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Topic: Account Closed for Jesus

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Subject: Account Closed for Jesus
Date Posted: 8/22/2013 5:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2011
Posts: 15
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I have a friend who gets most of her homeschool books on this site.  She has been a member for several years, traded many many books and given some away for free.  When mailing, she always writes on the outside of the envelope phrases such as "Jesus Loves You", "John 3:16", "You are not alone", etc.  Many receivers have commented to her that they appreciated the messages and thought it was a great idea.  But, it took only one person to say that they were highly offended by the message on their one envelope for Paperbackswap to suspend her account instantly.  When told she must refrain from putting these notes on the envelopes, she refused.  She was told by Paperbackswap that she was being discourteous to other members and therefore could no longer have an account.  What are your thoughts on the matter?



Last Edited on: 8/22/13 5:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/24/2013 6:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2008
Posts: 3,574
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I don't want to think on it. In my opinion, she was not forcing her religion on anyone, she was making a single comment, not an insult and with no offensive words. There are people who are offended that other people HAVE a religion, that doesn't give them the right to be totally sheltered from that fact at the expense of others freedom. I wish we could start a backlash and have people writing those messages. What if she put them on her packing slip instead? What if she included a bookmark with a simular message - it's easy to print up bookmarks on your computer. something like that? I think she needs to keep swapping. Both because she needs the books for homeschooling and because the world needs her light, as an individual.

Date Posted: 8/27/2013 10:21 AM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2010
Posts: 576
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"Politically Correct" applies to everyone BUT Christians. It is horrible how you can believe, speak and even demonstrate anything but Christianity now :( My duaghter (4th grade) and I are just reading about Ancient Rome and the persecution of the Christians by Nero. It is not such a far off cry from the way we are treated today :(

 

I have had a couple of different senders include materials that I really did not want to be offered, such as book marks advertising products. And I never "tattletaled" on them.

 

I am so sorry for your friend.

Date Posted: 8/27/2013 9:51 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2013
Posts: 1,022
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Really Kristie, come on! Being asked to not write the name of a religious figure on a piece of paper is hardly comparable to Nero. 

 

I'd have some sympathy for her if she was banned flat out, no questions asked. But she was told of the policy and refused it, her choice. 

Date Posted: 8/27/2013 10:36 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2011
Posts: 15
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It's not actually a policy. The only policy regarding religion is no putting religious tracts inside of envelopes.  Why does it take only one complaint to completely shut down her account, but several letters to PBS supportive of her action won't get it reactivated? 



Last Edited on: 8/27/13 10:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/28/2013 12:27 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 74
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I find it offensive that some people say "OMG" (except not the letters - the words) or "JC" (again not the letters) or whatever all over the place and the people who are saying it don't have anything done to them.... Yet if anyone would use a derogatory term for other things (groups of people, for example) or saying anything negative about another religion or belief system, they can be kicked out of a class at my school.

Sorry - just had to add that.

Date Posted: 8/28/2013 1:56 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2013
Posts: 1,022
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Paul, obviously I can't speak for PBS but if she'd agree to not put religious messages in her packages, she'd have her account reactivated.
She decided not being allowed to make positive messages with religious undertones was more than she was willing to accept. This is more her doing that that of PBS.

OMG has become slang, I can understand why it would be offensive to some of the faith but there is no content behind it.

I don't want to read anything about jesus on any package I receive, however I wouldn't report someone for it unless it expanded into theology. I think quite a few people would be upset if they receive a package that said "allah is the only true god".

Date Posted: 8/28/2013 11:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2010
Posts: 5,700
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She refused to adhere to the policies of what PBS considers offensive to someone, and her account was suspended.  As it should be.  Sorry, but that's the facts, Jack.

And I am so tired of hearing about the persecution of Christians.  Keep it in church, where it belongs.  Don't bring it to my doorstep, the places I shop, or eat, or trade books.

Date Posted: 9/3/2013 8:30 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2010
Posts: 576
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Doug,

 

I was being melodramatic to make a point. As soon as they start burning Christian then I will get back to you. As of right now they are just telling us what we are and are not allowed to say/think. Hmmm.... guess they never read the Constitution !

 

Yes, I agree with you. It is their choice if they want to use those words. But if I went around spouting "slang" about certain nationalities, races, or creed  would that be ok ????

 

 

Paul,

"It's not actually a policy. The only policy regarding religion is no putting religious tracts inside of envelopes." AMEN !!!

