Stop Forwarding Lies and Hate!

September 2, 2010 | 108 comments
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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?

108 Responses to Stop Forwarding Lies and Hate!

  1. Katie P. on September 2, 2010 at 7:07 am

    No, of course not.

    And yes, that kind of sheer dishonest baloney comes from the left as well. I don’t get emails, but I don’t get emails like that of any kind, from anyone. I definitely see that kind of sad, twisted, dishonest invective coming from both sides.

    Have you asked the people who are sending this to take you off their list? As in, “Don’t send me political messages or any email forwards at all. If you don’t stop, I’ll have to block you. I don’t want what you are sending, and I think you are wrong to send the material you are passing on.” Do that once to each person, and I promise you’ll stop getting them.

    The point of forwards like that is not to persuade. It is to reinforce the already-”converted”. It’s been happening for thousands of years and it will keep happening – I think it fits the way our brains are wired. It doesn’t even belong to one particular culture, much less one political party.

    Don’t get mad – just make it stop.

  2. AHLDuke on September 2, 2010 at 8:44 am

    This is a HUGE problem in my wife’s family. I think that after repeatedly referring them to Snopes and spending our own valuable time debunking rumors, we may have finally got them to stop. Or at least take us off the mailing list.

    I can’t positively disprove that these kinds of things exist on the left, but I have never seen such an example. And almost all of my friends who send me any kind of e-mail are on the left. I imagine there could have been some pretty vicious things circulating around e-mail in CA during Prop 8, but I never saw anything like that.

    To me, the most troublesome aspect of this is that believing these frankly ridiculous things disparages our professed belief in true principles. If I sent one of these demonstrably false e-mails to a friend who was not LDS, what else is he or she to conclude than that I have no idea how to tell between a truth and a falsehood?

  3. Julie M. Smith on September 2, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Three thoughts:

    (1) Respond not just to the sender but to everyone it was sent to with a very short explanation (with links to a ‘conservative’ source, if the sender was conservative) of why the material is inaccurate.

    (2) Respond not just to the sender but to everyone it was sent to with a statement that you are so glad that we all feel free to share our political beliefs with each other, and in that spirit you will be sharing all of these email addresses with moveon.org or similar if you get more email from them. :)

    (3) I don’t think liberals do this. I say that as someone who has a lot of extremely politically liberal friends but never gets this kind of email from them. I think it is probably because we are too busy sending each other clips of The Daily Show. :)

  4. John C. on September 2, 2010 at 9:28 am

    I have recently had someone inform me that snopes is a liberal organization so their information can’t be trusted. sigh

  5. Ardis E. Parshall on September 2, 2010 at 9:34 am

    I’ve tried to respond-to-everyone-it-was-sent-to tactic, and was rewarded by personal email from a few strangers that was more vicious and personally-directed than the original right-wing mass-forward.

    I’ve had to resort to writing to the original sender and apologizing in advance that I wouldn’t be seeing or responding to their email because I would be forced to block their addresses if any more such mass-forwards were received. Some have stopped; some have gone into filtered oblivion.

    I have never received equivalent mass-forwards from moderate or liberal, only from the extreme right. I *have* received political email from the left sent one-on-one from someone who thought I might be interested in that particular issue, but never mass-forwards.

  6. twiceuponatime on September 2, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Well, considering I used to get mass forwards about how Bush was behind the 9/11 attacks from some liberal friends, you all are just very blessed that you don’t get such. Trust me, it does come from the left as well as the right.

  7. AHLDuke on September 2, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Maybe these mass-forwards are like talk radio, its a particular medium that is dominated by right-wing voices. Even the paragon example of left talk radio, Air America, folded after only a couple of years.

    A couple of months ago, I remember talking with my wife about why conservative books and authors are always on the top of best-seller lists on Amazon and the like. I refuse to believe that it is because conservatives read more books than liberals (and based on those books that are popular, it is equally true that they don’t read better books). Her response was that conservatives simply have better “social networks.” They get their message about what to read out better than liberals. The mass-forward thing may be one of those mechanisms.

  8. SLO Sapo on September 2, 2010 at 9:56 am

    I feel your pain. And while I agree that lies and misinformation come from all points on the political spectrum (check out politifact.org some time), I’ve found that the viral email form of it is pretty exclusively a right wing phenomenon.

  9. Ammon on September 2, 2010 at 9:58 am

    The best solution I have come up with is to create a special filter that sends all incoming email from the usual suspsects (grandparents, college buddies, crazy guy in previous ward, etc) to a special folder. Then, when I have both the time and the disposition I’ll go through them, deleting most of them before I even read them.

    Another possible solution, that I haven’t been brave enough to try, is to follow the steps at http://www.thanksno.com/ which is to basically respond to the sender and say thanks, I do want email from you, but just not this kind of email.

    Unfortunately, those (usually conspiracy theorists) who need to read this never will. Maybe I should copy the text, modify it a bit to suit my own particular viewpoint and email it to everyone in my addressbook.

  10. Martin on September 2, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Boy, do I ever sympathize with the post. Register with either party and you’ll get garbage in your mailbox, but the stuff I get in my email inbox from conservative friends is completely over-the-top.

    Anytime a movement uses pure outrage as a motivator, perspective is the first casualty, and this applies from frothing conservatives to bra-burning feminists.

  11. nasamomdele on September 2, 2010 at 10:34 am

    I get these every day. I ignore- delete without opening.

  12. Dan on September 2, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Liberals and those on the left DO send messages out. They DO forward emails, but they don’t come anywhere close to the lies and hate found in the ones you describe, Kent. They don’t need to. They don’t resort to fear to keep their side in line. I’ve also received other emails from conservative friends that are decent, and not in the hateful range. But it has been a while since I’ve received some of these really bad emails, mostly because the friends I email with don’t buy into that kind of crap and don’t forward that kind of filth.

  13. Manuel on September 2, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Welcome to the generation of Glen Beck conservatives. It is also my experience that all the misguiding, hatred and racist emails right now come all from the right wing.

    I just think it is about how politics are playing at the moment. Right now a black democrat is the president. This has caused the well behaved conservatives from the Bush era to come out and expose what they really are, lying racist bigots. What else can one conclude from people sending this material?

