“What does God need with a starship?” Captain Kirk asked, one time. Now the question is, “What does the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington need with a drone?”
Well, good question. But it has one, hovering over its bishops like a nervous chess player. They say it’s for social media engagement, which is an odd but increasingly common reason to get a drone.
God’s social media strategy, lately, seems to be firing on a lot of cylinders. There’s the TweetofGod on one end of the spectrum, Pope Francis on the other, and everyone else somewhere in between.
As an Episcopalian myself (all of the ritual, none of the guilt!) I have to admit that I’m worried what will happen if other sects get hold of drones. The Catholic church, with centuries of wielding temporal power at its back, probably can handle it. But what about the rest of us? Are polite, tie-wearing drones going to start going door to door dropping off pamphlets?
The drone raises some other important questions:
-Can it fire missals?
-Wasn’t there already an eye in the sky?
-If the church winds up using this to conduct unmanned surveillance on its own, what will become of Santa?
-How is it that Amazon’s drone delivery doesn’t exist yet, but the Archdiocese of Washington has one? I want my DVDs, dang it!
-Maybe it’s no coincidence that the diocese obtains its own drone around the same time that the Public Religion Research Institute releases a survey revealing that Americans lie on the phone to pollsters about their church attendance, whether they’re religious or not. Try that again with a drone hovering outside your window.
All in all, I think this is calculated to make people more nervous about the news that the church wants to canonize someone. One N is the only thing standing between us and some serious trouble.