Monday, October 6, 2008

#48 Inspirational Forwards

Christian culture enjoys inspirational email forwards. These are often sent en masse to everyone in the sender's address book (cc’d, not bcc’d) and they usually feature centered text in varying boldness and font size throughout the message, made wonky by repeated forwards. In 92% of Christian forwards the sender will “challenge” the recipient to forward it on again to someone else. If you do not feel touched by the content of the message then you may feel somewhat ashamed of yourself. If you are outright annoyed by the content of the message then you will perhaps doubt your salvation.

A typical forward of this nature reads very similar to the following example:

From: A Christian in your life, usually an older relative
Sent: Friday, September 12, 2008 6:43 PM
To: You
Cc: About 93 people
Subject: Fw: FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: 8 yr old's description of God

Don’t miss the great artwork. Man, this one is classic! I hope it brings a smile to your face like it did mine. I challenge you to pass it along to someone who needs a little “blessing”… :)
In Him, Uncle Flanders

A Little Boy's Explanation of God -- Fabulous!!! - Out of the mouths of the

I certainly don't think an adult could explain this more



It was written by an 8-year-old named Danny Dutton, who lives in Chula Vista , CA . He wrote it for his third grade homework assignment, to 'explain God.' I wonder if any of us could have done as well?
[.... and he had such an assignment, in California , and someone published it, I guess miracles do happen ! ... ]

'One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.'

'God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off.'

'God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have.'

'Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista . At least there aren't any who come to our

'Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K.'

'His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him he didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in
heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important.'

'You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time.'

'You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's

Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway.'

'If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared, in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.'

' shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases.

And...that's why I believe in God.'

(If you believe in God, please pass this on, and may God bless you too.)

Have an awesome day, and know that someone has thought about you!


Unknown said...

Don't forget that most of the forwards include the last fifteen or sixteen sets of people who received the forward before you did. Recipients usually have to scroll down a few pages to get to the actual message. I'd say this was only my relatives, but I get them from all sorts of other people, too.

And the "challenge" to send it along will also "challenge" the strength of your faith if you don't forward it to everyone in your address book. (PS-- that's called spam)

Thanks for what you write. It's a great perspective! Keep toiling in the vineyards!

kaybee said...

Yes, you HAVE to add at the bottom something like, "If you don't forward this to at least 10people, can you really call yourself a Christian?" or "Failing to forward this to those you love could cause you to lose your salvation." I detest "Fwds" and these days I automatically delete them without reading them -- and I've probably lost a few friends when I've asked them not to send me anymore.

Simone said...

What gets me most about these at that they often seem to be lies. I don't believe an 8 year old wrote that. It reeks of an adult pretending to be a kid and stinking at it. Like Lil Marky:

Here's a clip. The baby voice comes at 1:10

angela aka joyful saint said...

i'm one of those Christians who purposely will not forward an e-mail that "dares" me to keep it to myself or delete for the simple reason that i hate to be manipulated. these e-mails have a manipulatish feeling to them, along with some kind of stupidstiousness to boot.

yeah, i have time to play solitaire, scrabble, read blogs and all that jazz, and no, i don't have time to forward inspirational e-mails. i also open umbrellas in the house, have broken a few mirrors, and have walked under a ladder after stepping on a crack while a black cat crossed my path.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I agree with Angela. I hate when people try to manipulate me into anything, especially when it pretends to involve Jesus. I love your blog, Stephanie! You left a comment on mine, one lost sheep, and I was hoping you might elaborate!

Mark (under construction) said...

Thanks for dropping in!!!

Yeah - I get @@@@@@ off when I come across these Emails - I hit delete right away. Wasting my time.

BTW - this is a great site, I shall pop in often.

Capri said...

I'm one of a very few online as well, a Christian who absolutely detests chain letters, especially those that exploit the name of God and people who believe in him to manipulate them into passing along dumb dreck mascarading as "inspiration" I really don't like those kiddy chain letters either, most of them are so fake, if only every Christian and kid lover would stop allowing forwarditis to switch their brains off and actually turn a critical eye on these things, they'd realize what tosh that stuff is. It's great to see other Christians online who dislike chain letter forwards as much as I do. I also get disgusted every time I see some poster online railing against chain letters, almost always turning out to be anti-Christian twats as well, or at least atheist and/or left-wing as well. I'm usually too ticked off by pseudo-religious chain letters to simply delete, so write down a bunch of screaming in response to it, which of course, I don't send back to the misguided person who thought they were sending me something really special. Usually I'll just send them a link debunking it or chain letters in general instead.

heather said...

oh my gosh I laughed out loud reading this. the giant font jump is my favorite followed in a close second by the animated graphic at the end. oh my gosh, this is so right on.

mike said...

I don't personally think the font was quite big enough.

Anonymous said...

now is that CHRISTIAN per se or just "my mother and other women in her generation and older if they are internet savvy"

Ganesh said...

An 8 year old wouldn't write that on his/her own. However, an 8 year old with their fundie parents helping them would or this is just downright fake and a waste of inbox space.

Anonymous said...

hehe, I get at LEAST one of these a week from my mom. Delete!

Jessica said...

Then there are the dying kid hoaxes, sometimes with a side order of religion exploitation to make them even more odius. At least a couple of them have ripped off poems from their original authors. "Slow Dance" was not written by a dying kid, but by an adult male child psychologist, David L. Weatherford. "Spending The Day" was written by Sally Meyers as a tribute to her son Dhylan when he was diagnosed with autism at 2. It was stolen for misuse in the Rachel Arlington/Winslet sick kid hoax. Another poem used in a chain that seems to be going around again, is "Around The Corner" by Henson Towne, but the chain doesn't mention that. It just gives a bunch of fake tales about fictional people who didn't forward it on and ended up dead or losing something of great value.

marie said...

ugh, my grandmother sends these to me all the time! And my mom sends me the ones where you have to open up a PowerPoint presenation that has slides of scenic photos with the words written on top of them.

Robert said...

Don't forget about the hypocrisy of sending these, being that they are lies. What I mean by that is that these are just marketing tools. Children did not actually write these cute little stories you often find in there, christian writers and marketing teams did. Gotta love the irony of how these ar supposedly christian email meant to inspire, but the whole premise of it being written by a child is a lie. Isn't there some kind of commandment against lying? I didn't see an asterisk by it with fine print at the bottom saying "lying is ok as long as its used to promote christianity"

Jessica said...

Chain letters are lies whether they are faked up writings claiming that kids wrote them or drippy "friendship" forwards that go on for ages on the virtues of friendship and tell you to spread the friendship - by passing the crap along. The lies become particularly annoying when chain letters get all sappy about friends yet you never hear from the friends who send the stupid things unless they are sending these stupid things. So much for really following what was actually written in the chain about friendship besides the "Forward it on!" urge, and being a friend and sending real messages, calling me up for a visit, asking me out for coffee etc. But boy oh boy, when some people get smarmy fake friendship chain letters dripping with badly-written prose or poetry, with stupid promises of rewards for forwarding that no one with their brain switched on would believe, they just have to let me know I'm still a "friend" worthy of getting their junkmail, and not even a second's worth of any real consideration.

Beth said...

I got one of these today, and it had something to do with Ben Stein. I went to

Ariel Wilson said...

I also got this email from them, when I feel very dull, this mail motivates me to complete my google scholar thesis topics research. I really want to say thank you for forwarding this blissful mail.

Sociology Essay Help said...

They gave me this email address as well, and whenever I'm feeling down, this message inspires me to do my research online help. I sincerely want to thank you for passing along this happy mail.