The Internet's worst website

ALEXANDRIA, La. — What is the worst idea yet to invade the Internet? Could it be the countless number of pornographic sites that saturate the World Wide Web? Perhaps it is the "dating" sites that enable married persons to commit adultery? Or maybe it is the Internet gambling sites that allow a fool to roll the dice 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year?

Well, according to San Francisco Chronicle/SFGate.com columnist Mark Morford, none of the aforementioned even registers on the digital Richter Scale as to what is really bad on the Internet.

In a recent sarcasm saturated column, Morford blasted the Christian website GodTube.com — which was launched earlier this year — as the absolute worst idea to grace the Internet. In the same sardonic breath he took derogatory pot shots at Christians. Well not all Christians, just those who have a conservative worldview.

GodTube was designed to be a wholesome alternative to the popular website YouTube.com. For the uninitiated, YouTube is an Internet site that enables users to share digital video by uploading content to the web site. Some of the content is decent but much of it is crude, pornographic and downright inane.

"We're a family friendly and kid safe site," Chris Wyatt the founder of GodTube, told MSNBC in an interview. The stated mission of GodTube.com is to "utilize Web based technology to connect Christians for the purpose of encouraging and advancing the Gospel worldwide."

Morford is convinced that GodTube was created because conservative Christians believe that YouTube is the "ultimate proof of godless Internet evil" and thus should be shunned.

If he had bothered to do a search of YouTube for any Christian content, Morford would have found that many believers, some of them staunchly conservative, use the site to upload all manner of video.

More than just seeking to shun the sin-saturated Internet, Morford believes the real motive for GodTube is what conservative Christians do best — "fracture."

"To splinter and divide and segregate. You know, to exclude," he wrote.

Of course, the all-inclusive, uber-tolerant Morford goes on to blast conservative Christians for refusing to entertain the "idea that you yourself might very well be the divine creative spark that you seek — that God is, in other words, right there in the mirror."

Morford does deserve some style points for the creative insults he casts at conservative Christians. However, he shows no theological imagination whatsoever in regurgitating the worn-out "deification of self" New Age understanding of the divine. Someone should tell him it can be found in the Bible — in the third chapter of Genesis.

Of course, according to Morford, conservative Christians must lose their minds in order to accept that God is "something outside of you."

Particularly annoying to Morford is GodTube's slogan, a place where people can "Broadcast Him." He wrote, "See, it ain't about you or your creativity or your perspective or your sexuality or your happy self-defined sense of pop culture blasphemy."

Here is one place Morford get's it right. For those that follow Christ, it is all about Him. Why he finds this disconcerting, I don't really know. Why does Morford care if people choose, of their own volition, to make Jesus Lord of their lives? After all, aren't liberals supposed to be pro-choice?

Any objective reading of Morford's column about GodTube will lead to the conclusion that he has an angry ax to grind with Christianity — conservative Christianity. Why? That is something only he knows for certain.

However, his charge that Christian sites, like GodTube, are opposed to spiritual exploration is laughable. "They appear to wish to, quite simply, restrict understanding. Limit knowledge. Prevent exploration," Morford wrote. The reality is quite the opposite. GodTube wants to be an option on the information superhighway where people can examine Christianity.

I suspect the real reason that Morford is frothing over GodTube is its success. According to the site's founder, a half a million unique visitors are attracted to the website each month and that number is growing. If GodTube was just an obscure website, Morford would not give it the time of day.

I think the fact that people are finding GodTube, and might be influenced by it, is what really bothers Morford. So you tell me, who really wants to restrict understanding -– GodTube or Morford?

"The mouth speaks out that which fills the heart," Jesus taught. In the case of Morford and his ilk, that which is spoken — or written — reveals an absolute disdain for the beliefs of conservative Christians. It appears that "liberal tolerance" is an oxymoron.

Kelly Boggs, editor of the Baptist Message.
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Published, September 2007