Posted by: smstrouse | April 26, 2014

Net Neutrality on the Divine Web


images-2So we may soon have to pay extra for better service on the Internet. The Federal Communications Commission is hoping to implement a plan that would offer some websites the ability to provide faster traffic. Naturally this ‘preferential option’ will cost extra, driving up the cost for users down the line.  This flies in the face of the principle of Net neutrality, which holds that service providers should treat all data on the Net equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, etc.  images

Sounds like the Internet version of “All are welcome here!

I see this attempt to whittle away equal access to information and expression as a perfect example of the difference between the way of the world and the way of the Basileia tou Theou (usually translated as Kingdom of God or, more recently, Realm of God to avoid the male language, but I prefer John Cobb’s Commonwealth of God, in resistance to hierarchical and imperial language).

WebDrops In the Commonwealth of God, we exist as equals in interconnected and interdependent relationships. We are in a web of life, which includes all of Creation, not just humans, where the needs of all are taken into consideration. This is the Divine Web, where there is no hierarchical power and privilege, where there is neutrality, not in the sense of being disinterested or disengaged, but of being impartial, unbiased and equitable.

Does the church always fulfill this ideal? Nope. But is this the ideal to which we should attain? Oh, yes!

For those of us who choose to hang in with the church as a way to live into the Basileia tou Theou, we strive to define what it means to be ‘spiritual and religious.’ As far as I’m concerned, net neutrality on the Divine web is a primary characteristic – right up there with Divine Love. If either a spirituality or a religion professes anything different, then it’s not for me.

The church will never be perfect; it will often fail to live up to Jesus’ vision of the Basileia tou Theou. But as long as this is the vision for which we live and work, then count me in. We have a lot of work to do to counteract those who will always strive for their vision of power and privilege for a few. And the work is best done – together.




  1. So, let churches set up fast-speed cyber cafes in their churches, open to all who respect the rules of engagement on church property.


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