Dear God; Save Me From Forwarded Forwards

September 17th, 2009 | Posted in Current Events, Internet, Misc Assorted General Stuff, Opinion | 21 Comments

You’ve seen them, in fact, if you’re at all like me then you probably see several of them a day.  All you need is to have one person who has your email address in their contact list who obligingly forwards everything that says “send this to everybody in your contact list” and you’re all set to receive as many as a dozen of these pieces of digital crap every week.

I think that over the years I’ve seen at least three variations of every “forward this” email that there is out there.  They generally take one of two tactics.

Either they’ll promise you the moon, a new car, a million dollars a new bell tv, five golden rings, instantaneous weight loss while eating a seven course turkey dinner every day and of course, a free ride straight to heaven when the time comes, God’s special favor and anything else you can think of.

The other side of that coin is the threat. “Don’t break this chain or … ” any number of evil things will befall you from your hair falling out to the IRS jumping down your throat feet first to sudden unexplainable death.

They use various forms of the guilt treatment.. “If you love God, you’ll send this on” or “If you’re not ashamed of Jesus, you’ll send this on”.  Etc, Etc. Etc. Ad nauseam.

Here’s the thing.  I do love God, I’m not ashamed of Jesus and I do fully agree with that prayer about our economy being healed, gas prices coming down, and finding a cure for cancer.  I hate the fact that children are abused or that people in this or that other country are living under XYZ form of repression and I do pray that they’ll be saved from that.  However, forwarding an email isn’t going to help one bit.

All that those thousands and thousands of forwarded emails accomplish is to A, burden the email systems of the world with absolutely useless traffic and B, allow somebody along the line to harvest the email addresses so that they can be used for spamming viagra advertisements.

So how about we all do the world a favor, the next time you get one of those emails that asks you to send it on to X number of people or everybody in your contacts or friends list.  Pray not only for the need presented in it if there is one, but also pray for the people who sent it on to you and to other as you quietly hit the delete key and save your friends a bunch of crap they don’t want anyway.

[Tags]email, forwarded email, junk mail, address harvesting, overloaded mail systems[/tags]

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21 Responses to “Dear God; Save Me From Forwarded Forwards”

  1. Amen.


  2. Well said. People need to think twice before forwarding stuff like this, including messages on Messenger etc. saying that “you need to forward this to all your contacts or MSN will have to charge for its use”.

    If somebody forwards an e-mail where all the e-mails are visible in the “To” or “CC” field then I write them back asking them wtf they’re doing, putting my e-mail visible in an email to a hundred other people I’ve never heard of.
    .-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..Thesis/WordPress Tip: Featured Posts Script & Exclude From Front Page =-.

  3. At the very least it’s rude.  Then there’s the likelihood that many of these “forward this” email chains are started by people who simply want to harvest the email addresses that will be in it when it finally makes it’s way back to them

  4. Forwarding the mail won’t help, however nor will praying. Praying doesn’t work because there are no gods. You berate people for their belief in the power of e-mail, however you have an equally irrational belief in a bronze age sky god.
    OK people who forward e-mails are annoying but they aren’t as dangerous as a world full of god-botherers trying their best to kill each other.


  5. “God-botherers”?  I actually haven’t heard that one before.

    My belief in God may be irrational in your eyes but it hasn’t harmed me or anyone else that I know of and in fact I’m convinced that my belief in Him has helped improve my life.  I’ll grant you that there’s a lot of evil that’s been done in the name of God but that does not mean that all people who believe in him are dangerous.  And in the judgment, all of those who’ve used God as an excuse or reason to do vile things will get exactly what’s coming to them.

  6. You only have to read the bible to see people doing “vile things” all at the behest of your god. But then if you are a christian you probably haven’t read much of the bible.
    Are you one of those mislead creationist chrisians? The sort who would murder doctors for performing abortions and condemn homosexuals? Would you kill your own children for following a false god? God states that you must do that too, in your bible, but of course you would know that if you have read it. Or do you just listen to the bits your preacher tell you?

  7. As far as Bible reading goes, I’ve actually read the whole thing from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 twice (even the “boring parts”) and I’ll probably be starting a third full reading soon.

