Net Neutrality and Freedom Online

Sometimes there are things that happen in the world around us or in our communities or our country that I feel the need to talk about. Normally I leave politics at the door here. Mostly I talk about faith and my family or my life in general. This is one of those rare times that I feel the need to talk politics.

There is a lot of talk going on right now about the FCC and Net Neutrality. Those in favor of net neutrality are telling us how great it will, how free the internet will be with the government regulating it. Really? I would say that the internet is pretty free right now.

When I decided I wanted to start a blog, I googled hosting websites and came across a couple different ones that were free to get started. I checked them out and finally settled on wordpress.com to host my blog. I came up with a name, put in my email address and chose a password and *BAM* a website was born where I have the freedom to put anything I chose. I didn’t have to ask permission from anyone to start this. I can say anything I want to here. I am FREE to do with this area as I please.

If the FCC classifies the internet as a telecommunication service rather than an informational service, everything changes. No, it won’t change overnight. You won’t wake up the next morning and everything be different, but things will change. The government will suddenly be regulating the internet.

Let’s say you’ve got this great idea to make soaps and lotions. You start out making them just for yourself, but they are so great that you start making them to give as gifts to your friends and family. Your friends and family love your products and tell you that you should start selling them. You think about and decide to go ahead and give it a try. You decided to start a web-based business selling your soaps and lotions. Today you can do it. Find a hosting company to host your website and start selling your products.

When the government takes over the internet, what do you think they are going to want you to do before you start selling your products? Well, what does the government want (force) you to do if you want to start a business in your town? Well, you are definitely going to need a business license ($). There are going to be some fees ($). You’ll definitely need an inspection ($), and probably several of them ($). You did get a permit ($) to make those lotions and soaps here, right?

Let’s say you are a great baker. You love baking cakes and decorating them, and it turns out you are pretty good at it. Some friends ask you to bake a cake for their baby’s first birthday. They take a bunch of pictures at the party and post them to Facebook. “WOW! Great cake! Where’d you get it?” And suddenly, you’re getting asked to make cakes for birthdays and weddings and all sorts of special occasions. You decide to go ahead and give your cake business a name and a Facebook page so you can start taking orders regularly. Maybe you can even make a living out of doing something you love.

And businesses aren’t the only changes that could be coming with government regulation of the internet. Maybe you think the internet could use some regulation. I’ll be the first to agree with you that, along with the many, many good things, there are many, many bad things as well. Although I’ve never looked for it, I am positive that you can find any type of porn you could ever want on the internet. There is probably a site for every type of hate and oppression imaginable. Let the government regulate that, you say. Let the government shut all of the hate down, you say.

Well, doesn’t that sound great in theory. But who gets to decide what stays and what goes? Who gets to pick what qualifies as hate? Right now a lot of people who have never listened to a word he has said would tell you that Glenn Beck spews hate, even though every day he says we should love each other regardless of our differences. But he spews hate, they say. Shut him down, they say. And if you don’t agree with him maybe you think that is a great idea.

But think about this. What happens when we have a different president? What happens when power changes hands? What if those in charge thought that everything on MSNBC is hate and start shutting those people down?

What if those in charge decide that talking about God is hate speech? Or if you write about being anti-vaccination? Or if you home school? Or if you just disagree with the things that are going on around you? Slowly you’ll start seeing the bloggers disappear. What about all those bloggers that share news and political opinions? What if the government decides that they aren’t real reporter, they aren’t real news sites? And then they disappear, too.

Right now you can go online and say whatever you want. You can take videos and millions of people can view them.

Right now the internet is free.

 

I would ask you all to please go to this website and sign the petition asking the FCC not to take over the internet.

This is what happens when you just flip open your bible

I was in the mood to write tonight, but I didn’t have anything burning to write about. Since I mostly write about my faith, I decided to just open my bible and see where God led me. I flipped my bible open to the New Testament and landed at Philippians 1.

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have in my heart, inasmuch as in both my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.” -Philippians 1:3-8

This feels like a timely scripture. It describes how I feel about all of you who take the time to read my words. For some of you, it is vague. Some of you, I don’t know or I do know, but I don’t know that you read this.

Some of you, it is specific. I pray for you by name. I think of you always. My best memories include you. You are my life and my love.

And I do greatly long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.

Having a blog is a very strange experience. It’s a place where I write for myself. I write when I feel led, when I have something to say. And then a crazy thing happens.

You read it.

And it amazes me every time.

Now I know that it doesn’t matter what I write, my mom is going to read it. It could be just a bunch of random words, and she’ll click on it every time, along with my grandparents.

But the rest of you? You take the time to read this. You don’t have to and chances are high that I’ll never ask you if you’ve read it. But you do and this scripture made me think specifically of you that I don’t know (or know but don’t know read this) and my closest friend in Nashville.

So that was my first thought on this scripture. My second thought was on “being confidant of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”.

God has begun a good work in all of us and will continue to until the day Jesus comes to take us home. God has a plan bigger than me and you. God’s plan is so big we can’t even begin to fathom it. I know that he is working in me, and I know he is working in you whether you know it or not.

I know that everything that happens God is using for his plan. My part in God’s plan is so big in our terms that I can’t see it and so small in God’s terms that it’s hard to believe that I matter.

But I do matter. And you matter, too, whether you believe or not.

God is using us all, and we are all an important part of His master plan. And His plan is so big, you don’t have any idea what part you are playing.

I pray that you all know you are a part of God’s master plan. I pray you know the amazing power of Jesus Christ. Thank you for being part of my part of God’s master plan.

This passage made me think of you all so I shared it with you. If it brings someone to your mind, I hope you reach out to them, even if it’s in a really vague way like this.