Saturday, 23 January 2010

Here come the God Blogs.

The Pope has instructed priests to blog. Soon you'll be able to fall asleep in front of your onscreen sermon instead of having to get up early on Sunday and trek to church to do it.

Some religious people already blog. They don't sermonise (at least, the ones I visit don't, but that could be a self-fulfilling observation). They write about current events from the perspective of someone with a religion. Different viewpoints are interesting so make the most of them before the government shut us all down in the name of social homogenisation.

The Pope seems to have taken his cue from Labour's methods. He has instructed the priests in how they should blog. That, Mr. Pope, isn't going to work. You'll get blogs filled with Bible quotes which those who are Christian already know about and which those who are not won't care to read. If your priests make no attempt to become 'media stars' as you put it, then nobody will know those blogs exist - other than the already converted - and preaching to the converted isn't particularly helpful.

You can't preach to the heathens through a blog. We terrible barbarians simply won't read it.

If you asked me to name a Christian priest, well, there's Mr. Pope of course, and that one who acts like Mr. Bean and has a similar name to the comedian who plays him, but one priest I can name is Rev. Lionel Fanthorpe. I've never heard him give a sermon but he's an interesting individual and I'd listen to what he has to say. It's too late to convert me to religion - I'm far too old and cynical - but if you want to get people to listen, simply transferring 'the message' from the church the unbeliever doesn't visit to a blog they won't visit isn't any use.

Mr. Pope has it the wrong way round. You can't instruct someone to blog. That makes it a chore when it should be a hobby. You can't tell anyone how to blog or what to blog about. That makes it into an online parish newspaper which only those who already believe what you're saying will read. That's what is wrong with Labour's central-office approach to the internet. The interesting Labour bloggers are those who are not under central control, who blog as and when the mood takes them and about whatever they like. The Bloggers with a Budget are uniformly dull, allow no dissent from their message and are preaching to the converted.

The blogs Mr. Pope wants are those centrally-controlled blogs. They'll get a ticking off if they stray from the message, if they start to become too popular or if they allow heathens to hijack the comment threads. They will be sermons to sleep through.

No, Mr. Pope, you have it wrong. Allow your priests to blog. Don't order them to do it. Allow the interesting ones to become popular. Don't control them. Let them discuss devils and demons and witchcraft and ghosts and things that go bump in the night. That's the stuff we heathens are fascinated by and that's what will bring the heathens to your door.

You might only get one convert out of a hundred regular priestly blogs but hey, blogging is free so your outlay is zero.

If you control the blogs they'll never see a heathen to convert.


John R said...

You say that "the Pope seems to have taken his cue from Labour's methods". Surely its the other way round?

The Labour movement had a strong base in the Methodist Church when it was forming. Nowadays I suspect their centralised way of trying to direct their members every activity flows directly from the way the parish priest used to tell his flock what to believe, how to behave, who to vote for etc.

Leg-iron said...

I hadn't thought of it that way. Good point.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Leg-Iron, I suspect that John R read and understood your seminal post on witchfinders!

Amusing Bunni said...

Won't that cut into their time spent abusing children, stealing money, living high on the hog from donations, defaming, and vilifying people who point this out and expose them? Just wondering ;-)?

Stewart Cowan said...

Non-believers are fascinated by religion and the possibility that the supernatural is real.

Creationism seems to be a major interest to many people, whether believers in it or not.

You probably haven't heard of Gledhill’s Law - that's because I've just made it up, but the definition is this:

Gledhill’s Law states that every thread where Creationism is even barely mentioned ends up with that as the topic.

Of course, if nobody else mentions Creationism on this thread then I have a problem already...

Anonymous said...

Stewart Cowan,

//Non-believers are fascinated by religion and the possibility that the supernatural is real.//

They are also fascinated by serial killers and murderers - hence the plethora of those in films and on television.

Does not mean that people want to go out killing people though.

Religion is a curiosity, like astrology and other such supernatural nonsense. I would go as far as saying that the fascination with religion stems from a deep seated (and in my view, entirely justified) fear of it.

Stewart Cowan said...

Oh, indigomyth, stop stalking me...

It's all because I don't want homosexuality promoted in the classroom, isn't it? Well that is my opinion, so you'd better just get used to it.

Little Black Sambo said...

"Religion is a curiosity, like astrology and other such supernatural nonsense."
Thank you, Indigomyth. Now we know.

opinions powered by