Monday, October 19, 2009

Flame war, part one

This is how it all began, with a simple chain e-mail. I received this from my Aunt last Saturday. I woke up at the crack of 9 or so, a little bleary and possibly somewhat the worse for having a few beers and a glass of wine the night before. I had not had my coffee, and in hindsight this was my first mistake. I’ll quote the entire e-mail here, and then the various responses.

Re: I Scored 100
 America was founded by people who were divinely inspired.  Whether Christian or Deist, they recognized that it is God who is the foundation upon which this country was built.  In removing God, it is no longer America.

Your Aunt

From: R..... K..... [] 
Sent: Saturday, October 03, 2009 11:03 PM 
To: a whole lotta people, some relatives, some folks I don’t know. 
Subject: Fwd: I Scored 100

--- On Sat, 10/3/09, <..........> wrote:

From:  <................>
Subject: Fwd: I Scored 100
 To: a lot of people I don’t know (Probably Republicans). >
Date: Saturday, October 3, 2009, 2:32 PM

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "b..... s.....(and yes, those are the correct initials)

Subject: Fw: I Scored 100

Hope you score 100

The sentence at the end of this page tells
you how to score 100. Enjoy the pictures
as you scroll down.

Paintings of Christ

I'm not ashamed. He is the only one that can save this
country and they want him removed from the government.

Our great nation will not stand if we delete HIM from all
aspects of our government as the atheists want.

Jesus Test

This is an easy test, you score 100 or zero. It's your
choice. If you aren't ashamed to do this, please follow
the directions. Jesus said, if you are ashamed of me, I
will be ashamed of you before my Father. 'This is the
simplest test. If you Love God, and are not ashamed of
all the marvelous things he has done for you..
Send this to ten people.

So, this was how I started my day. As you might imagine, I was pretty irritated at getting this e-mail from a relative who is well aware of my feelings and beliefs, and even worse, being on a ‘public’ distribution list. I felt I had to respond, just to let everyone else on the list know that these are not in any way, shape or form my beliefs. Now, one could argue that the way I responded left something to be desired.....

From: Me 

Sent: Sunday, October 04, 2009 2:15 PM

To: Them

Cc: To everyone else on the list, including my sister, Brother and Mother, and lot of folks I don’t know.
Subject: I scored 0, like all good Americans
Of all the silly lies from the lunatic fringe right, this is one of the silliest. God did not have to be removed from America (And I'm inferring that you mean the Constitution and the Federal government) he was never there in the first place. The founders were wise enough to leave god, God's or what ever sky pixie people believed in out, so that one religion could not oppress another. And I have to tell you, the saccharine sweet Wal-Mart Jesus images in the e-mail do not help your cause.

Ouch! I have to admit I feel a little embarrassed re-reading this. But of course things get better....

Next: Blow-back.


1 comment:

  1. Isn't this the time one traditionally drags out article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli? Not that it changes anyone's mind, but it is the ritually invoked text. Although perhaps not with one's Aunt. I think tales of Ethan Allen add a nice spice, too.

    These discussions inevitably remind me that I, along with Broomfondle and Magicthighs, do, or do not, demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty.

    As a devout (and wussy) agnostic, I generally do not push these things with relatives and sound out friends before going there. I can usually find common ground, talking about the virtues of Bonhoeffer, Wesley or Rumi, etc.; or the nastiness of Knox or Calvin.

    But consistently refraining from snideness, abruptness or awkward directness in email. . .that's another matter.