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Religious Left Pro-Censorship Campaign Hits Rough Water

"Whether or not churchgoers agree with Limbaugh, Dobbs and Beck, the move to use the churches to silence them should be chilling to free speech advocates." -- Mark Tooley, IRD President

Contact: Jeff Walton, Institute on Religion and Democracy, 202-682-4131, 202-413-5639 cell, jwalton@TheIRD.org

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 /Christian Newswire/ -- A campaign effectively to censor conservative voices on the airwaves and sponsored by a Religious Left coalition has been suddenly dropped. Sponsored by George Soros' Open Society Institute and the ACORN-supporting Wallace Global Fund, the "So We Might See" campaign called for advertisers to stop supporting the Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs programs, as well as the firing of Dobbs. The "Color of Change" campaign targeting Beck has been removed from the "So We Might See" website, as has the "Drop Dobbs" campaign.

The move comes as the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) joins a growing list of denominational agencies, including United Methodist Communications, which have removed their names from support for an FCC petition promoted by "So We Might See," a coalition that includes agencies of the United Church of Christ, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and the National Council of Churches, as well as the Islamic Society of North America and the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops Office of Communications. The petition invokes the name of conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh as an alleged purveyor of "hate speech" and seeks to effectively silence conservative talk radio voices.

IRD President Mark Tooley commented:

"Shouldn't liberal religious voices defend free speech against an intrusive government? Regrettably, these Religious Left groups are all too willing to censor speech when it works against their political agenda.

"In the free-flowing marketplace of ideas, the truth usually emerges. Efforts to re-define 'hate speech' and intimidate targets by threatening to have them removed from the air are brutal tactics designed to suppress dissent.

"Whether or not churchgoers agree with the likes of Limbaugh, Dobbs and Beck, the move to use the churches to silence them should be chilling to free speech advocates."

The Institute on Religion and Democracy, founded in 1981, is an ecumenical alliance of U.S. Christians working to reform their churches’ social witness, in accord with biblical and historic Christian teachings, thereby contributing to the renewal of democratic society at home and abroad.