This is my opinion and mine only.
I'm deleting my MySpace account later today.
To be honest I've always been a little iffy about MySpace. The glut of tacky ads, the regular porn spams in my mailbox, the poor security have all made me feel uncomfortable with this online social site. But I knew that some of our youth were to be found there and I need to be where they are.
Not any more. And I'm urging all our young people, adult leaders and groups to depart MySpace. Here's why:
MySpace Deletes Atheists
An online group with almost 35,000 members was deleted. For no apparent reason other than a group of alleged Christians who put an online "hit" on a group that they disliked.
They hacked the site, destroyed forums, deleted members, banned them (which apparently is a permanent, non-repairable action)and re-named the site "Jesus is Love". (The story from the former moderator of the group is HERE.)
I detest and reject all the actions of these supposed Christians but that last one makes me want to vomit. A more un-loving, un-Christ like act on the web is hard to imagine. It is deeply, profoundly repulsive to me.
These actions are profoundly un-American in my opinion. They are a blow against one of our most cherished concepts. A "Freedom of Religion" must necessarily also be a "Freedom From Religion".
Don't get me wrong. I AM a theist. I AM a believer. I DO believe that they are wrong. Deeply, sadly wrong. But that does not give me the right to attempt this kind of persecution and oppression. The Gospel does not support that in any way.
These actions are also in my opinion deeply un-Christian. Jesus is shown to regularly speak and reach out to the outsider. His harshest words, over and over and over again, are directed at those INSIDE the faith community of his time. Those people who oppress and reject their fellow man and woman. Certainly he calls all to a life in faith. How on earth anyone expects actions like these to lead anyone into a life in faith is beyond me. They are perfect exemplars of why so many people have rejected the church.
Because we can be judgmental,dictatorial and unwilling to allow any thought process not perfectly in line with whatever arbitrary standards are chosen.
I looked into the Episcopal groups at MySpace. The largest I found was under 1,000. Given the opinion of many folks out there about The Episcopal Church (you will find many who believe we are apostate at best, heretic or atheist at "worst")I am concerned that we could very easily be next. I do not believe that such a thought is particularly hysterical at all.
I have sent a bulletin to all my friends on MySpace outlining my concerns, directing them towards this blog, and urging them to delete their membership with MySpace. Some may see this as retreat in the face of the enemy. I see no way to confront the enemy directly but do see a way to bring pressure on MySpace to live up to its earlier commitment to protect this community. And by extension all communities.
It's funny how often this phrase of Martin Luther's has popped up for me over the last couple years. I have looked at my alternatives and I have decided:
"Here I stand. I can do no other".