Since I first learned of the Crusades back in junior high, I’ve been horrified by the things people do in their gods’ names. (For starters, I’ll never understand how Jesus’ message of love and tolerance has been repeatedly corrupted into a justification for war.)
Now I’m starting to feel the same disgust toward those who hijack faith as a vehicle for personal profit.
Have you ever noticed how many of those email scams invoke God? Here’s a little snippet from one of them:
I am a preacher with the Seed Harvest Ministry, and I will like to get advice from you. I believe the advice I need is secular to some extent, but do have the patience to understand my intention.
A few year’s ago I was in Liberia where I had established a little congregation where I preached regularly, but the civil war escaleted and the church was converted to a hospital of sourghts. On one faith full day three Nigerian Soldiers came to me and left trunks of Money with me and swore to come back for it.
Trunks of money, you say? And you want to give them to me?!
Today I got a message from some spammer name Alvaro, who sent me this simple wish:
May God bless you with confidence and humor to woo a girl this year !!
Oh my, yes! If only I had humor and confidence … I wonder whether I should click the link in Alvaro’s email and become a girl-wooing fiend? My husband would be so proud!
I’m reminded of the mixture of amusement and horror I felt a couple of days ago when my friend Tom (aka, The Blogfodder) shared a fund-raising plea he’d received in the mail. I won’t say which church this came from—but I will say that they’re guilty of a long list of typographical sins, at the very least:
To most of us, this letter may be humorous. But I feel awful for the people out there who are desperate for reassurance and hope, and who get a bunch of spiritual snake oil instead.
I can only hope that the Hindus are right about karma, and that these predatory scammers will get the “rewards” and “special blessings” they so richly deserve.