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Little White Emails

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Kudos to Tim Hall for his excellent piece, “Electronic Lies.” Tim addresses those pesky forwarded emails (who reads ’em?) that, more often than not, spread inaccuracies at the rate that hamburgers are distributed at Macdonald’s.

The particular email message that prompted his article concerned one of the presidential candidates. He doesn’t name the candidate. But I checked, and Barack Obama is number two and Hillary Clinton is number eight in their top fifteen urban legends. Tim says he received the electronic smear from a fellow Christian, someone who is supposed to uphold truth and honesty. Personally, I have received similar emails, not to mention others related to a variety of subjects, from celebrities to big corporations. On top of that, I hear brethren sharing the “knowledge” they have gleaned from their inboxes at church on Sundays.

As Christians, we ought to watch our words. Maybe we’re not speaking them with our mouths, but a keyboard can do as much damage, maybe more.

Two suggestions:

1. If you are in the habit of forwarding every juicy piece of gossip you receive electronically to everyone in your address book, please stop. We don’t read it, and you are becoming a nuisance.

2. Accept the responsibility for the information that you send by email. At the moment it comes from your computer, you become the source. If it is false, you have spoken a lie. Just because you don’t know the person you have slandered personally, that doesn’t make it any less of a lie.

Check the veracity of your email messages using It’s a great fact checker.

Oh, and one last thing: God really won’t curse you for deleting chain emails. I did it once, and so far, so good.