Alert the Media.

There Was a Protest Unsubscribe after I ran the plug (below) for Get Out of Hell Free cards in Friday’s edition.

Didn’t Like the Answer

First came an inquiry from “KJV” in Pennsylvania, from the town of Corry (“Name origin: misspelling of founder Hiram Cory’s name,” notes Wikipedia), which “became famous in the late-19th and early-20th centuries for being the manufacturer of Climax locomotives.” Heh heh heh… they said Climax!

Ahem. KJV demanded to know “do u [sic] belong to a Church?” And also informed me that “Have been Free subscriber for years holding back from premium only because of GOOHF cards misunderstanding.” What sort of misunderstanding? “What is on the back?” he asked.

What, in all those years of curiosity and being provoked to think, he never clicked to look for himself when they were mentioned and/or illustrated in True time after time? OK, fine: I pointed him to the web site where the back is illustrated, and that led to the unsubscribe with the complaint, “cards are antiscriptural.” Hey, at least for once I’m not “anti-Christian” (a charge that goes wayyyyy back)!

Really, “antiscriptural”?! KJV should alert the media! He needs to inform the scores of pastors who are Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Jewish, Lutheran, and countless other denominations who have ordered and carried and given the cards out to thousands and thousands of the faithful in their flocks.

Driving People Away

But hey! If I was willing to answer the “do u belong to a Church?” question to his satisfaction, then the cards would have been A-OK with him, right? After all, isn’t that why he asked?

So With That, I Proudly Present what I posted Friday:

Click for the GOOHF section of the shopping cart.

What Do You Do With the Get Out of Hell Free cards? (readers sometimes ask). Have you ever been in line at a store behind a jerk? The customer isn’t “always right,” but the clerk is being as nice as she can.

Or have you seen a waiter struggling with an obliviot at another table? Or a postal clerk being the target of someone venting their spleen about postage prices — which the clerk certainly didn’t set.

Those are all perfect recipients of a GOOHF card. It’s the “I understand” gesture that reminds them that not everyone is a jerk. It makes their day to get that kind of acknowledgment: they smile and laugh right after having to deal with a day-destroying obliviot. It’s a great feeling to do that, too: I give away dozens every week.

We’re coming up on two million cards sold — not counting the thousands I give away (or the stickers or other GOOHF products). And they’re a nice way to tell someone about True, too. The result: a win-win-win: you make someone’s day, you get a great feeling, and the recipient learns about a fun, thought-provoking newsletter. Grab some here, and keep a few in your pocket when out to join the fun!

But Don’t Give “KJV” One if you see him: he doesn’t believe in making others smile when they’ve been berated by the irrational customer in front of you.

What a sad, sad man he must be — and exactly the sort of person who is chasing more and more Americans away from churches, especially the young: only 77 percent of Americans now “identify with some religious faith,” and the number who is “absolutely certain” God exists is down to 63 percent, from 71 percent in 2007 (Americans Becoming less Religious, Especially Young Adults: Poll — Reuters, November 3, 2015).

With examples like KJV (and yes, I understand the message he’s sending with those initials), the trend will certainly continue.

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29 thoughts on “Alert the Media.

  1. What if you just handed out red cards? No text. Would that satisfy him?

    Only if they had ghosts of snowflakes and snowmen on them. -rc

  2. Can I order a set to be sent to him? Maybe a custom set as well… 🙂

    Well, no: all I have is an email address, not a mailing address. But even if I did have it, I wouldn’t be mean to him; I’ll leave him alone, quivering in the dark. -rc

  3. So these whips do not like one of the coolest products of the 20th century? One of the best, and most uplifting?

    Strange. People who read “This is True”, and left their brains parked at the door. Fascinating!

    Well, we do live in a strange world!

    We do, but I’ll quickly point out it was only that one guy. The rest seem to have a decent clue! -rc

  4. My reading of scriptural traditions is that if Hell exists, it is full of people who would consign others to it. And like you, I found the most enthusiastic recipients for my GOOHF cards are clergy. Which reminds me, I’m about out and need to place an order.

    I like your interpretation. -rc

  5. Careful, Randy. He might believe, that he is without sin and then feel obliged to throw the first stone.

    Astoundingly many never get past an eye for an eye, a tooth for at tooth, and stop reading short of NT.

    Thinking oneself is perfect has got to be a sin! -rc

  6. Probably one of the Zealots who claim “The 1611 King James Version is the Only True Bible”…. which it certainly is NOT. It is a Translation — just like EVERY Bible we have ever seen is a Translation. This would also imply that only English-speaking Christians could possibly have a True Bible in a world where probably 2/3 of Christians DON’T speak English. Rather arrogant attitude, indeed.

