Sunday, August 24, 2008

Snopes Is Your Friend

I feel like I'm running behind on everything this week! School started earlier than normal this year. Pdaddy and I were discussing it and decided we don't like it. Not that that changes anything. It makes the summer really short for us because Pdaddy is on a university schedule (last day in mid-June). With the kids going back so early, we only had seven weeks of concurring vacation. But, the kids are happy with their schools and teachers. And...I have to admit this weird quirk: I love the way new clothes make a room smell. If I could can that scent (that and new car scent), then I'd be one happy camper. :)

I have an acquaintance that sends me glurge (christian e-spam). She's not even a friend. She got my e-mail off of a group e-mail from another friend (which always seems very desperate to me). Anyway, she sent me this gem and I wanted to jam a spork in my eye.

I love that our leader will take time out of his schedule during wartime to witness. In Christ - Jamie

There is a man in our church, Jeff Benoit, who has a friend who served on Pres.
Elect Bush's campaign in Austin, and she called him to tell this story.
Last week, Gov. Bush appeared at the thank-you banquet for his campaign staff, and
was going table to table to shake hands with the 1000+campaign
volunteers. He got to one lady, who by a brief comment she made,
indicated she was a Christian. She was there with her 16 year old son.
Gov. Bush asked him if he was a believer, too. He said he didn't think so.
Gov. Bush then asked, "Do you mind if I tell you how I came to know Christ as my
savior?" The boy agreed, and Gov. Bush pulled up a chair and witnessed to
him for 30 minutes, and led him in the sinners prayer!
Jeff's friend was so choked up, she could hardly tell the story through her tears.
Yes, my dear girlfriend, we are living in the end times. How glorious to know that
our new president is a man that doesn't feel the political pressure to glad-hand
1000 people, but would take 30 minutes of his precious time to lead a teenager
to Christ.

*spork spork spork*
Ok. For one, George Bush hasn't been "president elect" in seven years. Do people who chain mail this crap actually read or try to assign veracity to this crap? Second, I don't know how Bush supposedly did this "during wartime" during his presidential campaign. Do you? Third, if he did take thirty minutes to witness to some teenager during a state occasion during war, it's not going to give me warm fuzzies. Doesn't he have better stuff to do? Like, oh...I dunno'...clean up his mess! Finally, it took me all of two minutes to Google this and find that it's on Snopes. It's totally fabricated. Not one true statement in the entire thing, but...eight years later, it's still making the rounds. This is why no one takes the religious conservative party seriously. Between this and the staunch attachment to the "fact" that "Obama is Muslim", it's clear that these people are NOT concerned about reality. They want to tie crap up in cute little Jesus bows and build upon the lies by interjecting their own introduction.

I wrote her back. I asked her to take me off of her list. That's it. I didn't say, "You're full of crap and so is your story." Just, "Please take me off your spam list." She wrote back saying, "WELL EXCUSE ME. I AM SORRY FOR SENDING YOU A POSITIVE MESSAGE DURING SUCH A DIFFICULT TIME FOR AMERICA."
Oh yeah,...all caps. *spork*
Must. Fight. the. Stupid. Must. Not. Write. Back.


Knitterman said...

yup, gotta love Snopes! one of my sisters used to send out all sorts of religious tripe, usually just the invented feel-good stories (as well as the "Obama is a Muslim" nonsense), and sent them to dozens of people, all of whose emails were visible.

I would check Snopes and then hit "Reply to All" and blast her back a dose of reality. She got pissed that I would embarrass her in front of her friends like that ("No dear, you embarrased yourself by sending out b.s. without checking it first.") but she got the message and stopped sending me stuff.

Yes, Snopes IS our friend!

Oh yeah... and "sending out a positive message in these troubled times" ??? I find nothing positive in a political world leader foisting his personal brand of religion on a stranger's teenage son. That's just wrong, on so many levels, but at least the story is consistent with Bush's other shortcomings and his failure to separate reality from fantasy.