    But I also saw a lot of hate mail directed to Bush, Chenney, Rove et al during the last couple of years of Bush’s second term.

    The followers of the party that is not in power usually tend to go extreme. But I have to admit, the right wing seems far more extreme when it comes to lies, hatred and racism. The liberals don’t come anywhere close.

    Yeah, I have some friends that seems that’s all they do with their email account. They send their chain mass emails all the time. They never write for any other reason nor even to say hi, so I have no problem sending them to the spam filter.

    I usually respond to them with “Your email account has been sent to my spam filter because of the garbage you have been sending. Therefore, I will not be able to read nor respond to any of your messages. Thanks.”

  14. michelle on September 2, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Right now a black democrat is the president. This has caused the well behaved conservatives from the Bush era to come out and expose what they really are, lying racist bigots. What else can one conclude from people sending this material?

    I think there are plenty of things you could conclude besides this.

    I hate this kind of email, too, but comments like this don’t have to be spread via email to be just as disappointing.

    p.s. These kinds of comments are not in short supply online, even if they aren’t sent via email, which to me is just as bad. As someone said, they come from both sides of the political spectrum.

  15. Joseph Smidt on September 2, 2010 at 11:58 am

    The same things happens to me. I am always amazed by some of the emails forwarded to me by members of my own family.

  16. Adam Greenwood on September 2, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘stop spreading lies and hate!’

    Once I picked up three hitchhikers. One of them told me, ‘we’ve been debunked by snopes.com’ When I turned to look at them in the backseat, they were gone.

  17. Adam Greenwood on September 2, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    The curious thing about this phenomenon is that I, a man of the right, never get these emails that y’all complain of.

  18. quandmeme on September 2, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Thank you for connecting this behavior with gossip. Oddly, it never occurred to me.

    I made a stink about it with my family a while ago and pulled out “the 9th commandment says stop it.” But they don’t think its false witness so the offenders just took me off the list. I have an inactive brother-in-law who is driven farther from the Church by the constant confirmation of close-mindedness.

    Gossip is exactly the right characterization.

  19. jjohnsen on September 2, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    I didn’t want to bring Glenn Beck into it, but since #13 already brought him up I don’t feel as bad. Starting about a year ago the normal volume of these types of email increased and suddenly they included quotes from Glenn Beck as if having a prominent Mormon included in the text made them harder to disprove with the help of snopes.

    Like the OP I assume liberals are sending out the same wacky stuff, but I’ve never seen it personally. The weird Bush caused 9/11 stuff that was mentioned above came to me from all directions, it wasn’t just a liberal thing.

    This problem has also taken over Facebook, probably because Facebook taking off coincided with President Obama taking office. There isn’t a day that goes by that someone on my newsfeed puts up a link to some article about Obama being a Nazi, Muslim or a Kenyan Marxist Muslim. And just like the email forwards, all of this seems to be coming from my Conservative friends.

    The latest was a long tirade about a fund that had been established to rebuild mosques and look at how our Muslim President was using taxpayer money to do this. I helpfully pointed out the fund had been established 10 years ago, helped rebuild historical sites of all faiths, and was less than 6 million dollars. Then the tirade became Obama must be Muslim because he’s letting this ten-year-old fund continue so it could benefit fellow Muslims when it should have been shut down.

    It’s so easy for people to be irrational with 100 links “proving” their point at the click of a mouse.

  20. jjohnsen on September 2, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    “The curious thing about this phenomenon is that I, a man of the right, never get these emails that y’all complain of.”

    Give me your email address Adam, I’ll gladly add you to the email list set up for my mom’s side of the family. It’s the reason snopes is a quicklink in my browser.

  21. Ben Park on September 2, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Boy, do I sympathize.

    If anyone wants to see some good examples, there’s a good catch-all here: http://myrightwingdad.blogspot.com/

  22. Adam Greenwood on September 2, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Your response is curious too, JJohnsen. Why would I want to get scurrilous emails from your kin?

  23. James on September 2, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    In addition to Snopes, you can also check out FactCheck.org for debunking these conspiracy theories. It was written in ’08, but this article on that site is very relevant to this topic and has some good advice: http://tinyurl.com/n98f4g

    My personal opinion on this is that both the Right and the Left have always had problems with extremism of this kind. History shows how the radicals had become popular and powerful in the past with groups like the John Birch Society, Weather Underground Organization, and people like Joseph McCarthy. But what has come before pales in comparison to how the fringe has overtaken politics today.

    Because of the ever-present media and the Internet, propaganda, lies and slander can spread through the country in an hour instead of the weeks or months it used to take. As a result of our modern communication, a “rampant confirmation bias” has spread through our culture. A letter to a NY Times article sums this up pretty well: http://tinyurl.com/2f9kwx8 This is also a good article pointing out why this disconnect with the truth has become so horrendously popular: http://tinyurl.com/2f9gdzd

  24. Adam Greenwood on September 2, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Kent Larsen tries a little too hard not be blame one side of the political spectrum for lies and hates. His commentators are thankfully not so constrained and are willing to recognize the elephant in the room: the emailing right is filled with lies, hate, and blatant racist lying hate.

    To what do we attribute this phenomenon? In the spirit on inquiry, I offer the following possible explanations.

    1. Educated, good-thinking Mormons who have both left-wing and right-wing acquaintances still may not have left-wing and right-wing acquaintances from the same mix of socioeconomic and racial groups. Notice that most of the commenters here are complaining about emails they received from family members.

    2. The Right really is the Country Party. This suggests that it is going to be less-organized, less-professional, and more prone to passion. Or put another way: the socioeconomic profile of the right is different from that of the left. The right is, crudely speaking, the middle of the country intellectualy speaking while the left is an alliance of the cognitive elites with the cognitive deficits. The right is more likely to swap slandermail because the left’s elites are too sophisticated to purvey crude lies and the non-elites are too unsophisticated to purvey anything.

    3. Lie-mongering hatroid racistry is what makes people rightwingers in the first place. This is obviously the true explanation, but it would be vulgar to just come right out and say so.

