It’s from an article at the Arab Times, regarding religion as commodity. I’m assuming STC is some kind of internet phone service? Whatever it is, the author of the piece is commenting on how it feels to be bombarded by religion for sale (like Christian iPhone apps – not all available in Canada):
Who can believe that our society has become so naive to the extent that some of its members will subscribe to these services, thus consolidating this phenomenon of trading in religion?
Is it the fault of the religious scholars who are responsible for these kinds of services, or the fault of a society that believes that the road to obtaining the satisfaction of God passes through the vibrations of the mobile phone and that learning religion can be achieved through telephone-advertised services?
Until a few decades ago, people were seeking knowledge about religion in books. With the emergence of the so-called service economy, they have abandoned the books to learn religion from text messages!! This is a serious phenomenon that will distort the purpose of religion.
Yes, I’m sure there’s an untapped market for the iKill app that can send mini-bomb messages to blow infidels’ heads off when they answer their phones…
Actually, the author doesn’t mention what purpose religion might serve, but according to him, one thing it shouldn’t be serving up is profits.
More perilous than this is subjecting religion to the laws of consumption and the market culture. This can ultimately lead to turning religion into a commodity and marketing it as a consumer service to make profit.
Just imagine if our conservative society was satisfied with text messages as tools for learning religion? What then will be the effect on current religious thought?
Depends which Koran verses get sent around to subscribers, I expect. If producers of this techfaith commodity cherry pick that book as much as Christian producers will the bible, then people are only going to get part of the message.
That said, how can we all be sure that doesn’t happen now? For a “religion of peace” those guys sure talk a lot of violence, after all. And Christians are no better. It seems to be all peace and love one day and “Gay People will burn in Hell, hooray!” the next.
There’s also the possibility that making religion a commodity means people will have to decide for themselves if they can afford it and if they also want to buy it. If they don’t, then what? Will it lead to a total loss of faith, or will they still seek out the message via free books and mosque visits when they realize they need more than they’d get by phone? Maybe it won’t make any difference at all in the long run, except to the people who supply the services. The only way to find out is to let it happen.