The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human mammals.
Such is the sort of quote you’ll find in the book that shares its title with the name of this post. At the end of the day, no matter how you feel about religion you really have to admit that the statement is true. The sentiment of the religion you follow may be there, but the doctrine described in the book is far from what we’d call ethical behaviour these days and incredibly far from the accepted Christian thing to do. The writers did their best and described the most moral way to do things in their own time but the fact of the matter is that they were crude and uncultured compared to human beings today and their ideas of the good way to do things can come across as pretty horrific. As an example – it’s all very well giving a guide on how best to treat your slaves but when you accept that everyone will likely have slaves, you’re kind of missing the point.
That’s my opinion, and yours may differ. That’s fine as this isn’t what this is actually about. This post is about Twitter in general and trending topics particularly. If you’re unfamiliar with Twitter (and I know at least a few of my named regulars are) then you’ll need a little explanation before this gets to the point. Twitter is a service where users have 140 characters to communicate with the world. With such a limited space the users have had to come up with some inventive ways to save space and categorise their posts. One such idea is the hashtag where someone types a small description after the hash symbol and that is used to tag the post and make it easier to search for. As an example of this, this post is tagged as “news” and “editorial” in this service so in Twitter I’d add “#news” and “#editorial” at the end of the post and everyone would know it’s a news article and an opinion piece. The second thing you’ll need to know about Twitter is that sometimes the same hashtags are used quite often and that the service has a way for people to find popular topics – Trending Topics. These are the top ten most used hashtags and allow people to talk about the hottest conversation pieces. As a conversation starter it’s a great idea, at least until you see what sort of thing is normally popular.
Which brings us to the current time and the actual point of this post, the hashtag “#godisnotgreat” and how it has been treated. At first used only by the author to help publicise his book and then by readers of it, the tag has evolved somewhat as militant atheists have taken it over. These are the sort who have taken the ideas of organised religion to a degree and refuse to allow people to be happy with their own religious choices. You just know these people have been faced with militant religion for so long that this is the only way they know how to be and don’t see that they’re making the exact same mistakes. As expected, the tag started to rile Christians with its popularity. Such Christian messages as “I’m going to kill whoever started this hastag” and “I hope God kills you for this” started flying across Twitter and the Christian outrage at the tag combined with complaints sent to the site was such that Twitter had no choice but to pull the tag down from the Trending Topics. No matter how popular this tag gets again it wont show up there as it is just too hot a topic and upsets too many people.
Meanwhile, at the time of writing this post, “#ReasonsToBeatYourGirlfriend” was still one of the top worldwide trending topics. Spousal abuse, a problem that millions of men and women suffer with every single day, a problem that leads to so many deaths every year throughout the world, doesn’t really raise any alarm at all. Not enough complaints have been put in about that one and not enough people have been upset by the topic for it to be removed. This is the world we live in folks where the right to believe something without anyone disagreeing with you is more important than the right of others to live without physical violence.
The backlash on Twitter, caused mainly by the removal of #godisnotgreat while #reasonstobeatyourgirlfriend remained has actually caused the tag to be removed. The internet (and despite my recent outage I’m included in this) has no problem moving its ass to accuse someone of hypocrisy, yet wouldn’t get up to complain that the topic exists in the first place.