It seems when organizations operate in the name of Jesus Christ, normal rules of marketing and P.R.—written and unwritten—still need be applied.
Back in 2002, Cardinal Bernard Law was forced to resign as archbishop of Boston by Pope John Paul II. His crime: the cover-up of widespread abuse of children by pedophile priests under his aegis.
Cardinal Law fled the country and fetched up in a cushy job at the Vatican, safe from U.S. prosecution.
VATICAN CITY — Cardinal Bernard Law celebrated Mass in mourning for Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Basilica on Monday, ignoring protests from victims that his handling of the sex abuse scandal in the U.S. Catholic Church should disqualify him from the honor. —Associated Press, April 11, 2005
Quite simply this action was a hard kick in the groins of Boston Catholics whose faith and families were ripped apart. It was also a bust in the chops to all U.S. Catholics and indeed to all Americans by a vindictive, sneering Vatican hierarchy.
These are not nice folks.
The Shame of Christian Mingle
A year or so ago my computer was besieged with spam from Christian Mingle urging me to "Find God's Match."
After going back-and-forth to get these people out of my life, I resorted to vicious obscenities. They worked. I did not hear from these creeps for maybe six months.
On Dec. 31, I received the following message from Christian Mingle:
❤ GOD created a match for YOU - see WHO now! ❤
Nowhere on the Christian Mingle email could I find an opportunity to opt out.
I replied with an email requesting no more communication, which was then returned as undeliverable.
I prowled the Christian Mingle website and found a listing for "contact." I sent my request to be taken off the list. The Christian Mingle response:
We do some of our marketing through hundreds of affiliated marketers. These marketers send out invitations to join our site to the email addresses they have in their databases. We require these marketers to check their email lists against the following criteria:
- They cannot send out an email to an address found on our "Do Not Email" list.
- The email address needs to be associated to someone over 18 years old who is likely single.
In order to assist you with this matter, we need the following information to be sent to Emily Varney at email@example.com:
- The site name
- Your username (if you have or had a profile)
- The email you are receiving sent as an attachment
Please make sure the links in the email are "live" when you forward it. In order to do this, you will need to download any pictures that were originally included in the email. The best way to know if the links are "live" is to click on them yourself. If the links do not open up a new window, put your cursor on the box where the link is located, right click and choose "Download Pictures".
This will help us track down where the invitation came from and stop any further delivery.
Your email address was placed on our "Do Not Email" list. This action should prevent your email address from being included in any future affiliate email campaigns.
We thank you for your understanding.
All the best,
We Bring Christian Singles Together.(sm)
Listen up, Tootsie Belle,
I have been happily married for 42 years. I found God's match 45 years ago.
What you are doing is insulting, blasphemous, unchristian and disgusting.
>> In order to assist you with this matter, we need the following information to be sent to Emily Varney at
I will not send anything to anybody.
You, Marcy L—obviously so ashamed of your work that you won't reveal your last name—YOU CONTACT evarney.
Do I make myself clear?
You and your thugs get the [VILE OBSCENITY DELETED] hell out of my life.
This is what you sent me:
On Tuesday, December 31, 2013 5:14 PM, CHRISTIAN MINGLE
❤ GOD created a match for YOU — see WHO now! ❤
And in case you don't hear me, I am god damned angry.
As an old-time direct marketer, I do careful research before I send an offer. If I were the marketing arm of Christian Mingle, I would spend a great deal of time researching prospects who fit the following three specifications:
- Single, widowed, divorced
- Over 18
That's it. Age is not a factor. Presence of children is not in the equation. Single, widowed and divorced Christians are easy to find.
Christian Mingle and its marketing partners did no such research.
You want a two-word definition of spam?
Takeaways to Consider
- Christian Mingle is a business model that is quite simply dirty, irreligious and stupid: We do some of our marketing through hundreds of affiliated marketers.These marketers send out invitations to join our site to the email addresses they have in their databases.
- "Hundreds of affiliated marketers" sending offensive, irrelevant e-mails in your name will be deeply hurtful to your brand.
- Because you are operating in the name of Jesus Christ, it does not give you the privilege of failing to obey the rules—written and unwritten.
- The written rule: make it easy and immediate to opt-out.
- The unwritten rule: research, research, research.
- Christian Mingle should change its name to Christian Mangle.
Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and recently published his latest title, "Write Everything Right!" Denny also is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. Visit him at dennyhatch.com or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.