    A good point for a reminder, that ALL Religions are creations of Man, NOT God. Which should, by itself, explain much about the continuing troubles and controversy over Religion in this world.

  7. Just to clarify a point made by Clemmie, N.C. — maybe every bible HE has ever seen is a translation. In every synagogue around the world, we read from the original every week. (What I expect Clemmie calls the Five Books of Moses, and Prophets. We also read Psalms, Books of Ruth, Esther, and more, all in the original Hebrew.)

  8. When I ran out of GOOHF cards, I resorted to my old standard reply. “I’m an Episcopalian; I’m allowed.” I thought it would be appropriate to reinforce people’s misconceptions.

    Do rebels go to hell?

    Not if they have a card. -rc

  9. Just a note to Bill in MD. FYI – Ancient Hebrew is not the same as modern Hebrew, therefore, you are reading a translation. Probably a bit closer to the original than any newer bibles, but a translation nonetheless.

  10. You noted in your post that the GOOHF card is “the ‘I understand’ gesture that reminds them that not everyone is a jerk.”

    I can’t help but think that my fellow Pennsylvanian “KJV” is the kind of “day-destroying obliviot” that harasses waiters and clerks, making them appreciate the GOOHF cards all the more. Not everyone is a jerk, but some are, and KJV gets my nomination. Maybe he needs a “VOID” card.

    The VOID cards are reserved for politicians. Maybe KJV is one. Hmmm…. -rc

  11. I purchased a box of GOOHF cards some years ago. I hand out a few every now and then — I always carry some in my wallet but the majority are reserved to be handed out at my funeral. I have left explicit instructions stating that every attendee is to be given GOOHF card. My wife and family understand and agree to respect this when the time comes — hopefully a long time in the future.

    I like it! And don’t forget to have them put one in with you, too. -rc

  12. “Thinking oneself is perfect has got to be a sin! -rc”

    Well, according to Wikipedia (yeah, I know):

    “… hubris is considered, on almost every list, the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins […] It is identified as believing that one is essentially better than others, failing to acknowledge the accomplishments of others, and excessive admiration of the personal self …”

  13. To those who say that the Bible is “the word of G-d”, perfect in every way, I point out several things:

    (1) Even if the original copy were written by the hand of G-d himself, every copy since then has been transcribed and/or translated by fallible humans.

    (2) Why are there so many different versions, just in English?

    (3) Have they ever seen a game of “operator” (aka “telephone” and “Chinese whispers” as well as numerous others), and heard the results?

    (4) How do they explain why Michelangelo’s Moses has horns?

    Oh, and to “Bill in MD”… Weren’t parts of the Bible originally written in Aramaic? And the rest were certainly written in ancient Hebrew, not “modern” Hebrew. (Ever read Beowulf in the original Old English? I had to, in HS English class.)

  14. Just a note to Paul in Ma, the biblical Hebrew written in the prayer books is not modern Hebrew that is spoken presently. Word for word, they are the same for thousands of years.

  15. To Ken,

    Moses has horns because the word in Hebrew for horns is the same as the word for rays. After meeting God, Moses face showed evidence of the light of G-d, but some people misread the line as Moses grew horns.

  16. Walter in RI:

    Yes, I know that. (Are the words actually the same, or just “similar”?) In any case, my point was that fallible humans have translated multiple versions of the Bible, and sometimes make errors in translation and/or transcription.

    It was also pointed out to me once by someone that *his* version of the Bible did not say “horns”, but that only goes to further my point that there are multiple versions of the Bible, in multiple languages, with different meanings.

  17. Wow, quite the discussion you started Randy!! And well worth it, I think. The #1 reason young people give me for not being interested in Church is: Hypocrisy. And that’s a biggie. But on to the GOOHF cards.

    I’ve given mine to friends & family mostly (though I’ve needed to reorder for a long time) but the most recent have been to rather nasty people who have suddenly decided I don’t seem handicapped ENOUGH for them. I’ve tried inquiring about their medical degrees (whoa boy, they certainly got PhDs in cursing!) or perhaps in PT. I finally ended up giving out my GOOHF Cards to THEM, because I think they’re really going to need them!! Thanks for the help! 😉

  18. I’d just like to point out that the “KJV only” people do not make the (obviously false) claim that archaic English is the original language of scripture, but rather that this particular translation was divinely inspired while others were not. I don’t agree with them, but their argument is not something that can be dismissed with a one-line rebuttal.

