I opened my email today to find a forward from a Christian acquaintance. It was one of those petition requests from an organization bent on protecting the rights of Christians from the liberals and was all about legislation to protect gays from hate crimes, etc. They are certain that this legislation will in some way take away Christian's freedom of speech. This is not the first time these people have sent material from this group to me. I generally delete it after a glance, which is the same thing I do with the stuff my NRA loving, Obama-hating Dad sends.
You may or may not be aware of my inner struggle between what I believe is right (Biblically speaking) and the love of near and dear relatives who are gay and exactly what my response as a Christian should be. Until God answers my question I'm pleading the fifth on this one and concentrating on simply loving them for who they are. I'll face the subject when God gives me the opportunity and the words and not until then.
As stated here before, I tend to keep my opinions about controversial subjects out of other people's in boxes, unless you count what I think is funny or profound, or extraordinary and, even then, I'm pretty selective about who I send what. On principle, I do not forward petitions largely because online petitions are an act of futility with no legal weight whatsoever and I'm often amazed at the number of people who don't know this in this day and age.
But this email caught me on the wrong week. I'm in a housekeeping mood (read: fed up), which means I'm feeling positive and assertive and in the mood to fix things that are bothering me. So I reacted by writing a very respectful, friendly note explaining that, while I was always glad to hear from them, I didn't want anymore forwards from this organization. I confess I held the delete button down a bunch of times removing explanations and other verbosity in hopes that my point wouldn't get lost (That's what blogs are for, right?). Limiting myself to three sentences was hard, but I did it and I sent it off hoping this would put the subject to bed without upsetting them.
(Okay, in truth, I wouldn't actually mind if it upset them, if it would amount to them quietly going away)
Sadly it did neither. The acquaintance wrote an ostensibly friendly note back making understanding noises about how annoying and impersonal forwards can be, then proceeded to lecture me about my spiritual responsibility as a Believer to protect our rights from those who would take them away and how important it is to communicate this to others.
Yeah. That was better than a forward.