 

 

Date Posted: 9/4/2013 1:15 AM ET
Member Since: 3/21/2009
Posts: 4,812
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Zobielover, this is MY doorstep, too. I choose to like this thread, because it has meaning for me. If you don't like the topic of persecution of religion or of politically correct restrictions on religious beliefs where you trade books, put your head in the sand like an Ostrich! I don't believe in conspiracy theories like we are persecuting Christians in America, but doesn't it seem strange that we defend other members beliefs, but another member's religion is not politically correct? I don't blame people for believing they are being persecuted. One person complains about a blessing written in media mail, a greeting that is common among those that have relgious Christian convictions.and they end up being expelled? If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it's not a duck? It looks like a form of persecution if you look at it from a religious perspective. Writing a message like this may not be popular with some people, but personally, I don't think it's a sin to write it to another member. Even if the other member isn't Christian, the message is obviously written in good faith and the writers intention is not to insult the reader!

I really take exception to anyone practicing "politcally correct" practices. It's a practice that is used to pull people apart, not bring people together. People practice being politically correct when they seemingly want to please everyone. There is no such thing as pleasing everyone. It doesn't exist in life. In my opinion people use it as a tool to weild power and control against other people. It's not used for good. It's used for selfish reasons. It's typically used for business. It's not a neutral practice at all, it's an offensive practice to be "polically correct". 

That's why they call them" the PC police!  "Many a truth is said in jest".

In general, the term "Omg!" means "oh my goodness!" to me. It has no religious connotation for me at all

I think I'm going to write "contact me" and have them read what I just wrote. I believe my opinion is just as valuable as any other member. I am not the "relgious right",  I am a person that has a strong opinion about PBS expelling a member for not being "politically correct". I don't agree with policies that align themselves with being politically correct and I will voice that. 

I'll probably get in trouble for this, but here I go "Submit Reply" mail

Date Posted: 9/4/2013 9:01 AM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2010
Posts: 576
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THANK YOU !!!! Elona

 

If you do get in trouble for your post please let us know. I would like to see what would happen if we all stood up for our First Ammedment rights on here. If we banned together and not let PBS dictate what we can and can not say (or write) on our packages. Kind of like a good old fashion protest ! :) Anybody with me?

 

Date Posted: 9/4/2013 9:13 AM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2010
Posts: 576
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Paul D. Please tell us more about the details of what was mailed and said? I am trying to find it in PBS rules and the only thing I can find references what is / isn't allowed to be enclosed (i.e. INSIDE a package)  using media mail rates. There is NOTHING about what can/cannot be written on the outside.

 

http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/search.php?terms=rules

Date Posted: 9/4/2013 3:56 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2011
Posts: 15
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What was written exactly:  Jesus Loves You; John 3:16; Choose Life; You are not alone.  She may have gone overboard this time, but usually just writes Jesus Loves You or John 3:16.

I'm glad I'm not the only one that sees it as an infringement upon our First Amendment right.  When she told PBS that they were infringing on her First Amendment right, they said that it wasn't a First Amendment issue.  I beg to differ.  They can specify what goes in an envelope, but not what's on the outside.  That's like saying you can't put a religious return mailing address lable on your package.  I can actually see PBS re-writing their Terms of Use to include this new "rule" of theirs.

I would love to join in on a good ol' fashion protest.  It's not only about religion here.  It's about freedom of speech and ending all of this "politically correct" garbage.  I wish everyone would send PBS a letter in regards to this matter.  She posted it on Facebook and people she didn't even know were sharing it and writing PBS in outrage.  Yet, again, it only took one complaint to get her account closed, but how many letters of support will it have to take to get it back?

Date Posted: 9/4/2013 11:12 PM ET
Member Since: 3/21/2009
Posts: 4,812
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I posted a question in the USPS question and answer forum.

No answer yet, since about 4 PM. I'll wait. There's usually someone who can answer.

I get the feeling that things need to be sorted out between you your friend and PBS. There might be a misunderstanding. I'd very much like to know verbatim what you both said. It would help. Maybe you could pm me? Sometimes people that are inflammed and angry don't come across as being rattional. A thrid party maybe all that needed. 

I have some ideas:

We could do a pbs survey. Survey Monkey.

We could pose this dilema in the Current Events Forum. They always have interesting viewpoints. Sometimes factual and rational, but sometimes personal and offensive. We could weed out the latter and get food for thought with the factual and rational.

We could write a letter a mass letter to PBS.

We could write individually.

We could write a letter to our congressman and ask if this is a grey area or cut and dry. I have a feeling this is a grey area though.

We could start a petition which would contain non threatening material with the goal to help the PBS administration more aware of the current problem and show our standpoint.

We could write PBS and ask them if they have any ideas that they could share that would help us in our plight. Maybe they would be willing ot help. 

I'm sure there are other ideas. If you have any, we could take a vote and decide which one would be appropriate.

Having said this, I'm not trying to rabble rouse. I'm only tryng to help make PBS a better place and make the world a better place as well.

