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Evangelicals create ‘sin-free’ Facebook

Facegloria
Written by Darius Rubics

I admire anyone who strives for perfection.

There’s a glory in it. A certain madness, too.

I worry, though, when humans are expected to be perfect. We are all stained by so many sins that no celestial detergent could ever remove them all.

Still, a group of Evangelical Christians in Brazil is trying to do its part to cleanse humanity of its bikini pics, its cursing and its general tendency toward fornication.

It has created Facegloria, a social network specifically for those of a holy heart. As Agence France-Presse reports, the site was formed by a group of Evangelicals who worked at the mayor’s office in Ferraz de Vasconcelos, near Sao Paulo.

Their aim was to do the moral and spiritual cleaning-up that Facebook won’t.

Sins sanctioned by the site include swearing — there are 600 banned words — as well as any depictions that the site deems naughty sexually, violent or just otherwise objectionable.

In this category falls homosexuality. These Evangelical Christians regard it as sinful. So Facegloria refuses to allow anything that even remotely suggests a gay existence.

Some might therefore feel their breakfast rising toward their eyebrows when they read this quote from co-founder Atilla Barros: “We want to be morally and technically better than Facebook.”

A human who pridefully assumes moral superiority is a human with a lot to hide or a very poor shrink. Or perhaps both. But maybe when your momma called you Attilla, it’s hard to be a complete honey.

I signed up for Facegloria, just to see whether my spirit would be lifted. I created a simple username and attempted to post an equally simple message: “Homosexuality is entirely normal, people.”

The message was posted. Perhaps the site only bans “bad” words in Portuguese. Perhaps one of the 20 moral police officers who monitor Facegloria haven’t yet got around to my posting.

Evangelical Christians are politically and socially powerful in Brazil. There are said to be as many as 42 million followers in the country — 22 percent of the population. Last year, Evangelical politicians were said to comprise more than 10 percent of the lower house of parliament. A Evangelical bishop has even become a member of the cabinet.

Famous soccer stars such as Kaka and Neymar are also big public proselytizers of this type of faith.

Facegloria itself bears faithful similarities to Facebook. Indeed, its light-colored hues suggest a Facebook with all the blue material taken out. About 100,000 people are said to have signed up in its first month. The target is 10 million users within two years and then international growth under the name “Faceglory.”

You don’t “like” anything on Facegloria. You say “Amen.” How glorious.

Perhaps, though, this site is just another example of how people feel the need to gravitate to their own “kind” on social networks, rather than commune with the great unwashed and immoral.

It’s the same with media use in general. Many people are becoming less tolerant of — or even less interested in — views that aren’t exactly like their own.

Yet humans are blessedly contradictory. We hold opposite views all the time. We’re actually strictly literal about very few things, if any.

How many social networks will we have to belong to in the future to participate with the like-minded, given that we have so many different minds of our own?




About the author

Darius Rubics

Dr. Darius Rubics has won many awards including a Peabody and Pulitzer Prize. When he is not being a wonderful husband to his beautiful wife of 12 years, he is teaching their adopted 8-year-old daughter from Pakistan how to read and write.

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