View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Another Urban Legend

I got an e-mail from a friend today. It was one of those e-mails suggesting that you pass it on so that people can take action.

The focus of it was:

"This week, the UK removed The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it "offended" the Muslim population which claims it never occurred.
This is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily
each country is giving into it."

The problem is, it's not true. It's an urban legend.

But when people unknowingly pass such things on, it causes headaches for the people, companies or governmetn agencies falsely accused, and it wastes time and money. For example, one urban legend - that atheiets have a petition to get religious broadcasting off the air - costs the U.S. government thousands of dollars each year in staff time and printing as it has to send out thousands of responses saying it's not true. That's our tax dollars beign wasted.

Urban legends have actually affected political campaigns (there are even some floating around this year concerning some of the Presidential candidates - such a multiple ones abot Obama).

Most people who send these urban legends on are well-meaning. But maybe if we each did a quick check before we send on something that could be potentially damaging to someone's reputation, or undermine a business.

There are websites devoted to urban legends. A quick check at one of those could answer questions. Here's some:

http://www.snopes.com/

http://urbanlegends.about.com/

http://www.warphead.com/urbanlegends/

http://urbanlegendsonline.com/index.html

http://www.scambusters.org/legends.html

And by the way, there's no truth to the rumor that Santa lives in Gates during the off season, and that if you mail him money he will put you on the Nice List.

It's an urban legend.

But just in case, my address is in the phone book.

Ho. Ho. Ho.

7 Comments:

Blogger LAmom said...

Something else that I see in some emails is that they'll describe a true event, but they'll say, "there hasn't been any news coverage about this because the mainstream media don't want you to hear anything that portrays __________ in a positive/negative light." When in reality the event did get a reasonable amount of media exposure in its local area.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Mary Kay said...

Here's a link from the British newspaper about that story:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=445979&in_page_id=1770

Before you call something an urban legend, you might want to check it out first.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Mary Kay - I did do research about this story.

It is an urban legend that sprouted out of one history department at one school taking some independent (and wrong-headed) action.

The article you cite is inaccurate and was refuted shortly after it came out.

7:01 AM  
Blogger barb michelen said...

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11:02 AM  
Anonymous Mary Kay said...

Lee, if the article was refuted, could you provide a source?

7:28 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

You could go to the sites I cited in my original post.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Try this -

http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/holocaust.asp

12:49 PM  

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