GOD ONLINE: Exploring media spirituality

Web sites, TV, films, books and the search for meaning.

Howlelujah?

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Right from the homepage, the Virtual Church of the Blind Chihuahua is ambivalent toward religion.

On the one hand, it claims to be “dedicated to enlarging religion as a source of inspiration and diminishing religion as a source of conflict in the world.” But the homepage also has the slogan: “More to religion than pleasing your imaginary friend.”

The creator, a 53-year-old weapons scientist(!) self-named Scooper, says he’s a Lutheran and former atheist. He says the site is merely trying to make us all admit that, as the Bible says, “now we see through a glass darkly” (1 Cor 13:12). Or, in his own style, we bark at everything like a little, sight-impaired dog.

So, what can we bark at? Well, the “church” lets people post essays. There’s a story on a man who joined radical Islam in Britain, then left. There’s an excruciating testimony from a woman who says she was seduced by a priest.

A gallery has some beautiful pictures of people, animals, flowers and scenery, many of them by Scooper himself. There’s also a list of religious jokes, some genial, some lame, some snarky. Heavier theological stuff is available in the so-called Scriptorium section.

The site has discussions on several faiths, and those can be lucid and insightful. The one for Buddhism, for instance, says the faith’s literature “is both immense and non-essential” — non-essential, because the core of the faith is personal, unmediated enlightenment. Curiously, the article mentions Zen, but doesn’t acknowledge that Zen is a blend of Buddhism and Taoism.

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Written by Jim Davis

February 13, 2009 at 6:27 am

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