Facebook: Internet Highway to Hell

The Rev. Cedric A. Miller, Senior pastor at Living Word Christian Fellowship Church in Neptune NJ, has instructed his married church leaders to get off of Facebook by this coming Sunday.

Citing too many counseling sessions about marriage problems and infidelity, Rev Miller refers to many members “Christless past” as causing issues in their marriages as they peruse Facebook’s greener pastures.

Miller’s admonition may be surprising to some (he claims not to care what the public thinks) but this is actually an old theme in fundamentalist and conservative churches. Any sort of media, movies, television, radio, dancing was seen to be sinful, drawing Christians away from their first love: Jesus. So I am not surprised that the pastor is demanding all of his leadership cease and desist from Facebook. After all, looking up an old flame or your teenage dream à la Katy Perry is just the first step down the road to perdition — especially if your home life isn’t exactly what it used to be.

What is interesting to me is that the conservative Christian cry used to be stop watching porn on the internet, or that your kids would be pimped out on the internet by perverts. Now, social media has become the latest “sinful” activity.

Perhaps Rev. Miller should get on the phone to Sarah Palin, and counsel her about her kids’ activity on Facebook. Bristol Palin found time from her “Dancing with the stars” practice to get on Facebook with her sister Willow to ride on a friend who had the chutzpah to say “Sarah Palin’s Alaska is failing so hard right now.” Willow’s response was to call the poster a gay slur, and Bristol jumping in the fray to respondL “you’re just running your mouth to talk sh•t.” I give the Palin girls credit: the apples didn’t fall from the tree. They attack just like their mother.

I wonder what the sisters would do to do to the man who shot his television set because he thought Bristol’s dancing is awful.

I will be interested to see if Rev. Miller’s leadership responds favorably to his demand to quit Facebook, or will their be a few members looking for another church this Sunday. In the meantime, all of this Facebook mania has made me want to look up my crush from high school.

David S. if you’re out there, hit me up, man. I hope you are still as cute as I thought you were back then.. and hopefully not married!

Anthea Butler [@AntheaButler] is a Contributing Editor to Religion Dispatches. Her forthcoming book, in’The Gospel According To Sarah: How Sarah Palinin’’s Tea Party Angels are Galvanizing the Religious Right will be out in 2013.