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Sep 16 2011

A New Ending for an Old Spam Email

My friend Justin Griffith has added something to a new version of the old spam email about the atheist college professor and the Army vet student sent by God.

For those who don’t know who Justin is, first of all, shame on you. You should know who Justin is. He’s a soldier with enormous balls — seriously, the guy actually had to have surgery because of his enormous balls. In response to last year’s Rock the Fort, an all-day Billy Graham Evangelistic Association festival held on Fort Bragg’s main parade field, Justin is organizing Rock Beyond Belief, a secular festival for all the non-theists and other assorted heathens at Fort Bragg. He also had the guts to speak out publicly against the Army’s mandatory “Spiritual Fitness” test (which he failed), and is currently fighting for the right of non-theists to meet as an officially recognized group, called Military Atheists and Secular Humanists (MASH), on Fort Bragg, with the idea that MASH groups will spread to many other military bases. And, if that’s not impressive enough, Justin was also recently appointed as the new Military Director at American Atheists, where he will no doubt do the same kick-ass job he does with everything else he gets involved in.

Anyway, back to the spam email, which I’m sure many of you have seen at some point or another over the many years it’s been out there. Here’s the old version, which is circulating once again:

A college Professor stood on his chair and said, “If your imaginary friend really exists, then maybe he can knock me off this chair.” Nothing happened. The class was quiet. “See! Now I’ll give it a couple more minutes.” An Army Vet stood, punched him in the face, knocking him out, then sat back down. As the Professor came to, he looked at student and said, “WHY’D YOU DO THAT!” Vet said “GOD was busy protecting my buddies still fighting for your right to say and do stupid stuff like this, so HE SENT ME!!”

And here’s the new, more realistic version, which Justin has asked people to start spreading around (someone else added the second paragraph to the story, and Justin added the last two paragraphs):

A college Professor stood on his chair and said, “If your imaginary friend really exists, then maybe he can knock me off this chair.” Nothing happened. The class was quiet. “See! Now I’ll give it a couple more minutes.” An Army Vet stood, punched him in the face, knocking him out, then sat back down. As the Professor came to, he looked at student and said, “WHY’D YOU DO THAT!” Vet said “GOD was busy protecting my buddies still fighting for your right to say and do stupid stuff like this, so HE SENT ME!!”

The Army Vet was put on academic suspension and now faces assault charges. Furthermore, he failed to prove that his imaginary friend was anything more than just that.

Weeks later, he underwent court-ordered psychiatric evaluation for the violent voice in his head. Members of the press asked the Army veteran how he was going to prove his innocence. He punched them all in the face, and said “There’s your proof.”

His own lawyer has released a statement claiming that he is not mentally competent to stand trial.

7 comments

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  1. 1
    Captain Mike

    That is awesome.

  2. 2
    Brett McCoy

    Ha! Good response!

  3. 3
    Data Jack

    I have always hated that contrived unrealistic story. Along with the stupid “evil is the absence of God” college classroom story.

    Two points I always note: 1) The bad guy anti-theist is almost inevitable a college professor (I think theists realize their goofy beliefs rarely stand up to proper education), and 2) They really, really like the Christian “heroes” of these stories to be violent and/or smug. Things they are tacitly forbidden to be (though many are anyway).

  4. 4
    evilDoug

    (2nd try at commenting)

    I don’t like the ending of the new ending. Unless the court are going to hold that being religious is a free ticket to avoid prosecution, try him for assault.

    They’ve taken of his buttons off an’ cut his stripes away …

  5. 5
    khms

    How is it unrealistic?

    Atheist is intelligent and uses words to convince.
    Theist is stupid and uses violence and inane moralizing.
    Neither convinces the other.

    Sounds pretty realistic here. (Note: I didn’t say typical, as there are certainly lots of other ways atheists and theists can interact. Just realistic, in that they certainly can and do interact this way on occasion.)

    Of course, army vets might get upset about the way they are characterized here.

  6. 6
    freethnkr

    Since I used to teach mathematics at college (I was a lecturer, not a professor), I always wanted to use this one for the spam email:

    I once placed a piece of chalk on the table at the front of the classroom and said, “If your imaginary friend really exists, then maybe he can prove the Goldbach Conjecture.” Nothing happened. The class was quiet. “See! Now I’ll give it a couple more minutes.” Time passed, the class finished for the day, the chalk never moved, and no self-appointed members of the imaginary friend’s goon squad did anything.

  7. 7
    pyrobryan

    That’s pretty funny, but academic suspension is based on GPA, not behavior. On top of that, forget suspension, if you assault a teacher I would imagine the school would expel you. Even more, this could be charged as a hate crime as religious affiliation is a protected class.

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