Digital Christ

"Let he who is without sin press the first key," so (sort of) said the Archdiocese of Malta. In a concerted effort to respond to what the Church perceives as continuous attacks against it on the internet there shall now cometh the 'digital face of Christ'. Is there anything wrong in this? Absolutely not. Indeed the Church has realized that perhaps the most prominent form of media and communications today is the internet. Well, it is where those nasty liberal bloggers of the world unite...and take the Church to task.

But I think the ultimate mission the Church should undertake is in asking itself: why? Why are there growing voices of dissent? Why are people talking so openly about issues such as cohabitation, divorce and today even abortion? Most importantly, why does the Church perceive such issues as a threat to the collective good of society?

I guess that the answer to these questions which the Church has come up with was that its public voice (which includes church sermons, a radio station, a newspaper -including great sympathy from other independent newspapers-, magazines and/or leaflets, church schools, catechism, TV programs and interviews and a vast array of other things) was not effective. A lacuna exists, this being the internet, where public discussion is in full swing on a multitude of issues, wherein the Digital Christ must now penetrate.

To this day I cannot understand why the Church has to embark upon this crusade. Why it has to reinforce its hegemony, its dominant status, its will on what should be a free society. Why it is given Constitutional powers to teach society what is right and what is wrong and why it keeps treating us all like infants that need to be kept in place. The Church says that it is obliged to spread the Christian message. There is nothing wrong with that at all. But I also believe that it has a lot to do with political power which the Church has enjoyed for hundreds of years but is suddenly waning. It seems that religion for the Church is not primarily a personal endeavor which people choose to live by out of choice but a dominating social institution endowed with great political power. And that is where all the conflict begins, where the dissent grows and where the voice of freedom turns from whispers to loud reverberations.

People have every right to believe in a Creator. They have every right to believe that they were born in sin. They have every right to seek guidance and ask for forgiveness from such divine authority. Likewise. a collective body known as the Church has every right to exist, to teach and to council and to participate in society.

But people also have a right to believe they are born free, that they are free to shape their own morality and rules with which to live by and that the rules of today should not be imposed upon their children and their children's children.

My message to the Digital Christ is this: If you refuse to accept this and persists in believing that anybody who believes so is attacking it and destroying society then there is bound to be conflict. A secular society is not a threat to religion and the Church in any way. Because religion shouldn't be about political power but a personal way of living. On the other hand I can only envision a society based upon respect for one another irrespective of different beliefs or the lack of. A society whose people are truly liberated.

I'm not really one for cheesy romantic ideals but I think there is a lot of sense in stating that if you truly love something - you set it free.

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One Response to Digital Christ

Keith Grech said...

A secular society is not a threat to religion but it definitely is a threat to the Church (any Church really). The institution of the Church (of any Church) is all about political power. If one needs to have a visual image of how separate and distinct religion (in the sense of gods and beliefs) and wordly powers, one need only look at the history of the Holy Roman Empire.

If there is one thing that scares those in the frock (of whatever denomination) most, it is precisely a society whose people are truly liberated. In such a society, these people would have a very marginal, if any, role to play.

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