Some Hints before You Hit "Forward"

So, today I got an email from someone I consider an old friend. I've actually known him for most of my life. I first got the email on my phone, but it had been forwarded so many times that I couldn't get through the headers before my phone decided the email was too big. The subject of the email made me think that some pastor had been fired, so I immediately had to boot up my computer to read the email. I became very upset when I finally got to the text, only to learn that it was a message claiming that some bill in Congress is going to restrict religious programming on TV. I was upset because I recognized the email as an update of one I had read many years ago. The older one claimed that the bill was being pushed through by famed atheist Madelyn Murray O'Hair, despite the fact that she had died many years earlier. To verify my thoughts, I did a quite internet search and found that I was, in fact, correct. The bill does not exist, and the email is a hoax.

I responded to my friend with a link to the article on Snopes.com and wrote "You don't really believe this crap, do you?" Unfortunately, I hit "reply all," and that is when the shit hit the fan. Frankly, my response was much tamer than what I wanted to say. What I really wanted to respond was, "You don't really believe this bull shit, do you? And don't even get me started on those hatemongers Dr. James Dobson and Joel Osteen. I'd be happy if those assholes were off of the air." (I know that some of you like them, but I do not happen to agree with the way in which they treat people.)

Well, you should have seen the hate mail that I got. One person told me that Ellen G. White prophesied that "this" would happen, so it must be true. Gee, if Ellen White foretold that TV shows would be banned and rulings by the FCC before TV and the FCC even existed, then she was sure an amazing prophet! I'd love to see those prophecies. Another person was so offended by my use of the word crap that he said I am not fit to "call myself" a pastor. Both were sure that I am going straight to hell and told me to get my own crap together. Wow, and some of you wonder why I don't go to church regularly anymore?

I don't always respond to these forwarded emails, but I really hate the thought off someone propagating something so untrue. But apparently, as I was told many years ago (by the person who sent me the Madelyn Murray O'Hair lie), you have to follow your beliefs (even if they are proven untrue). So, since it is clear that my attempts to inject some truth into the situation will result in condemnation, I offer these hints before you hit "forward."

1) If you are forwarding a supposed news story to me, then please take the minute it takes to verify it from a real news source. Sending a link to a real news story from a valid news source is good form; sending a suppposed story in the text of an email is not. (By the way, taking the time to send me many, many, many jokes--several of which are off-color--but not having the time to READ my email about eradicating cancer is really, really shitty form.)

2) Use the mind God gave you. Do you really think that adding your name to the bottom of an email is a valid method of signing a petition? Unless every person only sends the email to one other person, there are hundreds of copies of the supposed petition with the same signatures on it. Who is going to go through all of those signatures and cross out the duplicates? Most of these emails have no instructions as to where to send the petition either, so the email just gets sent from person to person. Unless there is some valid website for the petition signatures, the email is useless and just JUNK!

3) If you do have a valid cause, the way to get the news to lawmakers is to write a letter to your congressman or senator. It's not hard to do; I've done it many times. And it will actually get to the person who can make a difference.

4) Don't you dare question my Christianity, spirituality, morality, or anything else just because I disagree with you. One thing I heard from more than one of the hate mailers was that I shouldn't be surprised that "the government" wants to persecute Christians. WAKE UP, PEOPLE! Christians aren't persecuted because of what we believe. Christians in the United States are persecuted because they act superior, call people names, and tell people they are going to hell.

Something just came into my inbox. I wonder if it's another person damning me to eternal fire. Great . . .

3 comments:

PMKat said...

p.s. Am I the only person who finds it disturbing that there are people in the world who are more upset by the word "crap" than by the propagation of untruths?

Slicer said...

Kathy,

If you are going to hell because of your use of the word "crap", I'm sure you'll see most of your hatemailers there with you... better clean up your act! ;-)

I'm glad you have chosen to be one of those who reply to people who forward but don't check. I do that as well.

Those petition emails get me too! Why people aren't using their common sense is beyond me.

Love you!

PMKat said...

Thank you, Matt. Love you, too. :)

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