I Got This Email From My Grandmother Yesterday… (w/photos now)

April 28th, 2010

She wanted me to pass it along…


0 seconds with God…

the next 60 seconds, set aside whatever
you’re doing and take this opportunity! Let’s see if Satan
can stop this.


At the age of 33,
Jesus was condemned to the death penalty.

At the time
crucifixion was the “worst” death. Only the worst
criminals condemned to be crucified. Yet it was
even more dreadful for Jesus, unlike
other criminals condemned to death by
crucifixion Jesus was to be nailed to the
cross by His hands and feet.

Each nail
was 6 to 8 inches long.

The nails
were driven into His wrist. Not
into His palms as is commonly
portrayed. There’s a tendon in the wrist that
extends to the shoulder. The Roman guards knew
that when the nails were being hammered into the
wrist that tendon would tare and
brake, forcing Jesus to use His back
muscles to support himself so that He could

Both of His feet
were nailed together. Thus He was forced to
support Himself on the single nail that
impaled His feet to the cross. Jesus could
not support himself with His legs because of the pain
so He was forced to alternate between arching His
back then using his legs just to continue to
breath. Imagine the struggle, the pain, the
suffering, the courage.

Jesus endured this
reality for over 3 hours.

over 3 hours! Can you imagine this kind of
suffering? A few minutes before He died,
Jesus stopped bleeding. He was simply pouring water
from his wounds.

From common images
we see wounds to His hands and feet and even the spear wound
to His side… But do we realize His wounds
were actually made in his body. A hammer
driving large nails through the wrist, the feet overlapped
and an even large nail hammered through the arches, then a
Roman guard piercing His side with a spear. But
before the nails and the spear Jesus was whipped and
beaten. The whipping was so severe that it tore the
flesh from His body. The beating so horrific that His
face was torn and his beard ripped from His face. The
crown of thorns cut deeply into His scalp. Most men
would not have survived this torture.
He had no more blood
to bleed out, only water poured from His
wounds. The
human adult body contains about 3.5 liters
(just less than a gallon) of blood.

Jesus poured all 3..5
liters of his blood; He had three nails hammered into His
members; a crown of thorns on His head and, beyond
that, a Roman soldier who stabbed a spear into His

All these without
mentioning the humiliation He passed after carrying His own
cross for almost 2 kilometers, while the crowd spat in his
face and threw stones (the cross was almost 30 kg of weight,
only for its higher part, where His hands were

Jesus had
to endure this experience, so that you can have free
access to God.

So that your sins
could be “washed” away. All of them, with no exception!
Don’t ignore this situation.


For you, who now
read this e-mail. Do not believe that He only died for
others (those who go to church or for pastors, bishops,

He died for you! It
is easy to pass jokes or foolish photos by e-mail, but
when it comes to God, sometimes you feel ashamed to forward
to others because you are worried of what they may think
about you.

the reality, the truth that JESUS IS THE ONLY SALVATION FOR

has plans for you, show all your friends what He experienced
to save you. Now think about this! May God bless your

seconds with God…

For the next 60
seconds, set aside what you’re doing and take
this opportunity! Let’s see if Satan can stop

All you have to do

1. Simply
pray for the person who sent this message to

2.Then, send this
message to 10 people.. More
if you wish.

3.10 people will
pray for you and you will make that many people pray to God
for other people.

4. Take a
moment to appreciate the power of God in your life, for
doing what pleases Him.

If you are not
ashamed to do this, please, follow Jesus’ instructions.
He said (Matthew 10:32 & 33): “Everyone therefore
who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge
before My Father in heaven; but whosoever denies Me
before others, I also will deny before My
Father in heaven”.

If you believe,
send this message… But send it only if you believe
in Christ Jesus is your Lord and Savior.


Thanks Grandma!

But personally, I like the following explanation a whole lot more.  It explains the whole freakish, bizarre, absurdity of Christianity much better and much more succinctly.

Don’t be ashamed to send it to ten people.  It won’t save anyone’s soul, but it might sure as hell, save their brains!


  • Kay:

    I couldn’t see any of the pictures…

  • Christine from Canada:

    Ditto what Kay said.

