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Will God-Gaming Alter the Bible?

…, if competition is a core feature of games, who is competing in The Bible Online, and in what way? How are points amassed, and do these “points” have any religious significance beyond the game? What of the “RTS” (real-time strategy) component of The Bible Online and its communal play feature? Will everyone play as Abraham at the same time? Or will one player get to take on this role while others follow him? And what performative act, faithful or…

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Saipov Wasn’t a “Member” of ISIS, But That Misses the Point

…in the animated chats of the online social networks and as readers of the online ISIS literature. This online network constituted a separate movement. In the Twitter chats they often would call themselves baqiyah, a term that means something that survives or endures, and in this case refers to the enduring online ISIS community. In one of a series of tweets from a teenager in Canada, he said that his parents found some of his messages and were tr…

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“Dark” Skin No Longer a Curse in Online Book of Mormon

…receive a skin of blackness, and become a scourge to the Nephites.” * New online version: “Because of their unbelief, the Lamanites are cut off from the presence of the Lord, are cursed, and become a scourge unto the Nephites.” A second changed chapter heading appears in Mormon, chapter 5: * Old version: “The Lamanites shall be a dark, filthy, and loathsome people. . .” * New online version: “Because of their unbelief, the Lamanites will be scatt…

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Pornography’s Dirty Little Secret: What We Say vs. What We Do

…bjection to porn doesn’t stop people from watching. Given the high rate of online porn use documented in highly religious, conservative states, moral pressure may mean that people are watching porn yet feeling guilty for doing so. With easy online porn access, and concerns about its impact on sexuality and interpersonal relations, the issue has taken center stage in national and global public debates. In the United States, the question about wheth…

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Christian Voter Guide: Jesus is Wrong on the Issues and Wrong for America

…g Fathers: John Hancock, George Washington, John Adams, John Jay… 100% (A+) 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%   Breaking down Jesus’ scores: Is a Christian who fears God;—Jesus isn’t afraid of God at all; in fact, he consistently refers to him as “my Father.” Also? Not a Christian. On other measures that Andrew rates, such abortion, homosexuality, and transgender individuals, Jesus has consistently refused to take a position. He is pretty steadfastly oppos…

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The Same Toxic Christian Right Theology Supports Both the Online Bullying I Experienced and the Cruel Anti-Trans Policy in TX — And it’s Not Remotely Fringe

…from that context, I wouldn’t bother writing a column about an incident of online bullying, something I and every vocal marginalized social media user with any visibility, along with every journalist who covers controversial topics—especially if the journalists are women—experience regularly. Such bullying shouldn’t, of course, be “normal,” but it is commonplace and not especially newsworthy. However, within the context described above, it may be…

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Catholic Archbishop Takes On Jesuit Magazine’s Slam on “Ecumenism of Hate”; and More in Global LGBT Recap

…ed them marital housing. China: Activists angered over ban on LGBT content online A government ban on online content featuring same-sex relationships has angered many activists, reports the BBC: There are 84 categories of material that were banned from online video programmes by Chinese censors, including prostitution, drug addiction, extra-marital affairs and what authorities deem to be “unhealthy” views of the family, relationships and money. A…

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Behind the Inclusive-Sounding Ads of this $100 Million PR-Blitz-for-Jesus it’s the Same Old Conservative Christian Fantasy

…tion, and I’m pretty sure that this tech-savvy, culturally aware, and #VeryOnline generation is not going to be ‘won back to Christ’ by, for example, a heavy-handed quasi-parable about Jesus inviting everyone to his table and being “heartbroken” that some refuse his invitation, “because he wanted everyone to be filled—not with food and wine, but with compassion.” On a superficial level, the “He Gets Us” spots have high production value, but that’s…

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“Paleo” is More Than a Fad Diet: Boyd Eaton’s Plan to Return to Eden

…t thinking about all the rest of the living organisms on earth, clearly the 100 million people is far better for the rest of the organisms on earth than is the 12 billion. How Paleo will the lifestyle of those 100 million people be? Well, I don’t think we’d change our clothing, our lifestyle, hardly at all. I’d like to think that we’d maintain the best of the past, and merge it with the best of the present. More steak, but still antibiotics. I rea…

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The Porn Workaround: How Christian Sexuality Websites Avoid Sin

…candid talk about sex acts—especially online. On blogs, message boards and online stores, evangelicals receive answers to a wide array of incredibly detailed questions about sex. These websites, unsurprisingly, are strictly porn-free: no videos of intercourse, no nude images. Even terms like “cock” and “pussy” are swiftly deleted by moderators. If websites include images, they are stick figures, line drawings, or photographs of toy people [see ima…

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