Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Confession is, in my mind, one of the more fucked up things about growing up Catholic. Why? Because, generally speaking, little kids don't have sins.

Yet on Ash Wednesday every year, and during Easter week as well, we'd all line up (two lines, boys in one line, girls in the other, because having 10 year old boys and girls in the same line is clearly against the 6th commandment) and head over to church. In Indiana, we went to a reasonably modern Catholic church. You could see the priest face to face or behind the screen. But in Massachusetts, it was total old skool Catholicism. Confessional. Screen. "bless me father for I have sinned" Just like in The Godfather.

On the way over, the conversation in line was something like:

Boy 1: What sins are you gonna say?

Boy 2: Dunno. Can't think of any.

Boy 1: Fourth commandment is always good.

Boy 2: Yeah. I guess I smarted off to my mom at least once. But I already got smacked in the face for it.

Boy 1: You won't get penance, then.

Boy 2: I better not. Hail Mary's are easier than getting belted.

Boy 1: There's always "Impure thoughts"

Boy 2: What's that?

Boy 1: My brother says it's what all the 7th and 8th graders use

Boy 2. Ok. Do you get a lot of penance for that, though?

Boy 1. Dunno

And so Confession was where I first learned that even *thinking* about sex without being married was wrong. Thou shalt not notice which girls in your class got boobs last summer.

Yet you have to tell a stranger, and an authority figure to boot, your deepest, innermost shameful things. Good way to learn healthy boundaries. Link punishment and shame with intimacy. Good way to get a healthy D&S fetish: "I've been a naughty boy, and I need to be punished."

I'm not a fan of confession.