How do you stop a religious corporation from running the Internet?
It depends on whether you’re an atheist or a believer.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (CJCS) is one of a handful of religious corporations that have been allowed to run the world’s largest online forums since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that religious-owned companies are allowed to be “domestic corporations.”
The justices’ ruling in favor of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) and other Christian-owned media outlets gave them the right to run websites and even set up chat rooms and other websites for followers to communicate.
But it also left them in a position where they could take over the Web by taking over other websites or by setting up an affiliate program that allows users to purchase content from other companies.
The result is that many sites, including Google’s search engine and Amazon.com, now feature a disclaimer stating that the site is owned by the company’s owner or affiliate.
“The company’s owners have the right and authority to choose their own editorial approach to their content,” the disclaimer reads.
But many religious companies, including the Christian-run Brigham Young University, are taking matters into their own hands by refusing to display their names, or any other identifying information.
“We believe that the only way for any individual to know that a church or a church-related organization is not owned by us is by using a search engine, or a third-party search engine that doesn’t display the church’s name,” BYU spokesman Matt Rees told The Hill.
Rees said BYU has not yet made any changes to its policy and will continue to do so.
But many other Christian corporations have made the same decision.
The University of Southern California, which has a Baptist-owned board, is the only one that does not allow any mention of its name in search results for its own website, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The college has also refused to disclose its ownership, citing a church tax exemption that prohibits it from disclosing its tax records.
Other Christian corporations, like the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), have also been known to make the decision not to display its name or even provide links to its websites.NAE spokeswoman Stephanie Allen said in a statement that she is “not aware of any church or religious organization who would consider doing this,” but that the association “stands ready to work with other companies and organizations to create a more transparent process to help ensure transparency.”
“Our goal is to be the leading source of information about all of our organizations, including our corporate structures,” Allen said.
But some religious-affiliated companies are trying to change the way they operate, according, to the Center for Media Justice, a watchdog group that advocates for transparency and free speech.
The group recently filed a lawsuit against Google, accusing it of using a loophole in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) rules to deny the group’s site access to search results, which are required to be displayed if they are to be relevant to the purpose of a search.
Google responded by saying it had no choice but to comply with the lawsuit.
Google’s decision to deny access to the NAE site was prompted by a January 2015 lawsuit filed by the Christian Legal Society, which claimed the company was violating the First Amendment by denying NAE access to its search results.
The lawsuit, filed in U.K. Supreme Courts, sought an injunction preventing Google from blocking search results from the NAEs website, a request that was granted in October.
In a court filing, Google said it is required to block any search result that appears to be affiliated with a church, but not one that appears on a third party site.
“Google has long maintained that it is a neutral platform for users to seek information about the organization,” the company said in the filing.
“In recent years, Google has used this neutrality principle to block websites, such as those operated by the National Catholic Register, from displaying information about Catholics.”
A spokeswoman for the Catholic Register did not respond to requests for comment.
But Google, which is owned and controlled by Alphabet, the Alphabet subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet Inc., is not the only religious-based company to block NAE.
On Monday, the Mormon Church announced it would no longer allow NAE sites to be searched in its search engine.
Some conservative Christian leaders have been calling for Google to ban the site from being used for search results as well.
A spokesman for the National Organization for Marriage, which supports same-sex marriage, said in October that Google should not be allowed to block searches for a church that has been “totally and utterly destroyed” by LGBT activists.
In response, Google removed the NAe site from its search algorithm in response to a complaint from the Mormon church.
But the NA E website still shows up in Google search results and appears on Google’s website.
The NAE is a nonprofit group that provides