Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Sacrament of the BlackBerry

President Obama told ABC Nightline's Terry Moran that his personal BlackBerry, which he famously fought with the Secret Service to keep, has actually become a tool of keeping the faith during his first year in office.

"My Faith and Neighborhood Initiatives director, Joshua DuBois, he has a devotional that he sends to me on my BlackBerry every day," Obama said. "That's how I start my morning. You know, he's got a passage, Scripture, in some cases quotes from other faiths to reflect on."

Obama has been an infrequent attender at any church or chapel during his first year in office. Other Presidents have found ways to attend local congregations without disruption (among them, the Clintons were, perhaps, among the most frequent and easily fit it to Foundry United Methodist Church). It leaves you to wonder why the Obamas continue to engage in social outings (such as attending basketball games, going golfing or having dinner at local restaurants) while not attending church. But that is another issue...

What is amazing is that we see in Obama a growing trend among religious people today. First of all, they speak of faith without specifying content. Faith is like the force in Star Wars -- it has no name or dogma or liturgy... it is a generic and not a denominational thing... it is intensely personal and therefore oblivious to examination by others... you trust it as Obe Wan said to Luke as he went in for the kill on the Death Star... and it is green (the natural living energy of all things like the Avatar sub-theme)... If this is what faith has come to mean, maybe we Christians need to stop using this word...

Second is that the tool of this new religion is not a book of truths or prayers or liturgy but a BlackBerry, i. e. the internet and email and social networking media. The "sermon" of this new religion is the communicated thoughts or feelings of others or words from various holy books and holy people who have gotten fully in touch with themselves and their world. In such a church you do not have to worry about the sound of the cell phone going off -- the cell phone is the sacrament or means of this religion's grace...

And we thought that this might take another generation or so before it might impact people in such a way... and Obama is no Gen Z Digital Native either...


1 comment:

christl242 said...

Well, this confirms your thoughts, Pastor, at least in one aspect:

http://blog.beliefnet.com/deaconsbench/2010/01/us-air-force-creates-wiccan-worship-space.html

Christine