Thursday, August 21, 2008

Please no, I'm begging you

I have a confession to make. I don't want your e-mail forwards. I know, they're probably cute, or inspiring, or information that the mainstream media is hiding, or a threat to our way of life and civilization, but I'll be honest with you: I really don't want your e-mail forwards.

I'm not against all e-mail forwards, don't get me wrong. Occasionally, in the pool of cess that is my inbox, I'll get a forward that I find laugh out loud funny, or tear jerkingly inspirational, but it is not that often. More often than not I find myself annoyed, or frustrated by the lack of fact checking before forwarding, or confused that you would think this is something I'm interested in.

Here's my main problem with them: most of them are not true. No matter how many exclamation points come after the title, no matter how much urgency the writer of the letter insists is needed, no matter how sick the little girl is, they generally don't hold water. I get so frustrated when other Christians send me e-mails that are either patently false on their face, or at least easy enough to check out for their accuracy. Here's my warning: if you are a Christian, and you send an e-mail that is untrue, you're either lying or gossiping. In this day and age, almost every fact is checkable. Google is a wonderful resource. If an e-mail is important enough for you to clog up the inboxes of dozens of your friends with, it's important enough to check out first.

Maybe this is just the journalist in me, but I hope it's also the Christian in me. We ought to always be purveyors of truth. Lies are from Satan, because he "the father of lies," (John 8:44). And whether or not a lie is intentional or not is just not a good enough excuse. If you don't know whether or not something is true, don't send it.

Here are my top five "Christian" e-mail forwards that I never want to see again:

5. George Bush did not take a half hour during a campaign fundraiser to share the plan of salvation with a teenage boy.

4. Airlines have never considered not pairing a Christian and non-Christian pilot together, just in case the Rapture takes the Christian one in the middle of a flight.

3. Psalm 118 is not the center of the Bible.

2. Jesus is not going to be portrayed as a homosexual in an upcoming movie.

1. And finally, please, please, never tell me again that Madelyn Murray O'Hair is trying to get all Christian programming taken off the air, and that I need to sign your petition immediately to make sure it doesn't happen.

Let's just not be so gullible, okay? It won't take you more than 5 minutes to go to snopes.com and check out whether or not something is true. I think it will be well worth your time.

3 comments:

Dan said...

I've had a post something like this rolling around in my head for a few days. I agree totally.

Juliet said...

Amen! I was forwarded the same email about aspartame and the fact that it causes Multiple Sclerosis and all kinds of other things several times. In the email it said "this is true! check it out on snopes!" Well, if anyone actually bothered to check it out, snopes has it listed as completely false. Craziness.

Wade Phillips said...

Thanks. This has been bugging me for some time. I can't remember the last time I got an e-mail forward that was actually true.