  19. If I remember correctly, isn’t ancient Hebrew all consonants and no vowels?

    In which case, a translation depends upon which vowels you use. And, of course, what your ideologies might be — political (KJV) or religious (Roman Catholic vs. Eastern Orthodox vs. Lutheran, etc.). Please do remember that most modern translations are based off KJV….

  20. Randy, I think you’re giving “KJV” and his ilk entirely too much credit for the decline in church membership/belief in a deity by whatever brand. The simple truth is for centuries now the deity has become a “god of the gaps,” a handy shorthand for claims that cannot be explained by science – yet. Despite the positively pretzellian twists and turns that religious arguments have taken, the fact is more and more people are recognizing religion for the controlling con-artist scam that it is. While Freud’s predictions of its demise may have been a bit premature, the more the world is exposed to global communication and knowledge, the more deistic belief will shrink.

    I may be giving people like KJV too much credit — though I still maintain they’re a big part of the problem. But I think you’re giving science too much credit too. The 1950s and 60s were a golden age of science, and the 70s and beyond has been a golden age of technology. Thus religion is gone? Nope: it has been getting stronger and, I argue, more radical (and not just Islam). Yes, very recently the gross numbers are down, but the fundamentalist radicalism is stronger than ever. I do hope the pendulum swings back soon, since I think fundamentalism (on both sides) is a true threat to society. -rc

  21. KJV, eh? I wonder is he realizes that King James was gay? So does that make KJV the gay version of the Bible? And would KJV consider that a good thing, or not?

  22. A couple points in reply to the various commenters who asked about Hebrew:

    1. Yes, it’s the same word: קרן, keren, means both “horn”, as in animal horns, and “ray” or “beam”, as in light. Another meaning of the word is “fund”, as a noun — as in the JNF, IMF, etc. Other words from the same root: קרינה, k’rina, refers to radiation, מקרן, makren, is a projector.

    2. Yes, Modern Hebrew as spoken in Israel is indeed not the same language as Biblical Hebrew. However, the former has only been around for the last hundred years or so. And the Bible is written in Biblical Hebrew, which is similar enough that most people can easily read it, but it is important to be aware of the differences.

  23. The King James Bible was translated into everyday English – for the 1600s. Many parts of it are unintelligible in the 21st century. St. Paul’s statement, “I know nothing against myself” is an example. We ALL know things against ourselves! In the 1600s, “against” meant “by”; “Go stand against the wall”, for instance. At the time the KJV was translated, people used “thee” and “thou” to speak to intimate friends and family members. A child would say “thee” to their siblings or parents, for instance. THIS is how our ancestors thought of God – as a loving parent, and Jesus as a kind and caring elder brother. Today, sadly, we think thee and thou are very formal and proper, and they were not intended to be so.

    Ah, well. A bit off-topic, but there you are.

  24. Wow. This is the first time I’ve clicked to go read more and I’ve read all the way to the end of comments. What an interesting read! Thanks.

    There is usually some very good reading in the comments. Remember who TRUE readers are! The cream of the crop, I say. -rc

  25. The evidence that King James was gay, while strong, is nonetheless circumstantial. He did despise the Puritans, who were the “real” Christians of his day. The main reason why he ordered a new translation of the Bible when they already had a perfectly adequate translation (Geneva Bible) was because of the Calvinistic footnotes, one of which stated the Biblical conditions under which a tyrant may be overthrown by Christians. Tyrants apparently don’t like people to hear that sort of thing.

    The year I got my Ph.D. in history (UIUC) I taught at a Christian high school. After mentioning the possibility of KJ being gay, partly to explain why the Puritans despised him so much, I got let go. I had dared to cast aspersions on the saintly king who gave us the Bible (slight sarcasm here). So I went to China where I’ve been teaching history for the last 12 years with somewhat more freedom than I had in America.

  26. Gary, Xinzheng, China: Simon and Garfukel sung it in The Boxer: “But a man hears what he wants to hear/ And disregards the rest.”

    Many years ago I went to a UFO convention with a religious friend. During the opening discussion panel we heard a clergyman claim that it was impossible for sentient life to exist on other planets because ‘God created man to observe his laws.’

    After we left the friend shook her head: “God created man in his own image… and man has never stopped trying to return the favor!”

  27. I guess all this uproar just goes to prove the old adage: “You can please some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but there are always going to be subgeniuses that you just can’t please at all, no matter what.” Sounds like KJV falls into the latter category. About all you can do with ’em is ignore ’em and keep on truckin’.

    Believe me, if I could afford them, I’d be ordering out GOOHF cards by the gross; there’s more than enough need for them in this neck of the woods.

    Grins And Best Wishes (a.k.a GABW), Randy. Keep up the good work!

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