Psychodiva said...

go on- you know you want to LOL - why fight the stupid? I find it very hard to resist telling these people exactly what i think of them and their lack of brains- and it does add some light cheer to the day's proceedings :)

Dawn said...

I love Snopes, too, and I do the same thing as knitterman. Depending on the person and the email, I'll either reply to all or reply to just the sender.

Junk like that drives me nuts. I'm not sure I'd use a spork, though, might break and hurt someone. :)
A rusty screwdriver is better.

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain, PM. I've got an family that I dearly love that sends me spam like this in my email. I usually just delete the religious junk - they think they mean well and we haven't told them that the DH and are atheist. Problem is all the false info they pass along, like Obama is Muslim, gang-related murders and other urban myths. We send them the Snopes link in the hopes they'll get the idea to use it and make sure the glurge they're sending is fake or not, but it hasn't sunk in yet...

Erin said...

Oy. In 2000, I was friends with a super conservative Christian girl who would send me email forwards all the time. I usually hit delete, until she sent one ranting about how Al Gore messed up the verse number of some verse in the Bible and how could we even think of electing him, blah blah, ever heard of separation of church of state, blah blah. Anyway, at that point, I finally lost it, and I just wrote her and said, "Sorry, I'd much rather have a President who misquotes the Bible than a President who apparently thought drunk driving was a-okay. Which bothers you more? Someone who could get into a car and kill you and your family, or someone who says John 16:3 instead of John 3:16?" She never responded, but she took me off her list!

Berlzebub said...

@ P-Momma:
I vote that you email her back, including the Snopes link. Especially if she sent it out to several people.

On Common Ground, I wrote a post about my thoughts on forwarding emails like that. There's been several times that I've debunked things sent to me, but in most cases it's only sent to me so I can debunk it (my friends refer to me as Mythbuster).

However, there's been a few occassions where they would send glurge (thanks for the new word, P-Momma), and I would reply to it debunking it line by line. Ironically, my friends would reply to me when I debunked the one they wanted me to, but they never have when I debunked the religious ones.

Karen said...

Knitterman's technique has worked for me. My mother-in-law used to send me the most ridiculous drivel, sometimes religion-related and sometimes just plain right-wingnut rant. I'd send her back a message with the Snopes link, pointing out that the "facts" supporting the piece were fabrication. That neither stopped her nor got me a response, just more drivel. Finally I started sending my debunking messages to her whole distribution list. I did that twice. End of drivel messages, at least to me.

Vamp said...

Yep, I love SNOPES too.

Hey, guess what, Halo and I hit the dollar store yesterday because she was looking for anything "watermelon" to decorate her teacher's office, for his birthday, because he hates anything watermelon. Anyway, we came across an air freshner that's like smelling a room full of new clothes, called CRISP COTTON, Renuzit. Wonderful stuff, love that smell too. LOL! ;o)

another atheist mom said...

Boy, I hate to say it, but the "reply all" is the only thing that stopped them coming to me too! I felt sort of guilty at first, but I had sent so many emails with the snopes link to the individual and I was still getting the stupid right wing religious stuff.

Just do it, you will be glad you did...

Enshoku said...

@another atheist mom

Holy cow, it would appear we have a successful pattern. It would appear that the reply all button is the kryptonite of these concerned Christians. If they are that easily shamed they probably shouldn't post the stuff in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Why me, En? I didn't hit reply all.

Autonomous said...

Don't jam a spork in your own eye. There are far more deserving targets.

elisabeth said...

You can also "donate" these fwd-emails to :

Maybe some people will get a hearty laugh out of it that way :)

Flee said...

I just lived this drama with my sister. She sent me the "Ungrateful Americans" by Jay Leno. I sent her the snopes link and told her there were places she could check this stuff out. Then I added my comments to her original e-mail and sent it back. First she replied that she didn't care if it were true or not she just agreed with the message that americans are a bunch of ungrateful spoiled brats. To my doctored up version she just went nuts, suggested if I was that unhappy with my life that I should do something about it, prayed that I find a purpose in life, and then called me a bitter woman like our mother and prayed that I would find gratitude for my life. Wish I had thought about reply all. You bet I'll use it next time!!