    4. Barack Obama is Kenyan KGB agent.

  25. Dan on September 2, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    I didn’t know Kenya had a KGB

  26. Rebecca J on September 2, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    I checked out the Obama KGB thing on snopes, and it isn’t true.

    I’m another person who never gets mass forwards. I must know a higher class of people.

  27. Dan on September 2, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Rebecca,

    You honestly felt you had to check on snopes on whether or not it was true that Obama had any connection to the KGB? Shouldn’t some things just require the “smell test?”

  28. Adam Greenwood on September 2, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Ignorance is bliss, Dan.

  29. Adam Greenwood on September 2, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Rebecca J.,
    you trust Snopes on this? What did they do, call the KGB help desk and pay $5 to run a records check? And even if they did do that, they probably called the Russian KGB, not the Kenyan one.

  30. Dan on September 2, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    ah, I found a recent email forwarded… here’s a typical email:

    To all military personnel and interested parties.What is a crotch salute?

    At the Ft. Hood Memorial Service…
    The Crotch Salute Returns

    I’m sorry folks, but is the turkey that was elected President of our country? You know, the United States of America ? I do believe that saluting the flag goes with that, and also to honor the servicemen who died, or is he above that? Shower us all with flowery words and dazzle us with B.S. but actions speak louder. This stinks.

    Why would he salute ??? He’s a LOYAL Muslim, that’s why he wants the terrorist tried in a Civilian Court , because if tried and convicted in a US Military Court as the US President he would have to sign their death warrants, and he would be killing his fellow Muslim terrorists. Who voted for this turkey???

  31. Adam Greenwood on September 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    So what is a crotch salute?

  32. Ah-Q on September 2, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Why do we assume that liberals send out equally nutty emails? I run with a pretty liberal crowd, and I have NEVER received anything like the nutty “Obama is a Kenyan Muslim Marxist” emails I get from conservative friends and family members. They may forward me an article from The New Republic or a clip from the Daily Show, but that’s about it.

    I simply don’t think that the “far left” (if there is such a thing in the United States) is really comparable to the far right. There are plenty of uninformed liberals, to be sure, but you don’t really have a liberal equivalent of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh–or their millions of followers.

    Anti-intellectualism has long existed in American culture, and it has historically been associated with fundamentalist religion and conservatism. The blatant disregard for fact that you see in these emails may be a manifestation of this phenomenon.

  33. jjohnsen on September 2, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    “Your response is curious too, JJohnsen. Why would I want to get scurrilous emails from your kin?”
    So you could participate in the fun that everyone else in the thread seems to having.

  34. Susan M on September 2, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    It makes your blood boil? Really? It’s annoying, sure, but you don’t actually have to read them.

    There’s very little in life that will make my blood boil. Mostly I’m all about emotional energy conservation. But political emails from ignorant people are nowhere on my list of things worth worrying about.

  35. Chris H. on September 2, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    “…but you don’t really have a liberal equivalent of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh–or their millions of followers.”

    I easily have that many followers.

  36. Mark B. on September 2, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Evidently all my kin (at least those who know my email address) know that I’m a bomb-throwing revolutionary, and most of them are too, except for my sister, and after a couple of “I checked Snopes–your email was bull” notes to her, I don’t get them anymore.

    I think it helps to use strong language–the kind they don’t expect to hear from you.

  37. Dan on September 2, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Adam,

    Supposedly it is when you hold your hands together in front of you down near your crotch while you should be saluting…or something. There was an accompanying image with that email. I’m sure if you google “crotch salute” you might find it, but I think I would be very wary of googling that term…

  38. Kenji on September 2, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    I am shocked at the disrespect for Brother Beck shown in these comments! Pay heed to your own Beck-loving sidebar, Times and Seasons! My favorite of the two was “Glenn Beck Event Awesome, Says Glenn Beck!”

  39. Katie P. on September 2, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    I can only assume that those who claim that only people on the right spread political lies are joking.

    http://www.xkcd.com/774/

  40. JamesM on September 2, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Maybe this is a type of response to the right’s (not entirely inaccurate, though overstated in my opinion) view that the media has a liberal bias? A la “Psst…here’s the REAL scoop.”

    Maybe people to the left don’t really feel the need to “fight the establishment” this way because what it sees in the media is generally accurate and/or consistent with their own perspective?

    Just feeling out this idea…thoughts?

  41. John H. Jenkins on September 2, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Or if the regular XKCD isn’t Mormon enough for you, there’s always:

    http://web.me.com/jhjenkins/XKCD/774.html

  42. SLO Sapo on September 2, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    “I can only assume that those who claim that only people on the right spread political lies are joking.”

    We’re not making that claim. We’re saying they seem to be mostly the ones who spread their lies through email.

  43. Adam Greenwood on September 2, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Other groups spread their lies through tastefully lettered papyrus notes.

  44. PaulM on September 2, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    There’s a simple mathematical explanation for why the self-described liberals here have not seen email similar the those described in the OP. People in the US self-identify as conservative at a rate two times that of liberal. If we assume that the volume of email communication is an exponential function of the initial size of the representative group (a safe assumption) then the shear probability of encountering crackpot conservative email is exponentially greater than that of encountering liberal crackpot email. But that’s math, it’s hard, and we’re talking about liberals here.

    Please people, remember Hanlon’s Razor.

  45. Peter LLC on September 2, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    the shear probability

    But that’s spelling, it’s hard, and we’re talking about….

  46. Jeremy on September 2, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Stephen Colbert explained why rightwingers spread this nonsense so much more prolifically than leftwingers: “Reality has a well-known liberal bias.”

  47. Dan on September 2, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    who’s Hanlon?

  48. Kaimi on September 2, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    “The curious thing about this phenomenon is that I, a man of the right, never get these emails that y’all complain of.”

    A consequence of the Stupendous Vest of Deflection?

  49. Adam Greenwood on September 2, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Paul M,

    who invented math? White. Men. Most of whom never supported gay marriage.

    Nuff said. Its like that famous Gandhi quote: “Math is for dweebs.”

  50. Adam Greenwood on September 2, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    KW,
    yours is a good hypothesis. My hypothesis is that I never receive crazed winger emails because I never receive any emails at all. I didn’t really grow up intending to be a bitter, friendless recluse, but once I realized I had a thing going . . .

