Before Thanksgiving my wife and I got a mailing from Kaufman Homes, a business here in Salem, Oregon.
We use Kaufman's Home Maintenance, a quarterly service where a Kaufman handyman guy checks a bunch of things in your house and does minor repairs as needed.
I like that I no longer have to maneuver through the crawl space under our house to change the filters on our two heat pump air handlers. That was never fun, and it got less fun the older I became.
What surprised us was the decidedly Christian message Kaufman Homes sent to their customers. This is the front and back of the fold-out mailing. The inside parts were fine -- some advertising along with a group photo of all their employees.
Well, Kaufman Team, here's my sincere response to your sincere gratitude.
My wife and I like your company. But we're atheists. We have no interest in giving thanks to the Lord, because we don't believe in God. Nor do we have the slightest interest in experiencing the hope and joy of Christ, because we don't believe in Jesus.
I suspect that for various reasons, many of your other customers didn't appreciate your Christian mailing either. Maybe they're atheists like us. Maybe they're Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, or some other religion.
And maybe they're part of the growing number of "none's," people who don't embrace any organized religion, yet don't consider themselves atheist, falling into the spiritual but not religious camp.
Regardless, I can't understand why a business would assume that all of their customers are open to a Christian message. It must be that the owners of Kaufman Homes are so avidly Christian, they feel a duty or calling to spread a Christian message to their customers.
But how would the owners feel if, say, they got a mailing from a business urging them to experience the hope and joy of Allah this holiday season. Or telling them to give thanks that they have forsaken religion for atheism.
It doesn't seem to be a good business practice to tailor a holiday message to a subset of customers, even if, as is almost certainly the case, most of those customers are Christian.
We live in a pluralistic society where everyone is free to follow whatever religion they choose, or to not follow any sort of religion at all -- as my wife and I do. Until we got the mailing, we spent zero time pondering whether Kaufman Homes was a Christian business. We simply liked the service they offered.
Now, though, it feels weird that Kaufman Homes used their business relationship with us to basically proselytize in the name of Christ. Naturally we're unaffected by the mailing we got. Atheists like us are used to living in a largely Christian nation where often it's assumed that everybody loves Jesus.
I just wanted to share how we felt about the mailing.
My bosses can't stop doing business for five minutes. If they aren't working, they're showing off on Facebook to promote the happy, healthy lifestyle you too could have with their services and products. We had Thanksgiving off, and they tried to shame us into working extra in the days before. MONEY is the new GOD. There's another reason for inflation, every nobody climbing over the next with billionaire in mind! Prosperity Gospel has infected every shelf.
Posted by: umami | November 29, 2021 at 07:44 AM
"But how would the owners feel if, say, they got a mailing from a business urging them to experience the hope and joy of Allah this holiday season. Or telling them to give thanks that they have forsaken religion for atheism."
I expect they would laugh. "Hope and joy of Allah"? Even the most ardent Muslims don't use such phrases.
Everyone proselytizes, including this blog, which I note advertises itself as being for people who are "spiritual but not religious." But in fact the blog essays reject spirituality entirely, preaching nothing but a theme of hardcore atheism, spiced with adhoms towards any believers for being "delusional" and "crazy."
Posted by: Tendzin | November 29, 2021 at 09:05 AM
“And maybe they're part of the growing number of "none's," people who don't embrace any organized religion, yet don't consider themselves atheist, falling into the spiritual but not religious camp.”
I guess ‘spiritual’ somewhat describes my position. Although the usual interpretation of spiritual is bound up with concepts relating to the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things. Happily, it also can include a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves. It is a world-wide human experience—a interconnection that one way or another touches us all.
Saying that, I would not wish to be defined by any description of ‘spiritual’, after all, it is just a word and like many words and ideas it rarely satisfactorily describes what a person is – being just a convenient portrayal. Words, being necessary and obviously useful, can have a limiting effect, binding us to them with assumption of being more relevant than that which they attempt to describe.
For me, (what some may term spiritual) is to simply to be aware enough to acknowledge who or what I am and my connection to everything else. After all, being natural creatures, the only thing that separates us from our true natures’ (and probably from the world around us) is the conditioning we receive from our particular cultures.
Posted by: Ron E. | November 30, 2021 at 08:04 AM
Gurinder Singh Dhillion & Radha Soami Cult make many a people wish they were atheists.
The Negative effect comes from a Negative force which is Kaal who plays hide n seek with the human race and manipulates everyone.
Gurinder Singh Dhillion has his hands in this endeavour with his God Satan (kaal) whom he loving worships and spreads his evil ways by initiating and giving Simran to the inquisitive disciples whom he devours in the end .
Makes one wish he was an atheist.
But never believe or follow theses loonies like Gurinder Singh Dhillion and these crazy Cults like Radha Soami
We already have all we need, within us all.
Posted by: Manoj | November 30, 2021 at 01:12 PM
Speaking of Joel Osteen, today's news...
"The money mystery comes after $600,000 in checks and cash disappeared from the church’s safe in 2014"
Posted by: umami | December 03, 2021 at 11:48 AM