  • Chris:

    So does this mean that anyone crucified is the savior of this world… because the Romans did this quite often.

    And of course they used the wrist, if they used the hands the weight of the body would rip the nails from the hands, they may have been cruel but they weren’t stupid.

    Being crucified isn’t anything special during this time period and certainly isn’t proof of anything either.

  • Wendy:

    The spelling….it’s um creative?

    /I never understood the obsession

  • Anna:

    This is one reason I live in fear that my in-laws will learn to use the internet. I always convince them that they do not need a computer.

  • I can’t see the pictures, either, but considering the text, I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing. I get a lot of these emails, too, often with sparkly graphics of those big-eyed precious moments kids, or a sparkly cross or something. Maybe I’m supposed to be so dazzled by all the bling that I’ll believe whatever it is they write.

  • Rechelle! Nothing to see at the end? Come on now, don’t tease us like that!

    I always love when folks who know I’m not a church going gal still send me these missives. They usually send me all the stupid urban legend/virus/OMG!LOOKOUT! messages to. No amount of Snopes links seems to beat them into submission. So…delete, delete, delete.

  • LucyGolden:

    I’m sure your Grandmother is a lovely person, but really, to try to scare you back into religion? Not me!

    I’ve deleted several people from my e-mail list (my husbands relatives) who insist on sending me, not only this kind of e-mail, but racist junk as well. I have not time for that kind of people.

  • Joe L.:

    bloody masochistic savages…. the whole lot of them.

    When your entire faith is based on the premise of idolizing the torture and death of your god, is it surprising that Christians are far more likely to support the torture of other human beings than non-Christians?

    I wonder what people like John McCain, who was 1) a real, actual human, and 2) was actually tortured for years (not just hours) really, deep-down thinks about this kind of blood-lust so common in Christianity…

  • Scientific? O_o

    (Also you said following explanation… but there is nothing that follows… am I really thick or is something missing? I concede my flu might be making me a tad thick today… )


  • Looks like the images were pulled in from a mail file – we can’t see ‘em because we aren’t signed in to Rechelle’s e-mail. (Which, of course, we shouldn’t be…)

    But yes, from an outsider’s perspective, that whole thing is perfectly appalling. I’ve certainly never felt any need to torture my son in order forgive, say, the person who cut me off in traffic this morning. Seems to me like you just, y’know, forgive.

    Or, if it’s a matter of having “free access to God”, well… He’s all-powerful, right? So if He wants things to change, they change. Human sacrifice – Hell, any sacrifice – shouldn’t be necessary.

  • Martha in Kansas:

    I feel some pressure to leave kind and thoughtful comments now! LOL! and gulp.

    I can’t see the pictures either, but maybe it’s for the best. I got a kick out of the rather graphic story and how some parts are repeated, but not apparently because they were to be emphasized. If my students wrote a story this way, I’d comment on the flow of the story. And (English teacher comment) there is a jump in logic from the story of a graphic death to the “died for you” section. There needs to be much more explanation of why this particular death is a) for someone else, and b) saving anyone’s soul. A huge gap that this reader doesn’t follow.

    But I don’t think grandma is actually the author, so no sense pointing this out to her. I guess the only response is to thank her for caring enough to send this. She probably sent it to lots of people, so wouldn’t take it too personally. She loves you.

  • same here no pics

  • Anonymous:

    If your grandmother will read this here, I would just take it down… It seems rude to present it here when I am sure she just cares about you.

  • I wish I knew where the following came from so I could give credit, but it’s my favorite explanation of Christianity.

    “Christianity: The belief that some cosmic Jewish zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree. Makes perfect sense.”

  • Okay, this looks *nothing* like the promised blog on David Sedaris. I am pretty certain that he wasn’t the author of this email.

  • kathy jo:

    Awww….I luv Grandma’s! They just cant help but worry about everything can they?
    Message to Grandma…..”Good Goin’ Grams! Keep up the good practice on the innernets & stay sharp!”

  • km:

    The level of detail is impressive. And after all that it has to be a chain letter. …spread the name of Jesus through spam….
    I got so turned off of these emails after 9/11. Giant Jesus’ and angels hugging firemen. For someone who was actually in the city that day I found them terribly trivializing and insulting.
    We’re missing nothing by not being able to see the pictures. I bet it came with a ponderous musical track accompaniment too. And blingies…

  • smittypap:

    All that build-up and no punchline?? Grandma needs to work on her joke-telling.

