I have been a proponent of using social media to get our message across. Using our web site, email lists, and Facebook has been a great way to spread the word about our activities and spreading the Gospel. We have been able to tout our successes, spread the word about upcoming events, and brag about our accomplishments. Using social media has enabled us to give a justified pat on the back to those members who, otherwise, might not have the recognition they so much deserve. No matter what your feelings are about the advent of computers, social media is here to stay and has to be integrated into the way we communicate or we will suffer the consequences of being passed by.
That said, there is also a darker side to social media which we, as an Order and as a Council, must not ignore. When we invite Knights into our online communities, we share our ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’. These opinions are usually shared with our ‘friends’ on their online pages. We don’t know who are watching when we click “Like”. I found this out the hard way. I used to make it a practice to ‘friend’ Knights because we are Knights. Unfortunately, in recent months, I have had to ‘unfriend’ Brother Knights because what they were sharing on my page was inappropriate to the audience that routinely views my page.
Imagine my surprise when my wife told me that something shared by a Brother Knight that comes up on my News Feed turned out to be soft porn and was seen by my eleven year old granddaughter! Since that day, I or my wife have intercepted obscene quotes and images which have definitely not been, either respectful of women, young girls, or family friendly.
According to a recent article on Fathers For Good (http://www.fathersforgood.org/ffg/en/news/pornography/special.html)
As I see it, all pornography is addictive; and from a “spiritual perspective” viewing any type of pornography is a sin. Both soft and hardcore pornography also portray women as sex objects.
Brother Knights, once we make the choice to be Knighted, we have made a choice to stand out in a crowd. I, as much as anyone, know that we are sinners. However, we are Catholic Men who have chosen to support the Church. We have held ourselves up as Knights of Columbus, we have become “These men they call ‘Knights’”. What does it do to the impression a young child has when they see that a Knight shares something on their father’s or grandfather’s Facebook page something that is contrary to what the Church teaches? By it being shared on their parent’s page, doesn’t that give the impression that a fellow Knight also supports what has been “liked”?
I implore my Brother Knights, hold yourself above reproach. If you wouldn’t want that image to be your daughter or granddaughter, it isn’t that funny. We are all sinners, we have our crosses to bear and have needed our brothers to help us bear them, through prayer and assistance. We are, however, on the same road to Sainthood.
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