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Transcript of Censorship
Political Censorship- The action taken by the government to withhold or alter information that could otherwise be released to public audiences.
Political censorship is useful because it promotes unity, whether it be on a national, state, local, or small group level.
1798 Sedition Act
The Federalist Party was in control of the nascent American nation when the French Revolution erupted.
John Adams decided to keep the United States out of the affairs of other countries.
Pro-French Jeffersonians were enraged and began trying to express their government-opposing opinions.
John Adams then passed the Sedition Act to prevent the expression of criticism in speech or in writing of decisions made by the government.
Adams's intention was not to violate the Constitution.
In the end, though the Sedition Acts bolstered the will of the Jeffersonians to make their will known to the public, Adams decision to censor his citizens benefited the country in the end.
Park 51 was a planned 13-story Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan
The controversial "
Ground Zero Mosque
" was re-proposed as a museum instead of the original 13-story center.
Although they technically had the right to build the building, the situation was viewed as an abuse of this right, being that the builders were being insensitive to the families of victims
As a result their initial plans were censored to safeguard the rights of the families affected by 9/11 as well as respect their feelings of the building being offensive.
KKK March Through Jewish Neighborhood
The Ku Klux Klan planned a rally/march on March 30th 2013, through the streets of downtown Memphis, which is known to have a large Jewish population.
The local and federal law enforcement were readying for any possible attacks, being that the KKK is known to be antisemitic.
The high presence of law enforcement proved to be a strong deterrent for the KKK having barely 60 Klansmen show up.
The law enforcement use of censorship in this situation prepared for and ultimately prevented the chance of any violent activity from occurring as well as ensuring the safety of all the Jewish members of the community.
The Catholic Church itself has concealed many cases of sexual abuse.
Our own church, the Catholic church, where people turn to for protection and comfort abuse their power, to silence the voices of the abused.
A documentary on HBO titled "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God." (In English, "My most grievous fault or guilt") is a documentary that features four men each of which, brought forth the first known case of public protest against clerical sex abuse, which later lead to the sex scandal case known as the Lawrence Murphy case.
Through their case the film follows a cover-up that winds its way from the row houses of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, through the bare ruined choirs of Ireland's churches, all the way to the highest office of the Vatican.
What You Don't Know, Can't Hurt You...Right?
Lacey Strahm & Olivia Jaenicke
A censor, by definition, is “an official who examines books, plays, news reports, motion pictures,radio and television programs, letters, cablegrams, etc., for the purpose of
on moral, political,military, or other grounds.”
Thus, censorship consists of the actions taken by this person.
According to The Catholic Encyclopedia, "In general, censorship of books is a supervision of the press in order to
any abuse of it. In this sense, every lawful authority, whose duty it is to protect its subjects from the
ravages of a pernicious press
, has the right of exercising censorship of books."
So what do you think?
Bad or Good
World War II Censorship
The First Amendment & Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
The First Amendment protects the right of freedom of speech and expression from interference by the government. The Supreme Court has the power to interpret the extent to which this right will be protected.
Two Clauses: (1) the government cannot establish a religion
(2) the government cannot make any laws prohibiting certain religions
As Catholics why would we want censorship when it could potentially take away our religious rights?
Discussion of the First Amendment also ties into
Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson
(1952). This court case overturned the previous decision of the Supreme Court made in
Mutual Film Corporation v. Industrial Commission of Ohio (1915).
Zero Dark Thirty
Zero Dark Thirty is a 2012 American film based off of the decade-long manhunt for al Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden, after his infamous part in 9/11.
The film itself was controversial having the filmmakers accused of allegedly taking classified information in order to get what would become the basis of their movie.
In doing this the released classified military and CIA strategies and techniques, exposing our secrets to the public and ultimately the enemy.
In this case censorship is a good thing, in respects to keeping our military and CIA strategies secret in order to secure the safety of our nation. If censorship, in this sense, were not exercised imagine all the information our enemies would have about us, consequently giving them the upper hand.
Explicit Music and Movies
One use of censorship we can all relate to is the censoring of explicit context in music and videos. It helps shield us from corrupt and age inappropriate material, in turn helping us maintain innocence. Age limitations and password locks are example of censorship. Its like when you try to watch Kanye and Kim's risque "Bound 2" music video and you are denied for being "under 18", or when explicit
We come to school every day to learn. Would you be pleased to know that some of the stuff we are taught is not really what happened, but a nicer version of what actually occurred?
Rosenberg v. Board of Education of City of New York
Van Orden v. Perry
What is Censorship?
Argument Against Censorship
Censorship exists when a government attempts to
conceal, fake, distort, or falsify
information that its citizens receive by suppressing or crowding out political news that the public might receive through news outlets.
Over the course of history the government used censorship to
manipulate the public
. What the government wanted the people to see, caused them to believe certain things. By only giving them a few pieces of the puzzle they are not able to see the whole picture, which is stripping the people of their rights.
Censorship during World War II was imposed officially by the government.
