Dear Berry: Give Up My BlackBerry for Lent?!?!!

By Mara Blumenthal on 17 Mar 2009 08:57 am EDT

Dear Berry Dear Berry,

I'm having a real problem at home. I don't know if you have read the many requests by leaders of churches to give up our main communication gadget, e.g., Blackberry for Lent. Well my wife decided she would give up hers for the forty days but I gave up my favorite food. Ever since this decision I have been getting nothing but grief from her. We have been arguing and, I believe she resents me for not choosing to give up my Blackberry. Can you help? 

- A Religious Dilemma

Dear "A Religious Dilemma",

Thank you for writing.

I definitely see the issue. Please understand, I am not making a religious comment or judgment in any way. It seems to me that you went one way with your decision and your wife went another ( of course in my opinion her decision was much harder, however that is subjective). I wonder how you have made this decision in the past? Have both of you given up the same thing? Is this the first year that you have departed from a standard between the two of you? If so, I'm sure she wanted someone with her to give up their BB because all of us know how difficult that is to do :-) so her disappointment might be coming from that thought. She needed a "partner" to be able to actually give up their BB for forty days, even though she thought it was the best thing to do. So it's possible she resents you for not going along with her. On the "other hand", it was her decision and you didn't think it was necessary or a decision for you, then you have a right to your individual decision.

Who would have thought that the BB addiction would create even an issue for Lent? Life really was much easier when the family just gave up meat!

- Berry

Need some Advice to Help Balance Your BlackBerry and Life? Contact Dear Berry!  

Reader comments

Dear Berry: Give Up My BlackBerry for Lent?!?!!


With Lent, you must make the choice of what you feel is the appropriate sacrifice for yourself. Even the leaders of the Church should not make that decision for you.

Your wife made her choice and she is going to have to live with it. Of course by you giving up your device as well, it makes her sacrifice easier, but is that really the spirit of Lent? Your wife will have to find ways of living with her choice and allowing you to make yours.

Nobody told me there'd be days like these
Nobody told me there'd be days like these
Nobody told me there'd be days like these
Strange days indeed, strange days indeed

Giving up something for Lent is a very personal thing. No where in the Bible is there a call to do so and if one does decide to give something up, it is very personal. There is an example in the New Testament about fasting in private.

I take issue with church leaders telling people what to give up.

Giving up a tangible piece of existing mass, out of reverence of a cryptic jewish zombie and his invisible cloud father not to mention his virgin mother, because another human said you should sounds perfectly sane and normal to me. Especially when said human is the leader of a church that asks for tax free money, and performs cymbolic cannibal rituals to worship the cryptic jew-zombie and better remember him. And you think Tom Cruise is crazy? I know Wal-Mart sells mirrors. Cheap. You should check one out sometime. Unless of course, you think mirrors are the devil. In that case, continue forth on your sane journey of self-centered eternal life in the immaginary land of perfection........

Religion is the most perverse system that has ever shone on man.

While trying to sound intelligent Shreds, your response is completely off topic, introduces errors of kind, judgement, and theology. I'm sure there are other "Jew-Zombie" hating, anti-religion blogs that other emo's such as yourself are posting to. Go sell crazy there...or answer the question without your obtuse and egregious baggage.

I bet you won't be saying blasphemies like your comment when you wake up in HELL and you have a DEMON torturing you!

You'll be screaming, JESUS save me, please!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In Matthew 12:31-32, Jesus says to the Pharisees,

"Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come" (NKJV, emphasis added).

Sorry. I don't care what old MEN (NOT holy ghosts. Holy ghosts can't use typewriters.) wrote in the bible. I don't believe the bible or one solitary thing that's printed on it's worthless pages. Did god get out his printing press and print the bible up? Ever seen him? Has he talked to you in an AUDIBLE voice? Or do you say, "dear god, please let me get a promotion." And then use the fact that you got a promotion as proof that he exists? Sounds like the Indians and their gods of rain. I'm not going to list all the fallicies of religion, but it's ancient made up BS to control the minds of the weak.......far beyond the power of man made law.