  51. Dan on September 2, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Adam,

    didn’t darker skinned Egyptians and other Mesopotamians and South Asian Indians invent math?

  52. Oel Fierrony on September 2, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    I want the world to know I hate people who spread hate.

  53. Adam Greenwood on September 2, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Dan,
    not according to my inbox. But if you’re right, ha! ha! tell Paul M. that, it will make him feel really stupid.

  54. Katie P. on September 2, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Why would it matter that it is email? I certainly see leftwing baloney as much or more than rightwing – why does it matter if the medium is email versus web comments or blog posts or facebook statuses or the protesters outside the metro?

    In other words, is your problem with the content or the medium? If the content: absolutely the left does it, too. If the medium: what? Why? It isn’t like you can’t stop it with one strongly worded reply.

  55. Crick on September 2, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    A quick visit to Snopes indicates that the dishonest emails attack public figures on both the right and left. In fact, some emails (like one accusing Bush (and later Kerry) of paying a cardinal to call him a “saint” and another purporting to show Clinton (and later Bush) looking through capped binoculars at the DMZ periodically recycle themselves with new twists or attack different officials.

    But anecdotal evidence indicates most of this stuff is from the right. Personally I think the reasons are at least in part cultural. I don’t doubt that most of the people sending chain emails tend to be conservatives and those emails go far beyond politics in scope. They include religious items, various hoaxes and hard to prove or disprove stories about improbable human events. If one were to send out an email about how Glenn Beck is really a stooge of the illuminati, it probably would be met with skepticism by the crowd that also forwards emails with “photographs” of giant skeletons which archeologists recently “found” and which prove the Bible true.

  56. SLO Sapo on September 2, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    “Why would it matter that it is email?”

    Because that’s the topic of this thread. I’ve already acknowledged that the right doesn’t have a monopoly on the misinformation.

  57. Adam Greenwood on September 2, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Only because the federal government, which is too big, PREVENTS monopolies. If we still had our liberty from the Founders, we would have that monopoly and you would have to pay for your misinformation THROUGH THE NOSE.

  58. Katie P. on September 2, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    I find that filtering the contents of my inbox is considerably easier than filtering out the nonsense I encounter in other venues.

    One strongly-worded reply and you’ll never get a political email from your relative again.

  59. John H. Jenkins on September 2, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Since nobody else has answered Dan’s question: Hanlon’s razor is an adage that runs, “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

    And goodness knows I’ve heard strident nonsense from both directions. Attending UC Berkeley during the Reagan years was an interesting experience, indeed. Stupidity knows no politics.

  60. Tim on September 2, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    I’ve noticed that the same people who forward me hate-filled political crap are the same people that forward me nonsense about Mars appearing larger than the moon on a certain date, Amber Alerts that are at least 5 years old, too good to be true deals, and stories about enormous snakes in Idaho. All are easily disproved by Snopes. I think it might have something to do with a culture of gullibility–the same reason why Utah is the scam capital of the world.

  61. Jeremy on September 2, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    If you wonder why misinformation seems to breed more prolifically in conservative species, take a listen to the advertisements that sponsor conservative radio. If you believe that that new herbal remedy (or, say, exotic berry extract) really can cure all your ailments, or if exotic gold coins really are the best place to keep your money, it stands to reason that Obama was trained in geriatric euthanasia and terrorist fist bumps at a madrasa.

  62. Kent Larsen on September 2, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Katie P. (54):

    Why would it matter that it is email? I certainly see leftwing baloney as much or more than rightwing

    You are right that it doesn’t matter that it is email. The content is the issue.

    BUT, let me be clear. I’m not complaining about baloney (or at least my definition of baloney), I’m complaining about messages or content in which the author has created a lie, or specifically attempted to mislead, or is attempting to spread hate.

    Just because the content is incorrect or something I disagree with (which I call baloney) doesn’t mean I’m including it here. Its the lying, clear attempts at misleading and attempts at spreading hate that I object to.

  63. Alison Moore Smith on September 2, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Kent Larsen tries a little too hard not be blame one side of the political spectrum for lies and hates.

    Adam, tell me this was facetious. Then tell me if I’m trying too hard as well:

    I assume that logical, reasoned arguments come from the left as well as from the right. The ones I get only come from the right. (But if anyone has ever heard anything remotely intelligent from a lefty, please pass it on, to prove that my assumption there are liberals who are smarter than a box of rocks.)

    How did I do? ;)

    Let me suggest that maybe when you get liberal tripe, you just think it’s true.

    Right now a black democrat is the president. This has caused the well behaved conservatives from the Bush era to come out and expose what they really are, lying racist bigots.

    Kent, I’d call that comment hateful and dishonest. Would you?

    My first thought on reading the OP was, “Why the heck are you blogging crap about your FAMILY? Why don’t you TALK to THEM?”

    If I did something stupid to someone in my family and they hated it, I’d be insulted if they blogged (gossiped?) about it to the whole world. I would hope they would talk to me directly and address the issue.

    I get forwarded emails (from both sides of the political spectrum), but they are rarely political in nature. They are almost always from those who are less internet savvy, but are passing on something they think is a serious safety issue (some girl was kidnapped yesterday) or a computer virus issue or something. I try to point them to the truth and hope they get the message.

    There’s plenty of false information spread on both sides of politics. I’ll start saving them up so I can create a post about liberal slime, as per Kent’s request. Here’s some liberal misinformation that just showed up on T&S yesterday.

    Yesterday I posted a couple of positive side links about Glenn Beck after he created history at the mall. I said to my husband, “Let’s see how long it takes for someone to post a negative Beck link.” It was a few hours. Here are some points made in the negative post:

    (1) Owen (some unknown Mormon guy) said “Beck publicly questioned President Obama’s ‘version of Christianity’”
    (2) Owens said, “I think it’s arrogant of anyone to say whether someone is a Christian or not”
    (3) The Saturday rally had “upwards 87,000 people”

    (1) Beck didn’t “question” his Christianity, he said “people aren’t recognizing his version of Christianity.” If any bothered to RESEARCH this, they would know that Beck was commenting about the PEW POLL that said “a substantial and growing number of Americans” say he’s a Muslim.

