Confess! Do U txt in Church?

posted by David Gibson

b16 snds txt.jpgOkay, add to the list of modern annoyances in sacred spaces checking email and texting. Part of the Crackberry, er, Blackberry culture (which I have recently joined) I guess. Lord, save me. It may be hard.
AOL’s Fourth Annual Email Addiction Survey shows that more Americans are checking email while driving, in the bathroom, on vacation–and yes, in church, where email use has gone from 12 percent of folks (at least those who do ‘fess up) to 15 percent. (Full results are here.)
I guess we should be happy they’re going. But are Catholics better or worse than others? Heck, we have so much to do, what with getting up and down. Still, the Pope may not have helped matters when the Vatican launched a text message service from His Holiness for Sydney’s WYD. According to this CNA story, the pope’s first text message went:

“Young friend, God and his people expect much from u because u have within you the Fathers supreme gift: the Spirit of Jesus – BXVI.”

I liked the “BXVI” signature, but I suspect any middle-schooler would have written it in fewer characters. Still, I strongly doubt the pontiff is checking or sending emails or texts while celebrating mass. I suppose it’s encouraging church is still a sanctuary of sorts. Check out these numbers of places check email:

• In bed in their pajamas: 67%
• From the bathroom: 59% (up from 53% last year)
• While driving: 50% (up from 37% last year)
• In a bar or club: 39%
• In a business meeting: 38%
• During happy hour: 34%
• While on a date: 25%
• From church: 15% (up from 12% last year)

And here are 10 most-addicted cities. I wonder if Brooklyn is any better?
Here are the ten most email addicted cities in the country:
1. New York
2. Houston
3. Chicago
4. Detroit
5. San Francisco
6. Sacramento
7. Orlando
8. Minneapolis-St. Paul
9. Denver
10. Phoenix
Ship-of-Folls had a competition a few years back for a text message version of the Lord’s Prayer. Here are the results, and here is the winner:

dad@hvn,ur spshl.
we want wot u
want&urth2b like hvn.
giv us food&4giv r sins
lyk we 4giv uvaz.
don’t test us!save us!
bcos we kno ur boss,
ur tuf&ur cool 4 eva!ok?

Latin is looking better.

Comments read comments(5)
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Meredith Gould

posted August 21, 2008 at 9:33 pm

I once looked across the sanctuary from my vantage point in the choir to see a woman answer her cell phone and start yakking on it *during* the consecration. She finished up the call before trooping up to receive Communion. Lord, have mercy.

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posted August 23, 2008 at 6:08 am

Wow, I am … stunned! Whatever happened to reverence.

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claudia neville

posted August 28, 2008 at 2:29 pm


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Military Wife 101st

posted August 29, 2008 at 2:31 am

I live in the “bible belt” where there is only 1 Catholic church in my town. So, I am often defending my faith in conversations concerning our limited time in church. I have a deep faith and I know not to judge others, however I do worry. I am concerned about some of the others in my church who feel that it is ok to stroll in after we have begun as long as they make it before the Gospel. I don’t understand how that can be acceptable. I also find people looking to their watches if the sermon seems too long. Better yet, they leave right after communion. Now, your telling me I am going to see more disrespectful actions in church by dealing with people texting around me? I am amazed more and more each day with how society has lost respect for each other, their families and now even our Father up in heaven. I leave my phone at home. My husband is in the military and that is the only time he doesn’t answer his phone because it is off & at the house with mine. We go to church to worship. If you can’t take an hour out of your week with out your phone or you are just plain bored with church, don’t go.It doesn’t do you any good. Just because you are present, doesn’t get you more points in heaven. If you actually pay attention to the sermon, you may learn something. I am so glad God is not too busying texting to listen to our prayers.

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posted September 6, 2008 at 7:42 pm

If things are really boring in church, then perhaps texting would make it more tolerable. However it is totally rude and really shouldn’t be done. As has been said, leave the phone home, but if you can’t do that, turn it off and leave it in your pocket/purse until after the services.

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