Eugene Cho

angry emails

I enjoy blogging.  It’s therapeutic; allows me to be creative; and there are other various reasons why I blog.

The world wide web is a cool thing but every now and then, it gets a little weird.  For example, I get my share of random digital holy rebukes from strangers about all kinds of stuff including my least favorite “Just stick to Jesus” emails.  While I enjoy hosting dialogues on this blog, I do not enjoy receiving personal angry emails and borderline hate email.  Nope.  Not at all.   And every now and then, we get rocks thrown through our windows that may or may have nothing to do with me.  I hope not.

I received some intense emails this week because of my beautiful slanted eyes.  And enough over the past year or so that I had to remove all pictures and names of our kids from the blog, the church website, and even disconnect our home phone.  Sucks.

But interestingly, I get more angry emails from random web surfers over this post – which also happens to be the most viewed entry on my blog [30k+].  

What are they angry about?  A film called “My Sassy Girl.”  Those SG fans drive me nuts.

Filed under: religion, technology, ,

16 Responses

  1. Trust me I know. I write stuff about the environment, parental alienation and just daily writing. I have my own family members attacking me in email at times. Sometimes I privatize the blog entries but that’s a shame because some people need to hear stuff and that is the hardest thing sometimes.

  2. chrismarlow says:

    I’m also dealing with these issues. More from philosophical disagreements and all. Kinda of scary!!!

  3. Maybe you should drop blogging and just stick to Jesus🙂

    Seriously, I really appreciate your blog and your willingness to share from your heart and not shy away from difficult topics.

    I’ve learned alot from your “slanted eyes” post and the comments. As a white guy, my first thought when I heard the story of the Spanish team was that it was stupid and childish. I had a sense that this was insensitive, but didn’t realize how offensive this act could be, however. Hearing your stories, and those of others who’ve been on the receiving end of this has helped open my eyes (no pun intended).

    I think some of the “it’s not that big a deal” pushback may come from those, like me, who have no desire to be “racist” — but may be in danger of doing something racist out of sheer ignorance. That’s why this type of dialogue is great — it’s a real iron sharpening iron situation.

    I’m reminded of the quote — “it’s not a shame to be ignorant, but it’s a shame to stay that way.” Thank you for helping me be less ignorant.

  4. Whew-eeee have I ever been there. I’ve been threatened by other local pastors before via email. I’ve had “Chrisitan” friends read posts and email me that they “now know who I really am” and how our friendship was a “lie.” I got those two because I used the word “suck” in a post.

    It’s not just blogging though. I once wrote a letter to the editor in our local newspaper that had a guy calling my house every day until I threatened to call the police.

    Keep on bloggin’ Eugere!

  5. Jenny says:

    I also enjoy reading all of your blogs.

    Your “slanted eyes” blog has been the subject of a couple very good conversations with friends. It has also been a good reminder to all of us that our words and actions effect other people, sometimes even when we don’t mean for them to.

    I just got an e-mail from my local library that “Sassy Girl” is ready for me to pick up. I ordered it (and some others) after reading your aforementioned list. Don’t worry, even if I don’t like it I won’t send hate mail.

    I, for one, am learning from you (through your blog) and appreciate that very much.

  6. Wow.

    I was going to comment that you must be writing something worthwhile to get so many emails. But *that* post? Your movie list didn’t even MENTION “The Host” which is absolutely, without a doubt, the only Korean movie I can remember off the top of my head. (It’s also in my top 3 all time favorite films)

  7. Tyler says:

    What I’ll never understand is what those who write hate mail think their hate is going to accomplish.

  8. Jesus says:

    Repent, Eugene, repent.

  9. warfront says:

    not a bad idea
    wwwspywareremedy.wordpress.com

  10. jimfox says:

    no on reads my blog, so I am safe.

    What kind of hate mail are you getting about Sassy Girl?!?!

  11. jimfox says:

    and, who is this Jesus you keep talking about? Could you tell me about him?

  12. eugenecho says:

    @jim: it’s kinda funny. hate mail because I have sassy girl only ranked #9 on my list instead of #1.

  13. Aaron says:

    I find it humerous (and sad at the same time) that you would get hate mail about your slanted eyes post. Seems to me like you have the right to express your opinion when you feel hurt, bothered, antagonized, etc. from something that has happened… that if your goal is to say something like “hey… this is not right… this bothers me” then there is nothing harmful in that.

    For me, I realized from reading your blog I personally become very critical of some of the people/events that you write about…. so I have to be a little careful when reading some of your posts to respond with love. My initial response is often to lash out with criticism (either in written responses or in internal thoughts)… but I have a fat plank stuck in my eye and I can not seem to get it out.

  14. olivia says:

    hm..i think one reason for all the “hate” may have to do with the fact that there’s a lot of truth being spoken here. i find that haters of truth tend to retaliate in that way, just as many hated on jesus for telling it like it is. not to say that all criticism/questioning is bad, but hopefully the Lord will grant you the wisdom to discern between what is constructive/beneficial and what is straight up nonsense (i.e. rock-throwing…seriously, what is wrong with ppl??).

    btw – i thoroughly enjoyed ur previous post. it’s funny bc my initial response to the picture was “who cares..what’s the big deal?” i guess growing up being on the receiving end of such mockery has caused me to become somewhat accepting of racist gestures/comments that aren’t outright hateful, but your post reminded me that ignorance is not as innocuous as it seems…it can be quite dangerous actually =T

    keep speaking truth in love PE🙂

    ps – i think my sassy girl is so overrated. i had to watch it like 3 times bc i kept falling asleep during it. it wouldn’t even make my top 30.

  15. LA Girl says:

    Hi Pastor Eugene,

    I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU from LA for writing your thoughts on my beautiful slanted eyes. You articulated well what many Asian-Americans feel, but are very tired of explaining. You are a blessing!

  16. CC Farber says:

    wow…they’re just movies!!!!

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One Day’s Wages

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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