Is It Twitter Or Church?

Angry PreacherIs it social media or a religious, cultist, recruitment tool?

I always thought that Twitter, Facebook and their ilk where places of conversation. Places where we can share good stuff. Share stuff that makes us smile, posts that will spark conversation and share our lives (in inane detail if so inclined) with our friends.

I thought it  supposed to be a social conversation, not a pulpit to preach from.

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I highly doubt it.

Lately I’ve noticed a large number of tweets from people, who hold (mostly Christian) religious convictions, quoting the bible or stating that their god (small “g” is deliberate) is awesome, the best, provides for and fixes everything.

That offends me. Okay, perhaps offends is too strong a word. It annoys me.

I am not a person of faith. Readers of this blog know very well that I am an atheist.

These religious tweets come off as pretentious, antagonistic (to members of other faiths) and appear to be doing little more than stroking the tweeters own ego:

“Look at me. I’m religious. I’m pious and I’m better than you”.

Your god is supposedly omniscient and can hear your thoughts and prayers. Why do I have to read them too?

I’m forced to wonder how these people would feel if I were to spout atheist quotes numerous times a day? How about if someone they followed published multiple Islamic quotes a day?

I can already answer those two questions as I’ve had some people unfollow Daily Shite specifically because we have made jokes about their religion.

In our defense which is unrequired but given for the sake of transparency, as a site with multiple authors from diverse religious, economic and international  backgrounds, we have made fun of most religions and of atheism. As my beautiful wife Sara likes to tell me, the site is an “equal opportunities offender”. If there is one thing that we all agree on it is that religion deserves no special exemption from the realm of laughter or ridicule. Why should it?

I’m always saddened by the fact that some people of faith can laugh at other religions but  not their own. I’m equally saddened, yet unsurprised,  that they can and do ignore and unfollow people of different faith (or lack their of) simply because people bring their faith into question.

Faith should be questioned.

If you believe the Christian viewpoint that god gave us free will, then you can only assume it was given so that you wouldn’t blindly believe everything without questioning it. What good is the ability to use our minds to learn and explore, question and grow, if we are to switch them off and stop using them simply because someone says: “This is religious doctrine. This is a matter of faith”?

I’m also angered by the sheer arrogance of people who think that their religion is something that should be shoved down my throat like a Catholic priests cock.

Sure, I could avoid the religious raping of my intellect by unfollowing these people, but if I and everybody else did, then all that would be left is a self promoting, circle jerk of self-agreeable, like minded, insular people who feed of each others belief.

Also, despite these peoples religious tweets, I follow them for other reasons such as the insights they provide on technology etc. I’m sure the same is true for many people who follow me despite me being an atheist.

I honestly believed that in 2011 we could leave religion at the place of worship, or in the home and not try to force it down the throat of our social media followers as if we were aspiring to be modern day missionaries.

It’s safe to say that more damage was done and innocence destroyed by the early religious missionaries, in the name of faith, than good was ever achieved.

I wonder if the people who regularly make these religious tweets or Facebook updates, actually realize the impact they are having on the “branding” of their religion?  I wonder if they’ve ever asked themselves if they are doing more damage than good with regards to the promotion and marketing of their faith?

I suspect that the answer is no and I also suspect that the question has likely not occurred to the vast majority of these people.

I leave you with this quote from Irish singer and song writer, Christy Moore, and the song Natives, from which it is taken:

Missionaries and pioneers are soldiers in disguise.

Comments

  1. Wigenout says

    You know that I’m a religious person as well as an educated person. You have to be open-minded, I believe when it comes to faith and others beliefs. I am not offended by others beliefs when they put them out there and I’m not afraid to share mine either. If it offends someone, oh well, they can get over it. Part of being a Christian is to spread your faith. As someone with a liberal arts background I studied world religions so I feel that others can believe what they want and I’m not going to force my faith on others. Like you said, if I believe in free will, which I do, then you have the right to believe and do what you want. We are made that way. Being friends with people of diverse beliefs and backgrounds is what makes life interesting. It makes for wonderful conversation don’t you think?

    • says

      Thanks for commenting Heather, and you know me and know that I do think religion can lead to amazing conversations and I would never put someone down for their faith.

      I also don’t think that, if like yourself, you are a person of faith you should keep it hidden and not let it be known and, truth be told, nobody should ever get offended because someone mentions they are of faith.

      The problem I have is the people who are using these platforms as a pulpit. There is a difference between conversation and preaching and some people, intentionally or not, cross that line.

      People are always going on about how we are supposed to respect each other and each others beliefs. Some people demand that respect and refuse to give it and preach Christian (as one example – people of other faiths do it too) ideology at people who very well may have come to an informed decision about their beliefs.

      Perhaps the spreading of faith should be one of example rather than preaching and brow beating?

  2. says

    Thanks for commenting Heather, and you know me and know that I do think religion can lead to amazing conversations and I would never put someone down for their faith.

    I also don’t think that, if like yourself, you are a person of faith you should keep it hidden and not let it be known and, truth be told, nobody should ever get offended because someone mentions they are of faith.

    The problem I have is the people who are using these platforms as a pulpit. There is a difference between conversation and preaching and some people, intentionally or not, cross that line.

    People are always going on about how we are supposed to respect each other and each others beliefs. Some people demand that respect and refuse to give it and preach Christian (as one example – people of other faiths do it too) ideology at people who very well may have come to an informed decision about their beliefs.

    Perhaps the spreading of faith should be one of example rather than preaching and brow beating?

  3. Wigenout says

    Sharing your faith and preaching through social media are two distinctly different things. If all you post are mini-sermons and degrade others for their beliefs then you defeat the purpose of “social” media.

  4. Libertysnoni says

    One of my favorite quotes from a man that I WILL not believe is “rotting in hell” because he didn’t “accept Jesus Christ as his personal Savior” (as our new Governor told everyone on Sunday…that if we are people who don’t accept, we are NOT his brothers and sisters):

    I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
    Mohandas Gandhi

    Religion is a personal choice…and I suppose those of us who had it shoved down our throats when we were mere children question things more. I’m not sure what it is, but I do not believe one’s personal beliefs should put them on a “higher” pedestal. Nor should it be all over social media. I don’t care what YOU believe, I have my own, thank you. Great points, Paul! Keep up the fun…that’s what the Shite is all about.

  5. says

    What really gets me is when a religious nut will only talk about faith, or plasters my car windshield/Twitter feed with ads for God. There is a line between voicing your beliefs and spam. Too many people don’t know where that line is.

  6. Pjmackdaddy says

    I’m a Christian who goes to church almost every Sunday. I am NOT offended by any means by you being an atheist. If I was, do you think I would still contribute to DS? No. I am more offended by “christians’ who shove it down your throat. Now with FB and Twitter being more popular, I see more post from friends and others with religious quotes. Does it bother me? No. However, I am not going to spread it around on FB. I have more respect for my friends than that. If they want my opinion about my beliefs, than I will be happy to share.

    We have become a ‘copy and paste’ society which allows people to think they are involved without having to have an original thought or idea.

    Enough rant. I have funny videos to find for DS, so the creators of it don’t get cranky.