Is 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.