Is this a theological blog or a Blackberry blog? As a non-religious person, even I find Sir Shred's comments of offensive nature, displaying an obvious odious attitude towards someone else's heart felt belief. The person, writing about his religious experience, is not imposing his belief's on anybody, and you have no right to poison everyone one here with your arrogance. And this is also no place to wave Bible verses as if you were God making the decision or judgment on someone else's human condition or eternal resting place. In itself is arrogance, you attitude no better than Sir Shreds, no matter how offended you are. Please offer an apology, both posters, and lets enjoy the one thing we have in common: the BlackBerry.

Though a bit to the extreme I'll agree and say humanities obsession with their various nefarious deities and gods is a bit perplexing. I certainly wouldn't want to give up my BB for such a thing.

This is what happens when you let religion run your life. This "suggestion" from Vatican City is utterly ridiculous and backwards. It makes no sense.

Granted I'm in a bias situation, being an atheist. But I do understand the concept of Lent and sacrifice, I was a Catholic for 18 years.

When one sacrifices, it doesn't mean one also has to be counter productive. Sacrifice in the eyes of your religion should make you a better person, not a helpless one.

Why would you give up your Blackberry, or any other phone for Lent? What does your phone have to do with Lent? If you're so attached to your Blackberry that it would creat such a wanton addiction to be given up, you need a therapist, not a Lenton declaration. I don't get the connection, and I AM Catholic.

You should understand that lent is a reflective time to focus on your relationship with God. The Berry is something that we all use for instant access and instant gratification which can become time consuming. By giving up the Berry you free up time to reflect without distractions and really focus on what your relationship with God means. If you're able to, giving up your Berry for Lent not only makes sense, but it lets you focus more perfectly on your relationships. And I AM Catholic too.

If a piece of technology is causing such a strife in your personal relationships, religion will not help you. You have more problems than your connection to God to worry about. If you cannot put it down for a given period of time a day to spend with your loved ones and those you consider friends, 40 days won't change anything. Religion shouldn't be the reason for you to perfect relationships..

Lent isn't about breaking an addiction (although that may be a beneficial side-effect). The purpose of Lent is to give up something that takes up your time in life, and reallocate that portion of your day to worship.
So if someone were to give up their BB for Lent, they would (in theory) be choosing to replace their time spent checking mail, playing games, or reading news with something like prayer, reading the Bible, or doing something else that would bring them closer to God.

The Lent part of this is just the setting of the story and has no effect on the actual problem, so keep your religious views to yourselves (both for or against); they are not relevant.

There's not enough information to really have an opinion on this topic.
Did he present the situation to his wife like he was going to join her in the BB venture and then change his mind, thus leaving her "high and dry"?
Or did he just choose a different path?

In the former, he should've done a better job communicating his intentions to his wife.
In the latter, his wife would need to realize that personal sacrifices are made by the choice of the person performing the sacrifice, not to elicit obligation from other people. She's responsible for her own woes.

Well done.

BTW... aren't these letters merely entertainment, and not actual letters? Really? Do people actually think this is a dilemma for a Catholic they have to go on to find the answer? I mean I love this site as much as any but, people are taking this way too seriously...and using it as an opportunity to purge their issues... sheesh the vitriol...

I've never read about the church telling anyone to give up their communication devices. What church in their right mind would tell you to get rid of your phone? For most people, their phone isn't some useless luxury. People need their phones for business, emergency, and communication to their family. Nobody has time to sit by a land line all day. Someone asking you to give that up for Lent is ridiculous.

Sounds to me that the wife needs to stop being a controlling bitch. Just like it was mentioned before.. What you give up for Lent is personal. It's not something you choose to satisfy someone else. How about you choose something that inconveniences HER? How about giving up washing dishes for Lent? Give up sex with her for Lent.. Give up paying the cable bill or give up putting gas in the car for Lent.

Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
Matt 23:26

You should understand that lent is a reflective time to focus on your relationship with God. The Berry is something that we all use for instant access and instant gratification which can become time consuming. By giving up the Berry you free up time to reflect without distractions and really focus on what your relationship with God means. If you're able to, giving up your Berry for Lent not only makes sense, but it lets you focus more perfectly on your relationships.

"The Berry is something that we all use for instant access and instant gratification which can become time consuming."

Come on. Instant gratification? You make it sound like a sex toy. I use my phone for exactly the purpose I bought it for. To communicate to other people. I NEED to be able to communicate to other people at all hours of the day. I need to be able to set dates in my calender at any given time. Some people use it as a toy.. sure. Most use it because it makes their busy life more organized.

