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Monday, July 27, 2009

Emotional Blackmail, Religious Style

Today I received this forwarded email (verbatim; only lacking the cutesie-pie, kitschy pictures):

Read only if you have time for God

Let me tell you, make sure you read all the way to the bottom. I

Almost deleted this email but I was blessed when I got to the end

We try to keep God in church on Sunday morning...

Maybe, Sunday night...

And, the unlikely event of a midweek service.

We do like to have Him around during sickness...

And, of course, at funerals.

However, we don't have time, or room, for Him during work or


Because.. That's the part of our lives we think... We can, and

Should, handle on our own.

May God forgive me for ever thinking... That...

There is a time or place where..HE is not to be FIRST in my life.

We should always have time to remember all HE has done for us.

If, You aren't ashamed to do this... Please follow the directions.

Jesus said, 'If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you

Before my Father.'

Yes, I do Love God.

HE is my source of existence and Savior.

He keeps me functioning each and every day. Without Him, I will

Be nothing. But, with Christ, HE strengthens me. (Phil 4:13)

If You Love God... And, are not ashamed of all the marvelous

Things HE has done for you...

Send this to 10 People and the person who sent it to you!

Now do you have the time to pass it on?

Easy vs. Hard

The friend who passed it on to me is a lovely, open-minded woman who would not have dreamed of giving offence. She simply can’t have been thinking. So I nearly let it go.

But in the end I didn’t. It rests on so many false assumptions! Just because our nation is nominally Christian, just because that is still the official religion, must we ignore the many other religions that are practised in our multi-cultural society? And what about atheists, agnostics, rationalists, humanists? Why should any of us be badgered like this?

What I object to most is the emotional blackmail in the language. Even if I were an orthodox Christian, what right has anyone to try and shame me into sending out emails to declare it? What right have they to accuse me of moral cowardice and spiritual ingratitude if I don’t comply? I say that the promulgators of this pollution are selling their Jesus very short. I, a Pagan, have more respect for him than that.

So I sent off a hasty reply to my friend, copying it to the person who sent it to her, a mutual friend whose name was still on the email:

That's the beauty of being Pagan - God is always part of daily life, every breath we take, and part of all we do. We don't just keep HER for special occasions. And Jesus is my wonderful friend, wise teacher and loving brother. :)

[Please excuse my tone of spiritual superiority, dear readers. It’s a trifle contagious!]


  1. I totally agree with you and think you described it perfectly - 'emotional blackmail'. It is wrong and I'm getting tired of it, too. Thanks for sharing this! :)

  2. Thanks for commenting, dear Bette!

    Moistly I just delete this stuff, but sometimes, I think, it's important to make a stand.

    I also had a point to make about Pagan spirituality, which is often misunderstood.

  3. I usually delete, too. I have a 'cousin-in-law' who used to send these regularly but never wrote. When she sent, I just sent a note back asking how the family was or some variation of that question. She finally stopped. I never reply directly to any email that tells me to send on to 10 people or else...

  4. That's a good way to respond, Pris!

  5. Look what happens when you don't keep up with your blog reading for a week - suddenly everyone's made 900 posts!

    This kind of thing really annoys me too. Actually, I rarely read it to the end. I have no problem with people believing in anything they want, but I strongly object to having it forced on me. I particularly dislike it when people come door-to-door to try to convert others. There's something very unpleasant about being judged like that on your own doorstep.

  6. Don't worry Jenny, I've been having trouble keeping up lately, too. Sometimes there's just so much real life happening - which is not a bad thing. :)