Sunday, April 08, 2007

An Illusion?

I went to Easter Sunday mass this morning with my kids (sans Jack, of course). This last year, it's become more and more difficult for me to attend mass at our church for a multitude of reasons. Today's sermon pretty much sealed the deal for me. For reasons I cannot understand, the priest used his platform to discuss the "evilness" of the internet - an appropriate topic for Easter Sunday, don't you think? He stated more than once (because this guy really likes to repeat himself) that the internet is just an "illusion". An illusion is defined as: "something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality."

If you were to believe him, then the last 8 months of Jack's life that I've chronicled on this website is false, misleading and deceptive. Perhaps I should forward him the link and then invite him over for dinner and then ask him if everything he read is an illusion. No, this life you are reading about is all too REAL! All the incredible love and support I receive from my internet friends is REAL. There is a website for a little girl named Annie who is fighting for her life right now in the PICU at St. Louis Children's Hospital as she awaits a second lung transplant. I check Annie's website several times a day for updates on her condition. I know Annie and I know Annie's mom ... Annie is REAL. I also check in several times a day with my internet support group - other parents of children with trachs who are some of the most supportive, informative and compassionate moms I have ever met. These people are REAL, their children are REAL and the struggles and joys they share as parents of medically fragile children are REAL.

Yes, bad things can happen because of the internet and, yes, there are many occasions where people pretend to be someone other than who they really are. However, there are also many good things that come from the internet and many more occasions where the people really are who they say they are. To make the blanket statement that the internet is evil and an illusion is irresponsible and total b.s.

Sorry this is such a pisser of a post, but this guy really made me angry and there was no reason to even "go there" in what should have been a sermon focused on celebration and positive things.

So, to all my "illusory" internet friends ... I hope you all have a REALly wonderful week.

Love ya!

Just to clarify - I haven't given up on my faith, just this particular church.


Robert and Katie said...

Amen! Now that's a blog post I can really relate to! Katie and I have had similar experiences with church-going here in Alaska. In my experience, the internet has been a blessing! It is a excellent/diverse way to communicate, research, and pay bills!

We really enjoy reading your blog. I'm glad I have the opportunity to know a little about what's going on in my cousins' lives.

Keep the faith, ignore the Easter Sunday spiel.

Love, Robert

kari said...

Horrible, I know, but I just had to laugh at that one. My grandfather's the reverend of an evangelical church in Kansas. He had five children: four are also preachers of one sort or another. The fifth was my mother, and she doesn't need ta' preach, what with being dead and all, she really doesn't need to bother anyone about God...

They're always telling me, each of them on different occassions, usually whilst announcing the latest church accomplishment of one of their brood, that if I "Just ask God for forgiveness, I will have it".

Well, you can only hear this so many times before you just pop a cork and let it all hang out. I informed my Grandfather (who, a total aside, looks just like Sam the Eagle from the muppets) that I didn't need God's forgiveness, but that God sure as hell needed to come down and offer me a bloody apology, because his little practical jokes have only been funny to him. And his drinkin' buddies.

This confused my Grandfather enough that he actually stopped saying it.

The internet is the single greatest invention since the printing press. Yeah, yeah, and Guttenberg's little daydream let Hitler print up his nasty little bit of nonsense, too...for every good thing, there will always be ten people out there who'll twist it into something hateful, and another ten who'll figure out how to get rich playing with it.

Internet predators ARE a danger...but then, the church has had it's own little dirty secrets for how long?

Evil lurks in every corner, it's true. Know it's there, know how to unmask it, show your kids how to unmask it and how to run very fast and/or kick the crap out of it. But don't go outside in the sun and fun 'cause the boogeyman might pop in and ruin your day? Bah. Bah, I say, Bah!

The Internet has allowed soldiers to lay to rest their families fears. It's allowed us to understand each other. It's allowed us to share our cultures, our thoughts, our feelings...and every time we do that, we come that much closer to understanding that underneath all the funny hair and strange jewelry, we're all basically the same. And it's much harder to do nasty things to someone when you empathise with them.

Therefore, the Internet is the single greatest invention since the printing press. Communication is always a great gift. Your preacher needs to get on-line...and check out some of the more interesting--and productive--sermons!

Happy Easter...a day of chocolate, and of miracles. May you have handfuls of both!

Anonymous said...

Ann, I know what you're talking about in giving up on churches. We found one we really like, and unfortunately everytime Mike goes into the building he starts wheezing, and about half an hour after we leave, so does Allison. So I end up not going myself. Definately dont give up on your faith!

As for the anti-internet preacher. Hmm...I wonder if he has anything that uses velcro fasteners? That's a result of NAA technology-and he probably believes we havent really been to the moon! I think a lot of people do abuse the internet, but dont let that spoil it for the rest of us! I wish all the Luddites among us would pack up and go live in a grass hut or a cave somewhere and give it a rest.

Hang in there Ann, I look to you for inspiration. Hugs Deb McK (cariaad)

julie worthington said...

Amen! absolutely!! where does he get off talking about the internet on Easter Sunday??
Without my friends on the trach board I would be lost, because no one I know 'gets it' even though they try hard to sympathise.
We all know that people abuse the internet, and we have been a victim of such abuse, but we don't let that get in the way of the good out there. Maybe you need to invite him for dinner Ann and then sign onto the trach board and let him read our posts!!

Love ya

Cindy said...

Excellent reply from Kari! :-)

I sure hope you are all correct. I'd hate to think that an illusion is the only thing keeping me sane. LOL!