Good for you.
But just because a decision isn't right for you, doesn't mean that it isn't right for someone else.
Your life is not the model for the universe, so let others do as they will; it's not hurting you any.

first of all im a catholic and even i think the concept of lent is stupid. considering the current job market and how difficult it is for people to keep their jobs, the church thinks giving up your BB is a smart thing to do. what a load of crap. lets see if they pay your mortgage when you get fired.

Hi all,
I had a feeling this man's issue might bring out some strong opinions. Religion and politics - the two topics that usually do :>).

I always look forward to reading your opinions and comments. Thanks very much.

Your decision to give something up for Lent is between you and God, period. For all she knows, your favorite food is harder to give up than her Berry. Studies do show (please don't ask to confirm, I will, but don't really have the time) that a much higher percentage of men use their Berry as an esential part of earning a living than women, and a much higher percentage of women use their phones for recreation than me. Could you still do your job effectively without your Berry? That is between you and the Lord.

But the real issue is that you have turned to your computer screen for advice instead of talking it out with your wife. I wish you luck.

Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
Matt 23:26

Crackberry must be hurting for stories. Did the person say "dilemma". What a waste of time. It is a phone not life or death. If your "religion" is so important there would be no dilemma.

I'm enjoying the irony here. Myself being a faithful Catholic especially. I have many times considered giving up my BB and getting a "regular" phone precisely because I CHOOSE to spend time checking emails or news/weather/sports scores/craigslist/ebay/RSS feeds or playing games or talking or getting new themes or wallpaper or ringtones or youtube videos or editing spreadsheets or getting directions or downloading programs to make my life more efficient so I can free up time for the really important things in life. There is a reason this site is named Crackberry, because it is a fact that mobile devices can consume your time to an unhealthy degree. IF that gets in the way of your relationships with God or anyone else, that is a problem. How many of you have seen that David Spade video on here where his family performs an intervention. Did you laugh? I did-because it is a parody of something we have probably all experienced to one degree or another.
I'd give up the Berry for Lent-and maybe for good-if you are more concerned about it than your wife's feelings. Pray with her instead and watch what happens in your marriage!

Listen not using your Blackberry makes the baby Jesus cry. You need to ask yourself WWJD, And id like to think if Jesus were here right now he would be playing word mole asking himself "where are all the F'n vowels." And why does Chuck Norris have a higher score then me.

I would give up my religion over my blackberry ahah that would solve the problem, but then again im not religious at all.

It just sounds like God needs to get a crackberry and the problem would be solved.....can you see that?

"What are you doing?" "Well I am checking God's Tweet and facebook status before I PIN him to see if he is going to be in church on sunday."

The idea of giving something up for Lent is to bring one closer to God. To meditate and reflect on the sacrifice that your Lord made for your sins. If giving up your favourite food helps you reflect on Jesus's sacrifice, then that is what you are to do. If giving up your Blackberry helps you reflect on His sacrifice then do that.

On the flip side, if giving up something for Lent does not help you spiritually and you are doing it for some obligation to dogma then stop.

I think that we (as Christians or Catholics) have forgotten the meanings behind the dogmatic rituals (such as fasting for Lent) and need to get back to the basics.

Your wife may feel that she needs you to help her give up her Blackberry for Lent. Now this may be something loving and spiritual for the two of you. To walk the same path as it where. And that is blessed and holy. But if she needs a crutch, not so much. I know some would give up the same thing for Lent for "bragging rights"... "Well you lasted 30 days I lasted 38 days without chocolate etc."... Those are forgetting the meaning behind the fasting and in that case would have been better off not to fast at all.

This might be a good guidline when deciding if fasting is for you. Be it fasting from food or technology etc.

I don't see what the connection is between a Blackberry and a religious holiday like Lent. How are the two related? I don't think having a Blackberry necessarily obstructs one from observing Lent properly.

Addiction to the 'crackberry' has now become so bad in some states that there are special blackberry lanes at large railway stations so that passengers can walk without bumping into people while engrossed in their blackberry's. Does it really result in an increase in efficiency?

I think I could give mine up for a few weeks no problem!

Don't understand why the two correlate. It would take more than a religious belief for me to give up my blackberry.