It looks like the English are following where the Japanese have trodden. A church in the UK has started blessing electronic appliances. Not that this is an acceptable substitute for data security products like AlertBoot hard disk encryption, but I’m all for it if it calls attention to the need for security.
The blessing of electronica is a modern reinterpretation of Plow Monday, as the Times Online notes. Plow Monday is “the traditional start of the English agricultural year,” and the practice of blessing agricultural tools dates back to medieval times, when famers would bring their ploughs to church.
I can imagine why. Back then, when society was agriculture-based, the tools of one’s trade mainly consisted of farming equipment, the plough being the most important. Today, though, the tools have changed. It makes sense that people would want to have their cell phones, laptops, and other electronic equipment to be blessed.
Going off on a tangent, I have to wonder why Plow Monday is spelled as such, as opposed to Plough Monday. After all, this is a UK practice, reported by a UK publication, and as I learnt from Sherlock Holmes’s The Adventure of the Three Garridebs, “plow” is bad English, but good American.
While not the same type of blessing, the Japanese have beat the English by a year or so. In September 2008, I picked up on a Gizmodo story that a Shinto shrine near Akihabara was willing to bless computers against malware and other ills.
Like then, I’d like to point out that even if supernatural powers are really put into play by these blessings, you may still want to invest in data security like full disk encryption software for your notebook computers or external, portable hard disk drives. Like I posited back then, “What if your computer (and your data) gets lost en route to” Tokyo or London or wherever?
There’s also the practical matter that perhaps (most certainly?) these blessings may not work.
Related Articles and Sites: