Developer Benjamin Kahle wanted to give iPhone app fans their own personal Jesus with his new "Me So Holy" iPhone app (follow the link to see video of the app). However, Mr. Kahle found out the hard way that Apple tightly controls what it content it considers moral enough for its iPhone customers. Continuing the saga of rejected apps -- which include a South Park app and the "Baby Shaker" app -- the new Jesus-themed app has now become the latest Apple reject.
The "Me So Holy" app arguably gives users a humorous introduction to the world's religions. It features various religious figures, including Jesus, and allows iPhone users to take their own picture, crop it, and put it in place of Jesus and company's faces. Apple quickly rejected the app, informing Mr. Khale that it was "objectionable".
Apple wrote, "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."
Mr. Khale protested the move and Apple's censorship, stating, "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."
However, not even Mr. Khale's protest could save this app, which has headed straight to Apple rejection purgatory. Perhaps not all is lost as Apple previously had rejected a profanity-containing app update from Nine Inch Nails' chief Trent Reznor, only to turn around and accept it.
Before "Me So Holy", Mr. Khale authored the app "Animalizer", which surprisingly is much less offensive than his current app. "Animalizer" featured a similar theme -- users take their picture, crop it, and place it on various animal body. Both apps also allow users to insert their own caption in cartoon-esque text blobs.
Aside from the disappointment of Mr. Khale, the story of "Me So Holy" serves to highlight Apple's unusual stand with the App store. In a time when retail stores have become increasingly accepting of adult-themed material, and even Apple's own iTunes features a great deal of adult content, Apple has chosen the iPhone as the platform for its moral stand. While at times contradictory, its rejections and policies send a clear message to users -- Apple will decide what content is moral enough for them.