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CelticWhisper

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Got this little gem from my dad today.

 

The man slowly looked up. This was a woman clearly accustomed to the

finer things of life. Her coat was new. She looked like that she had

never missed a meal in her life. His first thought was that she wanted

to make fun of him, like so many others had done before.

 

'Leave me alone,' he growled.

 

To his amazement, the woman continued standing. She was smiling -- her

even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows.' Are you hungry?' she

asked. 'No,' he answered sarcastically. 'I've just come from dining with

the president. Now go away.' The woman's smile became even broader.

Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm.

 

'What are you doing, lady?' the man asked angrily. 'I said to leave me

alone.

 

Just then a policeman came up. 'Is there any problem, ma'am?' he asked.

 

'No problem here, officer,' the woman answered. 'I'm just trying to get

this man to his feet. Will you help me?'

 

The officer scratched his head. 'That's old Jack. He's been a fixture

around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?'

 

'See that cafeteria over there?' she asked. 'I'm going to get him

something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile.'

 

'Are you crazy, lady?' the homeless man resisted. 'I don't want to go in

there!' Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up.

 

'Let me go, officer. I didn't do anything.'

 

'This is a good deal for you, Jack,' the officer answered. 'Don't blow

it.'

 

Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got

Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner. It

was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had

already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived. The manager strode

across the cafeteria and stood by his table.

 

'What's going on here, officer?' he asked. 'What is all this. Is this

man in trouble?'

 

'This lady brought this man in here to be fed,' the policeman answered.

 

'Not in here!' the manager replied angrily. 'Having a person like that

here is bad for business.'

 

Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. 'See, lady. I told you so. Now if

you'll let me go. I didn't want to come here in the first place.'

 

The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled. 'Sir, are you

familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?'

 

'Of course I am,' the manager answered impatiently. 'They hold their

weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms.'

 

'And do you make a goodly amount of money providing food at these weekly

meetings?'

 

'What business is that of yours?'

'I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company.'

 

'Oh'

 

The woman smiled again. 'I thought that might make a difference' She

glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a giggle. 'Would you like to

join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?'

 

'No thanks, ma'am,' the officer replied. 'I'm on duty.'

 

'Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?'

 

'Yes, ma'am. That would be very nice.'

 

The cafeteria manager turned on his heel 'I'll get your coffee for you

right away, officer.'

 

The officer watched him walk away. 'You certainly put him in his place,'

he said.

 

'That was not my intent. Believe it or not, I have a reason for all

this.' She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest She

stared at him intently. 'Jack, do you remember me?'

 

Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes 'I think so -- I

mean you do look familiar.'

 

'I'm a little older perhaps,' she said. 'Maybe I've even filled out more

than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that

very door, cold and hungry.'

 

'Ma'am?' the officer said questioningly. He couldn't believe that such a

magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.

 

'I was just out of college, the woman began. 'I had come to the city

looking for a job, but I couldn't find anything. Finally I was down to

my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the

streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I

saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get

something to eat.'

 

Jack lit up with a smile. 'Now I remember,' he said. 'I was behind the

serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for

something to eat. I said that it was against company policy'

 

'I know,' the woman continued. 'Then you made me the biggest roast beef

sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to

go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get

into trouble. Then, when I looked over, I saw you put t he price of my

food in the cash register I knew then that everything would be all

right.'

 

'So you started your own business?' Old Jack said.

 

'I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually I

started my own business, that, with the help of God, prospered.

She opened her purse and pulled out a business card. 'When you are

finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons. He's the

personnel director of my company. I'll go talk to him now and I'm

certain he'll find something for you to do around the office.' She

smiled. 'I think he might even find the funds to give you a little

advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until

you get on your feet.

 

If you ever need anything, my door is always opened to you.'

 

There were tears in the old man's eyes. 'How can I ever thank you? ' he

said.

 

'Don't thank me,' the woman answered. 'To God goes the glory.

Thank Jesus... He led me to you.'

 

Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance

before going their separate ways. 'Thank you for all your help,

officer,' she said.

