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Scary Religious E-mail

This is an excerpt from another entry on this blog. The original entry was so long that I wasn't sure people would read the whole thing, so I've decided to pull out the best parts into their own entries.

The other day, I received a religious e-mail that was pretty disturbing. Basically, it links separation of church and state with the September 11th terrorist attacks, then goes on to say that the world's going to Hell in handbasket because of our Godless ways. I think it's scary the type of mindset it takes to write that type of e-mail, believe it, or forward it on to people.

Below is a copy of an e-mail that I got the other day. I've reduced the font size from the original formatting in the e-mail I got, and I made it all left-justified, instead of centered, but other than that, I tried to keep the formatting (mistakes and all) pretty much the same.

Granted, this is just one e-mail, but I got it from two different people, indicating that a lot of people are buying into it and forwarding it on to people that they know (okay, the one guy that sent it to me did so just to get a rise out of me, but the e-mail still got to him, so it's still making it's rounds).

Subject: FW: Please Read This ,It Got me to Thinking--Hope You Do Too !

In light of the many perversions and jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke, it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her "How could God let something like this happen?" (regarding the attacks on Sept. 11).

Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives.

And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"

In light of recent events...terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.

Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school . the Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW."

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.

Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.

Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they WILL think of you for sending it. Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in!!

We Plan GOD Laughs

If you dont agree send it to the author,

(intentionally left out)@aol

This e-mail scares me. Basically, it links separation of church and state with the September 11th terrorist attacks, then goes on to say that the world's going to Hell in handbasket because of our Godless ways. I think it's scary the type of mindset it takes to write that type of e-mail, believe it, or forward it on to people.

Now, I don't doubt that there are certain problems on the rise in this country, but I don't think it's any worse than problems that have appeared in civilization in the past - we just need to understand their causes and correct them. Correlating the problems to removal of school prayer just doesn't seem like the answer to me - it's like saying global warming and other increases in natural disasters are a result of the reduction of pirates since the 1800's (See the Flying Spaghetti Monster site) (Actually, out of all the problems that are on the rise in our country today, one of them that scares me the most is the abandoning of science for increased religious fundamentalism.)

You know who in history had it good? Rich Romans. You know, the pagans who would practice homosexuality, had slaves, and massacred Christians in the Colosseum for entertainment, just to name a few of their vices. Their standard of living was very good, even by today's standards. They had running water, central heating, flushing toilets, and a lot of other things that weren't commonplace in Europe again until the last couple of centuries. They had feasts where there was so much food, that it was accepted practice to excuse yourself to vomit between courses, just to make more room in your stomach (hey, gluttony, there's another sin). You know who in history had it bad? Poor peasants in Medieval Europe. You know, the devout Christians who went to church every Sunday, had complete faith, and wore hair shirts and flailed themselves as pennance for their sins. They were little more than slaves to their lords, and had a horrendous standard of life. I know lots of people like to point out that the Roman Empire did eventually fall, and they like to blame it on their decadent ways, but the empire still lasted for several centuries, not to mention the republic before that, which is quite a long time for a nation to last. If the empire fell because of their sins, it sure took a long time for it to happen, letting people enjoy that decadent lifestyle the whole time.

That line in the e-mail about Dr. Spock's son committing suicide isn't even true (See Snopes). Besides, what's so bad about not beating your kids, anyway, and disciplining them in other ways?

And what's the purpose of that parenthetical comment about someone speaking out against school prayer getting murdered - that whenever someone gets murdered God was mad at them?

To me, this e-mail reeks of propaganda. The writer has an agenda - getting Christianity into schools and government - and he/she's preying on people's religious beliefs to try and make them feel guilty enough into going along.

Actually, since I've been writing this, a new study by Gregory S. Paul, titled "Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies" was published in the Journal of Religion and Society. It shows the correlation between the number of people in a nation that believe in and worship a creator, versus different problems that that nation faces. To quote the study, "In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion in the prosperous democracies... The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developing democracies, sometimes spectacularly so, and almost always scores poorly. The view of the U.S. as a 'shining city on the hill' to the rest of the world is falsified when it comes to basic measures of societal health." I know statistics can be taken many different ways, correlation is not causation, and I'm sure there are many factors contributing to problems in the U.S. But this does demonstrate that the more "Godless" nations are actually doing better than the U.S. in terms of "societal health," and that becoming less religious as a nation does not necessarily lead to the collapse of society. It's just absurd to blame the problems in the U.S. on abandoning school prayer and other such things. (To read more about this study, take a look at the article in The Times or this blog entry on Thoughts from Kansas, or just go and read the study, itself.)

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