Cell Phones for Convicted Students
INDIANAPOLIS, In - Brett Johnson has a simple request for the ATI training center counseling seminars: provide cell phones for students calling home to clear their conscience.
Brett, 15, was recently attending a young man's counseling seminar at the ITC. After a particularly convicting talk from Mr. Gothard, Brett decided he needed to confess some sins to his parents. "I walked over to the confessional phone booths and they were packed full," he said. "Guys were standing in line to call home."
Brett waited for an hour and a half beyond curfew, and was finally sent to his room before he had a chance to call his parents. He arose at 4:30 the next morning to make his cathartic phone call.
When he finally reached a phone, he called his parents and tried to think of how to confess his sins. "Mom, dad," he said, "I have some things God has convicted me of."
At that moment, Brett noticed at least three young men listening to his conversation. "I froze up," he said. "How could I confess my darkest deeds when guys were standing all around me?" He quickly told his parents he'd call back, and hung up the phone, to the disappointment of his curious neighbors.
Brett approached Mr. Gothard and other leadership members to lobby for confessional cell phones. "Just think about it--you can give people a little more privacy. They can call their parents from their room or while they are walking around the parking lot."
The suggestion was met with minimal enthusiasm among ITC leadership. "That's probably not a good idea," said one. "You might use the phone to call a young lady."