 

'On the contrary, Ms. Eddy,' he answered. 'Thank you. I saw a miracle

today, something that I will never forget. And... And thank you for the

coffee.'

 

If you have missed knowing me, you have missed nothing. If you have

missed some of my emails, you might have missed a laugh.

 

But, if you have missed knowing my LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST, you

have missed everything in the world.

 

Have a Wonderful Day. May God Bless You Always. And don't forget that

when you 'cast your bread upon the waters,' you never know how it will

be returned to you.

 

(Hope this is repeated many times today!)

 

God is so big He can cover the whole world with his Love and so

small He can curl up inside your heart.

 

I'm debating whether I want to rebut it or just trash it. My dad's family is Catholic (though he's far from being a practicing one) and have always been extremely nice to me. My dad himself is generally pretty nice too, though every once in a while I get crap like this for some mysterious reason. His family knows that at the very least, I'm not pious and don't go to church. My dad probably has his suspicions though I've never actually used the "A word" as far as I can remember.

 

If I do send a rebuttal I don't want to be too snide since I'll be replying to all. I suppose I could just forward my rebuttal to my brother (who was also on the recipient list) since I know he'd get a kick out of seeing it ripped to pieces.

 

Either way I'm posting it here so everyone can get some practice and hopefully come up with some ready-made responses in case this one starts making the rounds (if it hasn't been already).

 

But yeah...should I shoot it down spectacularly or just shit-can it with the Gen3r!c V14GR4 spam?

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The story is invented. Isn't it sad that they have to invent stories to make their religion seem more palatable? Isn't it better if they were true, instead of just making them up? If we changed "God" to "Allah", would they be just as inspired by reading it?

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All you have to say is, Fiction. And go make a video of yourself feeding a homeless girl, and go pay for her meal, and hope you don't end up in Jack's position.

 

Was Jack a Christian man? If so, why did he end up homeless? If he believed in the Christian God and still became homeless, how come Jack didn't prosper like the hungry girl?

 

Now, if Jack wasn't a Christian man, why would he feed that girl? Or -- maybe you don't have to be Christian to do good things?

 

Either way -- Jack was able to do this without turning it into a moment to appease a god. Jack -- If he wasn't christian -- was able to do a much better deed since it was truly from his 'heart' and not being required of him by a religious law. So did God punish him for being a good man?

 

Nonetheless, Ficticious drivel.

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Oh, fuck this. I read it until it started into the "don't thank me, thank Jesus" crap. How about just helping a person because the person is a human being rather than to appease an invisible sky fairy? I have so many problems with this. First of all, she tried to force her help on the guy when he didn't want it to begin with. Then she starts in with the "I used to be in your position, but now I'm going to help you because I have the means to do so" stuff, which, if it were genuine, wouldn't be as grating to me, but it's obviously not. Then she finally gets to the meat of the issue: "I'm helping you because it's what Jesus might do, not because I have anything emotionally invested in the well-being of fellow humans." It's so obvious that this is a thinly veiled attempt to convert him. She could've just said at the beginning that she was such and such person and she knew him and was interested in giving him a job, but no; she had to fucking try to drag him around when he didn't want her help, then make herself look good, and then give all of the glory to "god".

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I don't see what are you so upset about. It's a very touching tale of HUMAN generosity and HUMAN retribution. Delete the (superficial) god references and the moral stays the same: be good to others and other will be good to you. Frankly, the God references seem hastilly tacked on, a rushed job to put this evidently HUMAN tale slightly on religious territory. And, unsurprisingly, it fails.

 

Sincerely, I don't know what you're so upset about.

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Wait a sec...

 

She gets a free meal, then a job, then her own company two blocks from the cafeteria.

 

In the meantime Jack somehow gets fired, evicted and takes up residence across from his old job.

 

So while she climbs up and up, old Jack is just sitting in the streets. A "fixture" is what I believe the cop calls him.

