Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More email forwards

Sometimes these blogs just write themselves.

You may remember from my March 29 post, "Email Forwards That Make Me Scream", that I nicely asked my sweet young relative Shelly not to forward me Christian schadenfreud emails masquerading as inspirational messages (God is Love, God is Love, God will GET YOU God will GET YOU...)

Today I got another email forward from Shelly's mom, a VERY sweet lady whom I love very much (let's call her Cora). This time it's The Room. You don't have to read it...summary: Right before a kid died he wrote this great essay, which talked about that kid's Heavan being a file room of everything he ever said, did, and thought...a lot of it was bad, he was ashamed, Jesus read everything and paid the debt for his sin.

Anyway, Cora prefaced the email with a short note of tolerance. She wants me to be able to see her perspective. I have no problem whatsoever with this, and I said so. I do have a problem with people practicing Christianity, but I recognize that (within bounds) it's an acceptable lifestyle, and you can be a good person while enjoying the religion of your chioce. There are a number of things that fall within that range for me: I'm not crazy about it, but if you personally can do okay, then okay.

But a few things come out of this for me.

1) I have decided to be more of an evangelical atheist. If my Christian friends and family insist on sending me Christian writings, in an effort to at the very least get me to think about things, there's no reason I shouldn't do the same. I'm not going to be an asshole about it. I'm just going to start RESPONDING when these things come around. I don't know why I've been so timid about speaking my mind before now.

2) To simply reprint part of what I wrote to Cora:

I think this particular email forward illustrates the importance of living a considered life. It's good to be mindful, to remind ourselves of the cumulative effect that little things we do have on ourselves and others. But I disagree with the idea that a person's life is at base a shameful thing. That's one of the big problems I've come to have with a lot of religious teachings; a good many of them say that a person is worthless without Christ. They say that we are sinners, and that's the DEFINITION of a person. "You are BAD, and you should be ASHAMED." No, I think we should be ashamed when we do something really bad, hurt someone (as everyone is bound to do within a lifetime). We should strive to be good people, helpful and considerate, and be justly proud of ourselves when we succeed. That's what I believe.
Hell, there it is again: Be excellent to each other.

3) I'm not going to make a huge deal about this, but I do have to note that several websites point out that the teen in the email, Brian Moore, really did die as noted in the email, but didn't actually write the essay as reported. He plagarized it. This point isn't against Chrstians in particular, but against email forward originators. They'll say freaking ANYTHING to tap the heartstrings and guilt you into strong emotions about...whatever the central message is. It's a common thing: something horrible happened to someone, and we told you about it, so you'd better pay attention to what they did/said/wrote.

Oh and as a side note, I've been slow to catch on: Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is the movie Richard Dawkins was talking about (story). That's the movie they're talking about that tries to pin the holocaust on atheists (where did I see that reference?) Sounds like fun fodder for the blog, but I'm not paying theatre prices to see it.


praiseNull said...

Did Cora and Shelly change their forwarding behaviors after you started this blog, or has this been going on for a while?

I'm pretty sure "Cora" has the link from another blog of yours.

Faithinate said...

I know Cora has the link, and that's fine. The only thing that's changed is that comment she made in this last email forward, about tolerance and understanding. Could be a result of my email to Shelly or this blog or me coming out atheist or nothing in particular.