I think we should take names. Is there anyone willing to pm me with their name so I could tally how many people are interested in getting involved in remedying this situation?

Definition of this situation: Members being singled out as being politically incorrect and reprimanded. If they don't comply they're relationship from PBS is severed.

Note this has absolutely nothing to do with religion. Although religion is one of the many things that are being singled out as being untouchable.

Thinking aloud: I'm just wondering how in the world this topic became a dilema in our society? Is was not like this 50 years ago. The world has changed so much. I wonder why things have changed. And I wonder why being politically correct is a problem as of late and not some other problem. It seems like the "world" wants individuals made out of the same mold. It rings something out of a science fiction story. Are we all becoming drones, cow towing to the powers that be? indecision

Does anyone have any thoughts on what I've said. If it's personal, feel free to PM me.smiley

 

Date Posted: 9/5/2013 10:35 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2011
Posts: 15
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First email from PBS:

Dear Angela,

We have been made aware that a book you sent arrived with religious statements written on the package.  The receiver was very offended.  

We have a very large membership, with diverse faiths. It's not OK to proselytize to other members here.  

Will you be able to refrain from doing this for future mailings?

Please let us know,

The PaperBackSwap Team

Date Posted: 9/5/2013 10:35 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2011
Posts: 15
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First reply to PBS:

To Whom It May Concern:
 
I have been informed that there has been a complaint from someone about my writing "Jesus Loves You" on an envelope.  My PaperBackSwap account was immediately suspended, as I apparently offended one person, while at the same time I have had several people say they enjoyed the fact that I put the phrase on the envelope.   I am offended that PaperBackSwap is attempting to deny my First Amendment right of Freedom of Speech.    PaperBackSwap has accused me of proselytizing.  Proselytizing is trying to convert someone to a certain belief.  I have not done this.  I have simply made a statement, "Jesus Loves You".  I can find nothing in that statement trying persuade anyone to convert.   I am quite frankly appalled at PaperBackSwap's actions.  I have informed OneMillionMoms and American Family Association of your intolerant actions.    So, in order to answer your question about refraining from such actions, no, I will not.  The message of God's love for us is too great to keep to myself.  Besides, I have every right to write whatever I wish on the outside of any envelope, as does this receiver that was very offended; just another thing that makes America so great.  If you choose to permanently cancel my account, I expect my 35 credits to be refunded to me in cash value (and not for the discounted bulk rate since each credit is from a book mailed), as well as, the $1.00 in my account.  I look forward to hearing from you. 
 
 
God Bless, 

Date Posted: 9/5/2013 10:37 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2011
Posts: 15
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Second email from PBS:

Dear Angela,

Your message actually said

===========
Jesus loves you!
John 3:16
Choose life!
You are not alone! 
===========

This is not a freedom of speech issue. This is a private club, and an issue of courtesy to other members of the club. If you are stating that you won't be able to refrain from being discourteous to other members of the club, you are saying that you choose not to be able to participate further.  We don't purchase credits from members, and Kiosk purchases are not refundable, as the Terms of Use state; however, we can snail-mail you a check for $1.00 to refund your PBS Money.

If you reconsider your decision regarding following our rules about courtesy to other members, you can let us know.

The PaperBackSwap Team
www.PaperBackSwap.com

Date Posted: 9/5/2013 10:44 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2011
Posts: 15
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She did not reply to PBS any further. 

Date Posted: 9/9/2013 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2013
Posts: 1,022
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Wow, a lot of activity here. 

Kristy, I don't think melodrama is needed. It's nice that you want to stand up for your faith but this isn't the issue to fall on your sword over. PBS is a private owned business, this isn't a constitutional issue. I can say I don't like a certain group but if I do so in someones place of business, they have the right to tell me to leave or cease my undesirable language. That's basically what happened here. Religion isn't a race or nationality, a person has no choice on the latter. I don't agree that PBS is being politically correct here but even if they are it's a result of years of the christian religion oppressing all opposing view points. 

This whole thread is flawed because it was started on a lie, not very christian by the way. "choose life" is not a simple christian blessing, it is a political statement. Don't play psychologist, you may do more damage than intended. You can send a nice message to someone without injecting a god into it. The desire isn't to be nice, it's to spread your faith. 

  They can specify what goes in an envelope, but not what's on the outside.

Paul, can I put something negative about african americans on an envelope that I send to another member? Of course not. 

Elona, don't kid yourself, this is about nothing other than religion. Things like this didn't happen fifty years ago because basically all non white non christians had no voice. 

In closing, I think this is pretty much what Angela wanted. Not only did she send an inapprorpriate message, when PBS simply asked her to refrain from doing so, she went on the attack. I wish there was a way she could get her credit back but whatever sympathy I had for her is gone after reading what she really said and her reply when PBS  asked her about it. 

