Freedom of Religion, Spam, and Faith

10.15.06 | 4 Comments

Freedom of religion is one of the core tenets of our country and is protected by the Constitution. I would defend to the death any citizen’s right to worship as they see fit. Faith is a very personal matter and, in my opinion, is best demonstrated by the way one lives one’s life. Outward displays of faith, recruiting into a particular faith, and claims of “godliness” are nothing more than the worst kind of braggadocio from my perspective. Why write this entry? In the past few days, I’ve received multiple copies of this missive:

Read only if you have time for God

Let me tell you, make sure you read all the way to the bottom. I almost deleted this email but I was blessed when I got to the end
God, when I received this e-mail, I thought…I don’t have time for this… And, this is really inappropriate during work.

Then, I realized that this kind of thinking is… Exactly, what has caused lot of the problems in our world today. We try to keep God in church on Sunday morning…Maybe, Sunday night…And, the unlikely event of a midweek service. We do like to have Him around during sickness…And, of course, at funerals.

However, we don’t have time, or room, for Him during work or play…Because…That’s the part of our lives we think… We can, and should, handle on our own. May God forgive me for ever thinking…That…there is a time or place where…HE is not to be FIRST in my life. We should always have time to remember all HE has done for us.

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.” Not ashamed? Pass this on ONLY IF YOU MEAN IT!! Yes, I do Love God. HE is my source of existence and Savior. He keeps me functioning each and every day. Without Him, I will be nothing. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.. (Phil 4:13) 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 and the person who sent it to you! Now do you have the time to pass it on? Make sure that you scroll through to the end.

Easy vs. Hard
Why is it so hard to tell the truth but Yet so easy to tell a lie?
Why are we so sleepy in church but Right when the sermon is over we suddenly wake up?
Why is it so easy to delete a Godly e-mail, but yet we forward all of the nasty ones?
Of all the free gifts we may receive, Prayer is the very best one….
There are no costs, but wonderful rewards… GOD BLESS!

Isn’t it funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell.
Isn’t it funny how someone can say “I believe in God” but still follow Satan (who, by the way, also “believes” in God).
Isn’t it funny how you can send a thousand jokes through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing?
Isn’t it funny how when you go to 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 to them.
Isn’t it funny how I can be more worried about what other people think of me than what God thinks of me

I pray, for everyone who sends this to their entire address book, they will be blessed by God in a way special for them.
And send it back to the person who sent it, to let them know that indeed it was sent out to many more.

(Mike’s note: edited for format and to remove email addresses – otherwise, the content is untouched.)

Each time I’ve received this note, I have replied with a direct, but polite response to the sender:

Dear [Sender],

Your faith is your business, please don’t make it mine.


I have to wonder, what insecurities must one have in their own faith to a) send such a note b) do so repeatedly c) do so after being asked politely not to transmit such messages to a particular recipient d) fail to recognize the lack of respect such actions signal and e) actually believe this has a bearing on their faith or how others view their faith (except in a negative light?) If one’s faith is so fragile that it requires sending mass, unsolicited email to sustain it, isn’t there a larger problem at hand for the sender?

I wonder, if instead of taking the time to attempt to “prove one’s faith through spam” people sending these useless and annoying things have considered investing their time in other, more useful activities. For instance:

  • Not ignoring the homeless person enroute to work that day, perhaps offering a meal and an ear
  • Comforting a friend in need or distress
  • Pay the toll for the car behind you in the toll lane
  • Helping out at the local Senior Citizen’s center
  • Working with children at a local Head Start
  • Visiting a nursing home to play a game, read a book, or simply converse with residents
  • Smile kindly at the person who has just cut you off in traffic (this is one I have great difficulty practicing)
  • Pick up trash along the route you walk
  • Adopt a pet from the local shelter
  • Assist a neighbor in need with lawn and home care
  • Be a volunteer, for anything that is necessary in the local community

Yes, these are all simple actions that everyday people could take in lieu of sending contrived messages of “godliness.” But these actions are invisible to the world at large – they are only visible to the people touched, you, and perhaps a “god” figure (again, depending upon your faith.) There is no glory to be had here. Only the satisfaction of your personal faith being expressed in a tangible way and knowing there is a benefit for those people who really need help most.

There is a difference between people of faith. There are those who practice their faith every day in every way, those who demonstrate their faith through consistent actions and behaviors, those who live quiet, dignified lives of respect for themselves and others. Then there are those people who would mouth words of faith, those who coerce and chide others for their faith or perceived lack therof, those who use faith as a lever to advance their own causes, those who complain loudly about the state of the world and yet, strangely, do little to help in demonstrable ways. Public expressions of faith are often inconsistent with living a truly faithful life. I don’t have to say any more, you know which camp you’re in.

If you really want to be a faithful person, demonstrate it through your actions and keep your mouth shut. People around you will recognize what kind of person you are and what you believe by their observation of what you do, not through what you say or what emails you terrorize the rest of the world by sending. If one of those people asks you about your faith and philosophy, share. Otherwise, live your life the best you can, be true to your faith, whatever it is, and stay out of the specious faith camp. Through this approach, we can make the world a better place.

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