This short phrase from a NYTimes magazine article on The Soul of the Exurb demonstrates the integration of computers and religion.
Rick Warren, the leader of one of the largest churches in the US and the writer of the book that outsold the bible (”The Purpose-Driven Life”)… “describes his purpose-driven formula as an Intel chip that can be inserted into the metaphorical motherboard of any church.”
How much have computers pervaded our lives that they can even be used to describe one of the strongest phenomena in North America, the rise of the megachurch (attendees>2,000)? It also explains the “plug and play” nature of our lives, something the article captures beautifully, that ideologies can be effortlessly inserted into or removed from religion. You don’t like the guilt trip? Enter the feel-good arena. Feel alienated by a numbing suburb in which you cannot and do not wish to put down roots? Try the megachurch with its relatively secular community services. It takes all the work out of greater spiritual understanding and out of community–that is the physical community–building.
Read the whole article. In addition to a description of our lives, it’s a great sociological study, particularly the emergence of the church as the public sphere (minus the dissent, of course).