The Forum Mission House

Jack wrote this while following posts and forums on a lottery information site in July, 2005. (I apologize for formatting weirdness– when I click “Edit” it looks fine. I’m not aware of how to fix it, and don’t have time to mess around with it at the moment).

I have a lot of respect for missionaries, for people who burn with a faith that requires
them to attempt to share the joy of faith with others, even when their zeal is for a faith I
don’t subscribe to.  I’m glad whenever I see anyone consumed with recognition that
there’s more to life than the landscape, the sorrows, the trials, the baggage of human daily
pursuits.

I have even more respect for those gutsy Christian missionaries who took their zeal into
remote areas of the earth without regard for their own personal safety, even though that
respect doesn’t extend to ignoring the damage they’ve wrought on local religions and
cultures, the hate they’ve caused to be focused on their own religion, their own countries
of origin.

We all make mistakes.

A few years ago I saw a motorcycle gang going down the highway, a typical gang in
dingy leathers, could have been any gang of outlaw bikers.  But the legend on their vests
was “BIKERS FOR CHRIST”.  I smiled to myself and saluted them in my mind.

Having said that, I’ll also say that I have a middling respect for the Christian faith, a lot
of respect for the Christian thinkers of history, almost no respect for modern Christian
doctrine, and a profound respect for the destruction brought about by Christian
evangelism throughout the past 2000 years.

I don’t want to learn about Christianity (or any other religion) from mindless parrots
knocking on my front door in an attempt to convert me to their way of thinking.  I don’t
want to be accosted by hare-brained Hari Krishnas and their bastardized On-The-Rebound-
From-Drug-Addiction-New-Faith when I’m trying to get into a public airport.  I don’t
want to be disturbed by the testimonials of some lunatic who claims to have a hot-line to
God when I’m sitting in my vehicle waiting for a red light to change and allow me to
escape.

I’m glad these people have faith.  I share their joy in that regard.  But I don’t want to hear
about it.

And I’d far rather not read about it when I’m browsing this site.

The (mostly unpaying) users (read, abusers) of this site who attempt to spread their
gospel on the threads by interjecting religious thread-drift strike me as an unnecessary
and unwanted distraction.

It seems to me there’s a simple solution.  Most DBs include a button to allow any user to
click an ‘Ignore’ button beside a posters name and purge any posts by that person from
all future intrusions into the attention of the person clicking the button.

By that method the users here who prefer to be spared from the religious zeal of
any particular poster can do so without having to experience the reduction of joy for the
zealot that results from the rudeness and arrogance of evangelism.

Just a bit of venting, along with a not-so-subtle suggestion.

Jack

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