Friday, July 14, 2006

The American Bible (and Flag) Society

Lately I've been receiving a lot of unsolicited junk mail. Where did they get my address? The evidence seems to point to Sojourners magazine. I'm annoyed enough by the junk that I suspect that's one subscription that won't be getting renewed.

This week's unsolicited arrival was a package from the American Bible Society. The included letter begins by asking: "What would you most likely want in your backpack if you were fighting in Iraq?" [A ticket home, perhaps?] The answer is supposed to be, of course, the Word of God. And, so, the letter goes on to encourage me to donate some money so that they can provide New Testaments to "our troops overseas fighting the war on terror for all freedom-loving Americans." Now, you might imagine that they might provide a sample of said New Testament, or a brochure describing it. But, actually, what is included as an incentive for me to give is not that, but an American flag.

Now, I'm all for getting the Word of God to soldiers. Indeed, I would love for them to have a complete Bible, not just the New Testament. But my very own American flag, I'm sorry to say, didn't really bolster my enthusiasm. This freedom-loving American is having a hard time these days comfortably placing my Bible and my country's flag side-by-side. Is the American Bible Society missing something? Or am I?

6 Comments:

Blogger Christopher said...

I think it's them, not you.
Peace,
Chris

1:03 PM  
Blogger Ciaviel said...

Sojourner's is *horrible* about spamming, both analog and digital. I don't think it's you, either.

1:35 PM  
Blogger 4GodNCountry said...

I can certainly sympathize with where you are coming from, tho for different reasons. For a long time I had a sharp decrease in patriotism because of abortion and capital punishment (I believe in the war, so that did not affect me adversely).
But to love one's country and one's flag is more than an endorsement of a particular administration or policy, it demonstrates a love for a people and hope that they progress closer to God than we may be at this moment. It is for that reason John Paul II was able to love Poland even when it was run by Nazi's, and later by Communists.

2:49 PM  
Blogger St. Elizabeth of Cayce said...

Mark--I've also noticed I no longer feel real comfortable in the whole flag & Bible/God & country arena of things. Having grown up in the South, been a Southern Baptist, even a Republican in Texas--this is quite a change.

On another front, one of the best investments I've made over the past few years is the $19.95 or so I spend a year for my Yahoo Mail Plus account. I don't use it as my main email address, but it has a great feature--Address Guard disposable eddresses. You get a base (in your case maybe "jesuitdude") and the ability to personalize eddresses for all sorts of business transactions. (jesuitdude-sojourner@yahoo.com, or jesuitdude-firstthings@yahoo.com, or jesuitdude-nytimes@yahoo.com.) You get the picture.

When you notice spam coming from a particular eddress, you delete it. No more spam from that source.

I use my 40+ disposable eddresses for everything from the cable bill to on-line comics to paypal, even for the alumnae directory.

Something to check into.

11:59 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Mark,

Im curious as to what led you to believe that Sojourners was the source. Jingoism and Holy war doesn't seem to be their thing. Does the American Bible Society advetrise in their pages? I think the folks at Sojourners would have been as put off as you were.

Regards
Jeff

10:55 PM  
Blogger Mark Mossa, SJ said...

Jeff,

I've been receiving what might best be described as Christian junk mail recently. By chance, my address on my Sojourners subscription includes the name of my house, which most of my mail doesn't. The unsolicited mail also carries the name of my house and, because of its Christian nature leads me to believe that Sojourners was the source of my address.

3:24 AM  

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