Today, I'm going to give political stuff a rest and keep to the overall topic of this Weblog, which is: Anything I feel like writing about. This time, I want to partially repeat myself about being blackmailed in e-mail. This comes from people that I think are well-intentioned, but do not bother to get rid of the conditions that are contained within the e-mails.
Every once in a while, I get mail that invokes an angel, the Virgin Mary, some obscure religious figure like "Saint Schnitzel" — or even Jesus himself. These sentimental pieces are telling me that the sender cares about me, is glad I am a friend and so forth. But then, they get weird. They often have religious pictures and prayers in them. OK... If I forward the mail to fifteen people in the next five minutes, I will have good luck within the next week. I can see by your expression that you've had these things as well. Hey, do you get them with another condition attached, that if you do not forward them, something bad will happen to you? Sometimes it is only bad luck, but even so, a kind of curse is implied if you "break the chain". Yes? I didn't think I was the only one that received these things.
Wow, you shouldn't have gotten me started on this topic! I have to say something else about angels: They are not women and/or children with wings. If you knew your Bible or Torah, you would know that angels are very powerful spirit beings. Cute artwork is actually very misleading about their nature, ministry and their power. But that is a topic for another time.
Bonus: A promise that a graphic will appear on the mail, or something cute or special will happen. That's an outright lie from other "forward this and get rich" schemes.
Other than being irritated at the "curse" for not forwarding them, I have another problem. (I mean, besides the fact that most people do not clean them up, and I have to wade through two hundred other names waiting to be harvested by spammers.) Frankly, they turn religion into superstition; it's degrading to the religious figure that is being invoked, and that they will bring you "luck". Most of these things are Catholic-oriented. I'm not even Catholic, and I am offended for them. Also, I do not believe in luck. You want luck? Work hard, think, keep your eyes open and make your own luck.
People can send me good wishes, prayers or whatever. Fine. I do not believe that the electronic medium means anything, but if it was actually sent prayerfully and the sender is wishing the sendee well, I will spiritually accept that a prayer or (good thought) was said on my behalf. Otherwise, it's junk that is being forwarded almost by reflex.
At any rate, if I get something with conditions, promises or curses attached and I like the rest of it, guess what? Yep, I edit the thing before sending it on. Think for a moment: Does Saint Schnitzel or any other religious figure really want to be associated with some kind of luck curse from your e-mail? I didn't think so.