Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dear Moses

You can see the cause for alarm here (or maybe not, if you left your Fox-colored glasses at home):

It was called the wave of the future – the recently tapped U.S. ambassador to Switzerland was sworn in last month with her hand not on a paper Bible but on top of a Kindle.

Techies called it revolutionary and applauded Suzi Levine for making history. But she wasn’t the only one who went high-tech when she took the oath of office. A county executive from Long Island, N.Y., used the Bible app on an iPad to be sworn in last year and a few months ago a group of firefighters from New Jersey huddled around a Kindle Bible when they took their oath.

One ambassador, one county executive and "a group of firefighters" -- sounds like a trend to me. But that's not the point, is it?

But the movement has drawn concern from some in the religious community who are reluctant to accept officials choosing tablets over the printed Bible.

Aside from whether "has drawn concern" means "answered a phone call from Fox," and how Fox defines "the religious community," and whether the holiness of oath-taking is the sort of empirical matter journalists ought to be bothering with -- don't you figure a copy editor could have paused for a moment to wonder about the sacramental function of "tablets" through history? (Let alone why "printed" is an improvement on the work of scribes.) But onward:

“There is an inherent respect given to the print version of the Bible that doesn’t attach itself to a Kindle or the iPad," Donald Whitney, a professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, told Fox News Latino. "Because the Bible is nothing else. It is a holy book to Christians and it is the Word of God. If you have a digital device it may contain the Bible but it also contains other things.”

Amin, amin. One slip of the finger (or soul) and you could be swearing to preserve, protect and protect the Constitution on Angry Birds Space.* Assuming that nothing untoward ever got preserved between the pages of the old family Bible, that could be pretty scary.

Anyway, as surely as the night follows the day, "some" is followed by ...

But not all religious scholars are concerned with the increased use of technology at the pulpit.

Is "at the pulpit" really where your average U.S. official is sworn in these days? Or are we somehow getting the e-Bible confused with -- oh, the electric guitar, the electric light or other inventions of Satan that vex the modern Protestant worship service?

Anyway, good to know that amid the noise and waste, Fox is still watching over all things great and small.

* And we all know what the Kenyan has done to the space program, don't we?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a good thing these guys weren't around in the days of John Quincy Adams.

I think that if I were assuming some position of public responsibility in the United States in this day and age, I'd take the oath of office on a couple of tablets of paracetamol.

11:45 AM, July 15, 2014  

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