Saturday, January 21, 2006

Religious Intransigence

It's been a busy couple of weeks at work, so I've not gotten to post much, and that's a shame, because I've actually forgotten most of the religious stupidity that I had wanted to write about. My memory gets pretty rocky when I'm exhausted. But there's one bit of silliness that I just can't let go.

I got an e-mail, at work, from a co-worker about a petition to "restore the pledge". It was sent to a lot of people, too. Here's a Snopes link with details of the petition. Well, like all e-mail "pass-it-on" pledges, it's bogus. Snopes is pretty clear on that, and if you take just a couple of seconds to think about it, it makes sense. With any of these "pass-it-on" things, you're eventually going to have multiple copies of the same chunk of names floating around, and that's pretty much going to invalidate any real attempt to submit a petition. White House staffers, or any staffers really, have more important things to do than sort through emails with hundreds of duplicate names on them. The idea is just silly. Any reputable internet petition system is going to either be a website or an email address to send support e-mails to.

But this co-worker, who is normally a pretty canny woman, just sent it on in knee-jerk "God Support Mode". But when it set off my Bullshit-Meter and looked it up, I found the Snopes link above. I then pointed this out to her, and finally convinced her that she had wasted her time in sending it out. Sadly, she refused to send out a retraction, and workplace politics means that I can't realistically send out a refutation.

Now, I know part of this is just the natural resistance to admitting you're wrong. That's understandable. But, lets be honest here. A big part of it is that this email supports the churchy people out there, whether it's true or not.

It's easier to believe the lie than it is to spread truth.


Blogger Melantha said...

Chain emails are worse than spam in my opinion. Spam can be ignored, chain emails spread ignorance. The ones that focus on the knee-jerk religious anger are especially bad.

My Father sent me one recently about the lack of the phase "So help us god" on the World War 2 Memorial which quotes Roosevelt. Snopes of course is very clear that it's all a lie, and clarifies that the passage on the monument is not the same one which Roosevelt concluded with a plea for god's help. I sent him the relevant links and corrected him, but of course he did not send out a retraction.

It's far easier to spread ignorance than it is to admit wrongdoing and spread the truth.

1:36 AM  
Blogger Coralius said...

I thoroughly agree about the chain email. It's a viral meme, unfortunately, and has to be fought just like a virus. It will never be eradicated, but we can at least fight back as best we can.

7:16 PM  

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"Loyalty to petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul..." -- Mark Twain


Fire does not wait for the sun to be hot,

Nor the wind for the moon, to be cool.

-- the Zenrin Kushu