A few decades ago it was vicars on motorbikes. A few days ago we had a vicar on rollerblades – see Rolling in the aisles.
Now the flock are being told to tweet. For the uninitiated, that’s what you do on one of the newest of those social networking whatnots on the Interweb thing, Twitter. (We have Twitter updates in our sidebar, which also allow us to précis our last ten posts – handy, really.)
Anyway, I read on the BBC’s news website that a cardinal in Ireland is asking his flock to tweet a prayer.
“Make someone the gift of a prayer through text, Twitter or email every day,” says the head of the Roman Catholic Church in the Republic, Sean Brady.
But is the Lord going to be happy with a mere tweet? Aren’t we in danger of incurring his considerable wrath by dismissing his Word in a mere 140 characters?
Mind you, it opens up all kinds of possibilities, doesn’t it? Imagine if all the hot air religionists spout could be contained in just 140 characters.
On the Today programme, Thought for the Day could be performed in two seconds while anchor John Humphrys merely clears his throat for the next proper item.
Interviews with the obligatory churchmen at times of national mourning could be out of the way before you can reach for the TV remote.
“Well, Bishop Prong, how do you view today’s events?”
“Well, I'd just like to say that we in the church know that, in the goodness of his heart, God our merciful father, who moves in mysterious—”
“Thank you, Bishop. Finance news now, and . . .”
You can soon use up your 140 characters on Twitter, as anyone who’s used it will testify. I managed to squeeze the Lord’s Prayer into:
Our Dad, wot’s in Heaven, hallowed name, thy will be done, give us some bread today, forgive stuff, it’s your kingdom, Big Man, ever, amen.
And that’s without shortening words, and it includes my final full stop, and I have one character spare. Oh, I had to leave out the “lead us not into temptation bit”, but, hey, what’s left in life if you can’t succumb to a bit of temptation?