    Am I a “creationist”.  Yes, I believe that God created the heavens and the Earth, animals, man, Etc.  As for the rest, I do not believe in or support murdering doctors for performing abortions nor do I condemn homosexuals.  I believe that both have made some wrong choices but that’s their choice.

    One of the things that a lot ( most in fact) of people make the mistake of doing is taking things out of their proper context.  This leads to a LOT of incorrect ideas about what God wants.

    Hosea 6:6, “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”

    Jesus referred to this scripture as well when the Pharisees accused His disciples of doing something that wasn’t legal and it’s one part of a key to understanding what God wants from us.

    He also said this:

    Matthew 22:35-40, “Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

  8. As a creationist you are part of the problem. I’m not just picking on your religion, but religion in general. Anyone that can ignore the obvious truth and evidence and continue to believe that their version of god is the only truth is condemning the world to a probable bleak future.

    You talk of of taking things out of proper context and then pluck two small passages from the bible as proof of your religion.

    Your bible is a confused jumble of contradicting ideas which make no real sense. Your priests just pick the ideas that appeal to them and spew their poison to the uneducated.

    The bible was written by Bronze and early Iron age man, and it shows. Continuing to believe that god created the world in six days “as is” around six thousand years ago is just laughable. It flies in the face of modern science which dates our planet at around five billion years. Not just one science but them all, geology, biology, physics, all have convincing evidence against religious “young earth” theory. No scientific evidence backs up your creation myth, it is a blinkered dogma of the uneducated. 

    Faith means not wanting to know what is true. – Friedrich Nietzsche

  9. I didn’t pick those two passages as “proof of your religion”, only as proof of what God really wants from man.
    As for contradictions in the Bible, I’ve yet to be convinced that there are any.
    I’ve also not seen any evidence that disproves the Bible.
    As for the definition of Faith, Nietzsche had it all wrong.  Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

  10. Coward!!

  11. Really?

  12. Richpickings on October 1st, 2009 at 2:47

    Damn my impatience. I apologise for my comment above, I assumed you had left the argument and failed to publish my previous discourse.

    I will address your reply in reverse order if I may.

    “The bible is true, look it says so in the bible.” A theory must be backed up by evidence from other sources if it can be considered to be truth. If the only evidence for Darwin’s Theory of Evolution had been his book “The Origin of Species” the theory would have been dismissed a century ago.
    The reason his theory has survived for so long is because it has been constantly backed up by emerging evidence over the years.

    The only reason (I think) that you have not seen evidence that disproves the bible, is that you have not looked. I will refer first to Evolution. The evidence for evolution by natural selection is overwhelming, although I am sure that religous fundamentalists will ignore the evidence out of hand. Evolution and it’s supporting sciences like geology and astro phisics proves that the universe and The Earth is much older than fundamentalists believe. Where is your proof for a young Earth, apart from the bible that is. Surly if it is true there will be some noteable scientists with evidence to back up your theory.
    There is DNA evidence that implies that the Jews originated from Palestine and have not travelled from Egypt. They have the same origins as the people they hate accross their border. (this is a theory yet to be proven)
    There is no scientific evidence for a world wide flood 4000 (or so) years ago. How could Noah have distributed the animals worldwide after it (Penguins to Antartica etc) or even collected two of every species on the planet when there are many millions of them, still many millions yet to be discovered.

    As for bible contradictions, I won’t bother to list the many hundreds of them, just Google “bible contradictions” and check them against your own bible.

    I apologise again for my above comment, I thought you had left the argument. I see now you are made of sterner stuff.

  13. While I may sometimes take days (or occasionally even weeks) to approve comments due to a combination of health issues and time, the only comments that I nuke out of hand are obvious spam that’s primarily intended to get somebody a free link.  Legit comments / discussions Etc will always (eventually) get approved and published.
    On the subject of the theory of evolution.  I’ll give you that micro evolution has actually been shown in some plant and animal species adapting to their environment, however I don’t believe that macro evolution will ever be proven because (and this is one of the biggest problems that I personally have with it) it requires physically simple systems to spontaneously become more and more complex over time on a grand scale.  It requires order to arise spontaneously out of chaos when the natural tendency is for order to break down into chaos.

