Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Bibles and cell phones

I received the following in an e-mail. Normally when I get this kind of religious, touchy feely kind of thing, I have already seen it and I just delete or ignore it. This one got me to thinking, however. Here is the e-mail as I received it:

Wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phones?

What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?

What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?

What if we flipped through it several times a day?

What if we used it to retrieve messages from the text?

What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?

What if we gave it to kids as gifts?

What if we used it I case of emergency?

This is something to make you go, hmm.where is my Bible?

Oh, and one more thing. Unlike our cell phone, we don't have to worry about our Bible being disconnected. Because Jesus already paid the bill!

And no dropped calls!

Now mind you, I don’t consider myself to be a very religious person. I do consider myself spiritual, though. I was raised Catholic and some of the habits of that are still stuck in my brain. The above e-mail got me to thinking and led to the following:

Wonder what would happen if we treated our cell phones like we treat our bibles?

What if we interpreted the other person’s side of the conversation as it would best fit our needs?

What if we used the excuse of having different service providers as a reason to start wars because our provider was the one true provider?

What if we heard different conversations depending on what version of phone we were using?

What if we used contradicting features to fuel hatred and division and alienate others who don’t use their phone the same way?

What if we condemned people who choose to use other forms of communication as “Heathens” or “Uneducated” or “Uncivilized?”

What if we only used certain features of our phones when it was beneficial to us, or when others were around to see what loyal phone users we were?

What if we built extravagant buildings to use our cell phones in, but berated people who felt they could use their cell phones outside these buildings?

What if the people who were supposed to teach us to use our cell phones, were granted special privileges by the government and used people’s desire for the phones as a way to bilk them of their money.

Oh, and one more thing. Unlike our Bibles, we don’t have to worry about our cells phones working if we believe in them enough. They work because of scientific fact.

The truth is that a cell phone and a Bible (Or a Torah, or a Koran, etc.) are very similar. They are excellent tools. They can do a lot of good, or they can do harm, it all depends on who uses the tool and how. All cell phones do essentially the same thing; they provide a convenient way to communicate with others. All holy books and writings are the same, too. They give excellent examples of how to live a good life and interact with others. They teach us about how we came to be the people we are. Most holy books teach essentially the same things, live a good life and treat your fellow human beings with the dignity and respect that you would like to be treated with. But like cell phones, holy books are imperfect by the virtue of the fact that they have been fiddled with by mankind. The important thing to remember, it seems to me, is to use either object with respect for the potential results of our actions.

“I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
Mohandas Gandhi