A rant about "religious" spam
I keep getting spam with religious themes. And I am so tired of it. I am so tired of emails that ask me to believe that my future hinges on nothing more or less than sending 5 copies of spam forward to 5 friends. I do not seem to have found the right way to make them stop.
Oddly, the Dalai Lama's "Rules for Life" (which I have received in email text, as a PowerPoint presentation and as an Acrobat file) are almost exactly the same as Mother Teresa's "Rules for Life".
I also get quotes from Ghandi, and lectures supposedly given by Buddha. I get prayers that insist that I become more patriotic, and prayers that ask angels wearing cotton candy dresses to take care of me. I get religious leaders' sayings about friends.
I also have received pictures of an animated weeping Jesus, who is crying in my email because people do not love Him enough.
Then there are the emails that uncomfortably try to mix conservative politics with what they insist is God's will -- but don't get me started on this one, because not even BlogHer has the bandwidth for my rant about that.
This is such (brace yourself) garbage theology.
Worse yet is the often-present tag line that "If you love Jesus, and are not ashamed to admit it, you will forward this on."
This scourge of emails is the 21st century equivalent of bullying chain letters.
Send this to 5 friends and you will have a little bit of luck.
Send this to 10 friends and you will never have to diet again.
Send this to 20 friends and you will have enhanced orgasms and the most beautiful eyelashes in town.
Send this to 25 friends and God will love you best of all.
And beware. There is always the threat that unless you send out this piece of fluff to hoards of people that something bad might happen.
God is going to get pissed off; and lightening will rain down on you. Your kids won't get accepted at the good schools. You will dream that you are a perpetual problem guest on "What Not To Wear", and will develop a rash that no one can cure. Some actually have examples of people who have lost all their money, or had a relative die, or who have been in an accident -- all of whom did not forward on the email.
And you could have prevented all of it. You could have been proud of your faith and sent it on, but no-o-o-o-o-o-o, YOU have to be a slacker. Now watch what happens to you, you fool.
We all know that God has nothing better to do than sit around and count how many times you send that email on, so that he can match it to your earned benefit. And then, of course he gets to figure out an appropriate earthly punishment for your infraction of the email multiple rule. What a mean-spirited image of God!
If it didn't irritate me so much, it would make me sad.
People really do have this kind of belief -- it is almost anti-faith. It says "I can manipulate the universe by sending on this silly email. I can control my destiny by passing on a PowerPoint presentation. And if I do not do it, there will be hell to pay."
God is so much bigger than this, so much more loving. The Universe is so much more whole, and is moving in a positive direction. What troubles me about these letters is that they are so based in fear, and they posit such a scrimy little vengeful, trivial God.
I get these emails now and discard them. I decide to trust my faith in God and the universe at large more than the rules in a mass mailing.
What do you do with these emails? Have you ever been successful in stopping them? How? Have you ever sent them on? (I promise not to kvetch at you if you did.) But if you did, why did you send them?
Darryle writes movingly about how she was afraid to not send on chain letters years ago, when she had cancer, but now...
This was years ago and I'm not as compliant in general since I had cancer. But for the first few years I kept up my end of all chain letters out of utter fear. Once they became electronic, compliance required only a click or two. Or ten.
But they bothered me----even the ones that promised good things. Even the ones from the Dalai Lama. So a few years ago I went cold turkey. I broke a chain. And I waited. For the other shoe to drop. Cancer recurrence? Earthquake? Car accident? When nothing happened, I got bolder. I didn't send the next one. . .
Conny also rants on about chainletters and seems to get some of the same ones I get:
Today’s message came with a sparkling picture. The picture showed an angel in a long white chiffon gown and elegant wings. The setting was a lush garden, with green grass, pink roses and a full moon. I had to pass this message on to three people, within the hour, and after I had done that I was entitled to three wishes. This particular message only spoke of wishes and contained no threats, but there have been chain letters that would scare the spots off a leopard. Chain letters that, if broken, threaten my life and my health, and predict that I will lose all my friends.
Please, does anybody actually fall for that?
Miss Blackstar says :
I am your friend but I don't like all those sickly, cutsy e-mail poems, they're just not me. And not returning it doesn't mean I hate you, it just means I have better things to do with my time.
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