  • I can’t see any of the photos.. just blue squares with question marks… will stop back later.

  • km:

    smittypap you cracked me up:)

  • Satan is obviously messing with your server. Or maybe he doesn’t like your blog. LOL

  • Garden:

    Seriously, you are going to bring your grandmother into your “life renewal”?? Simply pathetic!

  • Suzetta:

    I love my Granny and just smile and say thanks when she sends me plastic rain bonnets, crocheted dolls to cover my toilet tissue, little ceramic do dads…etc. etc.etc….just sayin’….when did playing nice go out of style? christian, agnostic or athiest, what EVER….Can’t we all just BE KIND! I bet she sent it to everyone in her address book…I wouldn’t take it too personally!

  • Patricia:

    You are very lucky to have your grandma still in your life…..I wish I was fortunate enough to have my grandmother,or my mother, still with me….appreciate and love her every single day. Life is short.

  • Anna:

    I’m annoyed by the idea that we are not allowed to tell people who are christians what we think about religion. It doesn’t matter if they are family or not, if they can’t take a free exchange of ideas, they shouldn’t be sending out email.

  • I’m not sure where some people are getting the notion that Rechelle is bringing her grandmother in to her ‘life renewal’, or somehow doesn’t love or appreciate Grandma just becuase she posted this email. Maybe they can see the pictures.

    I get this sort of email all the time from well-meaning family members. They have also been kind enough to warn me of our Muslim/Anti-Christ/Non-American/Black/White President, and they have warned me of rapists and killers running rampant in the parking lots of shopping malls all across this great land of ours. I have been sent dire warnings that Facebook will start charging for it’s services later this year, and I need to boycott now! There are rats peeing on pallets of soda cans that are stored in warehouses and if I just don’t buy gas on a certain day at a certain time, Exxon’s profits will plummet.

    I love my friends and family and I’m sure their intentions were all well and good, but some of this crap is just plain nuts.

  • JJ:

    My Grandma would freely allow me to say what I thought about any topic – but she would still worry – she was my Grandma. She would tell us that she prayed about us and those that didn’t quite follow what she believed knew that this was her way of showing she loved and cared about us – there was no ridicule – we excepted it as a loving gesture. She never tried to push anything down my throat, but she expected all of us to be kind and respectful and we were – Grandma came with high priority too with all of us Kids, grandkids, greats and great-greats. And there were some things out of respect for her beliefs and her peace of mind that I would not openly discuss with her – I knew she would love me any way, but I put her peace of mind ahead of my own need to be “right”. ( Now with others watch out!) We had some very interesting conversations in the last years and months before she passed – 1 year this June – at 93. It was a very interesting insight into a woman who I had been close with all my life. Our conversations and loving debates would not have happened if either of us put up an “I am right attitude”. Grandma taught all of us to “follow our own mind” and realize that “we were responsible for ourselves.”
    While I know all Grandmas may not be as respectful to their own families ( after all MINE was the best ;)! ) or even that loving, I feel that some respect should be observed – and the ” well what about respecting my beliefs” at some point just becomes selfish. Patricia is right – those that love you are not around forever – and – you should especially realize this if you are an athiest – that there is no hereafter to see them again.
    Life is sooo short – even 93 years does not seem like enough time…

  • bubbaj:

    Well that was cute, and interesting. I boggles my mind to think that some people will believe that an email can convert the wicked.

    Hey rechelle my grass won’t grow in the shade…how come? ;)

  • Joel Wheeler:

    WHY are these things always so looooooooong? Even Christians can benefit from a little editing. Maybe ‘especially’ Christians…

  • Rachelle, the images are all linking back into Hotmail, which means anybody who isn’t you and aren’t logged (or have a session there) won’t see these images, all the while you still might.

    You need to save them all to your hard drive, and the use your blogging software to upload them as you normally do. (Pop me a line if you need help)

  • Jesus died for my sins and all I got was this lousy chain letter. What a rip off.

