This is from Ambassador Youth, a magazine of the Restored Church of God. It's called: Blogs — And God's Youth.
While the UU in me squirms to call something "comedy gold," this is truly comedy gold. It appears that no one should have a blog or a Website (unless it's for legitimate business purposes), or engage photosharing (unless they're password protected and shared among family and friends with no inappropriate pictures).
Look, the warnings about parents knowing what the hell their kids get up to online is a good one. It's a common sense warning. If anything, kids don't always have a clear idea of what's TMI and what isn't — and I'm not just talking sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll here. I'm talking about putting personal information out there that might allow someone with less-than-pure intent to track you down.
Hell, adults (counts me in this) sometimes inadvertantly release information about themselves that maybe isn't a good idea to let loose in the wilds of the Internet. No matter how careful you are, it happens.
But this is talking about a complete shut-down for children and adults. The "why" of this is mystifying, although the reasoning sounds vaguely Dominionist, but here's some snippets with commentary:
Ask yourself, “Do I have a tendency to want to have a voice?”
Why, yes! Yes I do!
If it weren't for the Internet, I'd be one of those crazy people on the city common standing on a soap box with a bullhorn. So, really, the Internet? Much less of an annoyance for my fellow citizens.
Now I can annoy the whole wide world.
This has grown so out of control it is routine for a person to start a daily blog entry with a single word that details his or her mood. A blog entry will start: “Current mood: ____” The level of shallowness and emotional immaturity this represents is astonishing! In the grand scheme of things, why would the world at large care?
Because the world's friggin' nosey. That's why. Besides, who said the blog was for you anyway?
A major reason for blogging’s appeal is that it provides an opportunity for people to spend time doing something viewed as entertaining. Teens spend hours on these blogs searching, reading about other people and writing their own thoughts. There are even different online whiteboards where one can scribble a picture down and post it to a friend’s site. Boredom in action.
Would you prefer they masterbate? Because if you do, I know this legitimate business Web site you can go to that can help with that.
Blogs can easily link to each other. This social network allows people to become “friends” fairly easily with another blogger. As soon as this happens, the person is viewed as a friend by anyone who visits the blog. Whether or not the person is a friend, the appearance of evil is glaring in such situations. Young people in the world are far different then those in the Church. The things they will say and do — even on someone else’s blog — will make one blush.
This “friends” problem goes further than just appearances. Just as in person, such people will pull you toward the world and its temptations. This is just another reason blogs are unnecessary for God’s youth.
Onoes! Being exposed to other people who might not agree with you is poison I tells ya!
And besides, who the hell judges a person based on their Friends List? I don't know too many people who do that.
Actually, I do have a legitimate question. When you say "Church," which one are you referring to? Is it just your donomination? Christianity as a whole? Are Catholics included in that Christianity definition? I ask, because Catholics sometimes aren't. What about Mormons? They're usually hanging out with the Catholics in non-Christian land, so I have to ask about them, too. I pretty much know you're not including us freaky UUs. I'm also pretty sure you're not including anyone non-Christian, so I won't embarass you further.
So what have we learned? Recall that a blog provider stated, with blogs “there are no rules.” This is obviously not true with God. He does have rules and guidelines, but not everything is spelled out in the Bible. We must take principles and consider the overall big picture.
I think the blog provider was talking about using your blog for whatever you feel like. I'm very certain the blog provider was not encouraging the youth of the world to rise up and break every written and unwritten law of society and every religion on the planet.
Let me use a graphic to put it in perspective:
writing about your crappy day =/= breaking all 10 Commandments
Should teenagers and others in the Church express themselves to the world through blogs? Because of the obvious dangers; the clear biblical principles that apply; the fact that it gives one a voice; that it is almost always idle words; that teens often do not think before they do; that it is acting out of boredom; and it is filled with appearances of evil — blogging is simply not to be done in the Church. It should be clear that it is unnecessary and in fact dangerous on many levels.
So, wait. You're saying writing about my crappy day is breaking all 10 Commandments? Because it gives me a "voice" to talk about my crappy day? Because I'm telling you right now...take away my LJ and out will come the soapbox and bullhorn. No one wants that.
I mean, it probably isn't breaking any religious laws if I do that, but I'm pretty sure it breaks city ordinances.
Let me emphasize that no one — including adults — should have a blog or personal website (unless it is for legitimate business purposes).
Thank God. I'm totally off the hook. When I grow up, I want to write pr0n. This LJ is helping me achive that legitimate business goal.
Blogging has become a socially accepted practice — just as are dating seriously too young, underage drinking and general misbehaving. But just because someone else “jumps off the cliff” does not mean you should do the same.
I would just like to point out something here: I would much rather that someone wrote a story about a character jumping off a cliff than a real person jumping off a cliff. I also include in this category: dating seriously too young, underage drinking, and general misbehaving.
One is scary words. The other is scary real life.
One of these has far less consquences. Can you guess which one?
I also love the random quote marks around "jumps off the cliff." I don't know why. It makes me grin like a loon.
Some questions naturally arise: “Can I have a photo gallery?” For example, maybe you visited an exotic country and want to share your photos with close friends. This can be done, but certain guidelines apply. Of course, there should never be any inappropriate pictures (again, be careful of the appearance of evil); it should be private and password protected, and only shown to family and closest friends.
So using pictures from writercon for blackmail purposes is totally out then? What if I can prove it's for a legitimate business purpose and for the betterment of Lizbeth Marcs Industries? Is it okay then?
I've never heard of the Restored Church of God before, but what little I've been able to dig up on them seems to indicate they're two splinter groups removed from the Seventh-Day Adventists. That's about it, though.