ZH: Germany has killed freedom of speech and expects the rest of the EU to do the same


For years, regular readers of this COGwriter Church of God News page have been told that internet censorship would come, and that Europe would use it.

We have seen steps in the past year or so that have confirmed this.

Now see the following report from Zero Hedge (ZH) authored by Judith Bergmann via The Gatestone Institute:

Germany: Full Censorship Now Official

October 23, 2017

A new German law introducing state censorship on social media platforms came into effect on October 1, 2017. The new law requires social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, to censor their users on behalf of the German state. Social media companies are obliged to delete or block any online “criminal offenses” such as libel, slander, defamation or incitement, within 24 hours of receipt of a user complaint — regardless of whether or the content is accurate or not. Social media companies receive seven days for more complicated cases. If they fail to do so, the German government can fine them up to 50 million euros for failing to comply with the law.

This state censorship makes free speech subject to the arbitrary decisions of corporate entities that are likely to censor more than absolutely necessary, rather than risk a crushing fine. When employees of social media companies are appointed as the state’s private thought police and given the power to shape the form of current political and cultural discourse by deciding who shall be allowed to speak and what to say, and who shall be shut down, free speech becomes nothing more than a fairy tale. Or is that perhaps the point?

Meanwhile, the district court in Munich recently sentenced a German journalist, Michael Stürzenberger, to six months in jail for posting on his Facebook page a historical photo of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, shaking the hand of a senior Nazi official in Berlin in 1941. The prosecution accused Stürzenberger of “inciting hatred towards Islam” and “denigrating Islam” by publishing the photograph. The court found Stürzenberger guilty of “disseminating the propaganda of anti-constitutional organizations”. While the mutual admiration that once existed between al-Husseini and German Nazis is an undisputed historical fact, now evidently history is being rewritten by German courts. Stürzenberger has appealed the verdict.

Germany has made no secret of its desire to see its new law copied by the rest of the EU, which already has a similar code of conduct for social media giants. The EU Justice Commissioner, Vera Jourova, recently said she might be willing to legislate in the future if the voluntary code of conduct does not produce the desired results. She said, however, that the voluntary code was working “relatively” well, with Facebook removing 66.5% of the material they had been notified was “hateful” between December and May this year. Twitter removed 37.4%, and YouTube took action on 66% of the notifications from users.

While purportedly concerned about online “hate speech,” one EU organization, the EU Parliament, had no qualms about letting its premises be used to host a convicted Arab terrorist, Leila Khaled, from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) at a conference about “The Role of Women in the Palestinian Popular Struggle” in September. (The EU, the US, Canada, and Australia, have all designated the PFLP a terrorist organization). The conference was organized by, among others, the Spanish delegation of Izquierda Unida (United Left) as part of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left bloc in the European Parliament. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-23/germany-full-censorship-now-official

Germany is not the only government working against freedom of speech and the press.

The USA (see NY Senator proposing more censorship: Can this lead to Amos’ prophesied famine of the word? and ‘California To Have Harsher Penalty For Pronoun Violations Than For Knowingly Spreading HIV’), parts of Eurasia (see Internet censorship in Eurasia, what might Donald Trump do related to the USA?), China (see China’s internet censorship drills: Another prelude to the coming famine of the word?), the UK (see Totalitarian controls getting closer–The Guardian pushing internet censorship), and Canada (see Canada celebrates its 150th, but pushes internet and biblical censorship), to name a few, have also taken steps against freedom of speech.

But here is more abut the German law:

The law is called Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz – NetzDG for short. It obliges the biggest social networks – those with more than two million German users – to take down “blatantly illegal” hate speech within 24 hours of it being reported. For material that’s less obviously violating the law, networks such as Facebook and Instagram will have seven days to consider and, if appropriate, delete posts. Failure to meet these deadlines could lead to fines of up to €50m.

Critics argue the short timeframes coupled with the potentially large fines will lead social networks to be overly cautious and delete huge amounts of content – even things that are perfectly legal. …

What counts as ‘illegal hate speech’ in Germany?

The law doesn’t actually change what’s considered hate speech in Germany. No new offences are created. The law simply cites sections of the German Criminal Code which details illegal speech online. The categories range from “forming terrorist organisations”, to the much vaguer “defamation of religions, religious and ideological associations.” …

So who is worried?

Opposition has come from a wide range of groups and politicians on both the left and right …

The group Reporters without Borders says the German law has already inspired a“draconian” new online media law in Russia. …

The German government, however, is determined to press forward with NetzDG. Gerd Billen, a State Secretary in the German Ministry of Justice, says …

Billen downplays concerns about freedom of speech, and points out that social media companies already censor content that is perfectly legal.