  • Action Squirrel:

    LOL @ Kathy.

    I don’t get the Jesus emails anymore, but apparently I’m ripe for warnings about Muslims AND Socialists taking over Europe and literally destroying the very fibre of our Christian heritage and actually kill every single one of us with their rampant Satanic mosque building. I guess hating Jews is just so 1990s.

    Throw something in the mix about our soldiers overseas, a sparkle kitty and a treatise about kefir and a twice-removed reborn cousin earns their wings, I’m sure.

  • LucyGolden:

    @Kelly – RIGHT ON!

  • Brian V.:

    Dear Rechelle, I have to agree with Patricia and JJ. Life is too short to be honest and open. It is better to lie to your grandmother and your husband and children. Lie to everyone for Jesus’ sake, amen.

  • Mackenzie:

    To all of you people concerned about Rechelle being disrespectful to her Grandmother.. well.. I’m trying to find a nice way to say, “Relax~”
    Maybe she didn’t even get this from her Grandma, but thought it’d be funnier to say it was from her than from some random whoever else.
    Or maybe she made it up herself, like Kelley was summarizing all the emails of that type that we regularly receive.

    But really, if the email did come from her Grandmother, and said sweet old lady might read this blog and be upset by the “Thanks Grandma!” comment at the end, do you really think she would have posted it?
    Maybe you shouldn’t read the blog of someone whom you think is that mean.

    Anyways, the email -did- say to pass it on, and posting it here certainly does get it some readers! Passing it on to all the blog readers should make Granny’s day :p

  • Nancy:

    This is all the you can talk about, you have a Lot of guilt going on .you want soooo much for all the others to reaffirm you and make you feel better I am glad your grandmother is praying for you she loves you I am sure you have all of your family very upset . Why don’t you just give it a rest for a while ?????????

  • Nancy and others : Why do you so fanatically persist in not only judging Rachelle, but with the worst possible sentence structure and spelling? I don’t get it; is there some underlying dominant Jebus cult thing going on that requires you to look like complete idiots wherever you misplace your tirades?

  • I once posted an email that had a huge animated Jesus walking down an aisle, words were similar in nature to what you posted. It was pretty creepy and funny all at the same time. I get that stuff all the time in my email and on my facebook. Everyone just assumes, especially in the bible belt, that everyone else has the same beliefs, those believes being Christian ones.

  • SusanIA:

    Rechelle, you rock. I am still undecided on my own beliefs (or lack there of) but all the same… Grandma’s are hilarious. Mine gave me the “sex talk” when I was 23 and had been married for 2 years. I think you win though.

  • JJ:

    Brian – nothing was said about lying – again it was about respecting the rights of another person’s opinion, loving the people who are important to you even if they don’t share your belief system – it goes both ways. Grandma knew where I stood, I knew where she stood. A discussion could be open and honest without ridiculing each other.
    I would not push her for a fight and I could gracefully and greatfully accept her love and concern even if I didn’t believe in the “power of prayer.”

  • Kimberly:

    Am I seeing something that everyone else isn’t? At the top of the entry right under the title it says, ‘She wanted me to pass it along…’. Rechelle can post whatever she likes, and it’s a forward for *christs* sake, it’s not like she wrote it. Bugger off if all you all you ever come here to do is b1tch at us. Seriously.

  • I wonder if there is a punishment for sending this to people if you dont really believe?

  • suzetta:

    I hope that wasn’t really from your grandma, ’cause if it was and if there really is a hell…. I’m just say’in you might want to consider having water bottles placed in your casket. On a lighter note, when are you going to write another post on home schoolers and their evil ways?

  • Boz:

    lol, suzetta, you’re a bitch.

  • jalf:

    Oh gods, it’s a freakin’ CHAIN LETTER.

    Please, I know (some of you) are Christian, but surely you still have brains, you’re still able to read.

    What about this letter gave you the crazy idea that Rechelle’s grandmother wrote this as a personal and heartfelt message to her granddaughter?

    She was simply passing a chain letter on to as many others as possible. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it does mean that no one should feel bad in the slightest ABOUT PASSING IT ON TO THE READERS ON THEIR BLOG.

