Friday, November 03, 2006

An open invitation for your opinions

I don't do this often - solicit other people's opinions, that is - generally because I live my life by the belief that most people are full of crap. But I have a genuine quandary, and I'd appreciate some insight from outside sources.

It's been mentioned in more than one post that I am an atheist. I used to be Catholic, and was downright bible-thumpin' Christian for a few years before my downward spiral into abject heathenism. I've been secular for about 12 years now - happily so. Living as I do in the Shiny Brass Buckle of Bubba's Big Bible Belt, I am of course surrounded by Christians of all types. Most of the time, we coexist in relative peace. I am not often the subject of rabid proselytizing. The few friends I have at my job are well aware that I'm a non-believer and they are still nice to me. The problem I face is much more subtle - e-mail.

Today alone, I've received five mass emails from coworkers with heavy religious themes. Four of them were the same email- one of those "pass this along to everyone you know" things. Basically, this email says if you love Jesus, you'll forward the email to everybody.

My usual response is to delete the crap, but it's starting to get really old. Christians (and everyone else, for that matter) are more than entitled to their beliefs, but I am not interested. I try to practice responsible email. If a missive contains opinions of any kind, I do my best to only forward it to those I am sure will agree with it. Just because I hold particular beliefs and opinions does not mean others should have to read it, or even receive it.

So save your typing on the "just delete it" suggestion. I've been "just deleting" them, and it's only getting worse. Think about this: If I was sending you atheist propaganda or some political stuff you disagreed with all the time, wouldn't you get tired of it?

I have once gone so far as to ask one girl to not send me anything religious, but apparently she forgot and thus continues to do so. I was polite in my request, and would not be impolite or bashing to anyone else.

What am I supposed to do?


At 12:59 PM, November 03, 2006, Blogger mg said...

I'm a pagan, have been for years. My view on the spiritual stuff that gets forwarded to me is thus;

Regardless of what the sender believes, if the message is positive - that's all I need to see. It is just good energy, and if it makes someone happy to send it, I should try to find a common bond (it is my goal as a spiritual woman) and send it along to possibly make someone else's day. So, I send them. No harm in wishing people well.

At 1:02 PM, November 03, 2006, Anonymous Hardcore Doug said...

First off, WOW I can comment now without making my own account here! That was always the reason I never posted, ya know.
Step one, yes just delete them.
Step two, if its starting to genuinely annoy you and you know the people sending them, by all means ask them to stop sending you those kinds of emails. If they honestly respect your wishes then you'll stop getting them.
Step three, if it continues then feel free to block their email address, and be sure to let them know you did so. Will they think its rude? Sure. I think its rude they keep sending you this crap despite your requests to stop.
I clap my hands for people that wish to reach the unreached, the folks that have never even heard of Jesus, God, or the like. I am thoroughly annoyed, however, with those that choose to pound on folks that have heard the message, who respectfully refuse, and continue to grate on the masses how much they're wrong.

At 1:30 PM, November 03, 2006, Blogger Skwerly said...

mg -

Thanks for your comments. I don't mind a lot of the "warm fuzzies" types of messages. It's the ones that specifically demand prayer and belief in Jesus OR ELSE. The worst one I got was called "Don't Mock God." It was filled with quotes from famous people, denying or otherwise rejecting whatever traditional Christian stuff was being shoved at them, and the stories of subsequent "punishment" they received from God in the form of a violent death or injury.


Glad to see you finally made it. I told you a long time ago that you didn't have to create an account. Besides, that don't fly as an excuse anyhow...I created my Xanga account so I could comment to you, Matt, and catlover! So meh!

In response to blocking email addresses, no can do. This is a work situation we're talking here. I can't block coworkers' email addresses because I'd also block legitimate company business. If it was my personal email, I'd have no problem. I'd tell the offender off or block them.

At 2:42 PM, November 03, 2006, Blogger catlover926 said...

My short, sweet answer is this: I AM a Christian, but if the only way I show it is by forcing unwelcome e-mails on folks who don't want them, then I'm missing the point. I, too, "just delete" all of those types of e-mails, because I refuse to be blackmailed into forwarding something that may express my belief, but does so in a way totally unlike me or my style of communicating. And to ignore your requests, is just plain rude.

At 8:39 PM, November 03, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay imma give you the nitty gritty work environment advice. you know its never gonna stop till you take it to "THE MAN". not saying your boss is a man. who knows? i dont. im sayin take it to the person in charge as a request that it stop due to your beliefs.

You can tell him/her that you need to make sure its anounced per an anonymous request that it stop. He/She can even go as far as saying "i busted a worker forwarding an email with religious content in it and that is a huge lawsuit wating to happen." yeah ... you can sue them for this. it scares employers. that doesnt mean you should threaten to. thats the last resort. just tell your boss that you have deleted them and gone as far as requesting them to please not send them to you. explain that your personal beliefs differs from theirs and it is becoming uncomfortable. As per the laws of the federal labor board and OSHA they have to comply by sending out a memo reminding people and even reprimand those caught.

good luck with all that! :)

At 5:57 PM, November 10, 2006, Blogger geekdarling said...

I've tried to tell one of my Sisters-In-Law to stop sending me crap but it didn't work. *sigh*
As for a solution: I believe you can set up "Rules" in your Inbox to sort those types of emails out.

At 1:34 PM, December 19, 2006, Anonymous Tracy said...

I stumbled across your blog because I was searching of ways how to ask friends not to send religious emails. I am so sick of my friends sending me God emails too. I also delete them because most the time they mean know harm. There are few of my friends who know I am a atheist but feel like if they don't forward me the email they might not get into heaven .What the hell :)! I think you should feel free to tell them to not to send emails about God because it offends your beliefs. If they don't then they are not your friends. Good Luck to you and I think I just figured out what to say to my friends. How cathartic this was. Thanks!


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