 

Then we also find out that this woman's company also has weekly meetings in the cafeteria. She is well aware that "Jack" is starving out on the street but she never lifts a finger to help him. Never pays him for the original meal. Nothing. Just sits and waits while feeding herself and her employees. If she had so much sway why not have someone at least feed Jack during this time?

 

No. She withheld all contact. All kindness for years and years it would seem. Fortunately Jack did not die during her grand scheme to "repay" him. Jack suffered for his kindness. She is the "hero" in her selfishness. "Do you remember me? I am the one who has had the ability to help but refrained for no reason. I am the one who has watched you suffer from afar for all these years. You will now work for me for the kindness you showed me while asking nothing in return."

 

mwc

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I don't see what are you so upset about. It's a very touching tale of HUMAN generosity and HUMAN retribution.

 

Well -- Nobody ever complained that the human generosity is good. No matter HOW the person behaves generously or how they got there -- the person still acted well. But this story tried to say that the only reason she ever went back to thank him is because she is now a christian.

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Well -- Nobody ever complained that the human generosity is good. No matter HOW the person behaves generously or how they got there -- the person still acted well. But this story tried to say that the only reason she ever went back to thank him is because she is now a christian.

 

That's not what I was trying to get at. It honestly seemed to me that the motivation was because she was a good person, not because she was a xtian... The references to god and jeesus seemed more like bad product placement than anything else...

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Wait a sec...

 

She gets a free meal, then a job, then her own company two blocks from the cafeteria.

 

In the meantime Jack somehow gets fired, evicted and takes up residence across from his old job.

 

So while she climbs up and up, old Jack is just sitting in the streets. A "fixture" is what I believe the cop calls him.

 

Then we also find out that this woman's company also has weekly meetings in the cafeteria. She is well aware that "Jack" is starving out on the street but she never lifts a finger to help him. Never pays him for the original meal. Nothing. Just sits and waits while feeding herself and her employees. If she had so much sway why not have someone at least feed Jack during this time?

 

No. She withheld all contact. All kindness for years and years it would seem. Fortunately Jack did not die during her grand scheme to "repay" him. Jack suffered for his kindness. She is the "hero" in her selfishness. "Do you remember me? I am the one who has had the ability to help but refrained for no reason. I am the one who has watched you suffer from afar for all these years. You will now work for me for the kindness you showed me while asking nothing in return."

 

mwc

 

 

Exactly.

 

If you read the beginning of the story again, it says that she was smiling when she saw him. If I saw someone who was obviously suffering, even if I knew that I was going to try to help that person, I wouldn't smile. To me, that just screams superficiality. I don't know if anyone else's church did this, but I was taught by both my parents and in church that you will get material rewards in heaven if you do things like help people, "spread the gospel", etc. That's what I pictured this lady thinking; that, by helping Jack, she'll be able to get some kind of reward from god. It also really bothered me that she kept trying to force her "help" on him when he didn't want it in the first place. She even tried to physically pick him up. It's like, "Why don't you just take no for an answer, lady?!" It was almost like she made Jack her pet project or something, not that she honestly and sincerely wanted to help him. He was just her good deed for the day. I know I'm probably way more bitter about this than you are, but that's just how I saw it. *shrug*

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Wait a sec...

 

She gets a free meal, then a job, then her own company two blocks from the cafeteria.

 

In the meantime Jack somehow gets fired, evicted and takes up residence across from his old job.

 

So while she climbs up and up, old Jack is just sitting in the streets. A "fixture" is what I believe the cop calls him.

 

Then we also find out that this woman's company also has weekly meetings in the cafeteria. She is well aware that "Jack" is starving out on the street but she never lifts a finger to help him. Never pays him for the original meal. Nothing. Just sits and waits while feeding herself and her employees. If she had so much sway why not have someone at least feed Jack during this time?

 

No. She withheld all contact. All kindness for years and years it would seem. Fortunately Jack did not die during her grand scheme to "repay" him. Jack suffered for his kindness. She is the "hero" in her selfishness. "Do you remember me? I am the one who has had the ability to help but refrained for no reason. I am the one who has watched you suffer from afar for all these years. You will now work for me for the kindness you showed me while asking nothing in return."

