When Google Doesn't Meet Your Religious Standards

Surfers who are concerned about being potentially morally and spiritually contaminated by Google’s search results now have some “holier” alternatives. NPR recently wrote about several alternative search engines that cater to specific religious groups:

In a world where Google has put every bit of information at our fingertips, some people are now demanding less information when they surf the Internet.

Some Jews, Muslims and Christians are abandoning Yahoo and Google and turning to search engines with results that meet their religious standards.

Shea Houdmann runs SeekFind, a Colorado Springs-based Christian search engine that only returns results from websites that are consistent with the Bible. He says SeekFind is designed “to promote what we believe to be biblical truth” and excludes sites that don’t meet that standard.

Houdmann says a search on his site would not turn up pornography. If you search “gay marriage,” you would get results that argue against gay marriage. And if you type in “Democratic Party,” your first search result is a site on Marxism.

Religious alternatives to search engines like Google are, of course, not unique when it comes to religion-friendly websites and web applications, nor are they new.

Conservapedia, a conservative alternative to Wikipedia that made headlines last year when they announced the “Conservative Bible Project”, launched in November 2006. Christian Chirp, a Christian alternative to Twitter, has been around since November 2009. And finally, GodTube (now part of Tangle.com) — “a video sharing platform offering online Christian videos with faith-based, family friendly content” — launched in 2007. And those are just Christian alternatives.

Earlier in 2010, Pakistani developers launched MillatFacebook, a Muslim alternative to Facebook, to protest Facebook’s refusal to remove a page advocating “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”.

About Jason Morehead

Jason Morehead lives in the lovely state of Nebraska with his wife, three children, zero pets, and a large collection of CDs, DVDs, books, and video games. He's a fan of Arcade Fire and Arvo Pärt, Jackie Chan and Andrei Tarkovsky, "Doctor Who" and "Community," and C.S. Lewis and Haruki Murakami. He's also a web development geek, which pays the bills — and buys new music and movies. Twitter: @jasonopus. Web: http://opus.fm.

  • http://www.pofgblog.com Joseph

    This kind of stuff absolutely dumbfounds me… It’s like our dominant mindset is “Hmmm… I don’t like this, so I’ll just shut myself off completely to it and anyone who has ever said anything else I don’t like.”

    Unbelievable…

  • http://www.christandpopculture.com/ Richard Clark

    Interestingly, if you search for “Christ and Pop Culture”, you won’t be bothered with our unbiblical site, but you will find an article in which one of our articles on twilight is cited.

  • http://www.pofgblog.com Joseph

    I just find it interesting that seekfind.org seems to equate “Christian” with “conservative Republican”, even on issues not addressed in scripture at all. Good luck finding a search result for ‘global warming’ that admits the possibility that human beings are accelerating it.

    *Full disclosure: I don’t believe that humans are, in fact, accelerating global warming but the possibility still exists, and if credible evidence can be found, then I am open to it. Unlike seekfind.org, apparently…

  • http://opus.fm/ Jason Morehead

    If you really want your mind blown, spend some time going through the aforementioned Conservative Bible Project.

  • matt

    My initial reaction is, like many of you, “wow”. Aren’t we supposed to be Aliens in a strange land and not Aliens in an Alien Bubble? And my inclination is to want to separate myself from those type of people because I believe they do harm to the body and reputation of Christ.

    But I think that does just as much harm as it does good. When us “normal christians” write off the “crazy christians”, aren’t we reinforcing divisions in the body of Christ? I make fun of Kirk Cameron movies just as much as the next hipster, but do we not have a responsibility to help bring about unity in the body of Christ?

    I realize I’m kind of on a soap box here, but I would like to see more discussion along these lines. I have several christian friends whose response to “crazy christians” is to leave church in the dust.

  • matt

    I almost forgot—”Christian Chirp”?!?1? really??? That’s hilarious.

  • Trevor

    Citing Conservapedia as an actual alternative to Wikipedia really undermines your point.


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