You open an email from a [friend] that is meant to “make your day,” and you find something that starts something like this:
When it’s cold outside and your world is gray
Just know that love is coming your way.
Enjoy this cute picture of puppy cuteness,
And free yourself from laughing muteness.
Oh, you love the puppies…you’ve got to love the puppies. But more than that, you have to love Jesus, right? You know, Jesus, Saviour of the world? So the email continues:
The world needs Love that’s ever true.
They need to hear you love them, too.
Puppies sweet will make your day;
But Christ, alone, can sinners save.
Now, who but the Neo-pagan, Muslim, Wiccan, or atheist could disagree with that logic? You are all for sharing the love of Jesus, right? Well, you may not be planning a mission trip to Africa next week, but you know the words to “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know.” Yeah, the world needs unconditional love, and maybe even a puppy, or two. So far, the email has made you smile, feel the love, and even caused you to re-evaluate you world-mission ethic. Great email, [friend].
Then, out of the blue, or off the white of your computer monitor, comes the rest of the email:
If you love God, Mankind, and are against the wholesale slaughter of innocent, cute puppies for the purposes of developing cosmetics for fat, uncaring capitalists, then send this email in the next five minutes to every friend you have, however distant or unheard of. If you don’t, your lack of caring will mean that the light of this email candle of love will forever be extinguished and the Armageddon-like darkness of hatred and bigotry will forever envelope the landscape of our children’s future. If you love life, and your mother, for the children’s sake, please forward this.
What is it with this kind of stuff? In need of a hug, myself, I open an email meant to encourage me and find myself feeling like the scum of the earth if I don’t hand over my contact list! Some *@!# [friend]! I feel worse, now, than when I started! What is it with all this guilt?
Well, if that wasn’t enough, someone on Facebook has recently gotten into the act. The whole world is being made to feel like promoters of pedophilia and child abuse if we don’t change our profile pictures to cartoon characters. What? I am trying to make it through life the best way I can, trusting God to carry me as I go, and doing my best to break free from the Pharisees that would judge my spirituality. Now, out of the internetal (I made that word up) universe, comes a flood of guilt meant to shame me into yielding to some unknown entity’s idea of what my profile pic should be. I don’t think so, [friend]!
The reason behind all this profile-pic-changing is to increase child abuse awareness. The idea is that if all human faces could be removed from Facebook, child-chasing perverts worthy of the lowest parts of Hell would have one less tool to lure unsuspecting kids into chatting. I can respect that. But how many children are going to look at my picture and think I am a 10 year old, huh?
I question the logic of all of this, also. As I understand it, pedophiles are using cartoon characters as profile pictures of themselves. The purpose for this is to make the innocent children think that the slime on the other end is actually another child just wanting to be share cheat codes for the newest video game. So, why not just ask everyone on the internet to post a picture of an old, sleazy-looking convict? If everyone had profile pictures that looked like Spongebob, then how would the kiddies know how to distinguish between good guys and bad guys?
I think that the best approach to stemming the tide of child abuse on the internet would be to keep your darlings off the stinking web! At the very least, parents, know what your little boys or girls are doing when they are on the internet. How much common sense does that take? If you know that there are preditors out there who want your children, why let them take their Dell-sized ticket to “pervert land” with them to their bedroom?
I am keeping my profile picture just the way it is. I have no desire to give in to the self-righteous who think I don’t care about the world’s children, or for that matter, cute puppies. So, keep your threatening emails to yourselves. The next time I get one of your “please forward now, or else” requests, I may just forward the message that you kicked your own, cute dog……..
………and that you don’t like Jesus, either.