    @suzetta: You’re sick. If you really think that 1) you can go to hell for publicizing chain letters you receive, and 2) that placing water bottles in your casket might in any way help if you’re going to hell, then you need help. Right now.

  • Patricia:

    Brian V – your sarcasm is commendable, however, I wasn’t suggesting that Rechelle lie to anyone, especially her grandmother.

    I was only suggesting that Rechelle enjoy every day with her grandmother and mother, because life does not go on forever. I was only passing along unasked for advice from someone who has recently “been there”…….

  • km:

    Thanks Christine,
    Wow EuroJesus was ripped !

  • Brian V.:

    @JJ said: Brian – nothing was said about lying – again it was about respecting the rights of another person’s opinion, loving the people who are important to you even if they don’t share your belief system – it goes both ways. Grandma knew where I stood, I knew where she stood. A discussion could be open and honest without ridiculing each other.
    I would not push her for a fight and I could gracefully and greatfully accept her love and concern even if I didn’t believe in the “power of prayer.”
    @JJ, what you feel compelled to hide for your own selfish reasons, another may feel compelled to share for their own selfish reasons. You shame others because you like to do so and perhaps believe that you have biblical justification in doing so… My own ignorant grandmother once forced her dead Baptist preacher husband’s shaving mirror in front of my face because the little boy cried at her dinner table as she was forcing turnips into him. She was a bitch passing on toxic lessons she had herself learned at a very young age. My parents did not support me and allowed her to abuse me. (Good Baptist folk, all…) Keep your bullshit false sensitivity to yourself. Support the rights of all adults (and children) to be respected in their honesty, whether it involves bitterness or smarmy do-gooder nonsense. I support your right to share nonsense about chain letter idiocy but not without sometimes commenting for my own selfish reasons. Look at the pathetic content of that letter, JJ… read it an weep that you could actually be so far out of touch with yourself as to support it as a dear little loving ol’ granny. Poe me.

  • Brian V.:

    This sicko chain with its funny cartoons (thanks Christine from Canada for the graphics link) reminds me of the feeling I had when I saw a short preview of Mel Gibson’s Passion of Christ. That sort of porno focus on torture for many hours (I think the film was about 39 hours long) and the glorious 3.5 liters of blood every twenty seconds or so splattered all over the sets, just set Christians into a orgy of new found love for suffering Christ who died for me. I bet Mel is still counting the cash he gets from that that torture porn still being passed along from church to church. My oh my, my granny would have adored had she not been called home….

  • Brian V.:

    @Patricia, thank-you for that… I did not enjoy every minute with my abusive grandmother and I should not have enjoyed it. I do sometimes enjoy remembering a little candy tree she had to manipulate, I mean love us…. That being said, I am sorry to hear when someone loses a person dear to them. If that has happened to you recently, I am sorry to hear it.

  • Sorry about the lack of pics – They did come from an e-mail – from my actual grandma. A woman that I have seen once every two or three years from the past twenty five years. We do not have any type of regular contact and don’t really know each other. If the email was from someone that I did know – I would have felt differently, but coming from a grandmother that I never see, that has no relationship with me other than Christmas cards and a bi-annual visit that lasts a day – I don’t feel like I am violating a sacred meaningful vow here. I will try and upload the photos later today.

  • JJ:

    Brian -
    Again there was no hiding – we communicated quite a bit and respected each other – and as I also stated I realize not all families share that – your case in point. And honestly it was not a condemnation of Rechelle’s post or even on the email ( I can see that for what it is Brian), but more towards how some people ( who do comment here) feel that it is open season on people who they disagree with and that some themselves do not treat people respectfully – you DO live what you learn huh Brian?

  • Kimberly:

    Thanks, Christine, for the link. I have to say I was rather disappointed…I figured the pics would be a bit more graphic………or glittery. :p

    On a related note, I stayed up and watched Underworld: Rise of the Lycans last night while I cleaned my room. Some of those pics actually reminded me of Lucian (Michael Sheen) in the movie. I think I am going to worship him now because he was tortured and would’ve died if only he wasn’t so damned immortal. Wait…immortal? Checkmate Jesus!

