16 There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community. -- Proverbs 6:16-19
The only time most people hear the word "shame" in any setting these days is when someone tells them, "You don't have to be ashamed." Unfortunately, in a society full of reality TV shows, overhyped marketing, and millions of people competing for attention on the Internet, we could use more shame, not less. The fact of the matter is that shame can be a very healthy emotion if you've done something shameful. Shouldn't rapists feel shame? How about the Westboro Baptist Church members who've protested at funerals? What if you stole a poor kid's lunch and it was the only thing he had to eat that day? There are times when shame is very appropriate.
Unfortunately, in an interconnected world where every malcontent, misfit, and misanthrope on the planet can get together via the Internet, there is no perversion, sickness, or cruelty that human beings can do to each other that won't be heartily applauded in some dark corner of the web. Over a decade ago talented liberal humorist Zack Parsons (who would undoubtedly hate this column) wrote an extraordinary piece about how the net helps encourage shameful and weird behavior.