Last week. CNN’s iReport section featured an essay by a mother explaining why she has chosen to raise her children without God. Within hours, the essay got flagged as “inappropriate” that upon clicking the link on CNN’s website, the following blackened screen appeared basically warning readers that they are about to enter the seventh circle of Dante’s Inferno or something and that CNN is currently “reviewing” the page.
I understand that the warning was probably automatically generated after the essay received a certain number of flags. However, it is interesting to note that such warnings are never generated for Christian proclamations of religiosity. But god forbid, pun totally intended, that someone identify themselves as an atheist because then all hell breaks loose. The way this woman – who has been merely sharing her story and in no shape telling others what to do and what to believe – has been bullied in the comments section, not to mention the fact that her essay was flagged in the first place, is quite disturbing.
It is also a testament to the sad state of affairs where apparently merely identifying as an atheist is enough to set people off and prompt them to attack you or get defensive.
Religious people complain often that they are misunderstood and that their beliefs are under attack, even though they themselves and the policies they promote and support are the problem as they take away and lessen the civil rights, and with it autonomy and human dignity, of people whose choices religious people do not agree with and like.
For far too long religious people, under the guise of fair play and equality, have been shoving their agendas – no matter how destructive – into everyone’s lives setting into motion a plan and worldview which is a slap in the face to the enlightened and reason and they keep getting away with it by pulling the “right to religion” card.
In this example it is probably safe to assume that intolerant, closed minded individuals have been the flaggers.
Update: Since then, CNN has removed the flag warning issuing the following:
“CNN hasn’t flagged this iReport as inappropriate, but some community members have. This is a divisive topic, however it does not violate our Community Guidelines, so we ask people to please stop flagging it. We will continue to review the story as often as possible. – dsashin, CNN iReport producer”
“We will continue to review the story as often as possible”? ..as if its contents and meaning were going to change or might prove offensive later on, depending on how many sponsors pull out and what kind of backlash we get. Very good. Journalism at its best.