What do a former professional wrestler, the Ku Klux Klan and Christian evangelism have in common? One person actually: Johnny Lee Clary. The former Imperial Wizard of the KKK saw the light when he was just minutes away from pulling the trigger on a gun to end his life—exactly as his father had done when Johnny was just 11 years old.
Clary has a story of conversion not quite as remarkable at the Apostle Paul, but it’s astonishing all the same. According to Clary, the world’s links regarding supremacist groups just keep getting bigger, deeper, more covert and sinister. They remain it seems.
And this is why we are perhaps entering an era where social networking websites and platforms like Facebook and Twitter are making life a little more transparent. Certainly our characters and personalities are put up just as surely as our photos and other information—racist attitudes are going to be out there for all and sundry to see, well, or at least those they allow in any event.
I find it a thrill when people want to be-friend me, sending me friend requests, or similarly when I send someone a friend request and they “confirm” our friendship—whether they know me, knew me, or not; it’s like we’re all reconciled to one another anyway.
I think we live in a very special time where the information age has met its match with globalisation, both good and bad. The best of globalisation, perhaps, is we’re almost intrinsically linked from half a world away. Only recently I became friends with a grace-filled man in
When we look at friendship listings everyone’s into it, breaking down the geographical barriers with the click of a mouse—and the friendships are perhaps not as true as the face to face form, sure, but writing with people in the tradition of the old “pen-pal” has a lot of benefits. Good will and fun are but two good values we see all the time.
I wonder if the social networking sites are facilitating both good and bad things, but in fact they’re sheeting home the transparency—and evil hates transparency. We Facebookers are a fraternity of a new generation who wish only to acquaint with likeminded people set on the unification of the entire world—with ourselves as no barrier to that.
Would we perhaps be living in a time when we will come closer to the fact of a holistic all-encompassing, all-inclusive super-culture than ever before? Where could this all end? Stand with me brother/sister! Let’s watch in awe as it takes place!
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.