    Repeatedly having said that HE (Beck) thinks Obaman is a Christian, he analyzed the POLL. He said that most Americans don’t understand Obama’s behavior as it pertains to claiming Christianity. One example was the clips of Jeremiah Wright. He said most people do not associate church with such highly emotional political rhetoric.

    Speaking only for myself, for years I’ve watched various political leaders with religious titles and they almost never mention ANYTHING about religion, God, morality, goodness, Christ. (Jackson, Sharpton, etc.) This isn’t a new phenomenon, but it’s not one that most Americans seem to see as being really religious.

    (2) Beck didn’t say Obama wasn’t a “real Christian.” In fact, Beck has repeatedly said that HE thinks Obama IS a Christian. So the implication here is completely fabricated.

    What Beck has said is that the much of what is preached as liberation theology (which IS Wright’s platform, as he has said repeatedly) is a perversion of the gospel of Christ “as most Christian’s know it.”

    It’s certainly a perversion as Mormons know it. (Heck, so is a lot of the gospel taught by OTHER Christian religions.) If not, then dang it I want money from Missouri for the land stolen from my pioneer ancestors.

    (3) Upwards of 87,000. Now that’s honest reporting. Have you seen the pictures? The AP pictures? Have you compared what you saw there to reported attendance numbers from other Mall events? It’s so blatantly dishonest that it’s stunning.

    I have close friends in Virginia who attended. The crowds were immense. And excessively civil and polite. 87,000 is a big BYU game. The National Parks Service said it was 300,000. Wow, weird how liberal media outlets lost over 200,000 people in translation. But I’m sure it wasn’t because they can’t stand having a conservative blow apart their predictions.

    As long as we’re not choosing sides (ahem) and trying “too hard” not to impugn any particular political point of view, I’ll note that there generally speaking, liberals have become a johnny one note. Mockery is about the only card they play.

    • Conservative point of view given

    • Liberal calls conservative _______________ (stupid, idiotic, racist, bigoted, backwoods, etc.)

    • Rinse and repeat

    It happens here as well. Once I went so far as to post my point of view and to say I wouldn’t be reading the comments because I knew they’d be mostly ad hominem against conservatives. I got blasted for saying it — even though it was true.

    So, once again, I’m not going to take the time to read more comments. We are moving and very busy and I’ve heard all the slams before. I’ll just imagine the ones from the last post and we’ll be good to go.

  64. Kent Larsen on September 2, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Katie P. (58): “One strongly-worded reply and you’ll never get a political email from your relative again.”

    I only wish this were true in my case.

  65. Adam Greenwood on September 2, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    AMS,
    the only true tripe is beef tripe. The rest I renounce.

  66. Kent Larsen on September 2, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    I should mention that I disagree with the suggestions that I either ignore messages from those that send out these messages or delete them. To be honest, I want to try to develop better relationships with these relatives. Ignoring or deleting these messages get me either no benefit, or make it more difficult to build relationships.

    Plus, I’d like to do something to make the Internet a better place. If I can get my friends and family to stop forwarding this junk to everyone (not just to me), wouldn’t that improve things a little?

  67. Julie M. Smith on September 2, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    “It’s so blatantly dishonest that it’s stunning.”

    Where the 87K number came from:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20015214-503544.html

    But speaking of blatantly dishonest:

    http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/08/glenn-beck-george-washington-restoring-honor

  68. Jeremy on September 2, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    “So blatantly dishonest that it’s stunning.”

    That’s the thing: if you’re blatantly dishonest often enough, it’s not stunning at all.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2010/aug/27/glenn-beck-faces-truth-o-meter/

  69. Jeremy on September 2, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Alison,

    But that kind of hedging — “Now, don’t get me wrong, I think Obama’s a Christian, but most Americans don’t recognize his type of Christianity,” etc.–is one of the cheapest and most common rhetorical jabs in politics. You honestly think Beck’s goal in saying that was making an observation about polling results? Come on.

    Beck’s been doing it for a long time. In 2007 when Keith Ellison became the first Muslim elected to Congress, Beck said this in an interview with him: “”I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, ‘Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.’”

    Then came the cheap, token hedge: “I’m not accusing you of being an enemy, but that’s the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way.”

    It’s really no different from Huckabee’s cheap shot in the presidential primaries when, in an effort to plant seeds of worry among evangelicals about Romney’s Mormonism, he asked with a faux-innocence, as if making an honest doctrinal inquiry, “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?”

  70. Jeremy on September 2, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Of course, sometimes he’s more concise: “This president has exposed himself over and over again as a guy who has a deep-seated hatred of white people.” Then, 13 seconds later, “I’m not saying that he doesn’t like white people.” Then six seconds later, “This guy, I believe, is racist.”

  71. brian larsen on September 2, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Jeremy, you just don’t get it – anything or anyone that disagrees with Glenn Beck Inc. is ‘liberal media.’ So, you’re wrong. You just are. It’s sad to see you so duped by such disreputable outfits.

  72. Bryan in VA on September 2, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    I briefly scanned the original post and haven’t looked carefully at the comments, but here goes…

    “Never wrestle with a pig in the mud. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.”

    I don’t know who said it but it seems to apply here.

  73. John C. on September 2, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    I don’t receive forwarded emails regarding political stuff. Mostly because I’m not on any family email addresses. I have received links to various web clips, mostly showing bits from the news or cable programs. Some were sent with mocking intent, others expressing outrage. I don’t think either side of the political spectrum can say it has kept its hands clean in the email forwarding game.

  74. Dan on September 2, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Alison,

    Repeatedly having said that HE (Beck) thinks Obaman is a Christian, he analyzed the POLL. He said that most Americans don’t understand Obama’s behavior as it pertains to claiming Christianity. One example was the clips of Jeremiah Wright. He said most people do not associate church with such highly emotional political rhetoric.

    Seriously Alison, you attempt to defend the indefensible. Glenn Beck didn’t just say that Obama is a Christian, but that he’s not a mainstream Christian. He said that the Pope thought Obama’s strain of Christianity was “demonic.”

