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Email’s Downward Spiral

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Jul 19, 2012

Sometimes the level of discourse degenerates. This morning I awoke to find the following response to one of our fund appeals in my In Box. It came from a registered user whose unlikely title is “Rev.”:

“Typical, typical catholic—always asking for money! support gay marriage—which IS the loving committed union of two people aimed at the mutual good—and i'll donate................”

Since I found this message a trifle provocative, and since people who think this way usually do not bother to register on our site (but some do), I replied as follows:

Hmmm. Has it ever occurred to you that marriage is aimed at the two-in-one-flesh union which procreates new persons in the image of God?
We frequently confuse our true ends, but we should be able to get the guidance we need from the natural law and Revelation.
Contrary to your apparent belief, it isn’t what the fashionable in society think that matters, no matter what high sounding phrases are used. What matters is what the Creator has made us for, as evidenced by the guidance he provides in both nature and, again, Revelation. Believe it or not, we are not supposed to be making this stuff up as we go along, to suit every wind of change.

This response was a little tart, you say? Sigh. I admit it. But it also tried to advance a particular argument, didn’t it? Apparently, my correspondent did not think so. The sum total of his almost immediate reply was:

“you are an idiot.”

Now, at this point the best course for me was to say a quick prayer for the writer before moving on to the real work of the day. But that thought (as so often) only came after I had fired off the following:

“No, no! ‘Idiot’ is a FIVE letter word. You can do better.”

Note that I did not say: “And so is your mother.” But sometimes the level of discourse does degenerate.

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  • Posted by: DrJazz - Jul. 19, 2012 2:28 PM ET USA

    I'm right there with you, Jeff. Sometimes, while advancing a legitimate argument, it feels good to get a little jab in, too. When you receive a less than considered reply, it feels good to fire back. It seems only right that the party bearing the truth should get the last word. But, of course, folks like that always have to make one more inane remark. Like you, I try not to take shots and be more charitable, but sometimes it's irresistable. God give us both the Grace to know when to hold back.

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