By way of Amanda, I came across this letter sent to employees of a company that had installed a hand scanner to replace punch-card system for workers checking in and out of work (boldface original; italics mine):
Header: Recognition Systems Inc
To Whom it May concern: It has come to the attention of Recognition Systems that some people have a particular concern about using our hand scanners which relates to their religious beliefs. The concern revolves around the detection or placement of what is described in the Scriptures as the mark of the Beast”.
We at Recognition Systems wish to first make it clear that our hand scanners
DO NOT IN ANY WAY HAVE THE ABILITY TO DETECT THE “MARK OF THE BEAST” OR ANY OTHER MARK ON A PERSON S HAND.
DO NOT IN ANY WAY HAVE THE ABILITY TO PLACE THE “MARK OF THE BEAST” OR ANY OTHER MARK ON A PERSON S HAND.
We at Recognition Systems understand that these facts alone may not completely allay the fears of these concerned individuals and would like to offer a solution that completely eliminates any concerns regarding the “mark of the Beast” In the Book of Revelations, chapter 13, verse 16, it is written, “he forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead”. The Scriptures, regardless of version, consistently refer to the “mark of the Beast” being found or placed only on the RIGHT hand or forehead. Therefore, we suggest that any individual having concerns regarding the “mark of the Beast” be enrolled and use the hand scanner with their LEFT hand turned palm up.
Again. we wish to make it abundantly clear that Recognition Systems hand scanners have absolutely nothing to do with the “mark of the Beast”. Yet it is important that any user concern be respected and ways be found to alleviate those concerns. We hope that this letter removes any concerns regarding the “mark of the Beast” and the use of our hand scanners.
Revised August 7. 1998
Two points. First, this letter is a decade old–this insanity is nothing new (it’s not a Palin-specific phenomenon). Second, the part about facts not allaying fears is beautiful, not to mention explanatory.