So what would be your first reaction, say, if you happened upon a website that really looked like Twitter, but appeared to have been built in the last two days, and has an unbelievably retarded name like someone had taken an axe to the word "Twitter" and wedged "God" into it? And has a total of 6 users, all of whom say things like, "Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy Dive Judgment," or "Thinking about that STAGGERING event from which we are all inevitably on the docket; the JUDGMENT of CHRIST"? You, you optimistic, naive Christian, wouldn't believe that such a thing could be done with a straight face, and that, from the looks of things, some clever hoaxster had played upon all of our worst fears of Christian mimicry. You would blog about this hilarious joke, liberally handing its masterminds props and lulz.
Until whoever did the axing and wedging emailed you and was like, "Um, what are you talking about? Joke?"
You would freeze.
That didn't exactly happen, but that's what almost happened when a sharp-eyed reader name Carl tipped us off to Godwitter, on which the fictional scenario above is based. Except the website part isn't fiction. There really is a website. It's registered to a guy named Greg Gordon from a Canadian website called SermonIndex, one of the principal posters. It really is called "Godwitter," it really has about 5 users, and it really is loaded with strangely 19th century-sounding spiritual status updates, and it really isn't a joke. Or, ahem, isn't meant to be:
Of course what is so freakishly odd about this isn't the fact that people are sharing scriptures or sermon links (hey, those occasionally show up on my Twitter), but that's precisely the point: you can do all of that on Twitter, and even follow only your pastor if you like. Or, I don't know, GO TO CHURCH, where people typically go to find sermons and spiritual encouragement.
And really, even if you were convinced such a service would be useful to some ten people somewhere in the woods of Canada … Godwitter? Let us hear you say that word about five times and listen to the sound of your own voice. How much of your dignity is left? Next, say the phrase, "post a witter" out loud once. If you feel like you just uttered the linguistic equivalent of the phrase "hock a loogie," you're not alone. Something about "sharing witters with the world" sounds, at best, like spreading a horrible plague.
We could go through the high-minded spiel about Why Christians Shouldn't Do This, but I have a feeling the point has been sufficiently made. We've been through it with GodTube, and ShoutLife and myCCM before. If you don't understand what I'm talking about, watch the rest of the terrible videos. Sometimes this stuff is funny, as in the curious case of The Bike King and the Ten Commandments. This just hurts.
David Sessions is the founding editor of Patrol. He covers religion for Newsweek and The Daily Beast, and is a graduate student in the Draper Program for Humanities and Social Thought at New York University. He can be reached at hdavidsessions at gmail dot com.
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