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Author Topic:

Religious e-mails (and the evolution of the perfect snappy comeback)

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Rigil Kent
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« on: May 19, 2009, 10:33:58 AM »

A continuous source of wonder is the longevity of that fringe art, the religious email (or re-mail). Common sense would dictate that this annoying subculture would have come to an end years ago.  But  re-mails are alive and well, and cluttering our servers as diligently as ever. And unlike the Crazy Frog, they have very little entertainment value.

From other threads in these forums, I know that I certainly am not the only religious innocent  regularly caught up in the crossfire and shrapnel of electronic god-propaganda that ostensibly flies indiscriminately to everyone unfortunate enough to have their details held hostage in the senders arsenal of addresses.

One day you, and a whole list of others, receive an re-mail from someone that you have at least met before, and then it snowballs into flood of re-mails from most of the individuals copied, and before you know it you find yourself in the midst of a happy family of re-mailers.

I must admit that I rarely read these re-mails anymore, and have become quite adroit at recognizing them by merely considering the graphics. It almost always contains pictures of:

Jesus, looking up at a 34° angle.
Jesus with a bunch of kids, now looking down at a 34° angle.
Sunsets, with text over them.
A huge mountain.
Someone climbing a huge mountain.
Assorted flowers, ribbons and bows, usually combined with glittering text.
The sea, or the beach, with text over it (usually in yellow)
Crosses, made from anything really, twigs, ice, lightsabers, sponge cake.
Kittens, or puppies, again with text over them, which makes them quite useless as wallpaper.

Some things that, for some reason,  I've never seen depicted on re-mails:

Nuns
A burning bush
Jonah's whale
A talking snake

This morning I've received yet another one. The gist of it: A congregation was freshly assembled in church ready for the pastor to deliver his pearls of wisdom, when two masked men with automatic weapons burst in. They shouted, "Who is prepared to take a bullet for Christ?!" Just about everyone stormed out the Church, except for a group of about 20 people, presumably the only true Christians. One of the gunmen then turns to the pastor, pulls off his balaclava, and wittily remarks:" OK pastor, we got rid of the hypocrites for ya. You may now continue!"

I mean WTF??!! Shocked

I felt that this one could not just be ignored, so I replied to the sender as follows:

Quote
Howzit so-and-so,

Please bear in mind that I am an atheist and as such do not buy into the idea of God, Satan or any other imaginary friends or superstitions.  I find that  reason and science, along with morals and ethics, serves me perfectly well.

Although I'm sure your intentions are commendable from the point of view of your  faith,  I   really have no need for any religious propaganda, and request that you take me off your distribution list.

Unless of course you can present  testable evidence for the existence of  God, which will be of great scientific interest to me and millions of sceptics globally.

Keep well,

My reply is probably far from perfect, but it did give me an intense feeling of liberation. If you've made any replies to re-mails, please list them in this thread.

Maybe we can build up a library of responses and evolve the ultimate  brilliant reply that can be used by all as an universal anti re-mail response.   Wink

Mintaka
« Last Edit: May 20, 2009, 17:28:27 PM by Mintaka » Logged
Mefiante
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2009, 11:49:19 AM »

Thoroughly enjoyable read there, Mintaka – well done!

My submission, for what it’s worth:
Quote
Dear X,

What on earth ever gave you the idea that I’d be interested in a blurb for emotional prosthetics or Skyagra!?
 
