Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Christian Debt Removers

Blogroll Me!

Here I am, writing about my Yiddishkeit on this blog and on The Jewish Connection, and what SPAM message do I find in my e-mail account this morning? A message with the subject line: Remove your debt the Christian way.

I opened it up to find a message from, "debt elimination services based on Christian principles." And the ad cites Proverbs 22:7: "The a slave to the lender."

I didn't know if I should laugh or curse. Should I contact them and say, "I'm Jewish, but 'take my debts please'?" (a la Henny Youngman)

Maybe they would laugh at me and say, "Go seek your own. You have many Shylocks among your people."

In the interest of all, Christian Debt Removers, please first remove my name from your distribution list. Then we can consider our account paid in full.


rabbi neil fleischmann said...

I got that email too.

Anonymous said...

The concept is certainly a true one and nothing to laugh about IMHO.

Anonymous said...

I too received this Christian debt relief SPAM email and on a lark decided to research if this is a legit organization. In so doing the search engine brought up your blog. I still have no idea who these people are, but they SPAMMED me too, which can't be a good sign.

However, I do take issue with your tone. You see the word "Christian" and automatically it connotates negative things. And though you stop short of saying you hate Christians, it is pretty clear you think they hate you on account of the assumption that a Christian business would not be willing to help anyone outside the Christian faith. If I may be frank, this sort of "persecution mentality" is not going to help anyone in our society become more tolerant and understanding of one another. So I must say that if alarm or offense is triggered by the mere mention of the word "Christian" in a email subject line, genuine soul searching is long overdue.

To those without religious hangups, the primary cause of offense would be the irritation of being hit by yet another SPAM email. But if the greater offense is the word "Christian" that suggests a lot of pent up anger? What Christian have you personally known in your life that has so deservedly created this negativity? Or is it a generalized, globalized "impression" of those "people" who you do not take time to personally know? If it is the latter, what kind of basis is that? Ancestral anger? Ethnic anger? For the sake of our children and our future on this ever shrinking, ever-populous globe, will not the cultural baggage ever be shed?

What makes this country great is that anyone can express their beliefs. Making a business of a religious belief, other than, say, a bookstore, may be going too far, but it is something we would never have enjoyed under Communism or Facism. Therefore we should celebrate one another's religious freedoms — not fear them as those government forms taught their populations.

Christian debt relief agencies are not new, and they advertise on Christian radio all the time. If there are not other faiths doing the same, does that mean we should bash others' freedom to do differently?

Believe me, it will be the Christians who will stand by the Jews to protect Israel from those who wish to destroy it. It is the Christians who revere the Jewish profits of old. It was a "Christian nation" that finally brought down Hitler.

The point is, there is no need for bitterness. Even bitterness deserved is a cancer that erodes the human soul, the outcome of which is always distrust, hatred and finally war.

Suspecting this particular organization may be justified, but taking offense at the word "Christian", assuming it is elitist or exclusive is not justified. This is not targeted marketing, but mass marketing. If an organization did not want your business they would limit themselves to Christian radio, Christian TV, Christian magazines, "The Christian Times" newspaper and "The Christian Business Directory".

In Los Angeles there are Hispanic language advertisements and signs, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, too. Few complain or take issue with ethnic names or businesses, yet the last great social and religious target that is still "politically correct" to attack or make fun of are Christians.

I can imagine a day in this country's future when there is no religious freedom for ANYONE if this keeps up. Therefore, to defend your religious enemy, as it were, is to defend your own self interest. Under a democratic republic, we share the freedom and we share in the burden to defend it.

Isn't it funny that none of us want to be persecuted, but so often people stand by and help others persecute those with whom they disagree or dislike. That's why war and hate will never end — because people always justify and exempt their "pet hatreds". Personaly, I cannot justify bringing children into a world that is still so primitive and vindictive in its thinking. It's a wonder we haven't blown ourselves up as Einstein warned at the dawn of the atomic age. And with discriminatory attutdes like this touching even the most mundane aspects of life, such as a SPAM email, I cannot have much faith that humanity will have the faith in one another to iron out more significant societal problems (starvation, political strife, war, genocide, etc.).

In the specific sense, I DO see a problem with the email, aside from the obvious fact that it is SPAM. This particular organization could well be a scam designed to entice and pray upon those who positively identify with the word "Christian". If so, it is a con organization and a hate organization. The fact that they do not have a business address or a phone number sends up a red flag. So if fraud is the intent, this debt relief organization is no "Christian" agency at all.

As for whether an organization like this would reject a Jewish person or anyone else assuming it were legit? I would not be so paranoid. It's the 21st Century — high time we heal and move on. If we don't want to repeat the painful realities of history, we must learn to forgive and accept one another — not because we are the same, but in spite of our differences. This is the lesson a responsible society should hand down to the next generation — not the legacy of fear.