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/201008310014

    On Fox News Sunday, Wallace asked Beck about his comments that Obama’s faith is “a perversion of the gospel.” In his answer, Beck said, “The pope even said — this is Pope Benedict — that it is demonic, not divine, when theology crosses into the line of doing that which only the divine can do. He was speaking specifically about liberation theology.” Beck went on to describe liberation theology as “Marxism disguised as religion” and connected liberation theology to “collective salvation” — a theological concept Beck has repeatedly criticized Obama for invoking: “Four different speeches since he’s been president, he has told — and mainly students — that your salvation is directly tied to the collective salvation. … I don’t — I’m not demonizing it. I disagree with it. The pope has said — I mean, he’s actually demonized it.”

    This is what Glenn Beck does. He makes an attack and then pulls back, saying, “hey, it’s not me who says it.” In this case it’s the Pope. I mean, this is perversive stuff that Glenn Beck is delving into here. He’s saying that Obama’s belief in Christ is somehow through the state, and that Obama is going to use the state to redeem and provide salvation to the souls of those who come to the state. I mean, here is, supposedly, the Pope’s comment:

    “Wherever politics tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it promises to do the work of God, it becomes not divine, but demonic.” [Pope Benedict XVI]

    That, in an of itself is a bit of a mysterious quote. Not sure the context, but it sure seems to me to rest itself upon a straw man. The straw man is that politics tries to be redemptive of people’s salvation. I know of no Western society that even has a thought of such a ridiculous position. Not sure at all which state “promises to do the work of God,”—again a very vague phrase, allowing the Pope to define “work of God” to his own satisfaction. Does the Pope imply that social services is “God’s work?” That providing food and clothing and housing saves peoples souls and those who work that, but who don’t do it under the auspices of religion, are doing demonic work? Sounds to me like the Pope is not that bright. And of course Glenn Beck has never proven himself to own much of an intelligence anyways (there, I got my swipe at conservative stupidity in, happy?).

    What kind of person attacks the religion of the President of the United States, calling his religion demonic? What kind of idiot is this? Why does anyone take him seriously? It is beyond comprehension that Glenn Beck is being taken seriously by anyone. I’m torn right now about my stake president who is participating with Glenn Beck in Beck University. I cannot fathom why he is doing this. I thought much better of him. Must we constantly go through the crazy in order to realize we never needed to go through the crazy in the first place?

  75. Cameron Nielsen on September 2, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    I find that Glenn Beck and Barack Obama often ‘email’ me at times that are suspiciously close to each other. I rarely read them anymore, but I find it quite amusing. =)

  76. Kent Larsen on September 2, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Allison wrote:

    Kent, I’d call that comment hateful and dishonest. Would you?

    I think I perhaps read the quote differently than you did. Who do you think Adam is referring to as “lying racist bigots?” Did he mean “well behaved conservatives?” or was he referring to the “black democrats?”

    Given that Adam is generally conservative, I read the whole thing as being a tongue-in-cheek reference to “well behaved conservatives,” with Adam pretending to be a liberal criticizing conservatives.

    My first thought on reading the OP was, “Why the heck are you blogging crap about your FAMILY? Why don’t you TALK to THEM?”

    Oh, I talk to them. I sent a shorter version of this same thing to them before I posted about it. I was careful to make this all very anonymous, and I’m not saying who it is that sends out these emails. I’ve suggested repeatedly for months that forwarding on these messages is wrong. They keep coming. If they are embarrased, they should have either listened or discussed it with me a long time ago.

    Given the comments, I’m not the only one who gets these messages from family.

    My whole point here is simple: It is wrong to forward these messages, when we know or should know that they are lies.

    [This is, of course, the difference with your reference to the links on the sidebar. The link there is to a supposedly reputable news source (the Washington Post). I don’t know about you, but I assume journalistic standards apply, and I rely on the journalists’ integrity — that the journalist isn’t making up quotes or trying to mislead or spread hate.

    Your objection seems to be to the source the journalist quoted (Owens) — which the journalist can’t control. But in the emails my objection isn’t to this kind of data — its to the fact that the quotation itself has been altered and fabricated!!

    As for the numbers at the rally, its my understanding that no one will go on record about crowd size (you should double check your source on the National Park Service number) because making these estimates is very difficult and is always open to criticism (and even lawsuits, isn’t it?)

    To put it clearly, in attacking the Washington Post article, I think you are talking about something very different from what this post is about.

  77. Chino Blanco on September 3, 2010 at 1:36 am

    We like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but the reality is that a lot of these folks enjoy a tiny power rush whenever they send their crap to your inbox uninvited.

    I’d suggest you hit reply all and send a message that is ideologically opposite that of the original email but otherwise totally unrelated. In other words, don’t even acknowledge the subject of their email, do make sure your off-topic response hits them from way out in left field, and then you’ll probably begin to be left alone.

    For example, I haven’t gotten any further email forwards from wingnut family since that last time when I replied to their anti-Obama garbage with a screed about the Mormon professionals who got rich off the Prop 8 campaign. Total non sequitur but it seemed to get the job done.

  78. sister blah 2 on September 3, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Speaking of spreading fabricated quotes…

    (3) 87,000 is a big BYU game. The National Parks Service said it was 300,000. Wow, weird how liberal media outlets lost over 200,000 people in translation. But I’m sure it wasn’t because they can’t stand having a conservative blow apart their predictions.

    The National Park Service does not give crowd estimates, therefore it is impossible that they gave that figure. In the Beck event team’s permit application to the NPS, they offered 300,000 as a projected possible turnout. (This helps NPS know how many police etc may be needed.) But that was (obviously) prior to the event and has no relation to actual turnout.

    Regarding the original post, my policy is to reply-all with my (polite, concise) factual responses. I have been blissfully FWD-free for some time now as a result of this policy. In closing my reply-all emails, I always give the following advice: you should not only correct this fact in your mind, but flag its source in your mind. Carefully note that your source for that info has lied or otherwise grossly mislead you at least this once. Next time this same source says something, don’t assume it’s true. (So, AMS, whoever told you that the Park Service gave the 300K figure, you should no longer consider that person/org to be reliable.)