Truthfully,
Y

'Luthon64
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2009, 12:12:15 PM »

Quote
Skyagra

Dig! Grin

Mintaka
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mdg
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2009, 12:16:32 PM »

I would LOVE a snappy comeback for all the religious emails I receive. I really, really hate them - especially the ones that add on the bit about if you don't forward it on, you don't love jesus/you're heartless and will have to answer for it in the afterlife/you'll go to hell/blah,blah,blah....Aarrrrgggghhh!!!!  Angry

As much as I'd like to be rude, I'm not, because the holier-than-thou types (read, mainly family members) would say that it' s the kind of behaviour they expect from atheists. I've found that once I tell someone I'm an atheist it seems to enourage them even more; they reckon the more emails they send, the more likely I am to be saved and therefore that'll look good on their afterlife application to get into heaven  Roll Eyes

Quote from: Mintaka
Jesus, looking up at a 34° angle.
Jesus with a bunch of kids, now looking down at a 34° angle.
Sunsets, with text over them.
A huge mountain.
Some idiot climbing a huge mountain.
Assorted flowers, ribbons and bows, usually combined with glittering text.
The sea, or the beach, with text over it (usually in yellow)
Crosses, made from anything really, twigs, ice, lightsabers, sponge cake.
Kittens, or puppies, again with text over them, which makes them quite useless as wallpaper.


Spot on, Mintaka!  Grin

I tried looking online for a reply to some of these emails, but couldn't find anything suitable, so I think putting our heads together to write a comeback for religious emails is an excellent idea.

BTW, I did once send a load of atheist cartoons as a reply to a religious email; it did have the desired effect - I never got a christian email from that person again. You'll find the cartoons here.
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Barryl
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2009, 14:44:54 PM »

Quote
Maybe we can build up a library of responses and evolve the ultimate  brilliant reply that can be used by all as an universal anti re-mail response.   Wink

Mintaka

What gets me, are these pictures of incidents/accidents, in which somebody miraculously survived with the words added: " God is in control".  I am now busy collecting material (photos) of disasters and ugly accidents (with maimed survivors and dead), and then reply with it by adding: "But look at God's oops's"

Or of photos such as those beautiful Brazilian Butterflies with transparent wings: "There must be a God". Maybe I reply with photos of malformed individuals with the words: "I don't think there is a God or maybe if there is this is just one of his blunders".
 
Barryl
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AcinonyxScepticus
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2009, 19:50:32 PM »

Cheesy
Great post Mintaka, I have felt the same way for a long time.  Some time ago I gave up on replying, much like mgd, replying resulted in an increase of these nuisances landing in my inbox.

I have been tempted for some time to use similar pictures of butterfly wings and men climbing mountains and writing a piece that mentions "the wonder of god" or the "vastness of god's love" (in multiple colours and gaudy fonts) only to reveal at the very end how amazing the great god quetzacoatl / cthulu / the invisible pink unicorn really is!

Unfortunately, it may be hijacked by the recipient and that person may simply change the name of the god and forward it onward.  Perhaps a non-editable format (like a JPEG or PDF) would be better suited?  I don't expect it will ever get forwarded, I just wouldn't want it to be hijacked.

James
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« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2009, 12:40:22 PM »

Why is it that lazy religious types think that sending us god-damned atheists sappy e-mails will make any impact on our choices? I have personally already weighed up all the cute kittens and beautiful sunsets and come to rest firmly in the knowledge that there is nothing supernatural about them. Kittens are NOT miraculous (not even the really cute ones), nor are mountains, sunsets and the incredible ability to achieve which seems etched into the human psyche.

Oh, religious spammers, can't we find a way to convince them that e-mail is the DEVILS work so that they can forsake the bit-realm for ever?
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2009, 17:25:31 PM »

Why is it that lazy religious types think that sending us god-damned atheists sappy e-mails will make any impact on our choices?
Because GOD will use that message to speak to your HEART!  After all, just the other day the pastor told us all about how a committed atheist read just one email which changed his life forever by leading him to the LORD!

But it's probably just because they're lazy.  It's like "slacktivism", the uncritical belief that by just forwarding an email or "signing" an online petition one can actually help the women of Afghanistan or the bonobos of Congo or price of petrol, all without actually getting off your fat behind and actually doing something.

