Holy War – involving God as part of the campaign does not make a war a holy war – for a war to be a holy war, religion has to be the driving force.
Holy wars usually have three elements:
- the achievement of a religious goal
- authorised by a religious leader
- a spiritual reward for those who take part
It’s always satisfying when words which get learnt in RE lessons pop in some other random place, whether it be on a TV programme, in a song, in a film or in a news story. In Season 3 of House of Cards, originally on Netflix, there’s so much talk of Just War and scenes with the First Lady as UN Ambassador, that without learning about these areas in RE lessons, I’m sure young people would be confused.
Today I’ve stumbled on an article about how famous novelist Umberto Eco once compared PC’s to Protestants and the Apple Mac as Catholics.
How so? Simply this: the Mac freed its users/believers from the need to make decisions. All they had to do to find salvation was to follow the Apple Way. When the Mac was launched, for example, a vigorous debate broke out among user-interface geeks about whether a computer mouse should have one or two buttons. Some were critical of the fact that the Macintosh mouse had only one button. But when queried about this, Steve Jobs – then, as later, the supreme pontiff of the Church of Apple – was adamant and unrepentant. Two buttons would undermine the rationale of the Mac user interface. He spoke – as his Vatican counterpart still does – ex cathedra, and that was that.
In contrast, Eco pointed out, the poor wretches who used a PC had, like the Calvinists of yore – to make their own salvation. For them, there was no One True Way. Instead they had to choose and install their own expansion cards and anti-virus software, wrestle with incompatible peripherals and so on. They were condemned to an endless round of decisions about matters that were incomprehensible to them but on which their computational happiness depended.
Meanwhile if you look at the situation today ‘Catholics’ have iPhones running the Apple iOS operating system, while the ‘Protestants’ have devices made by a host of manufacturers and powered by various flavours of the Android operating system. And when the Catholics put their devices on to charge overnight they wake up in the morning to find that Apple has downloaded yet another update. The worry is how Android worshippers have been left with devices with huge security problems.