 

mwc

 

 

Exactly.

 

If you read the beginning of the story again, it says that she was smiling when she saw him. If I saw someone who was obviously suffering, even if I knew that I was going to try to help that person, I wouldn't smile. To me, that just screams superficiality. I don't know if anyone else's church did this, but I was taught by both my parents and in church that you will get material rewards in heaven if you do things like help people, "spread the gospel", etc. That's what I pictured this lady thinking; that, by helping Jack, she'll be able to get some kind of reward from god. It also really bothered me that she kept trying to force her "help" on him when he didn't want it in the first place. She even tried to physically pick him up. It's like, "Why don't you just take no for an answer, lady?!" It was almost like she made Jack her pet project or something, not that she honestly and sincerely wanted to help him. He was just her good deed for the day. I know I'm probably way more bitter about this than you are, but that's just how I saw it. *shrug*

 

You touched on something else interesting here - her refusal to take "no" for an answer really seems to parallel Xian "witnessing" in the real world. A couple years ago I noted the same thing in a discussion on religion in the Neowin (techie site) forums. That no matter what I said to convey the message that "No, I'm an atheist, I've never believed in god, and I really, truly, honestly, personally, privately, internally, are you bastards getting the hint yet, don't want to," they would trot out any and every excuse they could think of for why I OMG OMG NEEEEEEEEDED to start believing RIGHT FRIGGIN NOW DOOD NO JOKE.

 

I asked the site's resident fundie, and come to think of it I don't think he ever gave me a straight answer (beyond the 63rd time he repeated "Open your eyes!), why "no" was never enough.

 

Why does "no" never seem to be enough with these people? I mean, honestly, there has to be some point at which they give up and write you off, hasn't there? Sure, they're supposed to save souls, but I mean...look, car thieves spend up to 30 seconds on a car before they give up and move to an easier target if they can't crack the locks. Yet these evangelist pricks just keep insisting.

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What is there to rebut? The story does not claim to be fact. It may be on the smarmy side, but it does teach "what goes around, comes around" -- a philosophy that most people here would agree with, right? Sure, there's the bit about "missing Jesus" at the end, but the story stands on its own even without that.

 

Why not just relax? Enjoy the story for what it has to offer you, and ignore the rest. You're being as uptight as Christians who won't read anything but Christian books. ;)

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I wouldn't respond aggressively if I were you. If you feel like you need to respond, you could try circulating your own sort of email story that doesn't involve a religious connection. /shrug. I was in the same position a couple months ago, and I responded with a link to the snopes refutation + my own condemnation of the story. Then I felt reeaaallly shitty because my uncle was super sorry for sending it and ack, I just felt like a total asshole. : /

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I adore mwc's analysis of this little piece of propaganda excrement.

 

Re why the evangelicals "won't take no for an answer", maybe it's because they're boundary-respect-impaired. Understandable, since they're convinced the deity they worship doesn't respect their own or anybody else's boundaries -- he's basically a voyeur / bully / serial rapist / murderer / war criminal and nobody can stop him. Unless they happen to be driving an iron chariot :)

 

One further note -- what if the story was about a woman, who was approached by a man who stood there staring and grinning at her for a while and then grabbed her by the arm and forced her to go somewhere with him?

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I'd just trash it, unless you want to point out the plot flaw in the story.

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sounds to me like ol' jack was after some young fresh pussy, and it just came back for more.

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You could send the message back, but with a little creative editing. Type a line at the beginning..."You're not going to believe this, but I received an almost identical message from someone else today. Amazing, isn't it? Well, here it is..."

 

Change all the "jesus" stuff to "allah".

 

You get to mess with them a little, but you don't come across as snide or aggressive -- just amused at the "coincidence".

 

Or you could just trash it as the garbage it is....

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I thought this was a bit humorous, I get e-mails from Christianity.com still, I might post it, but it was about Christian health insurance... weird.

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This is the message I'm getting from it:

 

"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them... When you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men."

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