metaxas likened the cancellation of his show to cancel culture and compared it to China’s Maoist Cultural Revolution.
“If you do not dance to our tune, we’re going to punish you. We’re going to punish you publicly. We’re going to humiliate you,” he said.
However, freedom was given to the United States by God, according to Metaxas.
“It’s a blessing on the one hand, it’s a gift, but it is a burden,” he said. “The people who consider themselves free people, patriots, especially Christians [should] stand up for what is true and say, we’re willing to pay any price. Our lives are in God’s hands, our liberties are a gift, and we’re willing to do what we can to preserve them.”
The price may be small—such as being canceled from YouTube—or it may be the great price of giving your life, Metaxas said.
Large social media platforms have been shifting toward silencing many of their users by censoring, canceling, demonetizing, and deplatforming them.
This phenomenon has drawn scrutiny from some lawmakers. In March, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) urged House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) to address cancel culture.
“College campuses have canceled lectures because students disagree with the speaker,” Jordan said in a letter to Nadler. “An editor for America’s newspaper of record was forced to resign for publishing an opinion piece by a Republican Senator with which the newsroom disagreed. Amazon has refused to sell books reflecting certain political views, and Twitter and Facebook have censored and de-platformed prominent conservatives, including the sitting President of the United States.”
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) criticized House Democrats in February for pressuring television carriers to deplatform Fox News, as well as two conservative cable news channels.
Profit Without Virtue
In the United States, most private corporations will act in whatever manner they want in order to make money. Corporations that aren’t led by “principled … people with virtue, people of religious faith who say, ‘We’re going to do the right thing no matter what,’ … they’re going to do whatever they can to increase the bottom line,” Metaxas said.
“If that means using Uyghur slave labor, and they can get away with it, they’ll do that.”
Metaxas stated that such business leaders “find some sophistry to rationalize” their behavior.
It’s immoral and unconstitutional, Metaxas said, giving an analogy: “If I have a lunch counter and I say, I don’t want to serve blacks in here, people don’t say, well, it’s a private business and you make your own rules. At that point, the Constitution comes in and they say, ‘Well, excuse me, you can’t do that in America. We’ve decided that that’s wrong, that’s morally wrong.’
“If you want to make money in this country, you have to play by certain rules. There are certain things you can’t do. You can’t have child labor; you can’t have racist policies; and neither can you use your platform to bully points of view.
“The American people have to understand, if you want to be free, if you want to live in a country that’s free and that promotes freedom for people hungry for freedom around the world, you’re going to have to make some choices.”
Metaxas noted that people could start by being selective with where they shop.
“You have a choice: You cannot get out of choosing,” he said, emphasizing the need for people to understand that point.
Metaxas said there are “certain kinds of protests and boycotts that are good.” To illustrate this, Metaxas cited protests against the 2022 Olympics, which is going to be held in China—a country that is deeply inhuman and doesn’t uphold the sanctity of human life, he said.
People are morally obliged to do whatever they can to stand against such inhumane practices, according to Metaxas.
“We vote with how we spend our money, how we spend our time,” he said.
According to Metaxas, China’s persecution of Uyghur Muslims is genuine systemic racism on a mass scale. Therefore, if someone spends money on Nike products, not thinking about the fact that Nike has turned a blind eye toward slave labor, this person would have been pro-slavery had he lived in 1850.
Nike’s CEO John Donahoe recently told Wall Street analysts when discussing Nike’s earnings, “We’re a brand of China and for China,” according to the Nasdaq’s transcript of an earnings call for the company.
“We’re confident about what we’re seeing in China as we drive long-term growth and we have a long-term view about China. We’ve been in China for over 40 years, still invested significant time and energy in China in the early days, and today, we’re the largest sports brand there,” Donahoe said.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said during a Senate hearing this month that some companies have woken up to the fact that they may be profiting from slave labor, while many still haven’t done so.
“Companies like Nike and Apple and Amazon and Coca Cola were using forced labor. They were benefiting from forced labor or sourcing from suppliers that were suspected of using forced labor. These companies, sadly, were making all of us complicit in these crimes,” Rubio said.
Some people from the corporate world want to see which way the wind blows and act accordingly.
“Tell me what you want. You want me to say ‘Heil Hitler’? Or do you want me to say the Nazis are bad? You want me to say I hate black people? Or white people are bad?” Metaxas said of business decisions not grounded in morality.
“They have no values. They are craven profiteers. They will and have already sold their souls for money.”
Many politicians who don’t have the courage to stand up against these immoral corporate practices need to be removed from office, Metaxas said.
“The American people need to rise up and say, ‘We must be led by people with courage and conviction, we will not tolerate anything less,’” he said.
People who don’t stand up when their freedoms are being taken away from them need to be awakened, according to Metaxas.
“Each of us has a choice to either be part of the problem or part of the solution. If you’re not part of the solution … you are part of the problem,” he said.
Janita Kan contributed to this report.