    As for confirmation of the Bible being true, how about the fact that there’s a lot of things that it correctly describes that were unknown to science at the time?  Here’s just a few of them:

    In Leviticus 15:13 God insisted that people should wash their hands under running water where science held that washing in still water (as in a basin or bucket) was enough (that is if anybody bothered to wash their hands at all).

    Leviticus 17:11 shows that blood is the source of life while as recently as the 1700’s so-called doctors were still “bleeding” people who were sick.

    2 Samuel 22:16 shows the ocean floor having deep valleys and mountains where science believed it was flat.

    Job 26:7 Shows that the Earth floats free in space where some science of those days claimed that Earth sat on the back of some impossibly large animal.

    Job 28:25 Implied that air has weight while science believed it was weightless.

    Job 38:16 reveals that the ocean has springs where science said they were only fed by rain and rivers.

    Job 38:19,20 showed that light moves while as far as science was concerned light simply appeared from it’s source.

    Ecclesiastes 1:6 Shows that Winds blow in cyclones (circular storms) while science held that wind only blew in straight lines.

    Isaiah 40:22 Shows the Earth is round. which has since proven true.  At that time Science claimed the Earth was flat.

    Jeremiah 33:22 Says that there is an incalculable number of stars while science at the time only claimed there were around 1,100 stars.

    1 Corinthians 15:41 Reveals that each star is different. Science of the day held that a star was a star and that there wasn’t any difference between them other than position.

    In Hebrews 11:3 Creation is shown to be made up of invisible elements.  Science was mostly ignorant on the subject.  Granted, Democritus proposed the existence of atoms around 500bc, However we’ve since learned that the “invisible elements” are vastly more involved thanks to sub-atomic physics.

    As for the flood, I suggest you have a look at

    Also, God didn’t tell Noah to just take two of every species, that’s a common misconception.  What He actually told him was Genesis 7:2-3, “Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.”

    While the Bible doesn’t explicitly say so, I consider it reasonable to assume that since God commanded Noah to take the animals into the ark, that He (God) saw to it that all of the needed animals came to Noah when it was time to load the ark.  I further assume that God also handled distribution of animals when they left the ark.

  14. Sorry for the delay in replying, but it’s a long one.
    Order will rise out of chaos and can often be seen to happen. Look at the growth of crystals in a liquid for instance. Evolution takes a long time, for single cell organisms to evolve into something as complex as a human, that takes billions of years. If you believe in a young earth then you have about enough time for wolves to evolve into Yorkshire Terriers.
    Where did you get your examples from? Did you research them yourself or glean them from your church’s literature? I suspect the latter. In them you mention science believing certain things at the time, many of them such as flat sea beds and light not travelling from a source I cannot find any proof for. However early scientists (if you could have called them that) would have believed many strange things, most of them would have even believed in a god.

    Leviticus 15:13 only mentions washing “When any man hath a running issue out of his flesh” I’m not sure what that is, but it doesn’t sound pleasant and washing it is very good advice. (One up for god there)

    Leviticus 17:11 Seems to be to do with sacrifices. At least early doctors only let a little blood.

    2 Samuel 22:16 Depends on which translation you use. Some mention valleys, some mention channels, some the sea bed, one says the streams of the sea. None however mention mountains. I don’t think you could have read that one. Did science believe the sea bed was flat? I’ve no idea.

    Job 26:7 When read with the rest of the chapter, appears to me to mean earth as in (What you Americans call) dirt, not Earth the planet. I could be wrong about that though.

    Job 28:25 Mentions the weight of wind not air, although I could be splitting hairs here.

    Job 38:19,20 Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof, That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof? To say that this is a scientific statement about light travelling from a source is a bit difficult to believe.

    Ecclesiastes 1:6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. Is definitely a statement about air circulation.

    Isaiah 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in. You say that science believed the earth to be flat and carried on the backs of animals. This is a popular misconception. It is believed that the Babylonians knew the world was a sphere around 6000 years ago.  Many people also believed the world was a dome like structure, but very few believed it was flat. Eratosthenes of Cyrene 276BC to 195BC knew that the Earth was a sphere and even very accurately calculated its circumference. An interesting article is here: In Isaiah 40:22 however, biblical scholars describe the earth as a circle not a sphere, a circle is flat. The vast majority of translations I could find mention a circle not a sphere apart from one “The Message” (created by Eugene H. Peterson) which says: God sits high above the round ball of earth.  The people look like mere ants. He stretches out the skies like a canvas— yes, like a tent canvas to live under. Two mention the Earth without any shape.

