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Confessionals for Non-Catholics

Unload that heavy burden even if you aren't Catholic.
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(+5, -1)
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Wouldn't it be nice to get everything out once in a while? This system would allow all who wanted to just tell somebody (thing?) about all of the troubles which are weighing on our mind and just sort of get it out in the open without fear of recourse. Typically most of this stuff can be discussed with our SO (Significant Other) but what if we need to talk about them?
dgeiser13, Feb 23 2001

The Online Confessional http://www.dribbleg...ages/confession.htm
Believe it or not I was serious about this idea. Unfortunately this site is not serious. [dgeiser13, Feb 23 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Absolution Online http://www.absolution-online.com/
This site appears to be serious... [Quin, Feb 23 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Group Hug http://www.grouphug.us/
Anonymous Online Confessions [charlesw, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       When did I suggest this before? If I did I'd be glad to recind the idea but I don't recall it.
dgeiser13, Feb 23 2001

       I think you are talking about Therapy, not confession. When I talk about my SO, I want feedback - most confessionals are rather "one-way".
chili2k, Feb 23 2001

       Confession is worthless (no matter what religious faith) unless the "offenses" are examined and sincere effort is made not to repeat them. Personal, self-examination works well....write down what you do wrong and how you want to change it. Make steps to change it and warning signs you need to recognize if you are falling into those traps. Review daily until avoiding them becomes habit without thinking. Confessions where you blindly group all offenses into a lump and ask to be "relieved" (that's all there is to it!) of the guilt associated with them, doesn't show active involvement to prevent repeat occurrences.   

       (apologies to waugsqueke, I just can't believe that "sins" are forgiven that easily without true effort not to repeat them....if I do something again and again....would I be forgiven everytime just by saying "I confess"? While I disagree with the Catholic version also, at least there is some forced self-reflection and time to think about what "offenses" occurred)
Susen, Feb 23 2001

       And what percent of people in churches on Sunday saying "I confess" actually work through some sort of self-examination and make a 100% honest effort not to be a repeat offender? On the other hand, what percent just say these things on Sunday morning out of habit and never seriously examine their lives and actions? I draw you into these conversations so you won't write things like "all you have to do is say "I confess" that's all there is too it...." because I want you to see that can't be all there is to it or it really means nothing. I also draw you into these conversations b/c I like you despite your faith, beliefs, and enthusiasm. :-)
Susen, Feb 23 2001

       And what percent of alcoholics, smokers, etc., are 100% sincere when they swear, "never again?" I think failure to achieve perfect repentance is more frequently evidence of personal weakness rather than insincerity, regardless of the individual's religion (And, Susen, thank you for injecting personal warmth into a discussion that can be testy among hotter heads).
beauxeault, Feb 23 2001

       UnaBubba: It's funny that you would ask for that, because most of these "Goddy" debates are a result of initial ideas that are posted by people who don't believe in God ("God that is real", "Athiest's Vow"). Maybe if people quit poking, the "Goddy" folks would quit poking back. (Not that I think there shouldn't be anymore posts like that... you just seem to be blaming it on the wrong people)
PotatoStew, Feb 24 2001

       I sincerely am sorry that you've had bad experiences with Christians and have found them to be pushy. However, I really don't feel that anyone here has been that way, and I do apologize if I personally have come off that way. These conversations have seemed to me to be very congenial. No one seems to be trying to convert anyone, they are only expressing their own viewpoints on the matter.   

       For instance, in the above series, Susen and Waug go back and forth a few times, but in a friendly manner. Both seem equally "pushy" to me (no offense to either of you, of course!). This is usually how it goes around here. Two (or more) people trying to present a convincing case for their viewpoint. Why is it that expressing and defending a viewpoint is ok on any other subject, but as soon as a viewpoint is expressed on and in favor of religion, it's suddenly pushy?
PotatoStew, Feb 24 2001

       Probably because iRL very few people will argue/discuss for hours/days over, frex; fart silencers, green-banana candy, glow in the dark K-Y, or standardized flatulence scales, but pretty much everybody at some point has been pestered by a religious nut, usually xtian, wanting them to change to their flavor of religion. Some people get really tired of it and tend to be oversensitive to it.   

