The Internet is a very powerful tool. As blog readers and writers, we know this as well as anyone.
Want to find excerpts of Fred Gwynne in Car 54? No problem. Go to YouTube. Want a street level view of an intersection in Anaheim California? No Problem. Just go to Google Maps. Want to know the religious affiliation of all the Canadian Prime Ministers for the last 75 year? Why just go to Wikipedia. Oops. Sorry. You won’t find that information anymore because DoubleBlue, Ducio1234, and Skeezix1000 decided you don’t need to know that. Sure you can find out that Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe is an atheist but not that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is a Catholic.
[Source]Until a few days ago, former Prime Minister Paul Martin was still Catholic, Stephen Harper was affiliated with the Christian Missionary Alliance and the late MacKenzie King used to be a slightly unconventional Presbyterian. Then, this information mysteriously vanished from Wikipedia. A quick online search revealed that the sudden disappearance of information concerning the religious affiliations of Canadian politicians-both dead and alive-was a haphazard editorial decision taken after a brief online discussion between the likes of DoubleBlue, Ducio1234 and Skeezix1000, thus confirming the worst misgivings that so many have about Wikipedia.
In a single swoop, denominational information concerning former prime ministers John Diefenbaker, Lester B. Pearson, Louis St. Laurent, R.B. Bennett, and all others starting from September 25, 1926–when Prime Minister Arthur Meighen left office for the second time–was removed. Perhaps this was a watershed moment in Canadian religious history that I had not known about, maybe DoubleBlue and friends discovered something entirely new about our country’s past, or perhaps they simply have not gotten around to deleting Meighen’s Presbyterianism yet.
I post this a simple reminder to all us. Beware. This magnificent tool we all use everyday is a tool. A hammer can build, a hammer can destroy, and a hammer can even kill.
As this year comes to a close, one cannot help but wonder what the new year will bring. Political power, economic power, military power, and the power of information are all tools. Will those entrusted with these tools use them for good? I am on record as not being particular optimistic. But I know what I will do. I will use what I have, my tools, as best I can. I will love my God as best I can. I will love and support my family the best I can. I will use this tiny forum to support the culture of life the best I can.
As for Wikipedia and the erasing of faith, well I will shine as much light as I can. What is it the Christophers say? “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”
If that fails, you can always hit them with the hammer and burn the place down with the candle. Happy New Year.