  79. Kaimi on September 3, 2010 at 3:30 am

    Alison,

    You mention three religious leaders who don’t seem very religious to your eye (Wright, Sharpton, and Jackson). Each of the three is a Black religious leader.

    I’m curious as to your reasoning and your particular examples here. Are there white religious leaders who also don’t act religious enough, or is the phenomenon limited to Black people?

  80. Mommie Dearest on September 3, 2010 at 3:52 am

    I’ve been watching/reading/listening to the discussion in the press about the number of people attending Glenn Beck’s party/political rally on the Mall in Washington, DC last Saturday.This morning on NPR I heard another round in the media debate, between a radio host and her guest wherein the guest mentioned “hundreds of thousands” of people there, and the host called that number into question saying that “media reports” were “somewhere between 10,000 and 600,000.” The guest reported that he attended the rally as a member of the press and asked some of the local park service personnel for their estimate of the crowd size, to which he was told, “a quarter of a million.”

    I have an aunt who emails me an occasional bomblet of political snideness. I can see from the list at the top that she sends it to everyone in the family and a few dozen of her closest friends. I want to remain on that mailing list for reasons that have nothing to do with politics, and I love my aunt in spite of the fact that we don’t have everything in common, and receiving these emails from her is an almost unnoticeable price to pay to stay in touch with her. It’s not that hard when you decide it’s fine for people to have a different point of view than you. But that’s just my point of view.

  81. John C. on September 3, 2010 at 7:05 am

    Just to note:
    Liberation Theology is definitely Christian. Claims to the otherwise are ill-informed.

  82. Katie P. on September 3, 2010 at 8:09 am

    “I should mention that I disagree with the suggestions that I either ignore messages from those that send out these messages or delete them. To be honest, I want to try to develop better relationships with these relatives. Ignoring or deleting these messages get me either no benefit, or make it more difficult to build relationships.”

    I don’t think you should do either of those things. I think if you want a real relationship with the people who send you an email, tell them to stop sending you mass forwards of any kind and instead write a real email. And then write real emails to them. It’s more work, but considerably more rewarding.

    I’m still staggered that people get more than one or two of the email forwards without stopping it. I have exactly one relative that still sends out mass forwards. I let it pass without comment because she’s nine years old and the emails are pictures of kittens.

  83. Dan on September 3, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Hmmm, collective salvation. Sounds like something I should be aware of. . . Ah this is where I remember it from.

    http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/128/15,18#15

    I think Glenn Beck is a big fat liar who does not even know his own freaking religion.

  84. chris on September 3, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Dan, I don’t think we should contend and fight over doctrine. I don’t agree with the way Beck makes his points and I often don’t even agree with his points at all. But I think the concept of collective salvation he was referring to is that we all have to be saved together.

    I don’t know if this is true doctrine. I don’t think it is. I think the scriptures you cited acknowledge the fact that there are billions of people in the world who were never baptized, etc. They need the ordinances done for them to open the gateway to exaltation (the ordinances do not save, in and of themselves, but open the way to it, the Atonement brings salvation).

    So that is why they need us. We need them because first, many of them have provided the foundations we stand on (in a gospel and social sense). But primarily I think this was referring to the fact that we qualify to grow from grace to grace (see DC 93) through the power of the atonement and ultimate become one with the Lord and joint-heirs with him as we act individually on the knowledge we have received to bring all unto Christ.

    My salvation is linked directly to my own covenants with Jesus Christ and not to my father’s salvation.

    I don’t know why we’d want to argue over this. Beck, I assume understands this considering the important of temples in our church.

    I think we can all agree he should focus on doing whats right, rather than pointing out the beams in the eyes of others. It’s ironic that many of us often catch ourselves sitting on the sidelines doing the same as we accuse Beck of, only without the giant megaphone he has access to.

  85. sscenter on September 3, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I think its weird that this thread has again been hijacked by a discussion about Beck. I am very, very conservative and I find him to be a blow hard and a fear-monger and am not at all interested in his intentions however good he claims them to be.

    BTW I don’t get a lot of liberal emails but I get a ton of liberal, very liberal, very angry and sometimes crazy tweets. It seems to me that perhaps liberals as a group are more tech savy and have moved from email to Twitter.

  86. Adam Greenwood on September 3, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Holy cow, KW just accused Alison of being racist! Which is uncalled for–I happen to know that Alison has burned crosses in front of white gay guys’ homes and that one Jew she lynched was racially quite Nordic.

    Threads like this are quite sad. From the OP to the behavior complained of in the OP to most of the comments, they do little to dispel behaviorist and reductionist accounts of human action.

    “I am very, very conservative and I find him to be a blow hard and a fear-monger ”

    Just so.

  87. Adam Greenwood on September 3, 2010 at 11:26 am

    “I should mention that I disagree with the suggestions that I either ignore messages from those that send out these messages or delete them. To be honest, I want to try to develop better relationships with these relatives. Ignoring or deleting these messages get me either no benefit, or make it more difficult to build relationships.”

    This strikes me as a fundamentally simplistic idea of relationship. Every healthy relationship that I know has a large dose of “ignoring or deleting” in it. If you do want a relationship with these people, emails that you publicly denounce on the internet as full of lies and hate is not a good basis. Delete them, ignore them, and look for something else on which to build your friendship.

  88. chanson on September 3, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Almost all of my Internet friends are “liberal,” but I receive these sorts of emails exclusively from the far-right.

    I know I’m biased saying this, but I don’t think the mirror-image assumption is always valid. (Mirror-image assumption: if one side is doing a bad thing, the other side — being its equal-and-opposite — must be doing it too.)

  89. Lupita on September 3, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Adam, you are in fine form. I especially liked

    “This strikes me as a fundamentally simplistic idea of relationship. Every healthy relationship that I know has a large dose of “ignoring or deleting” in it. If you do want a relationship with these people, emails that you publicly denounce on the internet as full of lies and hate is not a good basis. Delete them, ignore them, and look for something else on which to build your friendship with them.”

    Chino Blanco
    “a screed about the Mormon professionals who got rich off the Prop 8 campaign” Is this Snopes verified?

