A MinD in MoTown


I’m a textaholic and I’m not afraid to admit it.

“No meat on Fridays” is a norm for anyone who practices or even simply grew up with the Catholic faith. But I’m thinking the church is taking Lenten sacrifices to the extreme with this one: “Catholics are urged to give up texting for Lent” via the AP.

That’s right folks, the bishops and cardinals over in Italy are trying to persuade Catholics into a weekly “no SMS day” so people can refocus on the church, life without technology and apparently some conflicts in the Congo. They want followers to forego modern appliances – not just cell phones, but TV, IPods, computers, etc. – because the church feels a “wariness” toward new media and the dangers those avenues could potentially unfold (i.e. pornography, less “real life” social interaction and so on).

Is it just me or are they pushing the envelope a little far this time? Let me know what you think (after you click and read the damn article, ha)!

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11 Comments so far
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Interesting. I think it could be a good thing. Of course this is a personal decision, but I think that the whole point of Lent is to sacrifice something in your life, in hopes of replacing that sacrifice with God. Like myself, I am addicted to my Crackberry and Facebook and Twitter and God knows what else. I’d imagine it’d be a good test for me to try to abstain from any of those things. As a result, I’d probably rely on God more.

Of course, this is a personal decision. My roommate gave up Facebook this year, while I decided to read a 40 day prayer book this year. One year I gave up asking people for advice for Lent. I think it really depends on the person and what he/she would benefit from giving up.

I am not Catholic, so I do not have any ill feelings towards the religion. I do understand why ex-Catholics do, however.

I agree that it feels like a personal decision. I think it’s about sacrificing something you love, something important to you, and while technology seems nearly vital for most of us, I don’t know if that really would feel the same, for me at least.

Comment by Akirah

Actually, the Catholic Church, especially under Pope Benedict (surprise? so am I), are early adopters of technology. The Vatican’s YouTube channel was registered back in 2005. Solar panels are being installed on its buildings (http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/711/83/). The Vatican was the first country that is carbon neutral (minus airline flights) in the world (http://www.theage.com.au/news/business/vatican-goes-carbonneutral/2007/09/17/1189881433640.html).

I think the Church is more focusing on stop being so impersonal and dealing with more people contact this Lent. That’s just my thought

I’ve heard a lot about their use of technology within the last few years and their trials at reaching out into new media. But, at the same time, the church remains wary of things like the Internet because they feel it detracts from personal relationships and a sinless – or at least less sinful – life. It makes sense, yet to me, it seems a bit extreme to ask of people especially in a world so relient on technology.

Comment by phampants

I think the concept is a good one, especially for Lent, but the ideas in the article just seemed really out of touch. Computers, ipods, texting, etc. can be distracting, but they’re not necessarily bad and I always hate when people act like relationships you build online are always secondary to those you have in person.

Agreed! Just because I met a friend through Fbook or remain in contact via the Web doesn’t mean those relationships are any lesser than ones with people I regularly see. Perhaps it’s different, but it’s no less important or meaningful.

Comment by Ashley

No way! you cant make me read the article!!!! I refuse.

Naturally.

Comment by Matt

I think the concept itself is OK, but I think it should be something that someone wants to do and not because anyone is telling me to.

Very true. It needs to be a personal sacrifice, not necessarily a sacrifice the church thinks is needed.

Comment by Cee

I’m not a catholic or a christian in general so I haven’t heard about this. I do however, think it’s interesting and may stir up tons of reactions. It depends on how people take the meanings, I guess.

I was quite curious to see what others thought, especially those who aren’t Catholic since Lenten differences are obvious between Catholicism and other forms of Christianity.

Comment by andhari

I gave up caffeine this year. College makes giving up technology just a mite impractical.

Could I give up just texting? Easily. (A post of its own in the near future) But I would think that your Lent sacrifice would mean more if it was one you came up with and weren’t encouraged to do.

I am also somewhat amazed that the Vatican has a Youtube channel. Awesome.

My job makes foregoing technology impractical. How can I be a detached reporter? And living hundreds of miles from the majority of friends and my whole family, my cell phone is my life line.

Comment by Kendall

I hadn’t heard this, but I’m not totally surprised. Really, I’m entertained! 😛

Entertained? That’s an interesting choice of words. Why’s that? I’m curious.

Comment by Angela

I’m waay too attached to my tech toys to ever let them go. As phampants mentioned above, this new pope is actually embracing technology. He delivers weekly devotional text messages…tell me a text messaging pope isn’t a cool thought!
“OMG, LOL! WWJD? L8R”

Ha, are those texts $1.99 each, too? Help contribute toward the Catholic church and the Vatican through their own SMS service? It’s possible…

Comment by omegaradium

give up texting? haha. i’d sooner give up the use of my hands

I like the way you think.

Comment by splendidmishap

Welcome to the 21st century..

Exactly.

Comment by hautepocket




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