The failure of anonymous online pornography to be real sex is also the failure of anonymous online churching to be real religion: In both sex and religion, incarnation—the physical body—turns out to matter a great deal.
While discussing the current formulations of spirituality on the net, Mr Long deftly presents us with the fundamental transection in this area of concerns regarding accessibility, marketing, alienation, and truth. It is a point that we must grapple with if we wish to engage the “online world” from a Christian perspective. His final point, though perhaps a bit overdone, is important to remember.
…even at its best, the Internet is a weakening of reality, and with its consumer satisfactions, politicizing impulses, and substitutions for the body, it constantly lures us up into thinner and thinner air. Isn’t religion supposed to enrich the world around us instead? Shut off your computer. Take a deep breath. Go to church.
Update: The Japery has kindly leapt into the blogging fray incited by the FT article.
I say the offending article did not go far enough. All bloggers who care for their soul’s health should do a special penance.
He discusses the real problem: the spurious belief in this rather magical belief in a electronic version of Dickensian community.
“community”–rather more a word-husk than a thing. It is commonly employed as a vague linguistic gesture toward a conceptual, hypothetical, and largely phantastic entity. This bespeaks a warning. That giant sucking sound you hear, blogger/blog-reader, is your former quiddity. Mon semblable, mon frère!