  90. Owen on September 3, 2010 at 11:58 am

    I’ve decided that the Beck retro-conservatives are unpatriotic because they believe America *used* to be great, while I believe that America is awesome right now!

  91. Dan on September 3, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    chris,

    #84,

    But I think the concept of collective salvation he was referring to is that we all have to be saved together.

    So I did a search and found the source of all the confusion.

    http://www.wfsb.com/news/16389467/detail.html

    It seems Barack Obama gave a Commencement address at Wesleyan University and said this:

    It’s because you have an obligation to yourself. Because our individual salvation depends on collective salvation. Because thinking only about yourself, fulfilling your immediate wants and needs, betrays a poverty of ambition. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential and discover the role you’ll play in writing the next great chapter in America’s story.

    It’s that second paragraph that seems to bother people, and according to the google search, has the right up in an apoplectic fit. But yet again, it’s not some demonic gospel. It’s found right in Matthew chapter 25.

    31 ¶ When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
    32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
    33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

    And what will be the criteria upon which he will separate the sheep and the goats?

    41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
    42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
    43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
    44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
    45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
    46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eeternal.

    Sounds to me like the Lord is quite serious about whether or not our individual salvation depends on our collective salvation. Sounds to me that “thinking only about yourself, fulfilling your immediate wants and needs, betrays a poverty of ambition” and eventually sends you “into everlasting punishment.”

    Methinks once again, that Glenn Beck does not know his own theology very well and should shut up.

  92. Ardis E. Parshall on September 3, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect. — D&C 128:18

  93. PaulM on September 3, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Kaimi:

    Classless. That’s all that needs to be said.

    Dan:

    The scripture in no way implies the sheep and goats all belong to members of entire nations– but nice try.

    Ardis:

    Are you serious quoting scripture about baptism for the dead in support of collective salvation in the context of Liberation Theology?

  94. WJ on September 3, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    “I think its weird that this thread has again been hijacked by a discussion about Beck.”

    Amen. I’m highly disappointed that this thread didn’t turn into a food fight over how conservative emails are a form of structural discrimination that unfairly preclude LDS women from holding the priesthood.

    That truly would have been breaking new terrain.

  95. Scott B. on September 3, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Wow.

  96. Dan on September 3, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Paul,

    The point is that so called “liberation theology” has roots in the New Testament as much as any Christian theology, including Mormonism. You don’t resort to calling it demonic without preparing to have your own religion denounced as demonic under the same logic used by Beck.

  97. Adam Greenwood on September 3, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Dan, the clever rhetorician might respond, like Chanson, that mirror-image assumptions are invalid. Or he might even suggest that mingling scripture with the philosophies of men is not unknown in the nether regions.

    The clever rhetorician might also point out that a better ground for denouncing Beck is that his name sounds like buckra. Because the clever rhetorician is racist.

  98. Dan on September 3, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Adam,

    heh, sadly I’m not a clever rhetorician. It was not one of the gifts of the Spirit doled out to me.

  99. Adam Greenwood on September 3, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Dan,
    the fact that you can identify racism(!) as a gift of the spirit in the same sentence that you brag about not being racist is clear proof of your racism.

  100. Dan on September 3, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    huh? a rhetorician is one who is an expert at rhetoric. I’m not a clever guy when it comes to rhetoric. Not sure at all where you get racism in that comment. ah, I had to search buckra (never heard that word before). Now I know where you’re getting at.

  101. Adam Greenwood on September 3, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    If its any consolation, Dan, ‘buck’ is also a racist term, except in the opposite direction. It sounds like Beck too.

  102. Dan on September 3, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    But I don’t use those, Adam, because I’m not a clever rhetorician nor a racist.

  103. Chino Blanco on September 3, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    @89:

    Chino Blanco: “a screed about the Mormon professionals who got rich off the Prop 8 campaign” Is this Snopes verified?

    Oddly enough, it never took off as an internet rumor, so I doubt Snopes has anything to say about it. In any case, last time I checked with California’s Secretary of State, these were among the payments the Prop 8 campaign made:

    * Lawrence Research (Gary Lawrence, Mormon pollster and Meridian contributor): $528,877.35

    * Eagle Foundation (a Mormon PAC set up by Bart Marcois and David Parker): $135,912.76

    * Glen Greener (former Salt Lake City Police Commissioner, Meridian contributor, and now a GOP operative and sometime Cali property developer): $50,236.42

    * Sonja Brown (Protectmarriage.com communications director): $41,844.00

    * Zion Multimedia Corp.: $2,000.00

    * Rob Wirthlin: $768.18

    Sorry for this tangent, but Lupita asked.

  104. Adam Greenwood on September 3, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Dan,
    the loss is ours.

  105. Jeff Hoyt on September 3, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    “Oddly enough, it never took off as an internet rumor, so I doubt Snopes has anything to say about it. In any case, last time I checked with California’s Secretary of State, these were among the payments the Prop 8 campaign made:”

    Perhaps it never took off because the comment is completely pointless. Unless perhaps you believe the church is corrupt and unjustly enriching members. Or perhaps only non-Mormons should be employed in this effort. Or perhaps the mentioned individuals are crooks and were entitled to nothing for their efforts. Or perhaps you just want to let everyone know how bitter you are about the winning prop 8 effort.

  106. Chino Blanco on September 3, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Jeff: Or perhaps not.

  107. Kent Larsen on September 3, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Given that the conversation has degenerated quite a bit, I think its time to close down the discussion.

    Thank you all for your input. While some have suggested that I’ve been less than kind to my family, somehow no one seems to have suggested that these emails be sent, or that they should be forwarded.

    I know that this will not stop these messages from being sent. I just hope that it will get a few more people to realize that forwarding them to friends and family is morally dubious.

  108. Alison Moore Smith on September 7, 2010 at 12:50 am

    djinn, I haven’t come back to this thread, but just saw you comment on the admin side so I’m responding there.

    No, the NPS didn’t stop giving estimates. They stopped giving OFFICIAL estimates after they got blasted by the Farrakhan groupies after the “Million Man March.” NBC’s Domerico Montanaro reported that he was told by a National Parks Service official that 300k to 325k were in attendance. If you want to argue, do it with Montanaro or NPS.