I will show you great and mighty things. — Jeremiah 33:3
YouTube has removed filmmaker Michael Chang’s love letter to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, A Letter from the People of the Cross to ISIS. The video went viral in April 2015 after the Catholic website, OnePeterFive, posted it. But, on June 1, Chang received a generic letter from YouTube informing him that the popular video was pulled. (Please note, the parent company of YouTube is Google.)
The YouTube community flagged one or more of your videos as inappropriate. After reviewing the content, we’ve determined that the videos violate our Community Guidelines. As a result, we removed the following videos from YouTube:
“Who Would Dare to Love ISIS? (A Letter from the People of the Cross)” (https://youtu.be/uSv4vBcFyvo)
If a video contains violent or graphic content that appears to be posted in a shocking, sensational, or disrespectful manner, it’s less likely to be allowed on YouTube. We also don’t allow content that’s intended to incite violence or encourage dangerous activities. We review content on a case by case basis and will only make limited exceptions for appropriate educational, documentary, artistic, and scientific contexts, where the purpose of posting is clear.
In light of this, we ask that uploaders post as much information as possible in the title and description of their video to help us and viewers understand the primary purpose of the video. Please note, even with this additional context, it’s still not acceptable to post violent or gory content that’s primarily intended to be shocking, sensational, or disrespectful and this type of content is prohibited on YouTube. Learn more here.
Your account has received one Community Guidelines strike, which will expire in six months. Additional violations could prevent you from posting content to YouTube or even lead to your account getting terminated.
For more information about Community Guidelines strikes, please visit our Help Center. Please note that deleting this video will not resolve the strike on your account. For more information about how to appeal a strike, please visit this page in the Help Center.
YouTube Censorship of Christian Love Letter
Today on the Catholic Radio station I listen to (97.3 in Oklahoma City), Al Kresta, CEO and President of Ave Maria Radio, called bull on YouTube and accused them of censorship. According to Kresta, the video is still available on the site from other users, “but that’s not the problem,” he said. “Which parts of this video were deemed offensive?”
Decide for yourself. Here it is — assuming YouTube doesn’t remove this copy.
In removing the original, YouTube erected an effective roadblock to the ongoing viral nature of the video, which had been embedded in countless blogs and websites. It also represents a potential loss of income for Chang and MightyLA if the video incorporated any online sponsorship or advertising. At a minimum, the removal hurt the stats for Chang’s YouTube channel and the growing popularity of MightyLA. As Kresta pointed out, the video remains on other YouTube channels, which makes the removal of the original video very suspect, and even calculative.
The whole thing just makes me sick. They can remove something like this while hundreds of pictures of James Foley’s decapitated, bloody head resting on his back remain on Google Images. Foley was the journalist (a Christian by the way) who was killed by ISIS in 2014.
Michael Chang and Mighty LA
Chang is a 27-year-old filmmaker from Los Angeles. His company is Mighty LA and his vision is that Christians will have a strong and consistent voice in online media.“We want to tell the world of the great and mighty things of the Lord,” Chang writes on his LinkedIn page.
Oh, how I admire this amazing young man. Censored at 27 by the the richest company in the world for sharing the love and mercy of Jesus Christ. Who else can say that?
After learning the video was pulled, Chang asked the 1,500 fans on Mighty’s Facebook page to pray that YouTube would allow the video to be reinstated. He has submitted a formal appeal.
Here is the transcript of his letter to ISIS.
A Letter from the People of the Cross to ISIS
The world is talking about you
Your apocalyptic dreams and spectacular sins
Are now awakening the middle east
In your holy war, come to holy ground
Come children of Abraham come
The people of the cross gathers at your gates with a message
Love is coming after you.
Like a rush of wind grazing over the pacific
From hills of the mount of olives to the desert winds of Jordan
From the cedars of lebanon to the silk roads of the East
An army comes. With no tanks or soldiers
But an army of martyrs faithful unto death
Carrying a message of life
The people of the cross
Comes to die at your gates.
If you wont hear our message with words
Then we will show you with our lives
For every throat you slit and every woman you rape
For every man you burn and every child you turn to dust
There is blood on your hands brother
But Come Brothers Come
Come with your bloodstained hands,
Come with your eyes full of murder for the people of the Cross,
Come lay your guns and your knives at the foot of the cross
A love that is overdue and overwhelming
Breathes through your cities
Though your sins are like scarlet
They can be washed white as snow
Though you call yourselves servants
He will make you into Sons
Where can you run from His love?
Even the darkness cannot hide you
Come Brothers Come
There is the sound of a rushing rain
To remove your sins and bind your wounds
You die for your god but our God died for us
The King of Kings comes to be the sacrificial lamb
Slain on the altar where we should have been
Jesus Christ, Isa Al Masih
Walks through the Middle East
There is forgiveness tonight oh brother
There is healing for your sins oh brother
We are no different.
Apart from Christ, we are no better than the worst jihadist
Christ has been crucified once. and for All.
To make sinners like you and me into brothers
What do you think about YouTube removing Chang’s love letter to ISIS?
Kresta encouraged Christians and others who support freedom of speech to protest YouTube’s removal of Chang’s original video. You can send them a tweet with their Twitter handle, @, or write them the old-fashioned way, YouTube, LLC, 901 Cherry Avenue, San Bruno, CA 94066.