Sometimes it is important that we put ourselves on the line for our belief - really go the extra mile in defending the faith for which so many have died. And today one of those opportunities came along. I received the following email:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
I am writing to you as I feel sure that you will be as concerned about this as I was when I read this very message just two minutes ago.
There may well be, somewhere in our country, at this or another time, a stage show, musical or play in which Our Lord is portrayed in a way that is intended to be derogatory. It may well be suggesting he was a communist, a transvestite, a quiz-show contestant, a woman or something equally degrading to His nature.
The exact details - or whether any of this at all is true - are irrelevant. The important thing is that you share this message immediately with all your friends. It is unacceptable that, in what purports to be a Christian country, I can imagine a production of this kind being put on by so-called "alternative atheists", new comedians and homosexualists.
I beg you to forward this email to one hundred of your friends, acquaintances or indeed enemies (for we are called to love them, as well), so they can be as outraged at imagining this sort of thing as we are. If you do not know 100 people, make some plausible names up and suffix them with @yahoo.com - someone is bound to have that email. Or why not cut and paste it into your Facebook timeline?
97% of people are too sensible to send this on - will you be one of the few that do?
If everybody forwards this to 100 people, within 24 hours more people will have read this message than have ever lived. You can be part of a genuine miracle!
With all blessings in Christ,
Someone you've never met.
Faced with this kind of supposition, scare-mongering and pious imprecision from a comparative stranger, what else could I do? Naturally I forwarded it on to the 78 people in my address book, and 22 people whose names I could imagine. Every day, we have a cross to bear. I am proud to have shouldered mine.