Flee said...

I just found your blog in the last week or two and I love it!! I'm not an atheist but if my family doesn't stop soon I just might have to change my mind on that!

Molls said...

I've had similar sucess as others with responding to the entire email list with the Snopes/FactCheck/etc link and pointing out the logical fallacies or simply stupidity of the contents of the email. Honestly, there are times when I'm having a lousy day and I find it theraputic.

My mother-in-law constantly sends me/my significant other religious nonsense. I've found its also theraputic to return the favor by spamming her with leftist/athiest/feminist stories. I always check mine on Snopes first though.

Rev. BigDumbChimp said...

People are dumb. I'm an IT manager (the only) for a mid sized company and I see the massive hoax and spam and chain emails every day. People fall for the DUMBEST things you can imagine.

Here's a good link on some of them.

Sisyphus Fragment said...

It is my opinion that is it beyond layman to take the time to Snope something. Those of us who are natural skeptics almost immediately try to verify the info before we send it on, it's very natural to me to do it. Why not for everyone else?
I get so much Christian drivel from people who I thought would know me well enough not to send it. Then I get it and reply that I'm not of their ilk and they still send me more shit next time! Like some stupid email is going to magically convert me with no evidence to back it up!!

CyberLizard said...

I am a HUGE fan of Snopes and have used it to great effect. My wife's uncle sends stuff all the time, mostly left-wing crap (yes, both sides can make stuff up). He still keeps going, even after being slammed with the truth multiple times.

But my favorite was when I had been at a company for about a month and the head of IT sent out one of those virus hoaxes. I'm a programmer, so it really fired me up that our VP of IT would fall for crap like this. Reply-to-all with the link to Snopes and a paragraph about safe computing practices made quite an impact!

Carina said...

Gosh, I'm starting feel all unloved here LOL Am I the only one who never gets this crap anymore? Of course, I don't have any friends and my family all think along the same lines as I do (except my father, but the only email I get from him is guilt trips for not calling).

I used to, tho, and I always used reply-all and Snopes. When I got replies about it, always of the angry variety, I just told them I assumed that if I was part of their email list they wanted my input.

As for this whackjob, PMomma, I might reply with something stating that part of the reason we live in such troubled times is because of crap like the story in this email - foisting your own beliefs on people is never a good idea, nor is it the "right" thing to do. Gah.

Cogito said...

Yay Snopes! You know, Snopes made me an atheist. Truly, I realized that religious stories had no more foundation than urban legends, and bang, no more theism for me.

Perhaps that's why our e-mail-forwarding Christian friends refuse to go there? They sense the rationality and it burns.

The funny thing is even when you convert people they tend to still send you the e-mails, only asking, "Is this real?" instead of checking for themselves!

Anonymous said...

I worship at the altars of Snopes and ;D

I have to thank everyone for the "reply all" tip; I didn't know that "reply all" is mightier than the sword (or the spork). I'll be wielding it from now on!

AlisonM said...

I love the blog title "" I got me one of those. I "reply all", but then delete the people I know are his friends who'd give him crap about it. I don't just link to snopes, though. He'd never click on it. Instead, I copy and paste. Only one other person sends me this stupid stuff, and I always replied just to her - but what the heck, the people she works with are teachers, so they >should< be getting educated about it, right?

Rachel said...

I am a Snopes "Reply to All" kind of gal, too.

Elisabeth, thank you for suggesting

I'm glad to have someplace special to pass along my *glurge" ...

Anonymous said...

Forward it to Crazy Christian Chain Emails:

It's the best!

I also use the Snopes copy + paste and reply all. Works every time!

Bronze Dog said...

I'm so glad I don't get glurge in my email. It's all business and blogging-related stuff.

I'm even running low on trolls at Bronze Blog, lately.

Rean House said...

@knitterman: I do the same thing (replay with a snopes link to all addressees) It came back to bite me once, my supervisor sent a glurg and I fired back the "appropriate response" and, well, lets just say life at the office wasn't very comfortable after that. :P