Folks, I am a big fan of technology. I like gadgets and gizmo’s. I enjoy social media and the Internet. And I know I am not the only one. I think it would be safe to argue that even the big guy upstairs has a Facebook and Twitter account! But even if the Magic Man on the Mountain isn’t seeking followers on Twitter and Facebook, the Catholic Church is.
Recently, the Catholic Church has promised to give Indulgences in the form of time off from Purgatory for good behavior – or specifically behaviors like “following the Pope on Twitter” and “retweeting his tweets.” People this is revolutionary, now you don’t even have to go to church to seek repentance – you can just shoot a message to the Pope (so long as it is less than 140 characters) that asks him to forgive your late night orgy with those three dudes and that pasta salad (Don’t judge, the salad was sinful).
You see, Purgatory is that bad place that supposedly everyone goes to be purified. It’s like a detox center for dead people. In fact, the 29-day program they offer is so bad, that St. Augustine claimed, “it is the worst, most severe pain anyone can imagine in this life.” Okay, maybe Augie was being a bit melodramatic with that statement, after all, I have sat through a Barney and Friends marathon once because I couldn’t find the remote.
But, if Purgatory is even half as bad as Augie claims, then shouldn’t I follow Francis just to be safe? After all, I am following Domino’s Pizza just in case they offer ‘Twitter-only’ coupons. Besides, the selling of Indulgences isn’t anything new. The Catholic Church used to sell dead animal parts and pieces of soiled clothing to people all the time and claim it was an ancient artifact linked directly to the Christ and the Apostles. The Church also has a long history of making up new rules on earth that somehow apply in Heaven. That’s how tight the Pope is with the Big Guy! He can change the rules at a moment’s notice and apparently it is considered all good!
I mean, don’t you wish that worked in the real world? Imagine being charged with a crime and being able to tell the judge that you decided that society would function better if you were always naked, so you changed the statute that regulates public decency in your journal at home. Wouldn’t it be great if the court just shrugged its shoulders and said, “well, they made the changes at home, so, I guess it’s cool.”
This is not the only way to earn time off Indulgences though America! If you don’t have access to the Internet, you can always attend the upcoming World Youth Day in Brazil…of course this should be renamed World Youth week since it starts on the 23rd and doesn’t actually end until the 28th, but the Church still believes that the world was created in several literal days so you can’t expect them to have a clear grasp of time! Maybe this is why the Pope isn’t showing up until Wednesday which would be about “noon” of this “day” long event. Also I must add, if you don’t have access to the Internet, then I am pretty sure you won’t get to see this article that would have helped shave off a few minutes from your sentence of excruciating pain caused by being forced to watch Kardashian Reruns in hell.
By jumping on the social media train, the Church is showing that they are hip and cool. The next obvious step is to put in a Starbucks and gym at each Cathedral…oh wait, all that stand up, sit down, kneel stuff is like a workout already, so I guess all they really need is some overpriced coffee and free WiFi.
Also, several other churches have already jumped on the Internet band wagon, such as: ChristianHeritageChurch.com. Just like Basil Marceaux, they have already added the dot com to their actual name. I don’t see the Pope doing that! Getting on Twitter is just the Church’s attempt to play catch-up with the rest of Christianity! After all, even the Book of Mormon is available as an online PDF complete with downloadable magic underwear!
Besides, the idea of retweeting the Pope and earning an Indulgence is no crazier than seeking forgiveness by confessing your lusty nature to an unmarried man while the two of you are inside of what looks like a broom closet. At least through Twitter you can maintain some sense of personal space.
Folks, I wholeheartedly support this move by the Church to expand its membership because after all, everyone knows that Jesus said “Follow me…to Instagram.”