“There is no obligation for any private company in Germany or somewhere else in the world to guarantee freedom of speech,” he says. “To guarantee freedom of speech is something a government does but not private companies. I didn’t find any notice in the terms and conditions of Facebook that the company will respect freedom of speech. …

Opposition from social media companies

A Facebook spokesperson admitted to the BBC that they can’t rule out the possibility of legal content being deleted.

“The law is not the right way to fight hate speech online,” the spokesperson says. “It provides an incentive to delete content that is not clearly illegal and would have the effect of transferring responsibility for complex legal decisions from public authorities to private companies. http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-41042266

It has been my professional experience that when companies feel that someone is auditing them or otherwise looking over their shoulder, that they often err on the side of going too far–to the detriment of people and legitimate activities.

As regular readers of this page are aware, for years I have warned that internet censorship was coming.

The idea of “defamation of religions, religious and ideological associations” being illegal speech on the internet is a threat to preaching by all real Christians.

Notice a a prophecy from Jesus:

4 … the night is coming when no one can work. (John 9:4, NKJV)

4… the night cometh, when no man can work (John 9:4 KJV)

We are getting closer to that time.

In a October 23, 1980 co-worker letter, the late WCG Pastor General Herbert W. Armstrong wrote:

The Bible warns us the time is just ahead when NO MAN CAN WORK—in the Lord’s Work. We must sacrifice now as never before for this Work that we may FINISH the Work that Christ has called us to do. Pray as never before, for this Work.

The Prophet Amos was inspired to record the following:

11 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God,
“That I will send a famine on the land,
Not a famine of bread,
Nor a thirst for water,
But of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 They shall wander from sea to sea,
And from north to east;
They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord,
But shall not find it. (Amos 8:11-12)

Related to this, in a sermon on November 27, 1982 titled “U.S. of Europe is Coming,”Herbert Armstrong stated:

“Anyway this whole United States of Europe, when it goes together, is going to trigger nuclear World War III. Now let me tell you what else it’s going to do. It’s going to END OUR WORK! OUR WORK WILL BE THROUGH of getting the gospel to the world. That is, very shortly after it goes into force and effect; because they will move in such a way that it will end it. And then I’ll tell you what will happen. As you read here in Amos, the 8th chapter and verse 11 of Amos. Amos 8:11Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread … but of hearing the word of the LORD.’ ” (http://cog-ff.com/html/pcomments_07_04_08.html, viewed 10/03/13)

In a November 22, 1982 co-worker letter, Herbert Armstrong wrote:

… brethren and co-workers, the prophesied Great Tribulation (nuclear World War III) will start soon after the European unification. That means OUR WORK OF SPREADING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD WILL BE FINISHED! We have not now much more time. Soon shall come a FAMINE of hearing the Word of the Lord (Amos 8:11). God says, work while it is day, for the night is coming when no man can work – in the Work of God! Nothing else is important in our lives, now, but this all-important Work of God. (http://cog-ff.com/html/pcomments_07_04_08.html, viewed 10/03/13)

So, the Bible tells of a time that will come when the word of God will not be found. And that would seem to be because it will be taken off the internet. In the 21st century, the internet is accessed by people in every country, and thus some type of internet restriction/suspension/site removal is coming.

There will be governmental restrictions related to teaching what the Bible teaches. Groups, like the Continuing Church of God, will be censored for teaching what the Bible says should be taught!

The Bible also warns that a European power would make it even worse:

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. 15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. (Revelation 13:11-18)

At first speech will be restricted and then improper religious worship will be forced! The time of 666 is getting closer. NOTE: Contrary to the views of Seventh-day Adventists, 666 is NOT the beast of Revelation 13:11 and is NOT the USA–for details check out the article: SDA/CCOG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666.

As far as Germany goes, it is rising up in Europe–see ‘Undemocratic’ European Union has become a German empire and is pushing censorship.

Although many in the world do not seem to want freedom of speech when it comes to coming various matters, consider that the Bible teaches:

1 Cry aloud, spare not;
Lift up your voice like a trumpet;
Tell My people their transgression,
And the house of Jacob their sins. (Isaiah 58:1)

Restricting legitimate religious speech is wrong, but that is the direction that Germany and many other nations in the world are moving towards.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. (Galatians 6:1)

It is almost impossible to assist one who ” is overtaken in any trespass” if you are not allowed to speak according to the Bible as it is in the Bible where we learn what the trespasses are.

