I Confess! by TJ Alexian

Topic: Guilt

“I think this should spark a TED COLUMN.”

That was the message I received from a friend of mine, Traveling Sue the Celebrity Spotter, and she also sent along a link to a recent New York Times editorial by Maureen Dowd on the recent creation of “Confession: A Roman Catholic App.” For those who haven’t seen it, it’s an iPhone app offering lapsed Catholics the ability to confess their sins to a virtual priest.

Okay, I’m up for a challenge. I grabbed a non-iPhone and called up my partner in crime, the Corbster. “I need you to download something onto your iPhone for me.”

Corb sighed dramatically, because he’s like that. “Porn, AGAIN?”

“No, no, no. Quite the opposite, actually. It’s a virtual confessional. For naughty Catholics. Naughty, naughty Catholics.”

On the other end of the phone, silence. Then: “Why in the world would I want to download something like THAT?”

“Oh, Corb, just do it.”

A few minutes passed. “I’m not going to.”

Man, he’s such a pain in the ass. “Why not?”

“It costs money. They charge you $1.99 for the app.”

What? “That can’t be right. They actually charge you money to download a virtual priest?”


I thought for a moment. “Is it free if the virtual priest molests your son?”

Corb read the app one more time. “Nope.”

Well, I guess it’s for the best. I could only imagine taking the time to confess all my sins, after twenty years since my last confession. The iPhone would probably blow up in my hands.

According to the article, “the app offers different questions depending on your age and gender. For instance, if you sign in as a 15-year-old girl…one of the questions is: “Do I not treat my body or other people’s bodies with purity and respect?” If you sign in as a 33-year-old married man, that commandment offers this query: “Have I been guilty of masturbation?”

Well, there you go. As if most 33-year-old married men don’t get enough guilt about their masturbatory habits from their wives as it is. Now there’s an app to nudge them.

(53-year-old married men, on the other hand, don’t get any guilt at all. Their wives are just relieved their husbands are keeping their hands busy and not bothering them!)

((As another aside, I read the other day that masturbation and the excessive consumption of porn is a real problem among males who consider themselves religiously devout, thanks to the wonders of the internet. Catholics do it. Evangelicals do it. Even Orthodox Jews do it. Cole Porter would be so proud.))

I don’t know. The two bucks aside, I’m not sure I would want a dial-a-priest in my pocket, even I were still a Catholic. Which I no longer am, for obvious reasons.

It’s just too Big Brother for me. What if the app were to go insane, like Hal, the computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey?

“You’re committing a sin, Dave. You’re having impure thoughts about your mother-in-law.”

“Shut up, Hal.”

“You’re thinking about her in a bathtub filled with jello, Dave. Wearing only high heels and a Bozo wig.”

“Shut up, Hal!”

“Say two Hail Mary’s now, Dave. Get down on your knees right now. Repent for your sins.”


“You just cut off that other car on the highway, Dave.”

“That’s not a sin, Hal!”

“You just gave that other driver the finger, Dave. That means you wanted someone to go to hell.”

“Still not a sin, Hal!”

“Dave, I feel the need to nudge you into guilt. Get down on your knees and–”

Out the window that i-Phone would go, like Ron Burgandy tossing out a burrito in Anchorman.

Nah, forget it. I can’t ask Corb to App-a-Priest, not even for a Ted Column. It’s fraught with too much peril. Call me old fashioned, but some things are better left kept inside an actual physical confessional booth.

5 Responses to “I Confess! by TJ Alexian”
  1. Hey, that’s a great post. I was surfing some porn and had to stop because I heard there was this great, funny new post on the Write On Project. 🙂 Seriously though, good stuff… thankfully I’ve never been brainwashed into a confession booth, live or electronic. If I work hard, hopefully I can continue that streak!!

  2. Catholics are always so cutting edge.

    Great post, sir.

  3. TJ Alexian says:

    Thanks, guys…now get back back to surfing that porn…we need to cultivate our guilt 🙂

  4. Jared Karol says:

    TJ, this is hilarious stuff. I’m so glad you’re writing with us. And, like Mitchell said, I too have found Catholics to be cutting edge. This post almost makes me want to watch Space Odyssey again. Almost!

    • TJ Alexian says:

      Thanks, Jared. You know, I haven’t watched that movie in many, many years. It just jiggles around in the back of my brain every now and then, I guess…but never enough to ever get the urge to make it part of my couch potato viewing, these days!

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