As most of you know by now I write a blog called the “Daily Manna” which merely seeks to stimulate discussion and dialogue on various matters on body, mind and spirit. Our goal is not to get everyone to agree but to create conversation and share ideas that hopefully benefit all involved. In the wake of September 11, 2001 we’ve all witnessed the world become more tense and intolerant of religious differences. Part of the vision of my website and organization is to try to spread Light to directly oppose this growing ignorance by showing that people of different faiths can have debate and yet still keep each other’s best interests at heart under the umbrella of Universal Love.
So I woke up this morning not quite sure about what I was going to write about today. Instead I decide to check my emails and one thing leads to another. Next thing I know I’m on LinkedIn updating my profile and I come to find out they allow for businesses to post products. So I add a link for 1 S.O.U.L. | Spiritual Nexus for Holistic Living at http://www.1soul.net/ and then their system prompts me to add a product. So naturally I add my book “Journey of the Soul: Day One” (Print ISBN: 978-0578030609 & Kindle ISBN: 978-0615430577 by the way…) as well as a description. Now I’m gradually working through the form and finally I get to the end and I hit “Save” and to my surprise I get an error message as such:
“We're sorry, your product contains special characters or offensive language.”
Since I know there’s no vulgar or offensive language in my book description, I naturally assume I must’ve used a character their system doesn’t like. So I exhaustingly go through changing every possible quotation mark, exclamation point, hyphen or colon I can find but none of this seems to allow it to pass the error message. Now I begin cutting and pasting various parts of my short 3-4 paragraph description to try to figure out what nuance exactly may be offensive. I change dates, lines, wording and none of it seems to make a difference. Finally I remove one particular sentence and my product information saves successfully. Now out of curiosity, I go back to see what may have been “offensive” about this particular sentence by modifying each and every word in it. Finally, I realize the one word that was not allowing my product information to save successfully was the word “Jesus.”
Now any of you familiar with my Blog, book or writings know that I’m not exactly what you would call a “quick draw, Bible-thumping Christian” (although I’m mostly misunderstood) but even I think this is going too far! To try and give them the benefit of doubt, I assume perhaps they just want to sway away from controversial religious matters. So out of my own devious nature, I decide to go back and try to add other religious figures names such as Mohammed, Buddha and Krishna and lo and behold… they all go through successfully! I didn’t originally have these names in there but kept them in just to prove a point.
To make matters even worse (because it’s just in my nature to push things to the extreme) I go back and experiment with various curse words and I’m allowed to get away with “damn, hoar and shitty” but apparently Jesus is just out of line! Fortunately for me, knowing a little bit about the Bible (or did I just get this from Mel Gibson’s “The Passion”), I was able to replace the name Jesus with his actual Aramaic name “Yeshua” thus keeping my context intact the way I intended for it to be conveyed.
To see it for yourself follow this link: LinkedIn Item or
(you'll have to copy and paste ip address if hyperlink doesn't work)
This is just mind-boggling to me! So what do you think people? What could LinkedIn’s reason be for finding the word Jesus offensive in a product description? Who’s to blame here? What are your thoughts on people of various religious faiths that still believe there’s only one way into Heaven? Is there really only one right religion? Do we really expect that the world’s population, including people in remote rainforests, are miraculously going to wake up one morning and say “Oh, my goodness, I’ve gotten it wrong this whole time; I’m changing Gods!” Is it really that offensive to draw a picture of the Prophet Mohammed? Religions that are supposed to be promoting Love only seem to create greater division. Does the world need a little less religion and a little more “spirituality” and what is your definition of the difference? In the words of Major Payne, have Christians just “had this one a comin’ to em?” or is this just a sign of things to come? And please don’t get me started on Mayan prophecies, zombie satellites, thousands of dead birds falling out of the sky and fish floating to the surface in Arkansas…