    As for people believing that the world was borne on the backs of animals; Native Americans believed it was a turtle whereas the ancient Greeks believed that Atlas carried the heavens on his shoulders. These were religious beliefs not scientific ones.

    Jeremiah 33:22 As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me. Does that mean stars? Maybe…

    1 Corinthians 15:41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. Definitely implies that stars are different. Did “science of the day” think they were the same?  I’ve no idea.

    Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. Some translations say “things that are not visible”. This could definitely be read as things you can see are made from stuff that is invisible.

    Noah’s Ark from the dimensions given in the bible would have been a very big boat. It would still have been too small for the estimated 1.75 million species of animal alive today. Do you also believe extinct species were on it too? Lets add another 2 million species then. Mammoths, sabre toothed tigers, dinosaurs etc. What about the sea dwelling creatures and fresh water species, the changes in salinity from all that rain over a short time would have killed them too, so they would have needed to be on the ark in some kind of aquaria, one for salt and one for fresh water (at least). Some of these animals are quite big too, let’s look at whales. How the hell does Noah get them out of the sea and onto the ark? Are they clean beasts? Did he have 7 of each of them? What about all the food for the animals, that would take an enormous amount of space too. Perhaps god magicked them into some kind of suspended animation so they didn’t have to eat food or each other. It doesn’t say so in the bible but I consider it reasonable to assume he would.

    I’m Richard by the way, what’s your name?

  15. My name?  Everybody calls me Ed.  It *should* be visible on all of my comments and on every post.
    As for the rest, due to a combination of busy, assorted health issues in general and a jaw that feels like I’ve just been hit in the mouth with a major metropolitan area I won’t be addressing the bulk of this for a while.  I normally like to answer when I approve comments so that I don’t forget (that happens a lot anymore) but I’m just not up to this one right now.  Instead I’ve gone ahead and approved the comment so that others can take a stab at it if they choose.  (besides, it’d be kinda nice to see some additional input, I *know* I’m not the only Christian that reads this blog!)

  16. I’m sorry to hear you aren’t well Ed. I suppose this was supposed to be a discussion about annoying e-mails not a theological debate. You are oh so right about the e-mail thing, I think everyone has a friend who just forwards this crap to everyone in their inbox. I’ve cured a couple of people by directing them here that sometimes works and doesn’t usually upset anyone.

    I look forward to hearing from you when you are feeling up to it. I quite enjoyed looking up the passages you mentioned and was unaware there were so many different English translations, I found 20.

    21st Century King James Version
    American Standard Version
    Amplified Bible
    Contemporary English Version
    Darby Translation
    Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition
    English Standard Version
    Good News Translation
    Holman Christian Standard Bible
    King James Version
    New American Standard Bible
    New Century Version
    New International Reader’s Version
    New International Version
    New International Version – UK
    New King James Version
    New Living Translation
    The Message
    Today’s New International Version
    Young’s Literal Translation

    Which translation do you use?

  17. Most of the time I use the King James version.  Partly because I like the language it uses and partly because the Strong’s concordance is keyed to that version.  I also refer to most of the other translations that you listed using a great resource called E-Sword that combines plugins to make available something like 19 translations (probably more by now, it’s been a while since I last downloaded it) and quite a number of reference works all in one program.

  18. Richpickings on October 8th, 2009 at 2:45

    Hello again Ed, hope you are feeling better.

    I’ve been looking up bloodletting as a medical practice and I must admit it is interesting. This article here sums thing up nicely: and it was occuring much earlier than I had believed. It also says that the use of leeches (and maggots) is making a bit of a comeback in modern medicine.

    I’ve also been reading some more of the bible. Leviticus is an interesting book, around chapter 14 (your) god gives Moses a cure (treatment) for leprosy. I have summed up that cure (treatment) below, please read the chapter and correct me if I’m wrong.

