Call it Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, or Shrove Tuesday--today is when Christians traditionally get the reveling out of their systems before the austere 40-day period of Lent begins. In preparation for the Lenten custom of sacrifice, a number of voices across the Web have pledged to give up a range of vices--from obsessively monitoring their Twitter followers to waking up before dawn.
- Numbers Beliefnet blogger Therese J. Borchard says she plans to take a break from all ranking systems, from her bathroom scale to her number of Twitter followers.
All the ratings in my life are starting to distract me from my mission: to try to promote peace and hope in this world as best I can. The measuring sticks surrounding me are essentially building a prison in which evaluation after evaluation tell me if I'm worth anything.
- iPods British church leaders are urging their flocks to try a "Carbon Fast," when they give up television, cell phones, iPods, and other forms of technology. The Right Reverend John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford, England, compares the carbon fast to a more traditional Lenten sacrifice: "Giving up chocolate is a symbol of that but giving up technology is a more serious way of looking at the issues that face us as a global community."
- Nothing? The Guardian questions whether it's worth giving up anything for Lent. "Does suffering really offer spiritual dividends, or is the emphasis on it in Christianity (and many other traditions) something equivalent to a psychological flaw writ large?" the British newspaper asks. On the paper's Web site, technology blogger Mercedes Bunz scoffs at the Church of England's call for a technology fast by recommending "a feast of iPhone apps" for readers to download.
- Early mornings The Hotline also takes a humorous approach toward the 40-day period of sacrifice, leading into its morning news roundup with the following announcement: "Good Tuesday morning, and happy Mardi Gras. We're giving up waking up early for Lent."