A typical Sunday morning service. After a song or two, the pastor started to explain God's word from the Bible enthusiastically. Most pew warmers are enjoying the talks, but a few might find the resonance of the preacher's voice in their head emitting some sort of hypnotic substance... Then suddenly, the rhythm of "Amazing Grace" in its full polyphonic glory rings out from the crowd of church goers. One guy dressed in navy blue stood up holding his mobile phone next to his ear, running towards to the back of the church building, and apologising to the congregation in hand gustures...
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Mobile phone ringing during a church service is probably one of the most annoying things. Many of us have experienced it, and some of us are even offenders ourselves! At IUC, since we meet at lecture halls, it is automatically assumed that mobile phones should be either switched off or turned to silent, as "No Mobile Phone" signs are everywhere. However, every now and then we still have this kind of embarrassment happening.
It is definitely not the problem happening only at IUC, as Yahoo! News reports, churches in unregulated countries are installing mobile phone jammers to stop the "crime". A USD$2,000 a pop device would jam the GSM network within a 100-foot radius so that everyone's mobile phone would appear having no reception.
But the funny thing is this quote from a Reverend. "There are still many people who don't understand that being at Mass is sharing a moment with God..." As though God would somehow be disturbed if your mobile phone rings while you are "sharing a moment" with him.
Anyway. I do not see Australian regulation would allow private sectors to purchase one of those jamming device unlicensed. Would university be able to install one of these in its lecture theatres, as mobile phone ring tone is equally annoying during a lecture? I don't know. As for now, we just need to continue to remind people to turn off their mobile phones for the love of their brothers and sisters in Christ.