Christian paranoia and Internet myths

I recently received a chain email from multiple independent sources.  The email states that the ACLU – deemed to be a bunch of radical commies by so many conservative and religious groups – had filed a lawsuit to have all cross-shaped headstones removed from military cemeteries. 

Sounds terrible, doesn’t it?  And it would be if there was even a shred of truth to it. 

The same email also tells of another lawsuit that would end prayer in the military.  “Navy chaplains can no longer mention Jesus’ name in prayer thanks to the wretched ACLU and our new administration,” it warns.  Again, this is a fiction of someone’s imagination. 

To ensure that as many people as possible circulate these falsehoods, the email continues by asking recipients to “please pass this on after a short prayer.  Don’t break it.”  And like sheep, thousands, perhaps millions, of people have added their contacts to the email and passed it on without checking the facts. 

In this case, the email is likely intended as payback to the ACLU for its past actions in protecting the civil rights of minorities.  Politically conservative Christians are still seething that the ACLU blocked them from surrounding us all with Christian prayer and sayings.  They are furious that they have been prevented from striking down the Constitution’s establishment clause in order to declare this a Christian nation.  They are frustrated that they are not permitted to abridge the freedom and rights of non-Christians. And they believe that Christianity is under attack. 

None of this justifies their attempts to spread political and religious paranoia. 

Indeed, such emails are beyond reprehensible.  And by making false and unsubstantiated accusations, they are decidedly un-Christian.  Worse yet, they rely upon the good and caring nature of individuals to unsuspectingly circulate and perpetuate the accusations.

That said, the people who unwittingly pass along such false and misleading information must also be held culpable.  They are guilty of assuming the worst and not taking the time to check for the truth.  In the case of the aforementioned email, it took me less than 30 seconds of research to determine that it was false.