Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fueling the Fire

by Daniel

I have blogged about it before, but time and time again I am continually reminded about the public bathroom wall of the internet: Facebook. The “profile” section of this internet tool allows you to reveal some of the most intimate details about yourself to the public. Some of these profile tidbits are innocuous: gender, hometown, and birthday. Others – are not: political preference and religious views. Those are two colossal things that you aren’t even supposed to talk about on a first date!

The “religious views” section of the profile is one that I find particularly interesting because it is ridiculously volatile. Occasionally, I browse Facebook to snoop on my old college friends, acquaintances, and coworkers. But about the “religious views” tab—some people simply write their denominational affiliation. There are others who take it as a chance to be preachy (a mission moment, perhaps) – by stating something like “I love Jesus” or “Love all people” or “God saves” as their religious view. But this is just one end of the spectrum. There are others who take a neutral ground and don’t say anything. And more often than apathy there are those who take the opportunity to share their jaded, world-weary, misanthropic views about institutionalized religious belief—their profile page becomes a public forum for slapping the religious right, center, and left in the face. Some people try to kill the issue of religion completely by putting what I am certain they believe to be a resounding “no” in their profile; listing “Science” as their religious affiliation. I have, however, come to appreciate this as an appropriate response. Science certainly is an act of faith. Sacrifices of time, money, and life are made in the name of science -- in hope of improving the future of life. Shouldn’t that be the thrust of organized religion?

Well, I hope you have a good evening. I’m going to do some research.



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