CDs in the Mail : Religions Last Stand

I got something in the mail today. Not sure if it was junk mail. It made it past my hostile 'no junk mail' sign either way, but I guess whether you think it's junk or not really depends on how you like to spend your Sunday mornings.

A disc.

A plain white disc in a heavenly clear plastic packaging. I can only assume every door in my parish got one in the hopes that my house alone doesn’t give off any particularly obvious satanic vibes. For most people it would’ve been the discs ominous black cross or the ridiculous email address 'wordisalamp[at]gmail' that would’ve instantly written its destiny for the dump (regardless of whether you're suppose to put CDs in dumps).

Whereas I saw it as something revolutionary. Technology and the church? Does the church not hate anything to do with social change? Aren’t plasma screen TVs making our kids gay and Facebook ruining traditional family values? Hardly ever does the church agree with anything that Jesus would never have seen coming.

I quickly pick it up and smelled it, searching for that certain waft of burnt so familiarly found on my step-dads pirated DVDs. After deeming its odour safe and the CD virus free; I put it in my laptop and awaited the ultimate knowledge of the 'Testimony of Dick Keogh'.

Expecting a well produced God-TV-esque podcast, accompanied by horrible royalty free pop music; I was royally disappointed. It opened to a hustle and bustle of a relatively 'busy' Sunday morning mass where a man with a Northern Irish accent managed to destroy my objectivity with flashbacks of 'In the name of the father' and whatever Northern Irish 'troubles' news reels my mind has gathered over the years. Religion thrives off of fear (here's a great example) and the misunderstandings of beliefs, in Northern Ireland it still divides the people with hate and fear today. I imagine the only way this was funded was in the hopes of praying louder than the Protestants.

Then, who I'm assuming is 'Dick Keogh', was brought on to say a few words. This Tipperary (in Ireland) man who opens with a mention of his accent followed by a strange line “If you cant understand my Tipperary accent, its a pity... I'm trusting that there’ll be a lot of Tipperary people in heaven so you better get used to the accent”. A somewhat irrelevant quote from the bible follows and with 40minutes left on the CD I knuckle down and see if any of this was worth my time.

Redemption was of course the primary goal. It continued like this for a good 10 minutes. Then he began to talk about how he heard god's words, left the church and started up his own Christian cult of sorts. Which was unexpected. Then he took a stab at non believers, urging his listeners to spread the word of the gospel, like Mormons at your doorstep, because he never had a bible when he grew up. I don’t really think this means every other religion is wrong, or as he said it; people who believe they are 'right'.

Only after his own personal experience - personal being the important word here - did he discuss death. Organised religion's one true way of holding the curiosity of its subjects. He told of a priest who foolishly said “I'll see you next Sunday” at the end of mass only for a huge chunk of his congregation to be killed in a fire on the same day. With this story came the fear of death and the fear of the unknown. Telling people, in his gentle Tipperary accent, to pray and repent now because you could die tomorrow, essentially.

Although I found it too boring to laugh and too irrelevant to care, I did manage to find something worth taking with me. The way he discussed spreading the word of God I found particularly relevant to the fact that his message came in the form of fiendish modern technology.

Not until I received this CD did I realise how out of date they have become. The recording was literally of a Sunday mass. It even had those close to death coughing old people and that one screaming baby to make you really feel like God was in the house.

When looking for any sort of papal quotes about technology or even something from Rick Santorum about how Twitter makes people gay, I found nothing important. Yes, a few priest and bishops here and there, just saying something to remind people they’re still there but never anything worth listening to. I think it's because religion fears technology. It knows that one day we'll discover the beginning of the universe or aliens or something else for the final nail in their cross shaped coffin.

Maybe it's just here in Ireland where Christian beliefs are left for people who say 'the google'. With our monthly reports of paedophilic priests or some other scandal so commonplace that it rarely makes the free local paper, the church seems to be failing. Logic and knowledge has taken over for the most part and religion will quickly become obsolete, like a year old ipod.