Facebook Is Catholic, Twitter Is Protestant?

Facebook Is Catholic, Twitter Is Protestant? May 21, 2015

By Wilgengebroed on Flickr [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Wilgengebroed on Flickr [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Really? Is Facebook Catholic?

That’s the analysis offered by British moral theologian Fr. Alexander Lucie-Smith, who thinks that Twitter, conversely, is decidedly Protestant. The two social media platforms each illustrate digitally a theological worldview which corresponds to Catholicism or Protestantism.

Father Lucie-Smith’s full article will be published tomorrow in the Catholic Herald. As a teaser, the Herald offers this:

In the article, he likens Twitter to Protestantism, saying: “Twitter is a wonderful tool for those who wish to preach to their ‘followers’. The most famous tweeters have heaps of followers, and thus no real way of judging their audience or gauging its reaction. This disparate horde does not form a true community.”

He adds: “This isn’t to say that actual Protestants on Twitter deal in crude rhetoric. Take Pastor Rick Warren, who has an impressive 1.6 million followers. This megachurch of cyberspace is admirable and authentically Christian, as is the Alpha course pioneer Nicky Gumbel, who has 100,000 followers.”

Umm…. On the one hand, I see what he’s saying about the lack of consensus, and hence the lack of a sense of “community”, on Twitter.

But on the other hand, I’ve watched as Facebook has demonstrated, time and time again, that it doesn’t respect Catholic values. The most recent example is Facebook’s policy change which required Catholic priests and deacons to remove the title before their names, while at the same time permitting the cross dressing community to use their “stage names.” Another case in point is the social media giant’s refusal to apply its “community standards” to remove offensive and blasphemous pages, such as the infamous “Virgin Mary Should’ve Aborted” Facebook page.

I would be happy if at least one of the two media giants respected and fairly respected the Catholic Faith; but I don’t see it happening. From where I sit, it’s not a matter of “which one is Catholic.” Neither is, and passionate Catholics who maintain a presence on social media are going to get bumped around a little.

But then, Jesus warned us: “If the world hates you,” he said in John 15:18, “you know that it has hated me before it hated you.” So get used to it.


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