  • Brian V.:

    @JJ, If you and Patricia wish to remind others of the shortness of life and so on, well, that is fine. But when it is directed at someone who has shared a rather stupid and manipulative chain letter sent to her as a ?loving gesture?, then it smells of shaming to me. And if “some people (who do comment here)” really do think it is open season on contrary statements to their own, what does that have to do with the chain letter post? Is it the author you are alluding to, or the commenters, or granny? The poignancy of the chain letter for me is how delusionary Christians freely become and how abuse is visited without invitation on others, how it is dumped on others who question or dare to speak truth. And you call it affection? Caring? Love? And after the Christians abuse others with this horrid, gory stuff, they go to church to pray for the people they have abused in this way (chain letters, unsolicited witnessing, public displays of exclusionary prayers). We stray from simple reason and love when we allow our loved ones to walk all over us with impunity. What granny did to Rechelle was ignorant at best but I would suggest to you that it was done NOT out of complete ignorance but with something akin to malice. It was not a thumb-tack. In reality it was an 8 inch spike. Aw, shucks, maybe it was all a misdirected email. Anyway, if you don’t send this whole thread to 10 people within 10 hours, 10 BAD things will happen to you fershure ;-)

  • speechless.

  • Revyloution:

    I need to channel Christopher Hitchens.

    I didn’t ask for him to be ritually sacrificed for me, nor do I want it. I will gladly take responsibility for my actions. If an all knowing, all loving father forces me to accept this sacrifice, or he will forsake me forever, then his is a totalitarian fascist. And I will have none of him.

    As for the ‘agony’ of his sunny Friday afternoon on the cross, it was only one day. One day of pain. That is a walk in the park, it is childs play compared to the real torment and suffering that millions deal with. Bot flies hatching inside the eyeball of a child for months, worms that live inside the muscles of the body, and take years to leave, virus’ consume the body in pain and delirium, all these make an afternoon on a crucifix seem a thousand times more humane.

    Don’t talk to me about the sacrifice of a man who suffered for one afternoon before flying into space to return to godhood. Especially since he knew from the beginning that he was going to do it.

  • Samantha:

    What a story, myth, fantasy. Most religions have the same tale to grip their public.

    Thanks for the link to the pictures. What gets me is why they continually to depict Jesus as a white guy…shouldn’t he be dark? considering some historians have his descendants coming from Ethiopia.

  • At the very least, Jesus should look Egyptian or Middle-Eastern. Why he now looks like Ted Nugent, I’ll never understand.

  • I was afraid that this would be a subject you would avoid since your return. Glad to know I was wrong. Welcome back, Toots!

  • Hallie:

    Yet again, brilliant!

  • Jimmy:

    I’m with you Brian. If grandma wants to send abuse by email (let’s call it for what it is), then posting it on a blog for general consumption and comment (especially as granny explicitly said to do so) seems pretty reasonable.

    Why do Christians think it is OK to spam people, who ever they might be, with their bigotry? Particularly people who have clearly and explicitly said they reject that stuff? And what is wrong with pointing out that this is offensive?

    I would not send my parents links to NonStampCollector on YouTube (can’t link from work – but he is really worth a look. Stunningly funny – while cutting right to the point). It would upset them to face that level of rational challenge to their faith. But they think it is OK send me this kind of nonsense all the time. Because they are right and know Jebus. And I am wrong.

    So is that OK? No – it is not. Should they hear from me about it? Yes – because it makes them think for half a nano second and maybeslows them from spamming som other poor mut.

    I hate hurting them in fact, and take the view that they are getting older and won’t be around for long – so I stay as far away from the topic as I can manage. But it wouldn’t be that outrageous if I decided to be pretty clear with them.

    We seem to cut religious people an awful lot of extra slack when it comes to basic behaviour and ethics – for no rational reason that I can think of. Why do they so often behave so terribly badly?

