Peter Zenger: Freedom of the Press
We take Freedom of the press for granted... we have great access to info...When we talk about freedom of press...we go back to the colonial era and Christianity. ...John Peter Zenger... a Dutch Reformed deacon...published a newspaper in New York. One thing he did in this newspaper was to put to print his opposition to the policies. of William Cosby, a governor handpicked by London. He was there to implement merchantalistic and socialistic policies and privileges.
Under Mercantilism the colonies had a subordinate economic role...and were expected to demonstrate a subordinated social and religious roll.
John Peter Zenger’s newspaper published all the factional decisions and the implications to the policies of William Cosby and British authority...which lead to his 7 month imprisonment. But the more the British would try to squash the truth and bridle newsprint, the more they would condemn themselves. People expected truth...and papers often carried the sermon from the previous Sunday.
The Dutch reformed Christian man, the man who loved the law of the Lord, used the Scriptures to argue proper proof and resistance to tyranny, laying a foundation for our freedom of the press.
Peter Zenger and "The Devil"
During his struggle, Peter Zenger’s New York Weekly Journal asked very pointed questions and these questions were often sited all over the colonies and in England. Peter Zenger held to an economic term of inferior and superior...someone in a position of authority God has given...with an additional caution we give to "holders of authority". There are those who have a greater burden to bear... “ministers of God to thee for good” These are the magistrates.... taking that out of context becomes a mere pretext, for no single sentence can say everything and so we have to understand what the intent is through its context.
His pointed language in his Newspaper drew the ire of the governor of New York and the British government... Zenger dealt with idolatry. He had a handle of the first commandment...Thou shalt have no other gods is not just addressing false gods, but it is used in the Bible when speaking of rulers, judges and those in authority both in church and state. Those in authority are to represent and picture God properly and do not do so when they misrepresent the gift of Government.
Newsletters of Ministers
1681... a general meeting of the clergy of the colony of Massachusetts requested ministers, since they were at the center of the social and religious life, to record the hand of God in people's lives... not just preach about them...but to write them down...and these records, these newsworthy events, would be read and discussed in town hall meetings, and were published abroad...put up as notices in churches.
The drive toward recording newsworthy evens centered on the church and the Christian faith. God walks with his people and defends them...and the clergy simply wanted to get a record of these events and publish them. These write-ups glorified Christ, making a point about the moral governance of God in the World.
Francis Makemie vs Lord Cornbury
One of the most important events surrounding the freedoms we've inherited goes back to the year 1701... Makemie was denied the right to preach by Lord Cornbury, but he continued to preach in as public a manner as possible, not wanting to be secretive.
The Millstone Testimonies and Lord Cornbury