You know all those emails you get about things famous people have said, dirt on politicians, stuff about the war, etcetera, ad nauseum? Why in blazes do people think it’s ok to pass these on without checking to see how much truth is in them?
It’s as if we believe that its truthfulness is inherent in the fact that it is a mass email, despite the fact that it is virtually impossible to divine the original source.
If you get regular emails from me, you’ll note that if I send a mass email, it’s usually something off the wall funny, encouraging, weird, or inspirational. Basically, completely irrelevant and/or silly. And I usually only send it to people whom I think would enjoy it in some fashion.
If any email I get tells me that so-and-so Mr. Bigwig said such-and-such, so we should or shouldn’t trust him based on said remarks, or anything that claims to be factual (computer viruses to military exploits to quotes), I check it out. My favorite source, thus far, is Snopes.com. If it’s a mass email making claims, it’s probably on there.
Please, start using it. I have been so very tempted so many times to just hit “reply to all” with the snopes link every time, but I can’t. I don’t want anyone to think that I’m high and mighty or judgemental. That’s not it at all.
The Truth is important to me – so important, that I cannot even stand to have a politician I do not like wrongly maligned. It isn’t RIGHT. Especially if one claims to follow Christ. As Faramir says: “I would not snare even an orc with a falsehood”. Something like that anyway.
Here are just a few links regarding emails I’ve received just this week:
This email claims to be a collection of thoughts from Andy Rooney. While the thoughts and quotes are pithy, witty, and wise, they have been wrongly attributed to Andy Rooney. If you’re going to be misquoted, or have things attributed to you, this is the way to go. Still, it’s not the Truth.
In His Own Words – Barack Obama
Just to be clear – I am NOT an Obama supporter in any way, shape, or form. However, in the interest of Truth, yet again, I am posting this link. His words have been taken grossly out of context, and while I don’t like the guy, I wouldn’t want MY words twisted and used against me.
World War II Memorial Leaves out “So Help Us God”
Again, someone grossly assumed that because someone’s brother’s cousin’s wife’s stepniece’s great-aunt heard something, somewhere, and emailed it to everybody, it MUST be true. Not so.
The Price They Paid
This email details the supposed wretched outcomes of many of the signers of our country’s Declaration of Independence. Some of the things are true, many are false. This one, out of all of them, was the most interesting read for me.
The Truth About ANWR
This one, while there is MUCH truth in it, neglects to illustrate the opposing side’s points of view. It fails to back up its own arguments with more than a few photos – which ultimately really don’t mean much. Whether or not I agree with drilling in Alaska is immaterial – whether or not I’m willing to find out WHY I agree or don’t agree is far more important. I certainly will not be basing my decisions on a random mass email, no matter how pithy and clever it is.
Truth is what matters. And for those of us who claim to follow Christ, shame on you if you do not “study to show yourself approved…” We claim to be proclaimers of Truth Himself, and if we can’t follow through on researching a simple email, how can we expect to be believed when we are sharing His Word and His Good News with unbelievers?
Again, my intention here is not to judge or be harsh, and I realize that whether or not you pass on a mass email has very little to do with the heart of your faith or how much you love Jesus. It’s just one area where I feel such strong conviction, that I am bursting to share it without getting personal. I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I feel that these emails do hurt someone along the line.
I used to pass on the ones that I agreed with blissfully – and not too long ago, really. But…once I discovered snopes, I really feel I am without excuse. In this case, ignorance is NOT bliss. It is just ignorance, and now that I know better, I can be rid of one more case of ignorance in my life. There are many yet to conquer, but this molehill has beel levelled.
So, please, before you pass it on, check it out.