Uni and I frequently receive e-mails from friends which contain tirades usually attributed to some well-known person: Jay Leno, Paul Harvey, Andy Rooney, George Carlin, Billy Graham. They often have a recent date, or have some time marker such as “just last week, ___________ said.”
Yet a quick check at one of the following sites shows that the alleged source is false, except sometimes for some small fragments. Often they are a “string of pearls,” various portions by various persons:
These tirades are generally aimed at some group for which the sender has a disdain: blacks, aliens (legal or illegal), people who don’t speak English, liberals, homosexuals, people who pierce various areas of their bodies … and the list goes on.
The folks who send us this trash are usually “nice people.” They wouldn’t say things like these themselves, but feel that they’re OK as long as someone famous said them – even if the “famous” person didn’t say it!
When we say something in reply, we’re often given some excuse like “I didn’t realize __________ didn’t say that,” or “You don’t think I agree with this, do you?” (Of course we assume you agree with it; why else would you forward it?) Or we are accused of being harsh or judgmental. Or worst of all, “I’m sorry I offended YOU.” Over the years, only one friend asked forgiveness for sending on such an e-mail and he apologized to everyone to whom he had forwarded the e-mail.
This stuff is not just an offense to us. We believe it’s an offense against God and our neighbor. When we attribute hate speech to someone who didn’t use it we are lying and slandering them.
“And he who spreads slander is a fool” (Proverbs 20:19).
But worst of all is the hate that is spread in this way.
“He who hates his brother is a murderer” (1 John 3:15).
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor,’ and ‘You shall hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, Love your enemies …” (Matthew 5:43, 44).
If you are one of those persons who simply clicks “send to all” whenever you receive such e-mails, we beg you to hit “delete” instead. If you are not, simply ignore this post.