Much has been made lately of new technology — such as a Roman Missal iPad application — that helps spread the faith online. But a new Web filter apparently has an opposite goal in mind: Preventing the “violent, sexual and psychologically harmful material in many holy texts” from being seen by youngsters surfing the Web. 

According to its website, Godblock will allow parents to install software that screens websites for references to holy texts, religious figures and “religious propaganda.” Only if the sites are free of such pernicious “threats” does the filter allow the child to visit the site. After all, Godblock indicates, one wouldn’t want a child to be “indoctrinated into any religion before they are of the age to make such decisions.” 

However, if you attempt to download the software, you get a message that the software isn’t ready yet. Instead, it asks for your email address and name so you can be notified when it is. The site also solicits donations to help with the development of the software and sends visitors to a retail site where they can purchase Godblock merchandise, including a baby’s “onesie” that says, “I’m protected by Godblock!” (What a perfect baby shower gift for the atheist friend in your life.) 

The fact that you can’t download the software has led some news outlets, including Christianity Today and MSNBC, to suspect the site is a joke or a ploy to sell merchandise to hipsters. 

Let’s hope that’s the case.