Sunday, April 11, 2010

Christians on Facebook

My greatest and best ideas happen in the shower. I’d wager this is true for many people. We actually had a conversation like this when I was in St. Louis. We came up with a rule: If you have an idea and you’re not sure if it’s good, ask yourself one question: Did I come up with this in the bathroom? If the answer is yes, then congratulations: That’s a fantastic idea. If the answer is no, your idea probably sucks and you should return to schooling to learn how to have proper ideas.
But I digress.
My idea today was for a submission to Stuff Christian Like. Except I figured my own little observation would do better if I posted it here, rather than just sending it to a big/popular blog and probably ignored forever. Also, this will save me the pain and heartbreak that accompanies such web-based rejection.

All this to say: Christians like Using Other Ways To Say To Say They’re Christian On Facebook. 
Not very pithy, but true.

I refer, of course, to the “Religious Views:” blank one can fill out under the info tab. I’m not sure why I’m explaining that to you, as I’m pretty sure that every living thing on the face of the planet has a facebook.

I find that these manifest themselves in five ways:

The most common form I’ve seen this phenomenon take is something along the lines of “Follower of Jesus.” Or “Jesus Follower.” “I Follow Jesus.” ETC.

Then there are quotes. Either bible verses or one of a lot, lot of lyrics of worship songs that succinctly sum up the person’s beliefs and feelings. Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be a worship song – a good chunk of people identify themselves using “I’m a Believer.”

After that, we have the playful and short answers. Religious Views: Sure do! You bet! That is Correct, Sir! (I haven’t seen the last one, but I like it.)

Even these aren’t as short as the minimalist approach. One word answers. “Jesus” or “Love” or similar.

Finally, we have the deep statement. The person will write a short statement that deeply and personally sums up all his or her feelings in his or her own words.

Then we have “Religious Views: Christian.”
When I see someone with this particular religious view, I assume one (or more) things about him or her. They’re too old to know better. They never actually made their faith their own. They are super conservative and/or backwards people who probably absolutely love Nickelback.

But there’s nothing wrong with being old, super conservative, backwards, or (arguably) liking Nickelback.

Which is why I just say “Christian” under Religious Views. I am a follower of Jesus. That is Correct, Sir! I’m young and am branching off from my parents and I’m fairly liberal and I have never voluntarily listened to Nickelback. But I am a Christian and I shouldn’t be ashamed to call myself one. Even if “Christians” are responsible for centuries of abuse and discrimination, I’m going to call myself one. Even if so-called “Christians” gather to yell at passersby: Hey stranger, unless you stop doing something or another you’re going to hell. Also, God hates you.

I’m embarrassed by these people and by “Christianity’s” tainted past. But I want to change people’s ideas of Christianity. I want people to hear the word Christian and think of love and justice instead of hypocrisy and abuse. Everyone is different. I’m not saying that you should change your religious views to Christian instead of some other way. But for me personally, I can’t justify doing that while being afraid to say that I’m a Christian on facebook.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

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