It happened again. Another batch of forwarded emails from my family, filled with misinformation, outright lies and sometimes even hate. Once again I went through them message by message, looking them up on snopes, responding to point out the misleading parts, the lies, and the hate. What should I do?
I assume these things come from the left as well as from the right. The ones I get only come with right-wing messages. (If someone gets left-wing emails that also contain lies or hate, I’d like to know about them, to prove that my assumption they exist is correct).
What is disheartening is the number of outright lies in these messages. The most recent batch included one with a statement from Lee Iacocca that had been modified to fit the sender’s political views. Of course, the sender removed the part of the text where Iacocca said “And don’t tell me it’s all the fault of right-wing Republicans or liberal Democrats. That’s an intellectually lazy argument,” and instead substituted new statements that supported the sender’s viewpoint.
In other words, the email I got was a lie.
There is a regular pattern to these emails. Take a well-known person, preferably one public likes, and change what that person said to fit your political viewpoints. Earlier this year the one I got claimed to include a statement from Bill Cosby.
Others use (and often change) news items, such as the recent one claiming saying that Mexicans are Angry, but implying that they are about current events instead of when they actually occurred.
Perhaps not exactly lies, but certainly misleading.
Still others foster hate, such as the email claiming that Black and Mexican families died in a fire while a White family did not.
This time its an attempt at humor based on plain old racist hate.
Beyond the content of these messages, it is troubling that someone took the time and energy to write them! Apparently whoever writes this stuff thinks that it is fine to lie to get people to agree with you.
Then there are those who forward these messages. I’ve repeatedly written to one person who regularly forwards these messages pointing out that the email messages aren’t accurate, and suggesting that he check snopes before forwarding the messages. But this temple recommend holder, who won’t see R-rated movies, keeps forwarding the messages, and never checks for accuracy.
Why do people keep forwarding messages like this?
I realize that it gets their political juices going; that they see, in these emails, evidence to support their views. But if you know that these messages are lies, or should know, or know how to easily check, what does that make you?
Doesn’t it make you a GOSSIP if you pass it on anyway?
Worse, when your friends realize that the messages are lies, what do they think of you?
These messages, along with the hate-filled speech of some talk-show hosts on the right have largely destroyed my confidence that conservatives want what is best for our country — all because they continually lie and deceive and spread hate for political purposes. [And, for what its worth, I still consider myself to be moderate to conservative politically -- especially compared to my neighbors here in New York City.]
I assume this same kind of thing comes from the left (and I’m certainly very suspicious of many talk-show hosts there also — perhaps someone will show me the deception that comes from that side of the spectrum). But it really doesn’t matter where the lies and deception come from. The lies still betray the kind of people who write — and spread — these messages.
Why should I want to believe something that has to be promoted by lies? Why should I read more when the message is misleading or mean-spirited!
Please, stop sending the hate. Stop sending the inaccurate, biased tripe that makes my blood boil. I don’t want to feel that way.
And, more importantly, I don’t want to feel that Mormons, or any followers of Christ for that matter, are capable of believing and forwarding this material.
Not to be trite, but would Jesus send lies and hate?