The topic of censorship seems to come up a lot these days, doesn’t it?
I think the most recent term for it is “cancel culture.”
It’s crazy that there are so many people in powerful positions who arbitrarily decide to try to shut down and silence people who simply don’t agree with them.
They even try to label polite but firm disagreements as “hate speech.” Is there such a thing as hate speech? Certainly, but the term is misused more often than not.
(And we can all agree that just tacking a label onto something or someone doesn’t make it true – for example, you can call a newborn, playful puppy a vicious wolf all day, but it won’t change the facts.)
In addition to things being censored that shouldn’t be, a whole host of other things are allowed (and even praised and encouraged) that most definitely should not be.
While these types of censorship are commonplace in other (particularly communist and socialist) areas, it is baffling to be dealing with it in the United States, where freedom of speech is one of our First Amendment rights.
And this is not an issue that just popped up recently, this battle has been going on for years – as is evidenced in Audio Adrenaline’s song “Don’t Censor Me.”
“Don’t Censor Me”
The song was released on Audio Adrenaline’s album Don’t Censor Me on October 1, 1993 – nearly 30 years ago – and it addresses the anomaly of promoting evil and suppressing truth.
The lyrics address how violence, perversion, corrupt speech, etc., are glorified, whereas the mere mention of “God” is often met with strong resistance. Hollywood comes to mind first as I read through the lyrics, but the mentality can be seen in a myriad of other situations as well.
The singer goes on to reference our calling as Christians to be the salt and the light of the earth (and expresses his determination to shine even brighter).
13“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
(Matthew 5:13–16, English Standard Version [ESV])
The singer also questions why he is being censored, as he is not complaining, being disruptive, or cussing people out. He comments that it is the word “God” that “shakes the earth.”
(Side note: I would argue that the Name of Jesus creates even more of a ruckus – these days the word “God” means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. But Jesus is God, and I get it – “G.O.D.” rhymed better for the purpose of the song.)
I find it interesting that the singer spells out the word “God” throughout the song – I’m not sure if that’s just for rhythm purposes, or if the singer was subtly showing how we sometimes try to avoid conflict. (Think about how we spell things out around children or pets when we don’t want then to know what we are saying: “When Janie finishes her lunch, she can have a c-o-o-k-i-e.”)
Refusing to be Silenced
Ultimately, the singer declares that he will not be intimidated by threats of censorship: “You can’t shut me up! So don’t even try!”
This reminds me of Peter and John’s response to the religious leaders when they told the apostles to stop speaking in the Name of Jesus:
18So [the rulers and elders and teachers of religious law] called the apostles back in and commanded them never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.
19But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? 20We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.”
(Acts 4:18–20, New Living Translation)
In the very next chapter of Acts, we see that the religious leaders were jealous of the apostles for the miracles they were performing in the name of Jesus (Acts 5:17), and they tried again to silence the apostles:
27bAnd the high priest questioned them, 28saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”
(Acts 5:27b-29, ESV)
As I mentioned at the end of a recent post, we must always remember to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), but we must also refuse to be intimidated or silenced.
Don’t be afraid to speak the truth. Ultimately, the devil is using those who try to censor us to keep us from sharing the truth with others, because the truth will free them from bondage to the devil’s influence and control – if they choose to let it (John 8:32b).
Let me know what you think of the song “Don’t Censor Me”!
And have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Links for Purchasing
Single Track “Don’t Censor Me”: ChristianBook.com
Full Album Don’t Censor Me: ChristianBook.com
Downloads and/or physical copies may also be available on your favorite online music store, at your local bookstore or thrift shop, or through your favorite online marketplace.
Related Affiliate Link
Because censorship of the truth can be a serious concern, I try to carefully choose whom I do business with. I chose OrangeWebsite.com for my website host and domain registrar because they are committed to respecting both privacy and the freedom of speech.
You can check out my affiliate post about OrangeWebsite here.
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Signing off until next week –
Rocking for Jesus with you!