The idea that all Internet traffic should be treated equally is against the teachings of the Bible and America's Founding Fathers, according to evangelical Christian minister and political activist David Barton.
During his radio show on Tuesday, he said that net neutrality violated the Biblical principle of free markets, a principle upheld by Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington.
"That is part of the reason we have prosperity," Barton said. "This is what the Pilgrims brought in, the Puritans brought in, this is free market mentality. Net neutrality sounds really good, but it is socialism on the Internet."
"This is really, I’m going to use the word wicked stuff, and I don’t use that word very often, but this is wicked stuff," he added.
Barton was a co-chair of the Texas Republican Party for eight years, is the founder of WallBuilders, an organization dedicated to "America's forgotten history," and a lecturer for Glenn Beck's online Beck University. TIME magazine has named him one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in the United States.
As TalkingPointMemo noted, Barton has also appeared as an expert witness in Texas Board of Education textbook hearings and argued that homosexuality should be regulated by the government.
"This is the Fairness Doctrine applied to the Internet, and I’ll go back to what I believed for a long time is: fair is a word no Christian should ever use in their vocabulary," Barton continued. "Fair has nothing to do with anything. What you want is justice, you don’t want fairness. Fairness is subjective, what I think is fair, what you think, what happened to Jesus wasn’t fair. That’s right, but we needed justice so God did that for us."
New net neutrality rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission in December banned Internet service providers from blocking lawful Internet traffic, but allowed them to "reasonably" manage their networks and charge consumers based on usage.
The regulations are meant prevent corporations that own the physical infrastructure of the Internet from acting as "gatekeepers" by allowing faster access to certain content and slower access to other content.
"I mean, this is crazy stuff," Barton said. "This is redistribution of wealth through the Internet and it really is redistribution. This is socialism on the Internet."