Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


My Mom Needs Snopes

Argh. My mom tried to tell me tonight that "UCLA" was trying to "remove all headstones with crosses from national cemeteries."

"You mean the ACLU?" I asked, suspicious off the bat that my mom couldn't even get the name of the "enemy" right.

"Yeah, them." So she goes on to tell me how wrong it is to meddle in the expression of personal religious belief, especially that of veterans who defended our freedoms. (A position I completely agree with, which is why I oppose government discrimination against Wiccans, such as this case involving a deceased Wiccan military veteran, recipient of the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart, not that I got into that with my mom at this juncture.)

"Uh, ok," I said, "that sounds pretty crazy and really unlike the kind of thing the ACLU normally does."

"Write your congressman! Write the President!" says my mom.

"Uh, well, I'm going to have to investigate it. And seriously, Mom, it's not like the President cares what I have to say..."

"I've investigated it, I know it's true. The guys at the VFW and the American Legion are all fighting this!"

"Tell you what, Mom. I'll look into this. Lemme get back to you. Just promise that you'll hold off judging the ACLU as an organization based on this one story?"

Sure enough, Snopes has a page dedicated to this claim. And, just as my bullshit detector told me, it's not true. If only my mom had Snopes! Seriously, I feel like I have to protect her from this stuff. I worry that she's going to be one of those little old ladies who believes she "won" a "Mexican lottery" or who wastes her time and energy getting all upset because "those Mexicans have more rights than we do" because public buildings post instructions in Spanish. I love my mom and I really don't want to see her get suckered. I don't care if she decides that she hates the ACLU, I'd just feel much better knowing that she made her decision based on things they've actually done! Is that so much to ask?


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Blogger Gary Says:

Although I rarely get out and do ACW reenacting these days, I still get email from my fellow members. And let me tell you, the "living history" hobby is filled with a lot of very conservative folks who seem to believe everything they read in email.

So much so, that I used to get at least one spammed message from one of them each week, claiming anything from Jane Fonda's allegiance to Communism to Starbucks snubbing veterans due to the company not supporting the war, to the typical "someone is trying to take away our God-given religious freedoms!"

Most folks in the unit are good enough to keep quiet, but then you've got a couple more who are also inflamed by the story, and who begin to rant. Or, worse yet, they don't notice that I'm one of the original recipients of the message, and forward it to me AGAIN.

Like as not, I'd debunk the story on Snopes and mail a link to the person, who would then apologize for filling my mailbox with modern folklore. I'd always suggest, "Next time you get a message like this, check Snopes for yourself to see if it's true or not."

Despite my efforts, they never do.

Anonymous James Wallis Says:

One of my roles in life is to tell people they're talking balls, and to do it in a way that makes it appear that everyone else knows they're talking balls but has been too polite (or too busy sniggering behind their hands) to mention it. It's the only way I've found of getting them to stop: the fear of looking foolish


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