  • LucyGolden:

    Ah…the beloved “Ta-Dah” Jesus that got me into sooo much trouble with some friends & family when I posted it on my Facebook page! I still think it’s really funny…

  • Brian V.:

    @Jimmy: many thanks for the link to nonstampcollector on youtube. I very nearly peed my pants within two minutes of the present vid there. (Damned difficult to be middle-aged and laughing so hard that one fears the toilets might be too far off!) Absolute brillance! I will taunt my older Baptist turned Pentecostal bro with the site this evening. He will laugh with hilarity and then send me an email with capitalized GOD and FATHER and JESUS throughout. He is preying for me. And thank-you as well, Jimmy, for the clear-headed response to granny’s chain. Alice Miller recently died and one thing she always made clear was that the damage done to us as children makes it possible for us to stand by and even participate more actively in the abuse of our own and other children/adults. This is a great mystery to Christians everywhere who seem to believe that for the most part their Saviour has fixed them right up and given them carte blanche. So it is that an American Christian fellow sells paddles for beating children on the web, paddles for just the right correction that is required by God and so on… And so it follows that Martha in Kansas says to Rechelle, “I guess the only response is to thank her (Grandma) for caring enough to send this. She probably sent it to lots of people, so wouldn’t take it too personally. She loves you.” Allowing abusive behavior as if it was a big-spirited thing to do and even calling it an act of love… Oh, Martha from Kansas, be careful what you think you should teach all those children… Your denial of granny’s harmful act is not reassuring…

  • Mindy:

    My dad used to send me crap like that all the time. It stopped when I started sending atheist writings as replies.

    I like the “ta-da” picture! It is all just so silly.

  • Shonna:

    Jesus really does love you Rechelle?

  • Jimmy:

    Mindy – I liked the ‘ta da’ picture a lot as well! I was trying to imagine what I would have thought of that when I was a believer… I suspect I would have just dismissed it and not given it any attention perhaps? That whole, “if I pretend it’s not there, it isn’t” approach to life that I adopted so effectively for 30 years.

    Having said that: it’s really important for me to remember that this attitude was not a function of being a theist. Behaving like that was a function of being me! That is what I’m like! I like being right (unsurprisingly) and don’t much like admitting I am wrong. So I am able to play mental tricks with myself to avoid confronting unfortunate truths. At least if I know it occasionally I might do something about it.

    Still – it’s a great picture. And the reduction of Christianity to such simplistic terms does make the point quite nicely. When you strip away the flowery religious language and mysticism, the emperor’s new clothes are suddenly found to be laughably missing.

    @ Brian V: NonStampCollector is really excellent. I love the very normal voice, the appeal to our sense of fair play and proportion. It’s just fantastic. Did you watch his ‘Context’ clip? Or ‘What Jesus would have done’ or the ‘there are no biblical contradictions’ panel game? Very well put together and really pretty poignant. Answer that theists!

    Personally I find that it is extremely difficult to be clear headed about religion. I had too many years of desperately trying to make it all work in my head. I really appreciate the clarity of the likes of Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris. I had some woman wade right into me on a plane once in Scotland as I read God is Not Good. The silly woman.

    PZ Myers’ Pharyngula blog is also exceptionally clear – though the comments can get a bit rough. Not sure that’s such a bad thing: they tolerate no woolly thinking nonsense there and take no prisoners. Evidence is evidence, and that’s it.

    Your story about the child beating bats is horrible. Isn’t that illegal in the US? You could not sell an implement designed to beat children in the UK certainly. How is it the US combines being ahead in so many ways with being so utterly backward in so many others! That’s shocking…

  • Brian V.:

    @Jimmy, the polyurethane paddles were available through http://biblicalchildtraining.com/ but have since moved and I cannot track them. I posted information long ago about theweb host at aaacworld.org and some of us wrote some letters of protest. He called me a sheep for advocating for children and mocked me. Fathers like this believe in the destruction of childhood. To answer your question about the extremes in the USA, I do not think it is about freedom and liberality (a common charge from the religious right) but more about a tradition of abuse that is very clear in our world. Lloyd DeMause’s efforts in psychohistory sure have helped me in this regard, the documented history of harm to children over the centuries. It’s built-in and the denial among us is quite astounding to me. This link is an article from the ’90′s by DeMause: http://www.psychohistory.com/htm/05_history.html
    Thanks for the mention of PZ Myer. I will take more bandwidth soon and watch some more nonstampcollector but for now my sat is cutting me off. Wonderful material!