       Not saying anything one way or the other, just trying to translate what UnaBubba meant, or at least how I as an uninterested spectator read it.
StarChaser, Feb 24 2001

       But, saying that you confess just means admitting that you've done something and that, while you may feel badly, you don't necessarily plan on changing. For example, "I sincerely confess that yesterday I went over the speed limit in my car and I feel badly about it b/c I know that excessive speed puts others and myself at risk as well as being illegal". Yet, if I have no intention of actively keeping myself from speeding today, tomorrow, etc., and I make the same confession next week, then my confession today is worthless. Not because I wasn't sincere and not because I don't feel badly....I do....but because I made/make no active effort to change. This is what annoys me most about confessions of any sort. They do not show the confessor having to take any active role in seeking a pardon.
Susen, Feb 26 2001

       Is it possible for a confession to be sincere without an intention to change? I'm willing to consider it, but I've always thought that sincerity necessarily implied repentance. Interestingly, the New Testament (NRSV) connects "repentance" to forgiveness in many places, but connects forgiveness to "confession" of sins only in 1 John 1:9, and I believe repentence is implied even there.   

       I do agree with Susen, though, that repentence is far more critical than a simple admission of guilt without further consequence.   

       dgeiser, which type of confession did you intend in your idea? Or was the intent not really confession but a place to "unload" as in a psychotherapy session?
beauxeault, Feb 26 2001

       beauxeault, my original idea was envisioned differently than a atandard psycho-therapy session. i was thinking more of a non-religous "confessional" (for lack of a better word) where anyone (religious or not) could "confess", i.e. tell, explain, unload, et. al, anything that was typically on their mind.   

       the purpose of this "confession" would not just be to tell someone but as a stepping stone to examination of what had been "confessed". the types of things which would be confessed would not necessarily be violations of a list of "sins" but could be anything which the "confessor" deemed appropriate.   

       I realized that typical therapy sessions could possibly embody the above attributes but i was thinking of the person who received the confessions would not have to be highly educated and wouldn't necessarily be responsible to provide feedback but would be more of a listener.   

       perhaps those who wished could be on "listening duty" (like jury duty) once every so often to get a feel of what sort of horrible or not-so-horrible escapades their neighbors were getting into which could create some sort of possible emotional feedback loop with the community around them.
dgeiser13, Feb 27 2001

       PeterSealy, I would like to be the first to suggest circumcisions for non-Jewish or Moslem people since I am neither of those yet I am circumcised.
dgeiser13, Feb 27 2001

       Susen: I agree with you that sincere effort not to repeat offenses is a good thing, and will usually make a person more successful at growing and overcoming sin and bad habits. However, i think you are missing something where you say, "This is what annoys me most about confessions of any sort. They do not show the confessor having to take any active role in seeking a pardon."   

       Actually, there very act of confessing can be the biggest effort and the hardest obstacle to overcome for most people. It takes a lot of introspection and humility just to say "This thing that I've done is wrong." To get to that point, a person first has to admit that there is a standard out there, and they are falling short of that standard, through their own fault. To admit this, and then go to God and ask to be forgiven is a very big step. But that's just what Christians believe that God wants... for us to be honest with him and ourselves, and to go to him for forgiveness and help when we realize (like waug said) we need him because we can't free ourselves from the cycle.   

       (And to UnaBubba: thank you. No offense taken and none meant on my part, as well. If a particular individual doesn't want to talk about these things, I try my best to respect his or her wishes. On the other hand, if someone has questions, I try to answer them to the best of my ability.)
PotatoStew, Feb 27 2001

       I always thought confession was a clever fundraising idea by the Catholic Church. I seem to recall someone, maybe Luther, saying "Forgiveness by the florin".
MrPsloth, Feb 27 2001

       The use of the word verballed should be verboten.
dgeiser13, Feb 27 2001

       I'm with the unburdening and honesty with self side of this argument rather than the forgiveness and repentance crew. Knowing about your actions, thoughts or whatever is not the same as saying things out loud. As PotatoStew nearly said, talking about something can sometimes be the first step down a different road.
Having said that, I don't see this as being something you should have to make an appointment for. Why can't the confessor be a tree, or your car or whatever. Plenty of people talk things out at the graveyard even though there's not really anyone listening (as far as I know).
DrBob, Feb 27 2001

       "What would your father say if he was alive today?"   

       "Help, help, get me out of this box."
StarChaser, Apr 15 2001

       But in my Catholic church, we all start with the prayer, "I confess..." Is it just that Catholics are copycats, or are we just saying that to avoid hell?
Hawkeye, May 09 2001

       Will someone who has confessed explain the process to me? I assume that you tell the guy something but I don't know what kind of thing he says back. I've seen in movies the "I killed a man" "say ten hail marys" depiction of confession. Is that how it really goes?
Flipmastacash, May 23 2008


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