Catholic schism over mobile icons
Virtual saints spark litany of complaints
A new service is about to launch in Italy offering downloadable images of saints for display on mobile phone screens, to the annoyance of some in the Italian church who feel that technology has no part to play in reinforcing faith.
The Guardian newspaper quotes the bishop of Adria-Rovigo, on Lucio Soravito, who describes the service as a "dreadful idea that has nothing to do with the faith". But Father Antonio Mazzi, who runs a youth-oriented NGO, praises the service as a "modern way to use text messaging to get a religious message through to the young" – though the good Father seems to have trouble distinguishing between text messages and pictures of saints.
Offering "Holy protection always with you on your mobile" for €3 a pop isn't really a new idea - nor is Catholicism the only religion to see its message conveyed using the latest mobile technology.
Youngsters using verses of the Koran as ringtones angered Muslim clerics last year, who argued that interrupting the verse by answering the call was disrespectful to the text and dangerously close to entertainment.
A more comprehensive range of religions, and religious content, is available from MyFaith who offer a range of avatars covering all the popular religions and will deliver wallpaper, devotional messages and notification of religious holidays all for $2.99 a month.
The Santi Protettori service launches on Friday, with a TV campaign, but won't be available outside Italy for the moment at least. ®
Anyone who wastes their time with primitive superstitions deserves everything they get.
That's what we Aries types think, anyhow.
I know... coat/door.
Business is business
religion is primarily a business.
so it always was, so it always will be.
religion sells warm-fuzzies, righteousness, guilt, power, and the excuse to brutalize and/or kill those who do not believe EXACTLY as you do (according to the methodology of your particular church, or other faith-based murder-license-granting institution). there are some other accessories (processions, holidays, outfits, facilities, hatreds, etc.), that vary by cult.
in the US, religion is a trillion-dollar, tax-free business.
if a church is also a state (see GW Bush & Gang), all the better, as it makes for a bigger (also more righteous and more deadly) business. a church that is a state has the special ability to mount Crusades (this is armed robbery writ large, see below for references).
for more historical examples (a non-exhaustive list), see:
-the Holy Inquisition
-the Salem Witch Trials
-the Divine Right of Kings
-abortion clinic bombers
-Red Army Faction (ideology as religion)
-Baader-Meinhof Gang (same as previous)
-the Cultural Revolution (and again)
-Ancient Rome ("Jews vs. Lions")
-"The 300" (Xerxes was a God-Emperor)
-Ancient Egypt (the Pharaohs were considered semi-divine)
-Sunni vs. Shi'a (vs. New Crusaders)
or any other 2-to-5-way matches by Christians vs. Muslims vs. Jews vs. heathens vs. "unbelievers" throughout recorded human existence.
not old technology
but who's surprised its taken the church this long to pick up on it. I mean it took them 300 years to admit that the Earth is not the centre of the universe...