Tag Archives: Facebook

The Facebook Effect

One World

Toward a Civilization of Love

You may have seen the video linked to the image in this post on Facebook. Some of you will “like” the video and yet continue to post on your own timelines about how the social safety nets in this country are stealing the food out of your own mouths.

Facebook is becoming a festering pot of hate sprinkled with happy thoughts for the day spaced like commercial breaks between reams of sponsored content for products you do not need.

That said, Facebook is not the root of all evil.  It serves the purpose of keeping us connected with loved ones and friends from the past who we have lost track of over time. I enjoy reading posts from actual people I know containing cute pics of their pets, their weddings, the new baby, and even a shot of what they had to eat tonight.  I want to know if someone has experienced a loss in the family. Facebook helps us keep in touch. And its easier than sending a letter when a stamp costs half a buck and takes a week to get across country.

What disturbs me is the preponderance of posts that seem to want me to support an attitude of hate and prejudice.  And the thing that disturbs me most is that these posts are coming from Christians.

All citizens of the independent or party-affiliated kind who push for votes to abolish ways to support the “have nots” might learn from this video that they are on the precipice of being one of “them.” This congress, both sides of the aisle, and our fellow citizens, are laboring to protect what is theirs — our rights vs everyone else’s rights. My beliefs vs your beliefs.

The word “tolerance” is fading from our collective vocabulary. We don’t have to become a socialist state to have a change of heart about how to even out the playing field so that everyone has enough.

How much is enough? Apparently, enough has no limits.  Its whatever I want to have, take, withhold, so that I am satiated — without regard for others who have no power to grab it all for themselves.  That is their problem, something they created for themselves. Society as a whole played no part.

Our consumer-driven society has killed our community and has hardened our hearts to the needs of others. Religious people of all persuasions have succumbed to this, despite the teachings of their faith.

No one religion is to blame for what ails this country. The finger pointing needs to be re-directed inward, to our hearts, and to allow the Spirit to do the work of change in each one of us. That is the only “me first” that we should pursue — “Spirit of the Living God, Fall Afresh on Me.”  Next time you sing this, think about what it means: Spirit, we pray you would change US is the point of this hymn.  Change ME. It acknowledges that change starts with me, and that it takes a force outside of me to make it happen in my heart so that I can be a force for change in the world.

If only Facebook were a place where Christians led the pack in posting positive messages that lifted up instead of cut down. What if, when you posted on Facebook, you first prayed the prayer of St Francis – “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”  What if, before you posted on Facebook, you were thoughtful about the impact your words and images would have on creating ties and not barriers to understanding and peace?

Glenn Frey has a song “I’ve Got Mine” that speaks to this attitude and it was released during the first Bush administration. The me-first attitude has only gotten worse since then.

Friends, can we be the force for good in this world?  Can we stop creating divisions and thinking — quite falsely — that we are better than everyone else on this planet?  Jesus said, if you want to be great in my kingdom, be a servant.  There is no lack of ways to be of service in this world.  But there are a lack of voices calling for an attitude of service and humility.    Facebook could be a tool for positive change.

We have succumbed to the pressure to post.  Let me ask you this: WWJP-What would Jesus post?  It would not be without its rebukes — neither would it be “hate your enemy and do evil to those who persecute you.”


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Is Tim Tebow the Messiah?

Tim Tebow giving God the glory

Here’s the thing.  If God wanted to get the attention of as many Americans as possible right now, how would he do it?

Would he start small by appearing to a few people and asking them to spread the word that he’s back?  That worked pretty well last time around, except it took a few centuries to really take hold and quite a few people got martyred as a result.

With the internet, the word could spread immediately with posts on Facebook.  What are you doing?  “OMG I saw Jesus today and he said to tell you all he’s back and wants everyone to meet next Saturday night at Mile High Stadium to prepare for the rapture.  Please post this on your wall and ask everyone you know to do the same.” 

But the shelf life of a Facebook post is kind of short.   Twitter might be able to drum up a pretty good crowd for Jesus in Denver with a flash mob shout-out from Ellen Degeneres.  IF she offered a couple grand in cash to the person who could point out Jesus in the crowd.

How is Jesus going to get our attention?  How will we KNOW its really him? I mean, there are so many distractions right now –is it really a good time for Jesus to return?

We’re trying to pick another president for crying out loud!  The Republican Primary is in full swing and has become a platform for discussions of morality and pondering the question of whether certain religions are “true” Christian religions, and, whether, if you commit adultery but are very, very sorry about it, that’s good enough to qualify you as the favorite candidate of true believers.

This is all probably Satan’s doing, of course.  Satan operates not unlike Rupert Murdoch in putting out disinformation that is tantalizing enough to keep us distracted from the truth.  We can’t handle the truth.  It’s just not that interesting.  The primaries are only interesting because they are like a reality show.  On this show, we watch the players scheme to eliminate the other candidates before we get the chance to vote them off the ballot.   Maybe if we got to text our votes in November, more people would play along at home?

What of those who are not paying attention to politics?  They are likely distracted from the news that “Jesus is back in the building” because they have no jobs and fear they will soon be homeless.  Or they are living in fear that their kids will put them out to die on a rapidly melting iceberg (curse you, global warming!) because they can’t afford a proper nursing home.  Actually, that last one might not be so bad — from what I’ve seen, the iceberg might be preferable to the nursing home.

But I digress.

Ok, we have a lot going on in our lives, and we’re pretty focused on day-to-day survival.  But we still have the one simple distraction from our misery that is open to all economic groups, races, cultures, ages, and genders.  And that is sports.  Sports fandom to be exact.  It gives us hope when there often is none.  Where I live, it’s one particular sport: Football.

Enter Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos v. the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“Who wouldda thunk it?” said one of the commentators after the six-time Superbowl Champion Steelers lost in overtime because of a Tim Tebow pass that was taken all the way to the end zone.   Improbable.  But it happened.  Incredible.  Tim Tebow is either the luckiest stiff in the NFL or he truly has God on his side.

Our guys pray too.  They go to church.  They talk about their personal relationships with Jesus Christ too.  But Tebow!  He’s OUT there.  Like it or not, he has created world-wide buzz about his commitment to Jesus Christ not just because he talks about it, and not just because he takes a knee on the gridiron, but because the man just keeps coming through when he has to.

The Broncos could have won that game in overtime by moving the ball steadily down the field yard by yard and then kicking for the 3 points.  But no.  The so-called “inconsistent” passer puts it right in the hands of the receiver and the Steelers’ diminished defensive line is powerless to stop him.  Season over.  Just like that.

The only reason I can find for Tim Tebow’s success is that he actually IS Jesus Christ incarnate.   He’s just enough human to fumble a few now and then and he’s just enough God to deliver when it really counts.  His witness on the field and off is unapologetically directed at drawing attention to God.

If you want to get the American public’s attention, you have to go where they are.  And where they are on Sunday is at the football game — in the stands or in front of the TV.   Tim Tebow is news, and because of last week’s game even MORE people know about him and are talking about his faith and wondering — is God really answering his prayers?  Will he answer mine too?

So there you have it.  There is no other explanation.  Tim Tebow is the Messiah.

See you all in Denver for the rapture!  Dress warm — you won’t need to pack for this trip.  It’s one way.


Filed under celebrity, Humor, Pittsburgh, Politics, Religion, satire, Sports