Friday, June 6, 2008

Thou Shalt Not Lie (Unless it's for the Republican Party)

I'm getting emails from 'Christian' friends attacking Barack Obama. Now if you disagree with his political stands, that's fine. Get a blog, comment on blogs and articles where possible and talk to anyone who will listen to your differences. If you don't like the fact that a black man is running for president and you feel culturally threatened, then out with it. You have a right to your opinions. If you believe that he is a Muslim and you are angry at his Church of Christ pastor, then say so.
This post isn't an endorsement of Barack Obama. It is, however, an endorsement of intelligent and truthful discourse. It astounds me that in every election, year in and year out, and on every 'hot-button' issue, 'Christian Right' Republicans, who are oftentimes neither Christian nor right, send out dozens of untruthful, outrageous emails about the candidate or position they oppose.
I received two of these today. The first one states:
The last quotation is the one that is really scary!
(Last quotation) From Audacity of Hope: "I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.

"If you ever forwarded an e-mail, now is the time to do it again.

This is the quote directly from the book and in context:
"Of course, not all my conversations in immigrant communities follow this easy pattern. In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific reassurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."

The other email had this Obama 'quote':
'As I've said about the flag pin, I don't want to be perceived as taking sides,' Obama said. 'There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression. And the anthem itself conveys a war-like message. You know, the bombs bursting in air and all. It should be swapped for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song'I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing.' If that were our anthem, then I might salute it.
The quote was one conservative writer's idea of a joke, which has been picked up and repeated as though it were true in a chain e-mail.
This is a ridiculous example of how false stories are started, spread and, in many cases, believed. It began with a column dated Oct. 27, 2007, on a Web site called the Arizona Conservative, which is written by John Semmens and clearly labeled as humor. His column, in fact, is called "Semi-News -- A Satirical Look at Recent News."Nevertheless, his column on Obama has been copied and sent around in e-mails, masquerading as true stories.
Thanks to Snopes.com for tracking down the source of this latest e-mail falsehood.

So to all those good 'Christians' who enjoy spreading falsehoods, you should contact your old bud Judge Moore in Alabama and get him to actually read those ten commandments to you.
They are, after all, more than just a block of stone to fight over.

2 comments:

Grandmère Mimi said...

I don't get these emails. Perhaps they're screened out as spam, before they ever get to me. But I talk to folks who mention the lies to me as truth, and when I ask where they come from, many answer by word of mouth or on the internet. When I ask where on the internet, the answer is often from an email. I'm not sure how this sort of smear can be countered, but I wonder how many minds are changed by them. I hope that only those who have already made up their minds are taken in, but I fear that I am wrong.

As I have said before, the level of ignorance in the voting public is astonishing. I am already worn out from person to person encounters trying to shed light in the darkness.

Jim said...

It amazes me that it only takes about a minute to de-bunk any of them. No one seems to do it.
Not to 'pick on' one side or the other, but they all seem to be leveled against more liberal candidates. You just don't see it from the other side.