ReligionSkepticism

Papal tweet

While browsing through a Catholic site, I came across an ad asking me, “Want to know what the pope is thinking?” with a picture of some guy’s hand holding a Blackberry with a text message from the Pope saying, “I know. You could be a saint.”

Uhh… how could I not click that ad?  I just saw Phil from sales get beatified without so much as excusing himself from his meeting with marketing.  He barely had to take his eyes off Sharron’s PowerPoint presentation!

Besides, I really would like to know what the Pope is thinking.  But what i found was truly offensive to Catholics and non-Catholics alike. 

The site is CatholicMobile.  It’s kind of like Twitter, if Twitter was a paid-subscription SMS porn stie that gives you religious crazy instead of hot chicks.

For a one-time susbcription, type BENEDICT
You will pay $0.49 each*
For a monthly subscription, type B16
You will pay $4.99 a month* and receive 28 messages.
You must confirm your subscription request, and will receive a daily SMS message with the chosen service during 28 days. This service will be charged in your cell phone bill. You will pay $4.99 a month*
To cancel your subscription and stop daily messages, send the text STOP PETITION to the number 54444 You can also Opt Out here

Send a SMS message to the number 54444.

Not only can you get your daily Holy Twitters (called Daily Pope), but you can also buy Pope ringtones or Pope wallpaper for your phone:

It’s been a while since I was in CCD, but I’m pretty sure it takes more than wallpaper to become 100% Catholic.  I suppose it’s better than actually having your phone baptized (for your phone’s sake anyway), but I’m pretty sure no graphic can actually replace the first Sacrament as a means of committing your soul to Catholicism.  Sorry, kids, your phone is going to hell… even if the wallpaper you download this lovely picture of the Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (nee Mother Teresa):

(An image whose terrifyingness is only rivaled by Heath Ledger’s Joker. Why would I pay $2 for this?)

Seriously, that anyone would market their religion ANYTHING this way baffles me.  And doesn’t the Pope have better things to do than send text messages?  Like talking to God and making amends to rape victims?  This has to be more offensive to Catholics than anything Rebecca or PZ could say.

It does make me wonder what the Pope’s Twitter feed would look like, though.

Elyse

Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

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24 Comments

  1. Religion sells. Look at all of the religious bookstores in America. I saw a comercial the other night that offended me more than this. It was one of those comerative money commercials with a fake coin commerative of the pre-911 Manhattan skyline. First it talks about how this is a really respectful way to remember 911. Hmmm. Then it talks about what a great investment it will be and what a great deal you are getting. Relly, really made me angry.

  2. ick.

    could a practicing catholic please tell me how this type of thing is at all consistent with biblical teaching? didn’t jesus kick the merchants out of the temple? not to mention the sermon on the mount. these people really need to start reading the bible.

  3. No, no, no… this is a bad idea. I’m on the Pope’s email list already, and all he does is send out chain letters and about 200 LOLCats a day. Ok, Benny, I got it… cats can’t speak proper English. Sheesh.

  4. I have to wonder whether those “Daily Popes” really originate with the pope. Somehow I can’t imagine that the pope doesn’t have anything better to do than come up with soundbytes every day for some cheesy SMS subscription scam site.

    And mother Theresa makes a great zombie.

  5. “Want to know what the pope is thinking?”

    I don’t know about the rest of you people, but to me that sounds like some kind of threat. Sort of like:

    “So, you won’t eat your vegetables? Want to know what the Pope is thinking, huh? Do you?”

    And people actually pays to know what goes through that guy’s head? *shudder*

  6. @Andres:

    You know, there have been lots of times that I’ve said I would pay to know what’s going through the Pope’s head like:
    – No condoms in AIDS riddled Africa?
    – No hysterectomies even for medical purposes except in the case of an immediate life threatening emergency?
    – Finally apologizing to abuse victims this week saying he’s “so sorry”.

    It’s almost worth $4.99 a month… but I bet he’s not discussing any of that. He’s probably twittering about infallibility stuff.

  7. @Gabrialbrawley : I saw that hideous commercial (“The 9 and the 11 add up to 20!”) and thought the exact same thing. It was gaudy and fugly and in REALLY poor taste. I just kept staring at it in disbelief.

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