The popular video-sharing Web site YouTube.com is known for allowing its users to post a wide range of content -- Marshall McLuhan meets Andy Warhol meets TV's Funniest Home Videos. The narcissism is its raison d'etre; the site's motto is, after all, "Broadcast Yourself."
A new Christian Web site, however, has taken the idea behind YouTube and given it a religious makeover. GodTube.com allows members to upload Christian videos, blog with other users, and encourages them to "Broadcast HIM."
So far, users have taken the motto to heart in a variety of ways. There are music parodies like "Baby Got Book," a religious remix of Sir Mix-A-Lot's hit 1992 rap song, "Baby Got Back." GodTube user Jaser7 flips the popular ode to the female posterior into a humorous devotion to big Bibles:
I like big Bibles and I cannot lie
You Christian brothers can't deny
that when a girl walks in with a K-J-V
and a bookmark in Proverbs you get stoked
Got her name engraved
so you know this girl is saved
Other videos include parodies of the popular Mac versus PC commercials, including one which debates the true meaning of Easter by pitting Jesus (the Mac character) against the Easter bunny (the PC).
After hearing the Easter bunny boast about the various treats he offers for the holiday, the Jesus character kindly interrupts him.
"Well, Easter's actually the day when my church celebrates when I rose from the dead and gave everyone who puts their trust in me eternal life," says Jesus. The bunny responds by holding out his hand filled with candy and says, "I got Peeps."
Chris Wyatt, the CEO and co-founder of GodTube, told ABC News that "the Web site hasn't even launched" -- it's set to be born on May 1 -- "and we're already the number one Christian Web site in the world."
Wyatt, in his second semester at Dallas Theological Seminary and a former CBS News producer, said, "What you're looking at here is the new face of Christianity. Millions of Christians out there -- tens of millions of them that age anywhere from 20 to 40 -- that are out there already on the Internet, and GodTube really supplies a unique place where they can get together, where they can exchange ideas and spread the Gospel worldwide. And nothing like that exists right now."
The company censors contributions all the time, Wyatt said. "As you can imagine, we get a lot of people uploading objectionable material. We do have to sort through that, unlike a lot of the other video-sharing sites. Day by day, we have a bank of theologians, certainly, that's headed up by a doctor friend of mine who's a theologian himself, and we look at every clip."
"We didn't actually make the site for Christians," Wyatt said, but for nonbelievers, who he says he knows are watching. "We get e-mails every day. And that really is the whole point. It's to spread the gospel to those who have not heard it."
Not all of the content is fun and games, of course. Some users discuss abortion, and others post the inflammatory rhetoric of fundamentalist Muslims.
"Of course, it's the first generation of content, that funny video that you get at the office or see at home that attracts you to GodTube, and once you get there you will absolutely see that there is some substance there," Wyatt said. "But while those fun clips are something to look at, it's really the meat, the subject matter, that's keeping their attention."
However, most of GodTube's most popular offerings aim more to amuse than to provoke. "Dancing With the Stars" by Pastor Al is a GodTube fan favorite. In the video, Pastor Al and the Easter bunny pair up to compete in a parodied version of the popular television contest.