Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hate Mail!

I just got my first ever piece of hate mail. Hate email actually. See, I joined a Yahoo Group for homeschoolers that was open to secular and Christian homeschoolers alike. Then I got this in my inbox:

John 14:1-17
1) " Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. 2) In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3) And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4) And you know the way where I am going." 5) Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?" 6) Jesus said to him, " I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me. 7) If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him."

Among other scriptures. It was very long, and I don't want to cram it in here. But the verses were picked to be a lesson in why now would be a good time to become a Christian, seeing as how the end of the world is near.
So I posted this:

I do not mean to be rude, or to hurt feelings or make a big stink, but
what in the wide world of sports does this have to do with
homeschooling? I was so happy to find this group, especially when I
read this:
"In years past there has been a horrifying division between religious
homeschoolers and nonreligious homeschoolers. Neither side has been
very nice to each other to our shame. When we began ******* (edited, obviously), we wanted to change that. We longed for a place where all homeschoolers, no matter what their backgrounds, would be welcomed with open arms in a safe zone of acceptance. Over the past two years, I believe we have
become that place."
(from the message titled "**** **** leaders intro")
Am I in the wrong Yahoo Group? I assumed that I would find info about Christians looking for Christian ways to homeschool, and others
interested in more secular versions of homeschooling, but I was pretty
sure it would be more or less about homeschooling, not proselytizing.
I am confused.

Again, I don't mean to offend, I'm just asking: If I am looking for a
homeschooling discussion sans pressure to become a Christian, am I in the wrong yahoo group?

And someone put up a post saying the scripture was just a bonus you got when you joined the group, and the moderator wrote and said, Whoops!, that shouldn't have been there, and I felt reassured. Then I got this:

Well, Just like the restoftheHook-nosed, Hymie, no-good-for
nothing-Jew-bastards everywhere else on thisplanet, you scream at the very mention of Jesus. You got Him kicked out of public Schools, American Government, and now you want Him off the internet.
Just another sign of His soon return. This time He's gonna send you
and your father the Devil to the lake of fire. John 8:44.
And we both know that you aren't really a "Jew" Rev. 2:9 and 3:9.
Get some practice being a lamp shade.

I know that trying to argue with this person is like pissing in the wind, but I couldn't help myself, so I wrote this:

Dear James,

I am completely baffled as to where your complaints and insults are coming from. The inaccuracies abound. I hardly know where to start.

I'm not a Jew. I believe you've made the assumption based on my last name. It is Armenian. Many, many, many Armenians were put to death on the basis of their Christianity, and I feel that to pass this error by would be an insult to their memory. Feel free to research the Armenian genocide and become enlightened.

I do not want Jesus kicked off the internet. I thought I was joining a yahoo group that was not for Christians only. When I got your first e-mail I was puzzled. So I posted the following:

(Here I quoted the message I'd posted...)

I did not say that I wanted Jesus off the internet, or even this Yahoo Group. I just didn't want pressure to become a Christian. As I explained in an email to another member,
"If I were to see a recipie posted, or a funny poem, or someone saying they liked a book, that would be neighborly of the person who posted. It's like they're saying, I liked this, maybe you would too. And if someone says "Pray for me", or "Where's a good church?", or "Who knows of a biology textbook with a creationist viewpoint?" that makes sense too, because people are asking for what they need. It's all good. But when someone says "Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me." and "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me." that's different. That's proselytizing. And it may seem like a cherry on top to you, but it felt like a slap in the face to me. And I could choose to pass it by, but I was honestly confused by the welcome with the one hand and the slap with the other. So I figured I'd just ask. It was awkward, seeing as how I'm new and all, but I was really confused. "

I did not ask to be witnessed to in your first email, and politely asked if proselytizing was what this Yahoo group was about. You've chosen to witness to me, again, about what being a Christian is about. Apparently it is about sending insults to people you don't know, and hating Jews. It may shock you, especially since you've made it so appealing, but I think I'll pass.

I'll also pass this email on to the group moderators. I am, yet again, confused about the nature of this yahoo group.

And there you have it.
I'm probably showing my ignorance, but what is that lampshade reference about?

Going to practise,


onetallmomma said...

Wow, you got an ear full. And I applaud your attempts to bring some reason to the incident. Unfortunately, reason only works if the other side has open ears and heart.

I admire homeshcoolers and would be doing it myself if we didn't have a wonderful Waldorf school nearby.

And thanks for the good eBay advice. I'm a quick learner.

me said...

came to you by way of your comment on one tall momma, think i'll visit more. seeing as i loved the "bad" witch. actually i'm usually a lurker at first, but i just had a conversation about "christians", sans the homeschooling. it seems the more "christian" some poeple claim to be, the more intolerant they become of anyone who doesn't agree with them. i am in all honesty quite tired of it myself.

chin up, i'm sure the group you want is out there. bravo for homeschooling, for you are far braver than i.

ephelba said...

Apparently the reference is to the practise of turning nicely tattooed Jewish hide into a lampshade. There is arguement about whether this ever occurred. There is no arguement that Nazis kept pieces of preserved tattooed skin, just whether or not it got turned into lampshades.
Isn't that swell? My feelings for this person just deepened.