By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
To tweet or not to tweet? That seems as if it is one of the pressing questions of the 21st century.
For those of you who are not familiar with it, a tweet is a communication of 140 characters or fewer on Twitter, the social media platform which has an estimated 320 million users, according to a report posted on expandedramblings.com.
Many celebrities have found Twitter helps to solidify their fan base. Pop star Katy Perry has more than 84 million Twitter followers at last count; pop prince Justin Bieber, 76 million.
And, while at eight million followers he has only a fraction of the following of music superstars, Pope Francis seems to be revolutionizing the papacy with his own Vatican City tweets.
In addition to being a religious leader, the Pope is a teacher on the global stage. His tweets are part of a catechism of caring, a cyberspace salute to life at all its stages and in all its forms. By using the tool of technology, Pope Francis is making the pro-life case to a broader audience—and he’s doing it in multiple languages.
In the book, The Tweetable Pope: A Spiritual Revolution in 140 Characters, journalist Michael J. O’Loughlin demonstrates how the Pope’s sermons-in-a-tweet are making a difference around the globe.
In fact, O’Loughlin devotes an entire chapter of his book to Pope Francis’ pro-life tweets. Consider this classic tweet from May of 2013:
It is God who gives life. Let us respect and love human life, especially vulnerable life in a mother’s womb.
And this, from May of 2014:
A society which abandons children and the elderly severs its roots and darkens its future.
Certainly, that would seem a poetic way to formulate an argument against abortion and euthanasia.
In June of 2013, the Pontiff tweeted,
“With the ‘culture of waste’, human life is no longer considered the primary value to be respected and protected.
And isn’t that what abortion ultimately is: a tragic waste of human life?
Pope Francis’ dedication to the cause of life might have been best demonstrated in his tweet in January of 2015:
Every life is a gift. #marchforlife
It has been said that some of the most memorable passages of the Bible are easily tweetable:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
We are blessed today with technology that allows us to communicate with the world with our cell phones. If you have not already joined Twitter.com , consider doing so. The message you tweet may save a life.
And you may be helping to rebuild America’s culture of life, 140 characters at a time.