I absolutely adore the idea of a tweeting Pope.
Even more than that, however, I love the odd juxtaposition of his Twitter bio: “Welcome to the official Twitter page of His Holiness”. You have to admire a magic-promoting entity using technology.
And let’s not argue the fine points of the term “magic” as it applies to religion. If you are religious, you accept magic as par for the course, regardless of what wording you use. I don’t apply the term “magic” here in a disrespectful manner. I’m just stating an obvious fact — using Twitter to bring God et. al to the masses, 140 characters at a time, is fucking hilarious. And I think Jesus would agree. Well, Buddy Jesus would agree, at any rate. He’s pretty god damn hip.
What does a tweeting Pope have to say?
Turns out, it’s all God, all the time. One twitster, Sue Lappeman, recently quipped,
I’m unfollowing The Pope @pontifex All he tweets about is religion.
— Sue Lappeman (@sueGCB) January 2, 2013
Sue is right. The only tweets, for pages and pages and pages, are Bible based. I don’t know that I specifically have a “problem” with that, because — Dude, it’s the fucking Pope, what else did you expect? — but it is kind of boring. I definitely take her point. It might be nice to see some kind of personality behind the pages. Otherwise, what’s the point? I can flip through my own copy of the Bible, shut my eyes, and pick out random passages all by my little self.
And YES, I do own a Bible. My extended family is Christian. Of course I own a Bible. What am I going to do with it? Burning it seems kind of over-the-line. I love the printed word way too much to burn ANY book. Better to put it on a shelf next to copies of other historical pieces where it can be in great company. Like it or not, the Bible is a rich source of mankind’s growth through the ages. We can argue the wickedness of that growth in another post.
Someone suggested marking through it. I have a hard time with that concept, too. I still have to apologize to non-fiction guides and resources when I underline or highlight pertinent passages. I’m not at a place mentally where I can just cross out shit willy-nilly. I haven’t done that sort of thing since high school when I wrote “bitch” next to assholes in my yearbook.
How often does a tweeting Pope tweet?
I read back a couple pages, and he doesn’t even tweet on a consistent basis. He might go several days without saying a thing, leading me to wonder if those days were just too boring, or if maybe those sections of the Bible were just too long to fit into 140 characters.
But then maybe NOT, because some days he tweets like five or six times a day. What gives, tweeting Pope? What is your rationale? I MUST KNOW.
I guess I must be doing something right, because that’s kind of how I tweet, too. Shit strikes me and I go on a tweeting spree, followed by silence for days. I guess we all find tweeting inspiration sporadically. Even God’s greatest rep.
Is a tweeting Pope a good thing?
I’m going with a big fat NO on this. Not because a tweeting Pope means more garbage clogging up Twitter — which, it does. Not because a tweeting Pope means a louder platform for Christianity to shout its convoluted messages — which, it does. But because of the bad press that comes with it.
I’m certainly not Christian, or an advocate for such, in spite of my extended family relations, and in spite of my possession of a Bible. But even I am kind of embarrassed at the shit that gets tweeted to a dude just trying to spread the supposed Good News. It doesn’t seem in Christianity’s best interest to put the Pope up as a magnet for the seriously angry and nasty responses his tweets garner. It’s funny, don’t get me wrong — but it’s also really sad.
Here are some examples, in recent days, of the replies the tweeting Pope has garnered to his Bible thumping messages:
— DEJA VU REFINERY (@DEJAVUREFINERY) January 1, 2013
@pontifex I hear condoms give you aids but I don’t want more children. At the end of sex would god prefer it if I spunk on her face or tits?
— No to Fairies (@Notofairies) January 6, 2013
@pontifex trust god,but watch your children around catholic priests.
— antonnewcombe (@antonnewcombe) January 2, 2013
— Jack Judah Shamama (@shamama) December 25, 2012
These are dated since Christmas. I didn’t even have to look hard. These people are very, very angry at the Pope, at Catholicism, at Christianity, at the whole God thing. Not that I blame them! The whole God thing pisses me off, too! But… it just feels somehow equally wicked to be so blatantly mean at the tweeting Pope.
I’m all for speaking out, and I’m all for using whatever words we have in our arsenal to get across a message, and I’m all for Twitter. I’m just not sure how I feel about this. It’s a bit confusing. I find myself in the odd and uncomfortable position of wanting to defend the old guy and his silly religion.
This post started out in the back of my mind as a letter to the tweeting Pope, so that’s what I’m going to do. If I had to send this out, here’s what I would tell the dude.
Dear Tweeting Pope,
1. I think you’re a liar-face. Not to be mean, but the Jesus we’ve all come to know here in America pretty much says that all men are created equal. Therefore, your whole “repping God on the home planet” shtick needs reworking. We pretty much know you ain’t got God in your pocket, since the Bible says that NO one has God in their pocket. You, having testicles and lungs and whatnot, cannot possibly be privy to God’s intentions. So anything you say smacks of leadership gone awry. Your tweets only make it worse. Not to sound like a kid, but… “You’re not the boss of me!” So, like, stop talking. Know what I mean?
2. But — hey! Sorry about all those mean tweets at you from all those angry people. I merely want you to stop talking, and like, step down or something. I don’t think you’re necessarily an evil person. I mean, maybe you are, maybe you aren’t. Exactly how much DO you know about the priests who rape kids? That would be something worth discussing. If you know about it, and you help cover for it — *shudder*… or if you engage in such practices yourself — then yeah, the ugly tweeters got it right and you’re an ass-hat who deserves all the hellz you have described unto us. Maybe you’re just a dumb-dumb CEO type guy, though, and have no clue what’s really happening under your robes (so to speak). In which case, your worst crime is ignorance, for which 90% of the human population could be arrested. Either way… you should really just stop talking. And tweeting. It’s creepy.
3. Your tweeting is creepy because, as others have pointed out, Twitter is a tool for conversations, and I don’t see you yacking it up with anyone. I don’t see you re-tweeting anyone, either. Your stats have got to be all kinds of fucked. Also? I don’t think the God you profess to follow would require this platform. Unless you’re saying God totally endorses Twitter, which would be so fucking cool. You know what? I’ma go with that.
Hey, everyone! God totally endorses Twitter! You should *ALL* be tweeting! God thinks Twitter is the absolute shizzle. You might even burn in hell if you don’t jump on board this train.
I am ready to stone the next person who admits they aren’t tweeting. In God’s name, you guys. Gather ye rocks and war cries!
4. Sorry, tweeting Pope. I totally got off message there. I don’t know what else to say, though, that hasn’t already been said on Twitter. I guess the only other question I have is this: Do you like Kraft Macaroni? I only ask because that’s what we’re having for dinner tonight and there is an argument at my house as to whether or not the Pope would eat such a thing. I like to think that YES, any Pope worth his scepter would TOTALLY eat Kraft Macaroni. You’re not too good for this fine feast, right?
PS. Please don’t condemn me to Hell. Not that I believe in Hell. But, you know, that would give my family more emotional fodder for abuse than I’m not prepared to live with. So, just, you know — keep this letter between us, m-kay? THANKS!