The Catholic Church is not exactly renowned for its progressive attitude towards technological progress. Just think of the belligerent attitude the Church still has towards contemporary next nature phenomena like condom use, the anti–conception pill or gay marriage and you’ll get the drift. When it comes to fund raising, however, the Church tends to be more technologically progressive.
During a recent visit of the Central Cathedral in Barcelona, Spain, I spotted these LED based wake lights, which seamlessly replace the wax candles traditionally used to make your prayer tangible. Apparently the God fearing people in control of the Church decided there is no noteworthy spiritual difference between LED’s and burning candles?
So far so good: praying is entirely about the intention of the individual making the prayer and a LED system is indeed more sustainable and less polluting than smoldering old fashioned wax candles.
Yet, there is another side effect of this modern frivolity, which I am still trying to get my head around. While with the system of wax candles, the Church just had to trust people to donate one coin for each candle being lid – one could easily lid a whole row of candles without paying, but of course this never really was a problem as God was always watching and would surely punish any misuse in the afterlife – the LED system is more secure: LED’s don’t lid unless you insert a coin.
I understand this increased technological security might well be an accidental side effect, yet I tend to interpret this as another tiny shred of evidence in my hypothesis that we are living in an age in which the moral functioning or religion is slowly but certainly being replaced by a technologically imposed morality.