I was recently made aware of a web site which claims to be “The Christian Alternative to Twitter”. Isn’t that just darling?!?! It really isn’t surprising, what with events like the “no god” debacle on Twitter.
Because it is November (the month of the US Thanksgiving holiday), and because I’m witnessing a group of Christians flock to another home to avoid some perceived persecution, I am reminded of The Pilgrims. Those in the UK will know of them as The Pilgrim Fathers. For the rest of the planet, in a more sane definition, I am referring to the early settlers of the Plymouth Colony in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts in the US. The story of their seeking religious freedom has become a central theme of the early history and culture of the United States.
In basic terms, the ‘Pilgrims’ were Puritan separatists. They believed that the Puritans could not reconcile their differences with the Church of England. The Puritans made demands which were received at the Hampton Court Conference of 1604, but their demands were not met. [Not completely at least: The Conference did result in the KJV of the Bible, for which the evangelicals and fundies are eternally grateful.] It’s a long boring story about ‘Papists’, ‘Reformists’, ‘Puritans’, and a bunch of religious mumbo-jumbo that doesn’t mean shit! What were they so upset about? Blood sacrifices? Burnt offerings? Nope. The puritans were all bent out of shape about things like these: the signing of the cross during baptism, confirmation, the administration of baptism by women, the use of the ring in marriage, bowing at the name of Jesus. The C of E told them, basically, to shut up and deal with it.
The ‘Pilgrim Fathers’ simply couldn’t accept that! They knew that if they could not inflict their particular brand of crazy on people that they simply couldn’t live there. The Crown [Unfortunately, for the Crown, IMO] would not allow them proper means to leave. They attempted bribery [Bribery!?!?! You mean prayer couldn’t get them out of that mess? For shame!], but were caught in a sting operation and jailed for one month. They ended up making their way to Amsterdam, then to Leiden, and finally to America in November of 1620.
The ‘Pilgrims’ were America’s first fundies. Puritans wanted to return the church to a more primitive state and to practice Christianity as was done by the earliest Church Fathers. They believed that the Bible was the only true source of religious teaching and that any additions made to Christianity, especially with regard to church traditions, had no place in Christian practice. The ‘Pilgrims’ distinguished themselves from other Puritans in that they sought to separate themselves from the Anglican Church, rather than reform it from within. This is ultimately what led them to New England in the first place.
What sort of ‘chirps’ are you likely to see from the service? The home page at one point was displaying many messages (apparently automated upon signing up) from people saying that they had joined the service. One of these ‘Joined Christian Chirp :)’ messages was quickly responded to with this ‘chirp’:
I’m certain that the intent of this could be taken any number of ways. The guy could simply be curious. Of course, he could also be somewhat miffed that a person would refer to themselves as a ‘liberal’ Christian in the first place. I’m betting on that second interpretation. Another person even asked them if they were “a proper Christian”. What the fuck does that even mean? Mighty ‘Christian’ of those folks to doubt someone’s religious sincerity based on the fact that they identify themselves as ‘liberal’. Not terribly surprising, once again. Also, for some reason, very reminiscent of those Puritans who were “escaping religious intolerance”.
But what more did I have to say about why Christian Chirp was set up in the first place? Let’s look at information about the founder of the site. James L. Paris of Daytona Beach Florida is the founder of Christian Chirp, Christian Internet Income.com, and Christian Money.com. The guy seems to be heavily into marketing, providing videos and books about how to make big money. It all seems to be geared toward Christians. I was reminded of the South Park episode that I watched last night. The episode is titled “Christian Rock Hard”. One exchange between Stan and Cartman sticks in my mind:
Stan: “You don’t know anything about Christianity, Cartman!”
Cartman: “I know enough to exploit it.”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not implying that Mr. Paris is not a Christian, or not a Christian of high moral character. What I am implying is that at its heart, Christian Chirp is there to make money. If it provides a haven for Christians to practice their own special forms of bigotry and hatred on each other, that’s fine with me. There will be fewer of them tying up the Twitter servers.