Thursday, April 28, 2011

Unvirtuous Abbey

Unvirtuous Abbey is a twitter/Facebook page which regularly posts...well...I'll call it "different" religious sayings. Their description is this:

After watching Facebook statuses and tweets of motivational quotes, pious prayers, and religious platitudes, the Abbey was born.

Here's an example from an interview they did on The Virtual Abbey:

Some believe religion is sacrosanct. We obviously don’t and wondered: What if everyone actually prayed what was on their minds? Our prayer for those whose closest thing to prayer is texting “OMG!” was retweeted a lot. We believe that’s because readers realized we were pointing out how texting “OMG!” has less to do with God and more to do with something else.

People also enjoy irony, such as praying for those who spend countless hours on Farmville and then heat up something for lunch in the microwave. There’s a disconnect.

Sometimes we tweet a song lyric with the words “Jesus said.” A recently popular tweet was, “As soon as Jesus was baptized, a voice from heaven said: “Whoa, oh, oh, sweet child o’ mine. Whoa, oh, oh, oh, sweet love of mine.” Yet, a few followers still wrote and said, “Um, I think that was Guns and Roses?” to which we respond, “Oh, they said it too?”

This morning one of their "monks" posted this intriguing post on the blog "Two Friars and a fool" called "Unicorn Theology and Unplugging Your Head". Here's an excerpt:

Christianity is definitely having a public relations problem now. So many churches are trying to market themselves in a different way. Sometimes they market themselves well, like the church in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where someone spray painted the words, “God is dead” on the side of the building, and the minister (rather than get angry) wrote above it, “Not so fast. Happy Easter!” And sometimes churches have marketing fails, like the church having their Worship, Teaching, and Friendship conference. (WTF?)

Some of our most popular prayers at Unvirtuous Abbey have to do with the disconnect between perception and reality. What is poignant for us is when we hear feedback to a prayer that has drawn someone closer to the holy in their lives.

Some of the more recent prayers that generated lots of comments are:

“For those who deny global warming yet think that human morality affects plate tectonics, we pray to the Lord.”

“Lord, you who told Lazarus to “Come out!”, we pray for religious leaders who tell people it’s wrong to do that. Amen.”

“For those who claim to be holy but burn others’ holy books, Lord have mercy.”

“For those who say ‘Everything happens for a reason’ because, honest to God, that’s a really dumb thing to say. Amen.”

“For those who insist on the literal inerrancy of something they’ve never really read, Lord hear our prayer.”

...In some cases, churches are going so far to the theological right that people have to unplug their heads before they enter the building; and in other cases, churches are going so far to the left theologically in order to attract the masses, that they describe themselves as “post theistic”. In a way, they are offering what one person has called, “unicorn theology.” (And even though unicorn theology sounds kind of awesome, it may not have many practical applications, other than being awesome.)

We, the monks of Unvirtuous Abbey, believe that as Christians we are called to be keepers of the story, and tellers of it. We are encouragers of its sharing, and we are enablers of its hearing.

I am curious about peoples' respond to this!

1 comment:

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