Many years ago, a Catholic roommate of mine tried to get me to give up chocolate for Lent. I retaliated by insisting that he gives up beer for Passover. If only we had Facebook then. Throughout California, churches are reporting that more and more parishioners are giving up Facebook during these forty days of sacrifice. Forget about fasting. Forget about meat. Foregoing Facebook is the new religious rage this Lent.

“Facebook is huge!” says Dan Hues, associate pastor the Redeemer Church in Fresno. “It’s blown up to be almost ubiquitous. It’s almost compulsive. That’s why it makes sense to give it up for Lent.” Note that Hues is actually a Lutheran, a member of the church that gave up on celibacy. There are sacrifices and there are sacrifices, it seems.

In fact, some Catholics take a more relaxed attitude. Lisa Hendey, for example, runs a website for Catholic mothers. She will not be giving up Facebook entirely, but simply cutting back.

What about the Facebook founders? Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, and Eduardo Saverin are all Jewish, so Lent doesn’t really pose a problem for them. On the other hand, the Winklevoss twins may want to tone it down a notch for the next few weeks.
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