Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Politics and Philippians 4:8

 Will post more of the dog story tomorrow--I must pace this now as you are almost caught up. Meanwhile--a rant on one of my pet peeves.

After years of complaining about thoughtless forwarding, I have taken control of my in box. Though I am afraid that I may have alienated a few friends in doing so, I felt it was time to speak up. While this has been going on ever since Obama was elected,  there's been an uptick in the number of politically charged email forwards of late--probably because the presidential election is just over a year away. Yesterday after receiving yet another that ridiculed Obama and those who voted for him, it dawned on me that this was only going to get worse unless I said something. This article actually does a very good job explaining my quandary better than I can.

I decided that there is nothing wrong with expressing my discomfort about this issue and asking friends to stop. Here is the email I sent in its entirety:

 Let me preface this by saying I LOVE getting email forwards--good jokes, profound thoughts, comic strips, prayer requests, sentimental thoughts, quizzes, links to interesting websites or brain teasers, etc in my in box. I need all the positive input I can get these days (can't we all?)  Also--I love hearing from my friends and family and will usually write back fairly quickly if I'm not up to my neck in responsibilities. 

But I have a confession to make and I truly hope it doesn't offend anyone, but I HATE political forwards. I don't forward them myself and I derive no pleasure from deleting them from my in box (often unread). In fact, it actually puts knots in my stomach because I feel like I'm doing something dishonest by deleting them, but am more unhappy by feeling required to read them because someone I care about and respect sent them to me. See? I like hearing from you and I take correspondence to heart. When I open these and find content that slams one of my views, or those of someone close to me (especially if I sense that the sender knows my views and is sending it on anyway), it sits badly. Just as in person, my lack of response does not mean I agree, nor does it mean that I don't have an opinion on the issue (quite the contrary). It means I don't want to argue. 

As silly season approaches (aka election year) and we all take up political stances based on what we believe God wants for our country, things are going to heat up and people are going to disagree. But we don't typically go to one anothers homes and spew our opinions without regard for our host's comfort. We should treat others' in-boxes with the same respect.

So I am asking this of all my friends and family (my goodness I'm blessed with a great bunch)--if you feel the need to share an email that might be controversial but you believe is important--either drop me a note and ask if I'd like to see it or simply bypass me when you're selecting people to send it to.

Here's the gist of it as I see it:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such thing
s (Phil 4:8)

For me personally, politics do not fall into the above category.
I love you all and hope you understand.


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