As the Religion Editor at The Huffington Post, I often ask audiences: "How many of you use the Internet in your religious practice?" Often people keep their hand down, surprised anyone would sully their religious practice with the web. Then I ask how many of them have ever looked up a Bible passage, a prayer, researched a religious figure or watched a guided meditation or prayer — all of the hands go up.
Religion is one of the hottest areas of the Internet because religion is one of the most intense and contested arenas of human relations and ideas. There are many people who are taking information from the Internet that is shaping their religious thought and perception. But all that glitters on the Internet is not gold. The web has only the ethics that people bring to it and provides the perfect vehicle for those who wish to spread misinformation, ridicule, provoke or incite people of a different culture or belief. Take one example: Right now if you type in Jew into the Google search, an Aryan nation site comes up on the first page.