 

 

 

 

Date Posted: 9/14/2013 1:20 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Well said, Doug.  This is not about religion -- PBS would have acted similarly if a member had put messages promoting Islam, or Judiasm, or the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or a private business or a politicial party on the outside of a package.  Their site, they make the rules, and Angela didn't want to comply with them, end of story.

Subject: Really?
Date Posted: 9/14/2013 12:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2009
Posts: 210
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Oh for goodness sakes!  Why is this post on the Homeschooling thread?  I am getting very tired of seeing "Account Closed for Jesus" each time I check this thread.  Her account wasn't closed for Jesus, or even on account of Jesus, it was closed because she doesn''t want to follow PBS' rules. I am a Christian, but I wouldn't like it if someone put religious messages on the packages I receive from PBS.  One of my interests is religion.  I love learning about other people's beliefs. Learning about other religions and beliefs is my way to help me understand and love all of Gods' children. Am I out pounding my chest for God and Jesus, or trying to push my beliefs on others; no  My relationship with Heavenly Father is my choice.  Would I protest if this was a legimate case, of course I would.  But all this controversy and contention is excessive and redundent.



Last Edited on: 9/15/13 10:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/14/2013 7:43 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2011
Posts: 15
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Last Edited on: 9/14/13 7:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/15/2013 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 3/21/2009
Posts: 4,812
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I just got off the PBS USPS forum where I posed a question about writing on the ouside of packages there are pros and cons, of course.

Someone just posted a PBS rule:

"Members shall not include additional material such as advertising, commercial solicitations, political materials, religious tracts or similar items in any requested mailing. Members further agree not to use member names, addresses, member lists, or any subset thereof for the development of mailing lists or the distribution of advertising, commercial solicitations, political materials, religious tracts or similar items, whether or not included with requested media.

This is a "legal" document, so wording is very important. It does not say anything about the "outside" of a package. And as I interpret it, it does not insinuate anything about things on the outside of the package.

I forgot to mention some people use Christmas paper to wrap their books. Is that against the rules, too? Lol

This is what I wrote:

"I think it's a little extreme to terminate membership based on a quote from anywhere on the outside of a package. I don't think it reflects anything about PBS as a business, nor do I think it matters if one member complains. There are hundreds of complaints incoming to PBS, I don't think they terminate members on the basis of all of them, why pick one that has religion in it? I believe it's personal bias on the part of who ever is working at PBS "contact me". It innerves me that this has happened, because this is not about relgion, it's about free speech. Members are always putting stuff on the ouside of packages, why single out this one? And I also agree, PBS should change their wording if they don't want anything at all put on the outside of packages. Golly, am I allowed to say "enjoy your book?" Or would that be misconstrued as being connected with the content of the book I sent? Lol. Give me a break!"

Denise: I'm sorry you feel bad about recieving e-mails with "Account Closed for Jesus", but there are a great deal of homeschooler's that take offense at what happened. They happen to be religious. There are many religious, so it has personal meaning for them. Golly, it has personal meaning for me and I don't think it has as much to do with religion as it has to do with free speech! I don't care much for my free speech being restricted by anyone. That's what I like about this country! I'm glad I am not persecuted or prosecuted either for putting Christmas paper as a wrapping on my pbs packages. The day that PBS tells me I can't do that is the day I write a letter to the owner of this site. He is a wonderful man and this is a wonderful site. I want it to stay that way. Where else should I post my thoughts about this issue? One forum is as good as another. This just happens to be the birthplace of this particular problem. 

Thanks for reading my post smiley

 

 

 



Last Edited on: 9/15/13 9:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: 1st amendment
Date Posted: 9/17/2013 12:28 AM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2009
Posts: 1
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Those saying this is a "freedom of speech" issue are 100% wrong. The first amendment says that the government can't infringe on your spech. PBS is completely within their rights to restrict content sent through its network (and on these forums for that matter) and you are within your right to leave the club if you don't like it.
Date Posted: 9/17/2013 1:56 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 599
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I am a Christian and I am very pro-life. But please think for a minute about whether or not putting "Choose Life" on the outside of a package could do to a woman who has chosen abortion in the past. Many women struggle with depression related to the event. Do you think that putting "Choose Life" on a package is going to make them think, "Gee you're right, I should go out and protest against abortion now!" or do you think it is more likely to make them feel more depressed, more ashamed, and more anger toward Christians (given that this is surrounded by Bible verses)? 

I appreciate the enthusiasm and good inentions behind the sender's efforts, but I would suggest that they are unlikely to change and hearts and minds. If the result is instead causing anger and controversy, you may be hardening hearts, not softening them. 

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