So there are both religious and secular slacktivists infesting our inboxes.  Oh well, it makes a a change from the usual v14gr4, rolex knockoffs, and cheap uni degrees. Sad
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Wandapec
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2009, 13:55:52 PM »

so I think putting our heads together to write a comeback for religious emails is an excellent idea.

Me too! Great post topic Mintaka.
I got one the other day disguised as a number of optical illusions. The subject of the mail was "Optical Illusions" (Number 7 is awesome)". As it turns out you have to look at a spot in the middle of the graphic for 40 seconds and then look at a white spot you see a cliche silhouette of what Jesus what supposed to have looked like, although the mail doesn't suggest that other than "Number 7 is awesome".
My response to the person that sent it to me was -
Quote from: E-mail Response
Number 7 is awesome. I just can't work out whether it is a silhouette of one of the BeeGees or Grigori Rasputin with his hair down?
I added photos to emphasise the point.
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Sentinel
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« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2009, 14:14:12 PM »

I recently received an e-mail with a well-known type of message:

It starts off with a story of someone that followed the instructions an found a pot of gold or something and if you pass it on to 10 people, something great will happen. If you don't, you'll be struck by lightning or something...

I'm sure everybody's received one of these.

I replied as follows:

Dear...

Thank you for your e-mail, but I am slightly upset about the curse attached to it, as I have decided not to pass it on to anyone else.

What you need to do, so that the curse does not visit you and your family ten fold, is say 10 "Our Fathers" and "10 Hail Mary's" for each of the 10 people you sent it to. Just in case the other nine people sent it on to ten people, you'll have to repeat the process for each instance.

Just remember that those 90 people may have sent it on to ten people as well, so say another 900 just to be sure. You may want to say another 9000 just to make absolutely sure. (I hope nobody sent it on to more than ten people!)

This should keep you busy for a while, so that you don't send me any more JUNK like this!
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Pink Panther
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« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2009, 15:06:14 PM »

Hey there,

Interesting topic. I normally send this reply to any chain letter enthusiasts.
Any email in the form of a chain letter  ( from a Christian point of view) would be considered part of demonology. Most Theologians are actually taught that these letters come from the earliest historical records of witchcraft in Europe—law codes, poems, heroic tales, and the writings of Greek and Roman scholars—Carrying curses via the form of letters… Christian theology eventually altered, permitting the idea that God had licensed the Devil to cause real harm so that humans could be properly tested. This theory turned witches into Satan's servants, empowered by him to seduce the weak and attack the godly. Chain letters were a form of transmitting curses across the church sphere without getting caught. These trends drove ruling élites to give fresh encouragement to a popular belief in witchcraft which has never died out, and to enrich a mass of traditional folklore with the novel stereotype of a counter-religion involving the worship of Satan himself.
So next time you get an email in the form of a chain letter, please remind the sender that they are actually working for the wrong side.  ???But thanks anyway!

Pink Panther
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Jane of the Jungle
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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2009, 12:02:23 PM »




Look at this!  A freekin killer for any Atheist!!!

Does this mean, if I paste only 1 copy on this site and ten people read it, that ......I'm gonna have
to go and buy myself a lotto ticket Wink   (or do I miraculously stand a chance of winning it without even buying a ticket??? Grin (even though a xtian were not even allowed gambling according to da bijble: )

Pssst if you guys don't hear anything from me within the next 24 hours, no worry, its possibly only a connection problem 
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cyghost
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« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2009, 12:11:50 PM »

 Grin  Is that mysterious face supposed to be Jesus?

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« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2009, 12:15:54 PM »

Ek weti maar dit is nie my Oupa nie, lyk vir my meer na Jan van Riebeeck Grin
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« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2009, 14:15:25 PM »

I haven't had one of these for years.  Probably because I was quite rude to the people who sent them to me--I'd upbraid them in strong terms and send my response using the "reply to all" button, which usually resulted in a chorus of "hear hears" from all the other people who had been annoyed by the same email.  Shame caused them to remove my name from their divine spam list.
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