(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)
Over recent months, I have made it my mission in life to spend five minutes online every morning before I start work, finding something that will brighten my day.
Sometimes it feels like the internet is little more than a gathering place for every negative/ sexist/racist/homophobic/douchey person in the world to spew forth their venom so it’s a breath of fresh air to find content that lifts your mood and maybe even encourages you to think a little more deeply.
I don’t know what’s been up with my Facebook feed of late but while I’m happy to accept anyone’s religion, I’m not so happy to accept bigotry: trying to justify posting hateful messages about homosexuality or other faiths by claiming it’s a Christian view doesn’t cut the mustard. If you are a racist, a raging bigot, or a card- carrying homophobe, at least have the courage of your convictions to own your narrow-minded beliefs and stop blaming it on the big guy upstairs.
If you wrap your nastiness in a few religious verses, it doesn’t make you a Christian. It makes you a bigot hiding behind Christianity.
Pastor Tony Campolo is a bloke with an interesting story to share about his views on homosexuality, and why he has those views. He also rebuts perhaps one of the most commonly used phrases trundled out by Christians on the subject of homosexuality: “love the sinner, hate the sin”. Check out the video:
I found that video posted on the Upworthy website, a great place to spend five minutes (or five hours) of your time. Subtitles “things that matter”, you’ll find videos and other posts on news items, religion, sport, politics and any other topic you can imagine.
As the name of the site suggests, the content is all pretty uplifting and inspirational. Best of all, most of it manages to avoid being corny and sappy. Some of it will make you laugh, some might even make you cry, and all of it will make you think about things a little differently.
Another uplifting (but sad) read this week was Laurie Anderson’s article in Rolling Stone magazine on the death of her bloke and all-round awesome musician Lou Reed – a beautiful piece of writing.