  • I’m going to agree with those who point out that putting up a badly-written and much-forwarded chain letter for the purposes of mockery has little or nothing to do with love and respect (or lack thereof) for Grandma. Rechelle is not rejecting or maligning a heartfelt-but-misguided gesture by a family member; she’s making fun of a chain letter. A bad chain letter (if that’s not redundant), too: even if I agreed with everything it had to say, it’s stylistically awful.

    On the other hand, I don’t think that Grandma sending this drek along is any sort of abuse. (…If anyone is actually suggesting that; the discussion of abuse may be more of a digression/expansion.) I say that precisely because there’s no effort involved in sending it; at worst, it’s thoughtless.

  • Brian V.:

    @Michael, you might be correct in suggesting thoughtlessness. But the content is offensive and manipulative and just because it is full of munky syntax or spelling errors, the intent is not therefore less malicious as I see it. As a seven year old, I woke from nightmares of hellfire that had been laid out for me in detail the Sunday previous… I begged to be saved so that I would not have to face that…. the images introduced to that seven year old still live in me. When I read the details of this “drek”, I shivered inside. Details of length opf spikes and blood loss, focus on suffering and guilt is not “drek” to me. You may have much more distance from all this but I stand by my use of the word, abuse. As Jimmy said, it seems all to easy…” I also disagree with your assessment of granny not having had to spend some effort in sending it. Apart from the technological aspects that most older people find challenging, there is the choice to make of recipients. Rechelle has stated that this person has very little contact with her. She is not a regular email address but somehow grandma chose to find her address to send this particular email. Not only thoughtless, Michael.

  • Steph :):

    It’s a horrible story to be sure. The beating, humiliation, and death of a man in such extreme measures. Just reading it still makes my stomach churn. I couldn’t wish that kind of pain on anybody.

    It’s always been frightening to me, since I was raised Baptist, in the south, and although we never had big crosses with big, bleeding Jesuses (Jesii?) in our churches, they really loved talking about how brutal and horrific and painful and sad this man’s last few hours on earth were. And how his mother suffered. What mother wouldn’t. I mean, we fixated on it in church and in bible school and in regular school. Even as a kid it terrified me that we did this, and despite all the nice stories about saving animals in floods and such, and the whitewashed stories about genocide and incest and whatnot, it still all came down to the last few moments of this guy’s horrible, extremely painful and bloody, death.

    I mean, wtf.

    Btw, if I’m remembering my Roman history correctly, even the Romans thought maybe the Christians were a bit off because of the fixation/worship of this man’s death. Death cult/cannibal cult (“eat of me…”), etc.

  • Brian V.:

    Crucifixion was a common sentence of death at the time… Jesus was one of many who endured this torture. The sick focus on drinking his blood and eating his body came much later. It amazes me that such talk is still normal, standard operating procedure for many who call themselves Christian.

  • Jim O.:

    3 whole hours, huh? Very impressive. However, the average crucifixion took up to 3 DAYS, with the victim dying of suffocation when their lungs finally collapsed.

    Can you imagine that? 3 days of thirst, starvation, agony, with the reducers (bugs & birds) going straight for the soft tissue in the eyes & tongue?

    But yeah, Jesus’ death was the worst EVER. Especially since he knew he’d be resurrected & then go to heaven.

  • @Brian V. – You may be right; I don’t know. You *are* right in assuming that I find the chain letter more silly than troubling, perhaps because my Episcopalian upbringing didn’t emphasize the full horror of eternity in Hell. (It was part of the doctrine, of course, but heavily downplayed; I have the impression that spending too much talking about Hell was considered to be missing the larger point of Jesus’ message.)

    You seem to think that Grandma must have looked up Rechelle’s email in order to pass this along. That may be the case, but I think it’s more likely that she received it, and then forwarded it to everyone in her address book; in most programs, that requires considerably less thought and effort than picking out a list of specific recipients.

    That said, “thoughtless” and “abusive” aren’t mutually exclusive categories, and this may well be both. I think you’re overreacting (a little), but it’s also possible that I’m just not sensitive enough to this sort of thing.

  • DDM:

    Wait, wait, wait. So the amount of suffering one endures is proportional to the amount of truth in what they claim? lol?

  • Boz:

    whoever has the most martyrs wins!