"If we confess our sins he is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" - 1 John 1:9
Okay, this blows my mind. It's a site (mysecret.tv) where people can post their sinful confessions online, complete with it's own sin tag cloud, commenting system, and online community. The site is good looking and has a dark, dirty, noir look and feel which compliment its voyeuristic nature and serious tone. It's the most controversial thing I've seen in awhile.
I'm not quite sure what to think about it. On one hand, the small-town-girl-raised-in-a-Baptist-church part of me insists it's a little perverse and strange to post your sins on a website. Sins are supposed to be something private shared between a person and their God, right? On the other hand I think it's sort of brilliant. Web 2.0 meets religion. The designer/developer in me is impressed to see something so innovative and sharp looking. Hey, did I mention the tag cloud? There's even an RSS feed. Heck, the only thing missing are sin widgets for blogs.
Although the site claims that it is not meant to be voyeuristic, they do make the secret confessions easily accessible (remember the tag cloud?) for viewing. Reading through them is mesmerizing. It's like a car crash. You can't look away.
It's possible you might gain comfort from posting or from reading about people with similar problems (which is probably the site's intended goal). Confession is cathartic, right? It's good for the soul and all that. Then again, people do some awful things. After browsing some of the entries, you might feel a little disturbed. It's enough to make a person wonder, if there is a God, how can he stand to know all of the terrible things people do to each other? I sure wouldn't want his job.
One thing is certain, the internet is impacting social interaction in ways no one could have ever predicted. It makes you wonder, given that impact, what organized religion will look like 10 years from now.
MySecret.tv isn't the only site providing online confessions. Here are links to other popular, confession related websites.
A virtual confessional for catholics. Don't worry, they won't post your sins online and genuflecting is optional.
I've Screwed Up
Best name EVER. A hipster site obviously targeting a younger demographic of sinners.
The Experience Project
Are you godless but still feel bad about the stuff you've done? That's ok. There's a site for you, too. Confess. Go ahead.
Ultimately, the life-changing potential and effectiveness of these sites is really anyone's guess. Do they genuinely help? Or do they just make people who've done bad things feel better about the bad things they've done? I don't know. Tell me what you think.
Unsure about your sins? Don't fret. Just refer to the The Whole Sin Catalog.