Hating On the God Shout Outs

16 Sep

I have the sneaking suspicion that I’m evil and going to hell. No, I’m not a murderer, I don’t make a practice of bashing people up, and I’m not even a hard-drinking, party-hardy hedonist. No, I think that I may be going to hell because I get incredibly annoyed by all the folks on Facebook and MySpace who do God shout outs.

If you aren’t familiar with God shout outs, let me explain. These are when people write something like “God is SOOOO good!!!!” or “Soooo truly BLESSED!!!!” or “God is GOOD, all the time And all the time, GOD IS GOOD!!!” or “God is just so AWESOME” for their status comments. I wish that the gratuitous use of the  all-caps and exclamation points was my own addition, but, sadly, that really is how I have seen it. Usually people stop short of saying, “Rah-Rah, yeah GOD!” Usually, but not always.

My dislike of the God shout out gives me a lot of guilt. Considering how few real vices I have, it is pretty funny that I feel like a badass, but I think that is the fault of my particular religious sub-culture. With this group you can be a complete degenerate simply for admitting* to drinking coffee–and I do. Yep, I’m a goody-two-shoes badass because I’m caffeinated. So you can imagine how much extra evil, badassness I feel for being annoyed when people on Facebook or MySpace say that they like God.

But I have my reasons for not liking the God shout outs. Here are a few of them.

  • I have had way too many editing classes. There are all sorts of things that will annoy me in print that the rest of the world probably won’t notice or care about. As it happens, the gratuitous use of exclamations points and all-caps is one of those annoying things that will make me twitch. It is right up there with people using the word good when they should use the word well. I realize that for the bulk of the population this is not an issue, but these are my reasons for not liking God shout outs, not the bulk of the population’s.
  • The God shout outs never seem to give enough information. “God is SOOOO GOOD!!!! Praise GOD!!!!! He’s just such an AWESOME GOD!!!!” Really? What happened? Some thing good? Did you get a promotion at work? Did your baby take her first steps? Did you finally get the dog house-broken? My point is that, if you are feeling so elated that you wanted to trumpet God’s goodness all over a social-networking site, then share the joy and tell us what the heck you are so damn happy about. Give us a clue and let the rest of us join in your happiness.
  • These shout outs smack of that holier-than-thou mentality that believes in conspicuous Christianity rather than consistent Christianity. This is very likely my own rampant insecurity talking, but it just seems like another venue for people to act religious for the rest of the world’s benefit. I find that some of the more truly sanctified and holy individuals I have met are not the sort who carry Jesus pom-poms and lead an online cheer session. They are the people who spend more of their time asking what they can do for someone else and less time making noise. Kind of like Mother Teresa.

While there is nothing wrong with God shout outs they annoy me because, for some of us (that would be me), faith does not come easily. I tend to ponder things like the conflict of belief in an all-powerful, all knowing, loving God versus, oh, say the reality of the Jewish Holocaust or the Rwandan genocide or suicide bombers or good, God-fearing people dying of cancer. In spite of all that, I choose to believe that God is good, maybe not all the time, but eventually. And, I choose to believe that someday He will sort all that stuff out for me in a way that makes more sense than, “Gee that one took me by surprise. Way bigger deal than I expected. Good thing I can resurrect people. You feel me?”

But just because I believe God is good doesen’t mean I have to like God shout outs. So I won’t. However, I have a sneaking suspicion the God shout out is here to stay. Feel free to keep posting “God is soooo GOOD!!!!!” and I will keep trying suppress my desire to reply, “Yes, but does He do windows?”

*More people in this group drink coffee than admit to it. My grandfather, until the day he died at 92, used to take the label off his Taster’s Choice instant for fear another church person would see it and critcize him.

Posted by on September 16, 2009 in Uncategorized


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8 responses to “Hating On the God Shout Outs

  1. Jonathan

    September 16, 2009 at 11:01 PM

    A few weeks ago a friend on a social-networking site (who happens to a be a minister) wrote something about a “glorious morning. Thank-You Lord!!!” I commented “You’re welcome! Anytime.” I felt pretty bad-ass (though I did write “sorry” below that).

