America is under attack. It’s “a new strain of strident atheism” and it’s deadly. To the rescue? iPhone applications, according to the New York Times. And if you’re on the other side of the war, there’s tools for you, too — alternative applications “arming nonbelievers for battle.” It’s like the Crusades, but with Farmville and Words With Friends and FaceTime and bad reception. Why are these dueling press releases in our newspaper? Because it’s hilarious.
“Say someone calls you narrow-minded because you think Jesus is the only way to God,” says one top-selling application introduced in March by a Christian publishing company. “Your first answer should be: ‘What do you mean by narrow-minded?’ “
For religious skeptics, the “BibleThumper” iPhone app boasts that it “allows the atheist to keep the most funny and irrational Bible verses right in their pocket” to be “always ready to confront fundamentalist Christians or have a little fun among friends.”
Not to tip my hand here, but wouldn’t carrying around the most irrational Bible verses just look like this:
The rest of the article manages to mention everyone from Socrates to Glenn Beck, with Christopher Hitchens in the middle, but as far as the ultimate goal of the piece (selling iPhone apps), the jury is out. Religious apps are selling “briskly” already, but it’s pretty clear the subset is a wash:
Indeed, the new phone applications seem to promise hours of unrelieved, humorless argument.
Apparently, questions like “Is it true there is no truth?” just don’t get the party popping. The alternative? “We’d be better off if these people were studying Nietzsche and Kant,” the article ends. Boring! Someone fire up the Sudoku.
You Say God Is Dead? There’s an App for That [New York Times]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 3, 2010