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Thanksgivings are more like Childish Pleadings

I recently saw a section in the Limerick Post’s Classified section called “Thanksgivings” which contains entries such as this one:

Thanksgivings
Dear Heart of Jesus in the past, I have asked for many favours. This time I ask for this special one (mention request). Take Dear Heart of Jesus and place it within your own broken Heart, where your Father sees it, then in his merciful eyes, it will become your favour not mine. Amen. Say for 3 days and promise publication. Never known to fail. M.R.

Viewable through the Digital edition of the Limerick Post on Page 90 – here – these “Thanksgivings” are first-off completely ridiculous, the religious form of those ridiculous chainletter emails telling you “the love of your life” will contact you if you just pass on this email to 50 other people, generally including a warning for those who don’t heed it’s advice. Secondly, Private Religious Entreaties between one person and his/her God do not belong in a public newspaper! Now, I’m not going to be completely insensitive and say the whole prayer-filled world of the Obituaries and In Memoriams should be purged too, people are free to grive however they wish, although I would personally like to see the religious aspects of these sections toned down, that’s not a battle I’m willing to fight. Removing this kind of Religious Spam, however, IS a battle I’m willing to fight. As such, I sent a letter of complaint to the Limerick Post and it reads as follows:

I would like to raise an issue that I have with the “Thanksgivings” section currently printed within the Classifieds section of the Limerick Post. I think it’s completely out of place and I think it should either be removed completely or moved to be contained within the In Memoriam/Obituaries section.

These “Thanksgivings” are nothing but private entreaties between specific religious people and their God and I do not believe they have any place in a public newspaper, nevermind in the Classifieds section of such a newspaper. These notices are not offering or requesting any kind of service in this paper that cannot be done in private. I understand that we live in a pluralistic world, but as a reader of this paper, I personally do not want to come across them. If there is a place for God in a public newspaper it is in the In Memoriams/Obituaries section.

Not only that, but the comments themselves are of such a nature that, if one replaced the religious entreaties with calls for sending X amount of emails or saying a given phrase X amount of times, at which point the person’s greatest wish will come true, they would simply resemble crank chainmail messages, which most people label as SPAM. Also add to this fact, that the same “Thanksgiving” comment is printed 4 times, one after the other, in this section, and has been for at least 3 weeks running, that I have personally observed. Besides these issues, “Thanksgivings” are comments that express the thanks of one individual towards another individual or group. Hail Marys and Prayers are not thanks, and proferring them in the vain hope of having a “Greatest Wish” come true is not giving thanks for anything, it is being a child in a Tesco, throwing a tantrum because their mother won’t buy them a pack of smarties.

One last comment: Prayers and Hail Mary’s HAVE been known to fail, despite the comments made in these “Thanksgiving”. They are failing all over the world. Please, remove this Religious Spam from the Limerick Post.

Kind Regards,
Darragh Jennings.

If you would like to support the removal of this rubbish from the Limerick Post, please email them at classifieds@limerickpost.ie and mention the “Thanksgivings” section.

peace,
dj357

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4 Responses

  1. I agree, Larry, that free speech works both ways, but there is no service being offered or requested, which is the whole point of the “Classifieds” section. My main issue is that it should be removed from there and placed somewhere more appropriate. Where that would be is the other part of my argument, but since it is a public newspaper, which I, as part of the public audience of said paper, am paying for, then I am obliged to comment on what I do and do not want to see in it, no? Just as most religious would clamour at the sight of Atheistic rumblings being placed in the “Thanksgivings” section –

    Thanksgiving – Place the symbolic twig, representing the heart of Darwin inside the circle of semi-round pebbles and repeat the phrase “Evolution is good” 5 times a day every day for two weeks and your nearest church will burn down. Guaranteed to work.

    If such a “thanksgiving” was placed in the classifieds, it would be just as useful as the religious ones, but it would clearly upset religious people. So, my point is, keep them BOTH out of the Classifieds section! (the entire paper, if possible)

    Now, if we are actually talking about Articles, that’s a different story. Atheistic articles, just as Religious articles should be deemed fine for print so long as they fulfill the normal required journalistic standards. People can, and most likely would, cry and whine all they like, but THAT is free speech. That is not what I’m trying to get rid of. I hope you can see the difference there.

  2. Darragh – welcome back!
    But I don’t agree with you on this. The newspaper is offering a service and people are willing to pay for it – and the paper won’t give that up easy. The paper is a freebee- you don’t have to take it or read it. And what if I wanted to put in an atheist article? Could that be objected to by the religious on the basis that it hurst their feelings? Free speech works both ways. Please see my previous post “Free to Offend”

  3. I doubt it, but i’ll do my best, I’m living in West cork at the moment and don’t get fininshed work until 6pm, busses are very laxidaisical down here so I probably won’t be back in time

  4. Nice to see you back on the blog Darragh.

    Any chance we might see you in the Locke on Friday? http://www.meetup.com/Atheist-Ireland-in-Limerick/calendar/11810468/

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