Sunday, October 28, 2007

Second Faith: Morning Star Christian Playground

Near my Grey Corner property in Second Life is an area called "Morning Star Christian Playground." I had ventured over once, when I first noticed the spinning sign on the horizon, finding a small area with a bit of literature here and there, nothing spectacular. I went back for another visit this weekend and found that it had grown considerably since last time.

My attention was drawn first to the large, four story building.
At the base of the building were some signs depicting literature which I thought resembled the pamphlets usually distributed by the Jehovah's Witness groups.

To the right there was an elevator of sorts, it didn't function but gave out landmarks for teleporting to each of the four floors. The top floor, "the gallery," was a collection of artwork, much like what you see advertised by the Franklin Mint. The second and third floors were completely empty. It seemed like such a waste of valuable space, I'd love to know what they plan on putting there.

The center of the property was another large open space, bordered on the left by shop kiosks for rent and a club on the right. I walked around the shops and came to some startling conclusions. First, apparently disco wear is the preferred dress for church in Second Life:

I'm not sure if the Southern Baptist minister who pastored the church I grew up in would have approved, but then times have changed since then.

Other shops sold faith inspired jewelry, artwork and clothing. From the look of the avatars in the pictures selling the clothing, it can be assumed that ginormous hooters are also church approved.

Eventually I made my way over to the club area with it's neon signs and flashing lights. I had conflicting emotions by finding five campers there, three on dance pads, one playing pinball and one pushing a janitor's cart. I mean, should campers be employed on Sunday on church property? Just askin'...

While there I saw one live avatar, Teo. I asked Teo if he owned the property, he said he didn't but that he visited there often. Right off the bat he asked me if I had questions about God. I told him I was comfortable with my own faith, but I think he figured he had a live one and suddenly I was being interrogated about what I believed and it was implied in twenty different ways that I was just plain wrong and .. bless his heart.. Teo knew all the answers.

Some of the items sold in the shops, struck me as a little creepy and believe me, I have a high threshold for creepiness. The dance area, with it's giant neon Jesus sign overhead and assortment of line dances was empty each time I visited. Other than Teo, I didn't encounter anyone else there, just the campers. One of them did message me as she left, telling me I needed to im the owner. I got the impression she wasn't thrilled with the conversation Teo and I were having.

There were also a few free SL bibles around. I don't know if they were versions of the real thing or rewritten for the virtual world and I decided that I didn't need to find out.

I'm not sure what the Morning Star Christian Playground is trying to accomplish. When I asked what denomination they were, Teo informed me that there was none, but the signs on the large building at the head of the property were provided by the "SES" or Southern Evangelical Seminary.

Are they looking for new ministers in Second Life? One has to wonder.

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