The Common Good

Stop this Malicious E-mail

An e-mail is circulating that, like most scary e-mails, is entirely false. According to this e-mail, people over 59 can't get heart surgery in England (actually, they can and they do). The e-mail implies that Natasha Richardson's death was due to failures in Canada's health care system (actually, they responded very quickly once the family allowed them to). It says that President Obama wants our system to be based on Canada's and England's (actually, he doesn't). It likens the president's health care plans to signing "senior death warrants."

And that's only for starters. It is hard to find a single fact in the e-mail. Even quotations are attributed to the wrong people. You can read the e-mail and a thoroughly researched response at the FactCheck Web site, and I hope you will.

Please, whether you love or hate the health care proposals now being discussed, check out the facts before ever passing on an e-mail. Any e-mail. Especially if it, like this one, says, "Please use the power of the internet to get this message out." E-mails that beg to be passed on are always annoying, usually false, and often malicious. This one is all three.

portrait-lavonne-neffLaVonne Neff is an editor, writer, and publishing consultant in Wheaton, Illinois, who blogs on book, bodies, and faith at livelydust.blogspot.com

To learn more about health-care reform, click here to visit Sojourners' Health-Care Resources Web page.

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Related Stories

Resources

Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)