    1 Get two birds.

    2 Kill one.

    3 Dip the living one in the blood of the dead one.

    4 Sprinkle the blood on the leper seven times.

    5 Free the bird soaked in blood.

    6 Find a lamb and kill that.

    7 Wipe some of it’s blood on the patient’s right ear, thumb and big toe.

    8 Sprinkle seven times with oil and wipe some of the oil on the same places as the lamb’s blood.

    9 Repeat.

    10 Finally, sacrifice two doves.

    Thank god for Jesus. Magicking lepers better is better than that rigmarole.

  19. I have good days and bad days.  That looks like an interesting article.  I knew that modern medical research has been working with leeches but I hadn’t heard of the work with maggots.  In either case, I can’t help thinking that there’s going to be a lot to overcome in getting people to accept the use of either.
    As for your summary of what God told Moses to do about leprosy, that pretty much sums it up.  And yes, doing things Jesus’ way, operating by faith, is infinitely better.

    There is one thing to consider about the law that God gave to Moses and why it was so complicated and involved, the main reason for it was to demonstrate to man that there is no way that mankind can achieve his own salvation.  (There’s a Biblical quote for this but I can’t think of it right this second and I’m feeling just a bit too lazy to look it up right now).  The idea is that the standard for entry into the kingdom of heaven is absolute perfection.  A standard that no human can achieve on their own, which is where Jesus comes in.  He paid the price for our sin and imperfection.

  20. Good to hear from you again Ed, I hope you are feeling well. If I’ve learned nothing else from our intercourse I’ve learned patience.

    I can’t see from the chapter any mention that this was a demonstration that mankind could not achieve his own salvation. What the chapter does seem to relate is bronze age superstition and mumbo jumbo.

    The leeches mentioned in the link I sent you are used in modern surgery to maintain blood flow. Using leeches to bleed a patient is pretty useless (and barbaric). Their use in early medicine was superstition.

    Maggots however only eat dead flesh. Putting (sterile) maggots in an infected wound helps to clean it by removing (eating) the dead flesh. This prevents gangrene which is a pretty nasty spreading necrosis that unless treated (usually by removing the affected limb) will result in death.
    There are reports of the successful use of maggots for wound healing by Maya Indians and Aboriginal tribes in Australia. Both non-Christian peoples.
    Surely (your) god would have done better to mention that something as prevalent as maggots could be used to save lives, rather than some pretty useless bird killing sacrifices.
    I expect maggots are unclean though.

    As for relying on faith to cure you is one of many examples on the Internet that prove that faith based cures are laughably (if they weren’t so tragic) ineffective. Give me scientifically discovered antibiotics over prayer any day.

  21. Taking things out of order here
    Re: Maggots.  Call it a cultural bias or whatever you like, but all I can say is UGH! , No Thanks.  I’d rather stick with more “traditional” treatments.
    As for the story you referenced, I’ve seen many stories like it and I think that people who make choices like that are missing something.  You see, I can’t see why God would permit medical science to have discovered so many treatments and procedures to help the sick if He did not intend for people to make use of them.  It reminds me of the old story about a guy in a flood.  He climbs to the top of his house and waits.  After a while a family comes along in a boat offering to take him to safety.  He replies that God is going to save me.  A while later another group comes along in a boat and offers him a ride to high ground.  Once again he replies “God is going to save me” and stays put.  Later as the water is beginning to cover most of his roof and he’s clinging to the chimney, a news helicopter comes along and offers to fly him to safety.  Again he refuses, saying that “God will save me”.  The man drowns soon after that.  In heaven the man asks God “Why didn’t you save me?  I put my faith in you.”  and God replies “Son, I sent you two boats and a helicopter, what more do you want?”
    Finally, I did not mean to imply that the scripture in Leviticus that you were talking about had anything to do with a demonstration that mankind could not achieve his own salvation.  I said that there was scripture for it but was too lazy (not to mention sore and tired) to look it up at the time.  Have a look at the third chapter of Galatians for some explanation of the purpose of the law, in particular the latter part:

    Galatians 3:22-25, “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.”

    If man puts his faith solely on his own works and living according to the law, then he’s condemned under the law because to be guilty of the least of it is to be guilty of all of it.  However thanks to Jesus, we no more need to be justified by our works or the law, but by faith in Him