Consider, however, that Jesus said:

4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. (John 9:4)

The time to do the work is now, while we still can do it! We are seeing more and more signs that “the night is coming when no one can work.

That is part of why we in the Continuing Church of God are preparing for the ‘short work’ (Romans 9:28) and the coming ‘famine of the word.’

Philadelphian Christians want to respond to the doors that Christ opens to proclaim the gospel (2 Corinthians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 16:8-9; Colossians 4:2-4) and do the work.

Philadelphia means “love of the brethren.” It is LOVE to properly teach what the Bible teaches, even if some group calls that “hate speech.”

We in the Continuing Church of God will teach and stand up for the truth (watch also the short introduction to our YouTube channel: ContinuingCOG Channel), despite realizing that the ‘famine of the word’ that the prophet Amos referred to is coming. We must do the work and persevere to the end–despite government restrictions and others who do not truly respect the Bible.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Orwell’s 1984 by 2024? In 1949, the late George Orwell wrote a disturbing book about a totalitarian government called “nineteen-eighty four.” Despite laws that are supposed to protect freedom of speech and religion, we are seeing governments taking steps consistent with those that Geroge Orwell warned against. We are also seeing this in the media, academia, and in private companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. With the advent of technology, totalitarianism beyond what Orwell wrote is possible. Does the Bible teach the coming a totalitarian state similar to George Orwell’s? What about the Antichrist and 666? Will things get worse? What is the solution? Dr. Thiel answers these questions and more. A written article of related interest is titled “Totalitarian controls getting closer–The Guardian pushing internet censorship.”
Internet Control, Famine of the Word, and 666 On October 1, 2016, the USA officially relinquished control over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), despite objections from certain political leaders and former military officials. Might this lead to more censorship, imposition on non-biblical ‘community standards,’ and loss of first amendment rights? Could this transfer of control have any prophetic ramifications? Will the internet be a factor in the ‘short work’ of Romans 9:28 and the coming ‘famine of the word’ that the Prophet Amos warned about? Will internet control be something that the 666 power will have? Dr. Thiel addresses these matters and more in this video.
Is the US Congress eliminating the 1st Amendment? Are you familiar with H.R. 3185 and Senate Bill 1858? Are you aware that they both contain a statement that essentially precludes having religious objections to this proposed law, known as the Equality Act? This Act gives additional legal rights to those who are homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender. This will affect schools, restrooms, and even churches. In this video, Dr. Thiel explains how this Act appears to eliminate provisions of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the USA. Additionally, Dr. Thiel explains from the Bible, why this agenda is a danger to the USA and may be a factor in its upcoming destruction. This is a video.
Canadian censoring of the Bible In 2017, Lauri Skori of the Battle River School board told a religious school in Alberta, Canada that it could not teach/read certain portions of the Bible. In 2002, a court in Canada ruled against one who referred to certain scriptures that some homosexuals objected to. In 2017, there was “An Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code” related to those who wish to be considered transgendered. Government officials in Canada and elsewhere have been ruling against the Bible. Is any of this prophesied? Will this get worse? What was the prophet Amos inspired to write? This is a video.
Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 Who is 666? This article explains how the COG views this, and compares this to Ellen White. Here is a link to a prophetic video Six Financial Steps Leading to 666?
The Mark of Antichrist What is the mark of Antichrist? What have various ones claimed? Here is a link to a related sermon What is the ‘Mark of Antichrist’?
Mark of the Beast What is the mark of the Beast? Who is the Beast? What have various ones claimed the mark is? What is the ‘Mark of the Beast’?
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? Is an emerging European power “the daughter of Babylon”? What is ahead for Europe? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
European Technology and the Beast of Revelation Will the coming European Beast power would use and develop technology that will result in the taking over of the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies? Is this possible? What does the Bible teach? Here is a related YouTube video: Military Technology and the Beast of Revelation.

Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word What is the ‘short work’ of Romans 9:28? Who is preparing for it? Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from lower level leaders? A related sermon is available titled Priority of the Philadelphia Work.
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer. There is also a YouTube video sermon you can watch: The Coming Persecution of the Church. Here is information in the Spanish language: Persecuciones de la Iglesia y el Estado.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses Can you point to scriptures, like Daniel 11:39, that point to the USA in the 21st century? This article does. A related sermon is titled: Do these 7 prophesies point to the end of the USA?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2017, 2018, or 2019? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter video is: Will the Great Tribulation Start in 2017?

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