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The Politics of Google

A noted Vancouver pro-life activist was recently invited to give a so-called “Google Talk” at the company’s headquarters in California. Stephanie Gray made an almost hour-long presentation to a group of employees. That speech is available on YouTube. Gray says even though her pro-life position is driven by her Catholic faith, she made a conscious decision not to reference any religious or moral arguments in her presentation, preferring instead to use a “Socratic” method to make her points. “Of course, we do need to evangelize the culture, but I wasn’t there for that.” She says she decided to package her presentation in a way that appealed to “truth that God has written on all of our hearts; the sense of equality and justice.” She says applying the Socratic method doesn’t have to involve a compromise of principles. “When I’m speaking to Christian audiences I call (the Socratic method) Jesus’ method, because if you look throughout the Scriptures Jesus is continually asking questions when engaging in conversation – and so did Socrates.” We hope to have Stephanie Gray on as a feature guest for an upcoming Lighthouse News podcast later this summer.

Gray’s appearance at the Google campus came in the midst of ongoing questions about the company’s sometimes controversial political positions. The company has come out very publicly in support of same-sex marriage and removed ads for certain crisis pregnancy centers from its Google Ads system. There have also been complaints that the entire search algorithm at Google is biased against showing web pages with a conservative flavour. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, held a shareholders’ meeting earlier this month, and the company’s directors were challenged on a perception that the company has an anti-conservative bias. In response, company directors claimed that they value “all kinds of ideas and diversity of every flavor”. The entire exchange at the shareholder’s meeting is available online, here.

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