Apple rejects Jesus iPhone app

NEW YORK – Apple’s policy of encouraging a myriad of bizarre and obscure apps on the iPhone is turning out to be a bit of a two-edged sword. The company has, controversially, decided to reject an app which allows users to merge their image with that of Jesus.

In April, public outrage forced the company to pull its Baby Shaker app, which, as the name implies, simulated shaking a baby. A couple of weeks later, the company also cancelled – but then reinstated – an app from the band Nine Inch Nails  which allowed users to download its music. This was initially rejected because of “objectionable content” in the music itself.

Now, Apple has rejected an app called Me So Holy, which allows the user to take a shot of his or her face and then scale it, crop it, and superimpose it on an image of Jesus or some other religious figure. It is identical to a previous app from the company which allows users to superimpose their face on that of an animal – except for the religious iconography, of course.

The company has rejected Me So Holy on the basis of a clause in the iPhone agreement which states: “Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple’s reasonable judgment may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users.”

The app was developed by Benjamin Kahle, who says he is bewildered by the decision.

“You may be familiar with recent snafus over the baby shaker app and the rejection of the Nine Inch Nails apps. Our question is, is religion really to be placed in the same category as these violent apps? Sex, urine and defecation don’t seem to be off-limits, yet a totally non-violent, religion-based app is,”! he writes on his blog.

“We feel that Apple is being too sensitive to its perceived user group and are disappointed that this otherwise creative, freethinking company would reject such a positive and fun application. The message to developers is that they should think inside the box, rather than outside it.”