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Thursday, April 28, 2005

When Will Jesus Bring The Internets?

If nothing else, you’ve got to admire the indefatigable energy of James “Sponge Bob” Dobson and the leadership council of fundamental wingnuttery. Judicial filibusters, stem cell research, school vouchers, media indecency, homosexuality, pornography, prayer in the public schools, evolution, college professors, Hollywood, the Easter Bunny, the Ten Commandments, Procter & Gamble, Apple Computers, Bill Clinton, Roy Moore, Howard Stern, Janet Jackson - I’ve got to take a breath just typing this stuff. Who knew religious zealotry provided all the jaw-clenching intensity and endurance of methamphetamines, without the need to filch cash from Grandma’s purse? (But then again….) Pity the folks at Americans United or the ACLU who make it their lives’ work to keep up with these people.

If you’re like me, I know what you’re asking yourself.

Where do these whackadoodles find the time?

Indulge me for a moment. I think I’m on to something.

According to the latest surveys, 73% of U.S. adults are online. One guy, somewhere, has a REALLY big porn problem, but the pollsters haven’t found him yet. Everyone else is “doing research for work or school” (46%), “getting information about products and services” (38%), “making travel plans or reservations” (26%), “seeking information about local amusements and activities” (22%), or “obtaining information about health or diseases” (21%). The polls are also telling us that 44% of adult online users have read a political blog. Of course, we political bloglodytes are more likely to have a college or post-graduate degree and be liberals, but we knew that.

Here’s where my seminal hypothesis comes in.

Bobo’s world has all this time to rant and rave and host prayer meetings and issue press releases and worry themselves silly about pharmacists in Dubuque whose religious rights are being violated because a married woman just came into their drug store and tried to buy a tube of KY Jelly because there’s nothing on the Internets for these people to do!

But it’s not because they haven’t tried. Oh no. The Internets are filled with dozens upon dozens of time-wasting-pastimes-for-Christians-gone-wrong. Call me a godless evolutionist if you must, but I have come to the startling conclusion that there is something in the wingnut DNA that leaves fundamentalists unable to design a website.

Where’s the evidence?

Good Christians everywhere should be able to have adventures (Adventures for Christians) of every stripe. Island-hoppers should be taking ocean voyages (Cruises for Christians), rugged outdoor types should be staking tents (Camp for Christians) or fishing along a mountain stream (Cabins for Christians), and pioneering spirits should be living the life of Lincoln (Log Homes for Christians). Even the needs of the less adventurous people of faith should be accommodated for – after all, you’d never be too far from the comforts of home in your well-appointed vacation rental (Timeshares for Christians).

Good Christians in need of a tune up before they’re ready to don the all-too-revealing sportswear of the era should have the opportunity to get in shape (Fitness for Christians), whether by diet (Weightloss for Christians), or tantric means (Yoga for Christians). And hey, there should be no need to worry about that 98-pound weakling thing, what with ample opportunity to brush up on the martial arts (Self Defense for Christians).

Stuck at home for the upcoming Focus on the Family 700 Club fundraising drive? The moral majority should be able to borrow a few bucks (Bank for Christians) that will cover the cost of some good flicks (Clean Movies for Christians), yummy home cooking (Food for Christians), printer ink for those Chick tracts (Ink for Christians) and a special fellowship call to Junior in his dorm at Liberty U. (Long Distance for Christians). And thank the Lord, there should never be reason to worry about banker’s hours, with all the complimentary goodies that inure to those of the Gospel (Freebies for Christians) and (Free Stuff for Christians).

Walking the righteous path alone is no fun at all, and every one of Pat Robertson’s followers should be able to experience a little magic (Magic for Christians) and (Magic Tricks for Christians) in their lonely lives. Sure, you may not trust in the morality of the Internets (Online Dating for Christians), but for the non-believers, hope springs eternal, whether you’re looking to do your own thing (Dating for Christians), you need a little help (Matchmakers for Christians), or you’re willing to throw all caution to the wind and entertain the company of wayward women (Chicks for Christians). If nothing else, a comfortless Christian should be able to get a little friendly guidance (Advice for Christians).

Tragically, every single of those essential aids to the Christian community is….

Under construction.

Coupons for Christians? An insurance company.

Romance for Christians? A purveyor of vintage board games.

Coffee for Christians? A devious subterfuge to draw Christians of all faiths to a product that is clearly labeled as appropriate only for Catholics.

Scoff, if you must. If James Dobson could only get a decent Christian shirt (Shirts for Christians) and Dr. D. James Kennedy could only have a chaste online conversation (Chat for Christians), Wingnut Command might not have the free time to impress their narrow-minded bible-thumping dogma on the nation’s innocent.

And just in case you’ve ever wondered why they all seem to be in such poor humor about the whole thing – one trip to Jokes For Christians should answer that one.