The video-sharing website Vimeo has landed itself in a bit of controversy after it became public that the company, famous for its high-definition video formats, discriminates openly against Christian content.
The story broke when the American Family Association drew attention to the plight of Mastering Life Ministries and its weekly TV program, Pure Passion. The program,
Features experts like John Townsend, Gordon Dalbey, Neil Anderson, Stephen Arterburn and Kay Arthur, as well as the personal life stories of former strippers, homosexuals, porn addicts, sex trafficking survivors and others, who illustrate God’s way of escape for those who are entrapped in addictive and dysfunctional lifestyles.
As you might guess, the inclusion of “homosexuals” is the sticking point for Vimeo. It’s one thing to be a stripper, fornicator, child abuser, or pimp that has been changed by the power of the gospel. But someone with same-sex attraction must not be allowed the freedom to alter their behavior or desires. Because that’s loving, or something.
Once Vimeo became aware of Pure Passion’s content, it promptly removed all 850 videos they had uploaded and officially closed the account. The video site wrote to the targets of their discrimination:
“To put it plainly, we don’t believe that homosexuality requires a cure and we don’t allow videos on our platform that espouse this point of view…We also consider this basic viewpoint to display a demeaning attitude toward a specific group, which is something we do not allow.”
One wonders how the director of Pure Passion, Dr. David Foster, handled that explanation given that he himself once acted upon same-sex impulses before being transformed by the gospel. You might think Vimeo’s statement displayed a “demeaning attitude” towards Foster and his sexual choices.
And certainly, anyone who spends any time perusing Vimeo’s published content will find plenty of demeaning things said about a seemingly infinite number of specific groups. Of course Vimeo allows it because it would be near impossible for them to police all their content and enforce such a “no demeaning opinions” policy if they want to run a worldwide video-sharing site.
Which means that the targeting of Pure Passion is without question content-based discrimination. They are picking out one group of people, Christians who believe the words of 1 Corithians 6:11 (“That is what some of you were”), and discriminating against them.
That’s not a moral judgment of Vimeo one way or the other – it’s just a statement of fact. They find this Biblical view sexuality repulsive, or at least immoral, and they won’t provide it a platform.
We can all decide whether we agree with them, but the fact is that Vimeo is a private organization that has every right to run its business as it sees fit, compelling its customers and users to abide by the standards and policies it authors. Pure Passion can either upload videos that abide by those principles or find another channel through which to publish their content. That’s freedom of association and the rights of conscience.
You know, kind of like how a Christian baker or florist has the right to run their business as they see fit, compelling customers to abide by the standards and policies they author. Those seeking their services can either abide by those principles or find another baker or florist. That’s freedom of association and the rights of conscience.
I’m sure Vimeo and all the left-wing activists cheering its stand against Pure Passion would agree. Right?