I’ve recently expressed admiration for Pope Francis and his comments on homosexuality and his willingness to be accessible to the people. Unfortunately, I’m not as excited about the pope’s recent decision to offer indulgences for following him on Twitter:
According to the Vatican's Sacred Apostolic Penitentiary publication, Pope Francis will be giving "plenary indulgences" — which is a special act that is said to reduce time in purgatory — to his Twitter followers. The Pope typically offers indulgences to those who see him in person, but for the first time this year, it will extend to virtual visits, too.
For social followers who have previously confessed their sins, have been absolved by a priest and have attended mass, they can follow along live through the social networking site and receive that special forgiveness.
The whole idea of purgatory is fairly insane, but the idea that Catholics can spend less time in this invented realm by clicking the Follow button on Twitter is ridiculous.
I understand that the pope wants to use social media to better communicate to his people, but purchasing their attention through the distribution of indulgences is not far removed from a time when the Catholic Church sold indulgences for money.
However, that will not stop me from making an even better offer:
If you agree to follow me on Twitter, I promise to offer you my expertise in the realm of verbal sparring.
Without trying to sound self-congratulatory, I am a master of the verbal comeback. The king of quips. An expert in the art of the rapid retort.
It might be my greatest talent.
If someone says something mean, insulting, scathing or passive-aggressively cruel to you, send me the remark via Twitter and I will send you the ideal comeback.
Also, feel free to also send me the intensity level that you would like the comeback to achieve, and I will try my best to tailor the retort to meet your specific need.
Perhaps you want a comeback suitable for use in a public setting. Maybe you’d prefer a no-holds-barred, sword-to-the-gut comeback (my favorite). Or perhaps the circumstances require a more passive-aggressive approach.
You can even send me anticipated cruelties in order to be better prepared for your next encounter. Does your mother-in-law constantly complain about the way you’re raising your children? Does a coworker disapprove if your lifestyle choices? Is your spouse critical of your eating habits?
Send me their constant refrains and be armed with an appropriate comeback for the next encounter.
Whatever your need, I will have it, and all for the price of a Twitter follow.
Which would you prefer:
A shortened stay in a non-existent spiritual realm or access to a master in the art of verbal sparring?