In 1942 the Office of War Information was established, and all news for public audiences first had to be approved by this office.
The office set forth a "Code of Wartime Practices for the American Press."
The "Code" was willingly adopted by every major news organization in existence during the time period.
Censorship of war reporters was not only required by the government, but was also self-imposed by those reporting war news. This fact from its most fundamental level shows that even the people, not just the rulers of the people, saw value in censorship under certain conditions.
Acclaimed writer John Steinbeck stated as a member of the community of war reporters, "We felt responsible to what was called the home front. "
Argument in Favor of Censorship
We believe there are a number of reasons why censorship is a valid and reasonable act.
When a censor acts with the right intention, he is often woking to protect a certain group of people, especially a large group. In other words, he is aiming to provide care for the community, rather than the individual.
Censorship has been used throughout history to maintain the union of countries, preserve peace, and respect people culturally and religiously.
While we will concede that the power of censorship can be abused, we wholeheartedly argue that on its most basic level and when used properly, censorship produces positive results for the majority.
Photography: Zorah Miller
Censorship is important in photography. With this, photos are able to be edited and changed so that content that shouldn't be shown is hidden. Issues like nudity and minimal clothing are able to be fixed and prevented with censorship, which eradicates the thing that is not to be seen.
NY Times article: "4,000 Deaths, and Only a Handful of Images"
June 26, 2008: Suicide attack in Iraq on U.S. marines.
Posted photos online of dead marines.
Was forbidden from working in marine-controlled areas.
Helped to maintain order and functionality at home.
2005 U.S. Supreme Court case
Question: Whether the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment allows the display of a monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments on the Texas State Capitol grounds
The court held that displaying a monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the Texas State Capital does not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment
On what grounds?
Reinforced frivolity of attempts to censor when intention is not oppressive.
Censorship is used in absurd ways. It manipulates the public view of things and leads people to unreasonable beliefs.
For example, censorship was abused when a Christian site renamed an Olympian to have a derogatory name.
Tyson Gay was renamed Tyson "Homosexual", simply for the reason the term "gay" was viewed as offensive, even though it was the man's last name.
Clearly, this is absurd, but censorship was used as an excuse for this action.
song lyrics are bleeped out. Censorship also appears in movie theatres, when explicit scenes are not shown due to the fact they can disturb the public. If explicit scenes will be shown, there is an age limit on the movie.
The content of many school textbooks is often debated because many people want to limit and control what the youth of America is learning. This is called "whitewashing," which refers to the removal of critical or conflicting events in textbooks. Two examples of events which have been censored from children are the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide.
These events, although very controversial and devastating to hear about, serve to educate the youth of America of what not to do as our nation's future leaders. Imagine a world where no one was ever taught about hatred and racism and what these awful emotions can lead some people to do? We would live in a world where we would never learn from our mistakes, and these tragic events would become regular occurrences. That is why we need to educate the youth about these events and not censor them because we want to lead them in a positive direction towards worldwide peace and happiness.
The Merchant of Venice
(Shakespeare): "objectionable because they tend to engender hatred of the Jew as a person and as a race."
Rosenberg wanted these works removed from New York's public schools.
Supreme Court of New York ruled against Rosenberg.
According to the Supreme Court, the Board of Education, "acted in good faith without malice or prejudice and in the best interests of the school system entrusted to their care and control, and, therefore, that no substantial reason exists which compels the suppression of the two books under consideration."
What does the Catholic Church have to say?
Censorship: Present throughout the history of the Catholic Church.
Index Librorum Prohibitorum:
Translation- "List of Prohibited Books"
Books banned by the Catholic Church due to "heretical, anticlerical, or lascivious" material.
First established in 1559 by Pope Paul IV.
Of the Council of Trent.
Replaced the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. This version was less restrictive.
1948: Twenty editions later, the final list of banned books was published.
1966: Pope Paul VI eliminated the list of banned books, showing a freer approach to Catholicism.
So,the Catholic Church promoted censorship for much time, but why?
Leaked NSA documents
Program that allows government to tap into our phone calls, emails, google searches, etc.
Leaked it to show that it violates privacy and first amendment
God continues to communicate with humanity through the Church, the bearer and custodian of his revelation, to whose living teaching office alone he has entrusted the task of authentically interpreting his word. Moreover, the Church herself is a communio, a communion of persons and eucharistic communities arising from and mirroring the communion of the Trinity; communication therefore is of the essence of the Church. This, more than any other reason, is why “the Church's practice of communication should be exemplary, reflecting the highest standards of truthfulness, accountability, sensitivity to human rights, and other relevant principles and norms”. (Vatican source)
If the church claims to be righteous and deliver the message of God, then they should live up to these standards and allow church archives to be explored. What is so precious that needs to be protected by the Vatican?
Similarly in the government. The United States is one under the president. A government of the people for the people. So aren't we entitled to the knowledge we wish to seek? If everyone is to be treated equally then why are we the people, lied to and uninformed? Who is to say we can't handle the information?