God of Thunder and Rock'n'Roll (archmage) wrote,
God of Thunder and Rock'n'Roll
archmage

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This Should Not Be This Hard

Recently, in the mail, I got an odd mailing. It was something from a church in Franklin, TN, where I lived from age 12-18, detailing their next year's plans for "service and stewardship" and giving me some kind of pledge card to be sent back for what I plan to do for the church.

Now, anyone that knows me knows that one of the things I am adamantly against is organized religion. Hey, you believe what you want to believe, and I'll defend your right to believe it, but stay out of my head and I'll stay out of yours. I'm not gonna tell you that you are wrong for whatever you believe, as long as it doesn't infringe on anyone else's rights. However, I personally think organized religion causes more problems than it solves and tend to just cluster closed-minded people into closed-minded groups whose main agenda is a to make you think as they do. At best, it is a crutch.

So, yeah, a pamphlet that, frankly, just bugged me. Concept alone was bad enough, but why do churches insist on using the term "prayerful" and "prayerfully" instead of "careful" and "carefully"? Seriously, this is not the time to be cute, and if you're serious, I might have to puke. It bothers me that anyone would give something less than careful consideration, instead hoping that their Invisible Man In The Clouds will just prayerfully tell them what to do. *twitch*

Sorry, rant over, anyway, all you need to come away with from that is that a church sending me anything asking for my "pledge" is foolish, especially one that's 2400 miles away. I can't figure out how they even found me...and then I remember Mom mentioning something, off-hand, about updating my address with someone. She doesn't live there anymore, either, but I know she still has friends in the area that she keeps up with, and she implied that one of them had asked for my updated address. It didn't really register with me at the time, but apparently, this friend just turned around and gave the church my new address. Gee, thanks.

OK, I find that the church has a website...oops, it's down. I make a note to go check it later, and forget about it for a week. I get another mailing, and yesterday a third. OK, that makes me remember to do this, so I hit the site...ugh, it's just goofy. A damn Java applet in the front page whose only purpose is to "slideshow" through 5 pictures. Just 5. Not exactly worthy of a whole Java applet. Also, the menus are badly laid out, and the text doesn't show up, most of the time. 2 different browsers, same thing. Go to IE? Shows up fine. Yep, damn page was designed in Microsoft FrontPage, meaning it's basically crappy and doesn't work anywhere but in IE.

Eventually, I narrow down one person that looks more likely to help than anyone else, the "Membership Secretary." Write her a nice e-mail, I'm friendly and polite, conversational and complimentary, explaining the situation and asking to be removed from all mailings. I have no reason to be mean, I don't wish ill on anyone for any reason, I just don't need it in my mailbox. Besides, like I said, even if i wanted to help, I'm a LONG way away.

I get a response this morning. Oh, I'm not on the mailing list, but I'm still listed as a full member, and they can't just remove me unless I joined another church or I request to be removed from the roll. *blinkblink* I guess my mailing wasn't specific enough, huh? So, I write back again, asking AGAIN, this time being as specific as I can that I don't want to be on their roll.

You'd think I asked for braised yak's ear in rum raisin sauce. Just stop mailing me, is this so difficult to understand? I haven't lived in that town since '91, I haven't had any involvement with them AT ALL, and didn't care when I was there, just went because I was being forced to do so.

I better not have to write a third time. Seriously, I've been really nice so far, even removed my e-mail sig ("Not only did I disturb your precious angels, but I shredded their silken wings and drank their heavenly ichor." -- R.J.M. Lofficier). If they cannot do the one simple thing of taking my name off their membership list, a place it has no right to be anyway, I'm gonna get pissed off with them.
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