by mr dan
Most of us do it. Some do it every single day, others once in a while. There’s hardly anyone who’s never done it even once.
Some people want the whole world to know, while others do it privately and hope no one in their life ever finds out. Some only share it with people they trust. Some seek out strangers on the internet to get feedback on how well they do it.
People used to be so uptight that you were weird if you did it. Now you’re weird if you don’t.
I’m even doing it right now.
These days, even the Pope seems to be changing his position on it.
After years of lagging in the twelfth century, the Vatican is dipping a toe into the twenty-first. Pope Benedict XVI is addressing his vast congregation and encouraging them to blog. Yes, blogging is how the church will reverse its sinking numbers by reaching the Web’s expansive audience of people who have never heard of God. In his message for the 44th World Communications Day (which will be delivered in May but was posted on the Web this week, as if to punctuate how tech-savvy they really are), His Holiness calls on priests to embrace the Internet in order to convert new believers.
With the Gospels in our hands and in our hearts, we must reaffirm the need to continue preparing ways that lead to the Word of God, while being at the same time constantly attentive to those who continue to seek; indeed, we should encourage their seeking as a first step of evangelization. A pastoral presence in the world of digital communications, precisely because it brings us into contact with the followers of other religions, non-believers and people of every culture, requires sensitivity to those who do not believe, the disheartened and those who have a deep, unarticulated desire for enduring truth and the absolute. Just as the prophet Isaiah envisioned a house of prayer for all peoples, can we not see the web as also offering a space — like the “Court of the Gentiles” of the Temple of Jerusalem — for those who have not yet come to know God?
The Pope also quoted from the letter of the Apostle Paul to the Romans,
The Scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame … everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can people preach unless they are sent?
Indeed, we atheists should rejoice that the Pope has instructed his flock to lead our path out of loneliness and despair. Most of us aren’t strong enough to lift those heavy bibles, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses have never been able to reach us due to our frustrating ineptitude with deadbolt locks. I’ve heard there are plenty of religious people on the Internets, but I’ve never been able to find them. So until now, the message of the Catholic Church had never been able to reach the thick-headed, nonbelieving heathens. And so we continue to wear poly-cotton blends and have enjoyable sex (sometimes even at the same time), never knowing the severity of our sins.
Honestly, Ben…every priest who is smart enough to turn on a computer already has a blog. The religious community is a few centuries behind in a lot of ways, but technology is not one. There are forums, groups on Facebook and MySpace, YouTube channels, Kirk Cameron. If you want scriptures or prayers sent to you every day, there’s an app for that. There are television networks and radio stations, terrestrial and satellite, devoted to every stripe of every religion. Chances are even your local church probably has its own embarrassingly amateurish website that misspells “Revelation” at least once. The religious community may not be great at using the Internet — I dare say our side does it much better — but they are hardly a stranger to it.
It’s never been a secret that the Catholic Church is out of touch with most of the rest of the world. But how many times do we have to see them demonstrate how clueless they are about other Christians and even lay Catholics before it’s just not funny anymore?
And furthermore, what happens when the Pope gets ahold of all those annoying, trendy internet memes?
And Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” And they replied, “Om nom nom nom nom.”
The Caananites totally got pwned at the Battle of Jericho.
Jesus doesn’t walk on water, he walks on Chuck Norris.
Song of Solomon, Chapter 1, Verse 1 (NSFW).
All your basilica are belong to us.
This is going to be worse than when your mom joined Facebook.
mr dan is the vice president of Connecticut Valley Atheists. The views expressed in this posting are his own and do not necessarily represent those of Connecticut Valley Atheists or its individual members.