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The Internet Sells Your Prayers
New from me at First Things
Today I have a new post at First Things on a disturbing investigation into Silicon Valley’s monetization of people’s online prayer requests. Here’s an excerpt:
The selling of user data in a prayer app is a wonderfully concise illustration of what emerges victorious when e-commerce and piety collide. By contrast, the economic logic of a physical church is transparent: Parishioners give their own money to support the work of an institution whose ministers, affiliations, and activities are (or at least, should be) accessible to all. Healthy churches do not promise special blessings to donors, they proclaim the Giver of all good gifts and ask that believers give for the work of this proclamation. Digital apps that sell off the prayer requests of members are behaving much like prosperity gospel hucksters that promise divine blessing in exchange for unquestioning patronage.
Read the whole article here.