To Tell the Truth

An article on the Epoch Times today was a bit startling. It began:

FacebookTwitter, and YouTube removed videos of a press conference on July 27 held by a group of doctors, citing violation of their policies. Members of the group, called “America’s Frontline Doctors,” had spoken in support of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine in treating and preventing COVID-19, and alleged that there is widespread misinformation about the drug. [1]

I am aware that these “public” formats may remove anything they want. Maybe they should stop calling themselves public. Nevertheless, they do have policies to remove offending information, ad I use the term “offending” very loosely. What bothered me about this article, though, was the reason given for the removal of the post:

A Facebook spokesperson said that it removed the video “for sharing false information about cures and treatments for COVID-19,” and told CNN that it instead will show “messages in News Feed to people who have reacted to, commented on or shared harmful COVID-19-related misinformation that we have removed, connecting them to myths debunked by the [World Health Organization].”

My question is, who are they (the Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube executives to determine what is medically correct or not? What information do they have beyond the early closing of trials by the WHO? There are many studies that contradict the WHO. One example is from the Henry Ford Health System in Michigan.

“Our analysis shows that using hydroxychloroquine helped saves lives,” neurosurgeon Dr. Steven Kalkanis, senior vice president and chief academic officer of the health system, said in a statement. “As doctors and scientists, we look to the data for insight. And the data here is clear that there was benefit to using the drug as a treatment for sick, hospitalized patients.” [2]

Is the doctor lying? Is there malice in either organization? I would think not. I believe that the WHO is sincerely concerned and trying to help in this medical crisis. They gave up early on testing because they were not seeing sufficient data suggesting people with COVID-19 were being helped. However, in my limited knowledge and experience, I thought the scientific method was to present a theory and test it against empirical evidence. If the evidence does not support the theory, does that mean the theory should be abandoned?

“We attribute our findings that differ from other studies to early treatment, and part of a combination of interventions that were done in supportive care of patients, including careful cardiac monitoring,” Zervos said. “Our dosing also differed from other studies not showing a benefit of the drug. And other studies are either not peer reviewed, have limited numbers of patients, different patient populations or other differences from our patients.” [3]

If the theory is not sustained by the evidence, what part of the theory is wrong? some of it? All of it? Science is a tool for learning. It is not the ultimate determination of an idea. Where did the saying “Go back to the blackboard” come from? From errors made that need to be tweaked to discover the truth. If the WHO is willing to give up on the idea of hydroxychloroquine, the Henry Ford Health Center is not. There are many who are not giving up either. If this was the way institutions looked for the cure of cancer, we could have stopped trying. However, those doctors and researchers have not given up and because of that, they have made progress, significant progress.

I am certainly not trying to disparage the WHO. However, the actions taken by Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are foolish. Censorship is not conducive to a free society. It is a free society that has paid the employees of these “public” forums. But they are not public. They allow some people to use the vilest language and publish the most hateful messages while censoring others dedicated to helping. My sadness is that the law does not even hold the “platform” responsible for that which is published on it. Their censorship is purely political. Legally they cannot be touched. Morally they are contributors to the condition of our current mess.

COVID-19 is a problem. However, the rioting is more of a problem. If you don’t think that the current attempts to erase history create their own form of hell, you haven’t read George Orwell’s 1984.

The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours; the world and all that is in it, you have founded them.” (Psalm 89:11, ESV)

Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!” (Psalm 33:8, ESV)

The nonsense going on today rejects the idea of YHWH, the creator of all things. It rejects the truth of Jesus the Christ for whom all things were made and by whom all things are sustained. It rejects the reality of the Holy Spirit who has given life to all people, and who can take it away at any time. I am not a doomsday prophet, but the world as we know it is coming to a change that is going to be difficult and painful. If America falls, it will only be because those of us who know how to reason, those of us who have diligently read, studied, and hidden the whole counsel of God in our hearts, and those of us who have the responsibility of bringing the Kingdom of the Most High God to the earth have remained silent. We have failed to tell the truth to this world, to our government, to our leaders and their followers, to every human being we are capable of reaching.

I wonder if we in the Church have hidden our light under a bushel. It’s not their fault that they are confused and bitter. It is ours for not loving them with a true love, a love that refuses to back down, a love that reveals the evil in the schemes of mankind. That means all evil whether Republican or Democrat for there is plenty to go around. Whether white of black for there is plenty to go around. It does no good to hate, destroy, kill, and be killed if there is nothing to build after the revolution.

Psalm 49 (ESV)

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

1 Hear this, all peoples!

Give ear, all inhabitants of the world,

2 both low and high,

rich and poor together!

3 My mouth shall speak wisdom;

the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.

4 I will incline my ear to a proverb;

I will solve my riddle to the music of the lyre.

5 Why should I fear in times of trouble,

when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me,

6 those who trust in their wealth

and boast of the abundance of their riches?

7 Truly no man can ransom another,

or give to God the price of his life,

8 for the ransom of their life is costly

and can never suffice,

9 that he should live on forever

and never see the pit.

10 For he sees that even the wise die;

the fool and the stupid alike must perish

and leave their wealth to others.

11 Their graves are their homes forever,

their dwelling places to all generations,

though they called lands by their own names.

12 Man in his pomp will not remain;

he is like the beasts that perish.

13 This is the path of those who have foolish confidence;

yet after them people approve of their boasts. Selah

14 Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol;

death shall be their shepherd,

and the upright shall rule over them in the morning.

Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell.

15 But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol,

for he will receive me. Selah

16 Be not afraid when a man becomes rich,

when the glory of his house increases.

17 For when he dies he will carry nothing away;

his glory will not go down after him.

18 For though, while he lives, he counts himself blessed

—and though you get praise when you do well for yourself—

19 his soul will go to the generation of his fathers,

who will never again see light.

20 Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.

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