Since this is the beginning of my second year of blogging, this seems like an auspicious occasion to dip into the mailbag and review a few of the letters I’ve received over the past year. (They’re actually emails, but mailbag still works as a metaphor.) Some of them are complimentary, some not so, as you might expect from a blog of this sort, but I don’t shy away from criticism, so I’ll reproduce the good with the bad, warts and all. With one semi-exception (explained below) none of these ever showed up in comments.
One of my first ones, early on:
You spelled Inqisition wrong, jekhead.
I think he meant jerkhead, or perhaps fuckhead, but I got his drift. He’s clearly an astute speller in his own “write”, with a little interest in history.
I actually kind of liked the next one. I somewhat edited it to sound a little more complimentary when it was originally posted, but here it is in the original version:
Thank you! We’re all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view, you ridiculous little carnival freak. Clearly, you spend way too much time in darkened rooms in front of your seven-year-old computer turning a whiter shade of pale. Go outside once in a while and breathe, before your brain starts to rot from all that festering stagnation and cognitive dysfunction.
Trying to get something of value out of your post is like trying to squeeze orange juice out of an apple. Why is it that the people with the smallest minds always have the biggest mouths? Reading your post makes blindness a wonderful thing to look forward to. As Abba Eban so aptly said: “His ignorance is encyclopedic.”
You are about as entertaining as watching grass grow in a windowbox. What do you do for a living? You are living, aren’t you? If you called the Suicide Hotline, they’d say: “Go ahead. Do it!” Maybe you wouldn’t come across as such a jellyfish-sucking mental midget if you’d had enough oxygen at birth; if your weren’t so fat that your local ‘All-You-Can-Eat’ buffet had to install speed bumps, or if you didn’t have a face that people rub tree branches on to make ugly sticks. No, come to think of it, you would.
In closing, why don’t you put your glasses on backwards and walk into yourself?
His pen name was TRUECRHISTIAN, (sic) and I could just picture him masturbating in front of the computer as he typed this. He probably had to replace his keyboard on a regular basis.
Sometimes I get solicitation asking me to read someone’s book, or to comment on their blog or website. I write back and thank them, but usually only do what they ask if it interests me. I don’t get too many people complaining about other bloggers, but I did receive this one:
your intellectual friend ebonmuse banned me. theistscientist.because he was losing a debate wieth me. I have two earned doctorates, but that is not the point. Craven cowardice is bad for the gene pool. KIndly ask him to debate me man to man.
I think he was lying about the doctorates.
Next was a more recent email, out of the blue:
I just think it is funny how blunt your mind is. God didnt make it happen nor did he do anything to stop it. He gave us free will, therefore, if he interfered he would be crossing his own words. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but why is it always people who don’t believe in god try so hard to prove so? Why cant you let other people believe their own? We will all agree that there is no proof that their is a god, but don’t forget there is no proof that th isn’t! And if, as you say, god done nothing, we must asume people are the cause of this so if people are as good as it gets then I dont want a part of this life!
I don’t beleive I ever replied to this guy, or girl, so I thought I’d do so now:
If you actually read anything on this blog, you would have noticed that I never say anything that could be remotely construed as not allowing people to believe what they want. I didn’t come to your house, or follow you to a public place and beat you over the head with my atheism. You came here, to my blog, and now have the balls to chastise me for intolerance? I suspect you are just a tad insecure in your beliefs, not to mention a little paranoid. Perhaps a good primer on atheism would help? Try reading David Mills, Atheist Universe.
Last, but not least, one of my original readers sent me information on a book that does, in fact, look interesting, and actually complimented me. Since all of the others were negative, I wanted to end on a high note:
Hi there! I’m still thoroughly enjoying your site and every chance I get I plug it to my family and friends. You’re an excellent writer. I love reading your thoughts, ideas, opinions and wisdom.
I’m doing a little more plugging… My cousin’s husband, Daniel Radosh, just had his book, Rapture Ready, published. I went to his first book signing/reading over the weekend and I’m very excited to get started on reading it. He too is an excellent writer, one which I think you would appreciate. His book is his 3+ year study on evangelical christianity in pop culture. (He’s a secular Jew with a great sense of humor!) I hope you will check him out. Here’s a review:
“What happens when a secular liberal enters the conservative Christian subculture? Yes, he’s grossed out at times, appalled at least once, amused sometimes and cussin’ mad at other times — and maybe even a little scared on occasion. But in the end, he offers evaluations and insights that might be considered downright prophetic and compassionate too. No evangelical insider could have done as good a job as Daniel Radosh. He’s a witty, energetic, and insightful writer who grabs your attention and interest on page one and won’t let go until he’s escorted you to a powerful conclusion in the final paragraphs.”
—Brian McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christian and Everything Must Change.
If you get a minute, check out the website too: http://www.getraptureready.com
Thanks, everybody, for a good year. Maybe next year I’ll publish another year’s worth of emails. Hope I make it that far.
[NB: I have left all the emails in their original state, spelling and grammar intact. All of them are authentic with the exception of the first one. I made that one up. 8) ]