While partying last Friday Night with some of my students to celebrate the end of our 9 week course together (thank you Johnny’s Tacos!!) a commercial came on for “ChristianMingle.com” -the website where Christians can “find God’s match for you.”
The ad’s tag line, taken from the bible, “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart,” is prominently featured in the commercial.
As the commercial played, a student Vince, a very loud and devout atheist, leaned over and playfully suggested, “That should be your next blog topic.”
At first reaction I believed I had nothing to opine about such a commercial and/or site. “What would I say?” I responded, “I have no opinion.” Then I thought further, probably a split second further, and continued, “Other than the fact that it represents everything that is wrong with religion, society and our culture as a whole.”
I guess I really did have something to say. Then again, I could probably blog about the fresh paint drying in our new empty nest guest rooms.
My last blog concerned a website for married cheaters, AshleyMadison where some might sloganize that site as finding Satan’s match for you -and I do not want to risk overdoing the subject of online relationship issues. Yet, as I think about it, that blog was not about dating websites at all, rather it was about the preponderance of cheating in traditional marriages. Likewise, this blog is not about a Christian dating website per se, rather it is a blog concerned about the packaged, superficial, trivialization bullshit of nearly everything supposedly somewhat sacred in our culture… and critiquing ChristianMingle in addition.
It would seem that anything that is deemed worthy of our respect –or at the very least institutions that carry important consequences for society- must eventually become the victim of trivialization, or worse, utter bombastic defacement.
Be it religion, education, news, or politics, we have taken these serious areas of serious concern and seriously transformed them into bastions of serious farce.
Perhaps this is the result of a capitalist system in which ideas, sacred or not, must be properly designed and packaged to be most expediently sold to the masses –usually via the mode of entertainment to satisfy our hedonistic life styles and turn a profit for the profiteers?
Maybe it is as Neal Postman contends and it is the consequence of an image-based society now bent on the verge of amusing itself to death.
Probably. Both. Yes. Both.
In any case, the “godsploitation” in society is at an all time high yet sincere sheep still fall for this utter sacrilege.
What do I have against Christianmingle.com? A couple of major things and a few minor ones as well.
First, it trivializes a “Supreme Being” (FCBE).
Seriously, if I were Jesus, I would be so pissed off at Christians. And just imagine how his dad feels. Whether it is the implication that I need a damn website to spew my will on people or that some have seen fit to create Jesus duct tape and Jesus action figures in my image (I swear… I have both in my office right now because I am fan of cultural symbols that represent everything that is wrong with it) I would just be flat out angry.
To think that a being often described as all powerful, all knowing, omniscient, eternal and infinite would need a Christianmingle.com is just flat out insulting and a far worse “sin” against an almighty being than all the married cheating put together. I suppose most of us have become so jaded to so many speaking such bullshit on God’s behalf we no longer lift an eyebrow. Hell, if the Westboro Baptist Church can do it, why can’t everyone -even those exploiting an eternal being for profit?
I am left with the question of which is worse -exploiting the name of a FCBE for the purpose of making a few bucks or having a site designed to match consenting adults in order to engage in a legal activity.
At least AshleyMadison does not pretend to be anything other than what it really is. It is honest. ChristianMingle is not.
Secondly, it worships and idolizes technology. If we need a website to find out God’s will for our lives, that website is now on a par with God, check that, supersedes God because God is apparently powerless without it, insofar as matching life partners is concerned.
Yes, I know, your God can use anything, including Christianmingle. Yet said God can also certainly use Christianmingle to exemplify everything that is wrong with western culture as well.
“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart?” I am certain that when this bible verse was written the author definitely had in mind finding a hott, cool Christian chick on a dot com who likes long walks on the beach, puppies and warm fireplaces- I mean, that is obvious. There is no way that verse could possibly mean attempting to live a pure and moral life and attain a level of spirituality in which God’s desires and the person’s desires come together in perfect sync. No way.
To be clear, I have no problem with a website that wants to match up people of the same faith and earn a profit in the process; the problem I have is dragging in the name of a deity, twisting a sacred book and somehow implying this whole capitalist endeavor is operated and ordained by a God.
Please. As we used to say in junior high, “scummy.”
Dammit Vince… see what you got me into? Last time I listen to a loud atheist.
Jimmy, It’s like my cousin once said. My presence is like the stench of a skunk, overbearingly powerful and just as unforgettable.
Well…the great thing is it’s never boring when your around Vince…never boring. Did you see this link someone just shared with me on Facebook?
Id bet the holding company is the same one as Ashley Madison.
Can you prove it or is it bullshit? Odos….your the man. Still the only person to ever actually bring bullshit with them to class.
Well, for the first time concerning this subject, I do agree with you Mr. Urbanovich. The thing is though, that website is really just a gimic trying to appeal to the Christians. I just did a little search on Wikipedia and it shows that “Sparks network” owns quite a few dating sites that are targetting certain people groups, such as blacks, mormons, and even catholics. I would have to say though, that just because it says it is Christian, I know it is not the greatest idea in the world for a Christian to use it. Sure, we all want to find the right girl. Who doesn’t? And for a Christian, they want to marry a Christian girl. So they use the site. It is marketing to the subcultures because there are quite a few of them. I think what you are saying though is how much of a mockery it is, and I agree. But then again, I think the whole idea of online dating is rediculous, and that has nothing to do with my religious views. I do believe that when the time is right, I will find the right girl for me. If I use the porn site, which is what it really is, Christianmingle, I am really just cheapening any type of relationship that might develop out of that.
Anyways, I hope you are all doing well, and God bless. I did really enjoy your class and the experience therein. Take care and vaya con Dios.