This week, spokesmen for the American Family Association and National Religious Broadcasters, two of the country’s top Religious Right groups, came out strongly against net neutrality, while simultaneously demonstrating that they have no idea what net neutrality actually is. Yesterday, both groups weighed in again, as NRB’s Craig Parshall spoke with Dan Celia of the AFA, both of them completely misrepresenting net neutrality as a threat to freedom.
Parshall and Celia were upset by President Obama’s recent call to reclassify broadband services as a public utility in order to preserve net neutrality rules jeopardized by a recent D.C. Circuit Court ruling. Under net neutrality, internet data must be treated equally by providers rather than allow companies like Comcast or Verizon deliver data at different speeds or charge premium rates.
Celia, however, sees net neutrality as a Big Government plot, describing Obama’s announcement as a “social-control grab, power grab” and a sign of “scary, scary times.”
“This is a huge power grab,” Parshall replied. He said he doesn’t have an issue with companies like Comcast or Verizon but “has a much bigger problem with Apple and Google and Facebook” who he says “have decided that they’re not going to allow certain orthodox Christian or conservative viewpoints being aired on their platform.”
Parshall then absurdly claimed that people should oppose net neutrality if they want to “protect the internet” as a free and open “village green being the place where the public can get together to exchange ideas, that’s going to go the way of the Dodo bird.”
In other parts of the interview, Celia wondered if net neutrality undermines the “freedom of speech” and the ability to “proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” while Parshall maintained that net neutrality is wrong because “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” which completely misunderstands the fact that it is net neutrality opponents who seek to dramatically alter internet regulations.