Mail From the Peanut Gallery

peanut gallery

Peanut Gallery, a group of people whose opinions are considered unimportant, a source of insignificant criticism, the cheap seats.

One of the good consequences of taking a break from blogging is that the peanut gallery stops sending me email. It’s only a matter of time before my inbox is once again flooded with emails from those who disagree with something I have written. Disagreement is fine. As a public figure, I know that there will always be people who disagree with me. If someone emails me and their comment shows that they were taught by their mother to play well with others, I will usually respond to them. I am quite happy to answer questions and clear up misunderstandings.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who have a problem playing well with others. They love the anonymity the internet gives them. They can be the playground bully, safe from getting their ass kicked by someone bigger than them. They are free to say things in an email that they would never say to my face, knowing that saying it to my face might result in a crooked nose.

From time to time, I plan to publish some of the emails from the peanut gallery. Enjoy!

god make sick

The first email is purportedly from a man named James Barr. I say purportedly, because people often use fake email addresses. Barr wrote:

Seems hard times have changed your focus. The Lord is very much alive. For one who was very much involved in the ministry,you have fallen away. God is faithful. Have you ever thought your health problems is God trying to get your attention? For one who saids he is an atheist, why would Bro Hyles even matter?

Ah yes, the God is making you sick to get your attention argument. Now, if I had been a picture of perfect health before I left the ministry and deconverted, this argument might carry some weight with me. However, my health problems started 14 years before I left the ministry. Back then, I thought that God was testing me or making me stronger. Evidently, I failed the test or I was a weakling, because my health continued to decline. I was still a Christian in 2007 when I went through extensive testing to determine if I had Multiple Sclerosis. In fact, I was sick longer as a Christian than as an atheist.

As to the writer’s question, “why would Bro. Hyles matter”, the answer is simple. The Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church movement continues to manipulate and hurt people and their families. My email inbox tells me that there are a lot of people who have been emotionally and mentally scarred by the abusive, controlling authoritarian beliefs and practices of IFB pastors. It is for these reasons I continue to write about Jack Hyles and the IFB church movement.

worst blog

The last two emails come from a Canadian man. He used fake email address and names, so there is no way to know  his name and gender, but based on the overall tenor of this writing, I suspect he is a man.

First email:

Hey Bruce,

Are you enjoying your rants, and posting fake names ?  After reading through your blog, you sound like a hypocrite, not treating others as you have taught before. Right ? Our world has been made a more legalistic place. Have you got anymore rules you wanna add , fat nosed ? Your name and website has just begun to be exposed for all the world to see, laugh, and puke at you.

M.D.

Second email:

Hey,

Your blog has been voted the worst in USA, Canada & Mexico. Let me know if you would like to see the links.

Like showing the world what prestigious writer you are? blah blah blah blah blah

viszlát

Colin (your hu-animist too)

Not much I can say about these works of literary genius. They speak for themselves. I think I know who this is, but since I can’t know for sure, I won’t mention his name.

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6 Comments

  1. Becky Wiren

    Jerks.

    Reply
  2. Connie

    As a person who also suffers from pain on a daily basis I find the comments offered by the first letter writer to be lacking. I must have missed the book where Jesus said nanny nanny boo boo to those who came to him for healing.

    I’ve thought of blogging myself but after reading others and your experiences I’m thinking my skin won’t survive. Thank you for being a secular warrior in the fight for our country. You have my admiration.

    Reply
    1. Alice

      I must have missed the book where Jesus said nanny nanny boo boo to those who came to him for healing.

      Good one 🙂

      Yes, we all know that Christians enjoy perfect health. (eyeroll)

      Reply
  3. Lydia

    You find such great pictures to accompany these messages.

    I wonder if the people who send them to you get the joke?

    Reply
  4. Geoff

    This guy offers to post links of sites. I doubt he would have the slightest clue how to do that. Interesting idea though, voting for the worst blogs…I could suggest a few.

    Reply
  5. joyce

    Sigh.

    You can probably relate to the title of Bonnie Weinstein’s book:

    To the Far Right Christian Hater… You Can Be a Good Speller or a Hater, But You Can’t Be Both: Official Hate Mail, Threats, and Criticism from the Archives of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation

    I’m not sure if I want to read this one, or if it will just make me depressed by the idiots out there.

    Reply

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