Twitter is refusing to promote an article by Christian author Larry Alex Taunton in which he attempts to provide a "Christian response" to the civil unrest across the United States and argues that violent riots are planned Marxist political tools.
Taunton, a 53-year-old freelance writer and executive director of the Fixed Point Foundation, wrote an essay earlier this month called "Understanding What is Happening in America; A Christian Response.”
He tried to promote the article, which argues that the riots are an elaborate plan by Marxists for political power, through the social media platform. Promotion on Twitter expands a tweet’s audience, acting as an advertisement for the content.
But in a tweet Sunday afternoon, Taunton said that his request to promote the article was rejected.
He told The Christian Post in an interview Monday that he received a response from Twitter two days after initiating the promotion, saying his promotion “has been stopped because it did not comply with Twitter’s Ad Policy.”
However, Taunton said that he believed his essay provided an opinion and clarification on a nationwide issue.
The denied promotion is the first time Taunton has had an issue with Twitter censorship. He said he was surprised it happened to his work.
“I was intrigued. All of this vile content is being promoted but I can’t promote this? It doesn’t matter if Twitter disagrees with my opinion, but nothing I said in the article is anything other than providing an opinion," he said.
With the help of several Twitter users who agree with Taunton, including longtime friend Eric Metaxas, the article has received 200,000 views despite the lack of promotion, according to Taunton.
His essay described how creating chaos, using scapegoats and general manipulation are political tools to “assault” the Christian faith.
“There’s an evil logic behind the riots, flag burning, and statue-toppling, and it’s not just America that’s under attack — it’s the Christian faith that’s under assault,” he wrote.
Taunton explained in the interview that he felt that many Christians “were upset and confused by all that’s happening.”
“It began about George Floyd and police brutality and next thing you know, federal buildings are being set on fire, people are being killed,” he said.
Taunton studied Russian history and Marxism as a graduate student in the 1990s.
He said that although he may have had trouble finding work with this degree then, the knowledge on Marxism has never been more relevant than it is now.
In his essay, Taunton suggested that the riots seen in Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, and elsewhere in the U.S. are not a result of unorganized anarchy.
Rather, he argued that they are an elaborate plan for political power, which he related to the Shakespearean villain Iago.
“[Iago] is neither a thief nor is he a mass murderer. He is neither a rapist nor a cannibal,” the essay reads. “He is determined to destroy … through rumor, innuendo, and a word dropped here and there … sowing seeds of discontent and pitting people against one other.”
He also outlined steps to overthrow a government that was present in Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, a sequel to The Communist Manifesto. Those same rules, Taunton said, are also applied in the riots happening in American streets.
Divide-and-conquer tactics, as well as deception, are present and rampant today, according to his essay.
He argued that Marxists, or those who support a global socialist government, are attacking patriotism in America because a successful free nation damages the perception of their agenda.
Agitators, he continued, are causing chaos and using protests for black lives and Donald Trump as scapegoats.
“It’s part of my role as a Christian and columnist to interpret the times,” he said. “This (riots) has nothing to do with black lives. These people are being used by Marxists and they don’t even know it."
Taunton acknowledged that social media is a helpful tool for a writer to reach an audience. But he also said that he hates social media for the mean environment and lack of personal accountability.
“Social media is a mean and vicious world. It reminds me of how people act in cars,” he said. “You’re less likely to be rude and mean next to someone at the grocery [store], but in a car, people are bolder and say things they otherwise would not because of the anonymity. It’s infinitely worse on Twitter.”
Taunton said he would not be on social media if his career did not require it. He added that social media poses a problem specific to Christians because it gives them a false sense of accomplishment.
Christians may confuse tweeting Scripture as a substitute for engaging in conversations with nonbelievers.
In his essay, he also noted that found it deeply discouraging that some Christians believe President Donald Trump is “their only hope.”
“It’s depressing. Our hope is not in Donald Trump. Our hope is in Jesus Christ,” he stressed. “The only hope for this nation is that we repent and turn to Jesus. That is the only way to heal our deep divisions. The faith should be engaged in every level including politics, but our hope won’t come from what happens in D.C.”
Taunton is the author of several books and has personally engaged some of the world's most notable atheist thinkers, such as Christopher Hitchens, Michael Shermer, Richard Dawkins and Peter Singer.