  2. C-Dawg

    September 17, 2009 at 7:32 PM

    You have obviously been trained to think, edit, and write by a brilliant person who is still proud of you, even if you are a badass caffeinated Adventist. Keep on thinking, editing, and writing. (!!!)

  3. CëRïSë

    September 18, 2009 at 4:40 PM

    I think maybe we should be friends. Bonus: I live in Mpls! I promise I am not a creepy stalker.

    • chinspeaks

      September 19, 2009 at 4:18 AM

      I gladly welcome friendship with all sorts of non-creepy stalkers 🙂 And if you are in the fine state of Minnesota, so much the better.

  4. Malachi

    September 20, 2009 at 10:21 AM

    Did you know you can aquire a piece of “God is Love” flair on said social networking site? You could arrange it next to your Joe Mauer flair and numerous other pieces of flair that are apparently availalbe.

    Another favorite I saw on said social networking site: “Thanks for Faithbooking!”

  5. Mindy

    September 25, 2009 at 12:14 AM

    Well, I have to say I have done the God shout out/Faithbooking thing recently, and your sentiments would have perfectly expressed mine at one time. So my point is, never say never! God always seems to humble me in the areas I am most judgmental!

    • chinspeaks

      September 25, 2009 at 12:31 AM

      I didn’t say that there was anything wrong with professing one’s faith online. By all means, profess until you are blue in the face, if that is what makes you happy. What I said was that I find the God shout outs annoying because so often the punctuation is atrocious and they do not provide enough information–it is like only hearing a fragment of the conversation. If the blessing is so great that you want to tell the world, then tell us why. In the Psalms David tells people why he is praising so they can join him.

  6. johnnyviking

    December 7, 2010 at 5:10 PM

    as to your ‘conflicted feelings’ on the existence of an all-everything God..i had similar feelings all through my catholic upbringing..(remember the song ‘dear god’ by xtc??)

    then i had some questions about the catholic church itself.. namely , in my town, a priest was immediately evicted from the priesthood upon the parish’s discovery that he was covertly involved in a relationship with a woman.. yet time and again, they get ‘protected’ by the church when a priest is accused of sexually molesting a boy..(oh and i dont buy the reason that dating is ‘public’ and molesting a boy is ‘private’ so as long as he confesses, its ok.. its well=known that this is pattern behaviour and the likelihood of repeated offenses is very high..seems so long as they confess every time, its always ok)..

    i came to my own conclusion, though influenced by various conversations w/ others on the subject, that it is *spirituality*, not so much organized religion, that is important..

    one can readily make a point against organized religion by asking that does God really prefer only YOUR religion, and all others are wrong? simply doesn’t sound like He would play favorites that way.

    imo, we all come from the same *universal consciousness*, and a bit of it is in each of us. the purpose of life is this universal conciousness is in need of becoming ever-increasingly self-aware.. and how best to do so than to continously create new souls, with the perception they are individual (so they can freely interact), and see how long it takes us to ‘get it’ (what ‘it’ is is best left for another discussion).

    when we die, we return to this UC and we are non-judgingly made aware of the good/bad things we did.. we then may choose more human lives, to learn more lessons and ultimately progress our spirit/soul to the next level.. w/ the ultimate goal of saying ‘yup, i get it’, and return to the UC..

    ..if one looks at it this way we see that:
    a) organized religion is still very important, in that it provides a framework that most humans can more readily relate to , to better guide them in their ‘progression’
    b)..we can more readily come to grips w/ all the killings/crime/war now and in the history of the world are really just harsh ‘lessons’ these souls who are ‘stuck’ in lower levels need to go through to help them ‘see’ what they continue to do wrong..we all feel what we cause upon our death, and causing such pain and anguish in the lives of others while on earth will ultimately help them ‘learn’ and become better souls..

    ok, i’m done..sorry that this comment is way too long and that it doesn’t even really fit your post topic, but alas, i was searching for a religion topic in which to opine.. and this is the post i found!

    …now excuse me while i update my facebook status to shout: “the universal consciousness is sooooooooo continually seeking self-awareness!!!!!!!!!!”


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