Sunday, February 11, 2024

Solicitations Abound in My Bundled Mail

When did Gilda and I become Holy Rollers? Must have been during the last three weeks, based on the accumulated mail I picked up Friday after our three week stay in Tucson.

Among the letters, magazines and travel brochures were six solicitations from organizations and people we never before had correspondence with. 

The first one I saw shocked me from my complacency. A red panel on the exterior envelope carried the following question: “Have you and I fought hard enough to defend God’s role in America?” 

It came with a return address of “In God We Trust, 1701 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W., Suite 200, Washington, D.C. 20006.” For those not familiar with our nation’s capital, that’s just a few blocks west of the White House. 

I couldn’t resist peering inside the envelope. A letter from Michael Chartrand, founder of In God We Trust, complained that “donations … are way down from last year. As a result, I have incurred a significant amount of debt.”

He was downright sensible in his ask—just “$25, $35, $50, or even $100 would be a big help.” 

Two pages later came the anguished plea: “Without your support, In God We Trust won’t be able to get out of debt, and I won’t be able to carry on this important work,” which, I should explain, Chartrand said he has been “working very hard to stop the atheists and God-haters campaign to remove religion from American life.” 

Getting back to that office address, turns out Suite 200 at 1701 Pennsylvania Avenue is a virtual office location run by DaVinci Virtual, landlord to many seeking Washington cache for their exploits. 

Michael Chartrand was unknown to Gilda and me. Not so Mike Huckabee and Mike Pence. (As an aside, what’s with all these Mike/Michaels? Does the Bible-thumping network believe that name is saintly when it comes to pulling in dollars from the devout and gullible?)

Huckabee addressed Gilda as “my fellow American of faith.” He’s seeking money and affirmation that she stands with Israel and is full-throated in support of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. 

Mike Pence had no comment on Israel. He focused on abortion, specifically his condemnation of “chemical abortions,” the use of two mail-order pills that can terminate a pregnancy. It is an issue before the Supreme Court this year. He asked for money to fund his organization.

Kathy Branzell, president of National Day of Prayer Task Force, wants Gilda to “commit to spend 5 minutes in prayer each day throughout the rest of 2024” so that God will begin “to change and heal the hearts of our leaders.” And, oh, by the way, after pledging to pray, “please send along a one-time gift of $100.”

This National Day of Prayer crusade is really pushing the envelope. Not one, but two letters came from Pat Boone. Yes, the Pat Boone of bobby-soxer 1950s music fame. Still flashing his bright white smile, Pat wanted Gilda to know May 2 is the day “tens of millions of believers” will gather again. With Gilda’s financial support, of course. 

Now, Gilda and I contribute thousands of dollars each year to worthwhile causes that support a woman’s right to choose, feed the hungry and homeless, expand cultural institutions, to name a few. Did any of those organizations sell their mailing lists to her new-found pen pals? 

You can unsubscribe from an email list, but how do you stop old fashioned solicitations by mail? 

Do you think prayer is the answer?