The letter I'm e-mailing my family tonight.
I’ve gotten a number of forwarded e-mails from some of you over the last months, many of which contain lies, half-truths and false insinuations about Senator Barack Obama, the current presumed Democratic candidate for President.
I love and respect you all, which makes this very difficult for me, because I do not believe that as good, Christian men and women you are wishing to bear false witness against a man simply because you disagree with his political stands. Please read this through, because it’s really rather important to me that you know these things before you forward e-mails.
By all means, please check the information, then forward anything that you find that specifically (and IN CONTEXT) would be something that would affect my decision to vote or not vote for Senator Obama. His (true) stands on issues, his attitudes on family, country, constitution… these things matter, and I want to know.
But the most recent of these e-mails had several of the typical “swiftboating” attempts to discredit the Senator based on nothing more than his name, or the accessories he wore, or what someone else whom he knew had said.
Senator Barack Hussein Obama was born 8/4/1961. His father was Arabic, his mother was from Kansas. The senator’s first name means “Blessed” – and comes from the HEBREW name “Barach”. His middle name, Hussein, means “Handsome” in Arabic.
Picture if you will, a young mother with her infant boy – choosing to name him “Blessed” and “Handsome” – in much the same way that Mary chose “God With Us”, and I chose to name Amanda, because it meant “Worthy to be Loved”, and my parents chose “Joan” because it means “God’s Gift”.
As much as these e-mail authors would like you to believe otherwise, Senator Obama had no control over what his mother chose to name him – in much the same way as another man had no control over his mother choosing “Laverne Francis” (We note that Laverne changed his name later in life. Can you just imagine the OMGWTFBBQ COVERUP!!!!! brouhaha that would have ensured had the press or Republican Smear Machine discovered that Senator Obama had changed his name?????)
More importantly, Senator Obama was NOT named for Saddam Hussein. At the time the Senator was born, the former Iraqi dictator was only 24 years old and had not yet come to power in any sense in Iraq. It wasn’t until 1976 that Saddam became a powerful force in Iraqi politics, when Senator Obama was only 15 years old.
Yes, Obama is an Arabic name. Interestingly enough, Senator Obama’s father is Arabic. My maiden name was of German origin. Does this mean I automatically espouse all the worst (or any) of Hitler’s Nazi Party acts/thoughts? Does the fact that my boss’s surname is Italian mean he shares the traits of Machiavelli or Mussolini or Julius Ceasar?
Please remember this – the next time you get an e-mail, or a mass-mailer in your mailbox – that emphasizes in BIG BOLD RED LETTERS that Senator Obama’s full name is Barack Hussein Obama.
As for a flag pin? How many of you wear one? How many of you wear one constantly, everywhere you go? How many of you actually OWN one? I certainly don’t – I never have. I never will. I love the United States as much as anyone – but I don’t believe that wearing a flag pin is necessary for that. In fact, I would assume that even a 9/11 hijacker could have worn a flag pin, if it would have furthered his cause. Jewelry accessories are a VERY poor means of judging a person’s patriotism, in my not-so humble opinion.
And finally – what is it about Republicans and their penchant for deciding that every candidate shares the same exact views of their entire family and social network? I know for a FACT that many of you share quite different political views than myself, and many differing social, entertainment and yes – even religious viewpoints.
I have friends who are Methodists, Baptists, Catholics, Presbyterians, Buddhists – I have coworkers who are Muslim, and acquaintances who are Pagans and Atheists. Just because I enjoy their company in other areas does not mean I share their religious views. I have friends and family who are Lutheran and firmly espouse the teachings of the man known as Saul of Tarsus – but that doesn’t mean I share those views either.
I am a social liberal, a fiscal conservative and a firm believer in the checks and balances and separation of powers granted in the Constitution. I do not believe in Reaganomics, nor in “Amnesty” for illegal border-jumpers. I believe that any medical decisions should be made only between a person, their doctor and their Deity - that govenment has no business in the decisions.
I think for myself – and NOBODY speaks “FOR” me but me – or someone I personally designate to do so. Try as I can, I have not once found any place where Reverend Wright was designated by Senator Obama to speak for him.
It occurs to me that:
A) Reverend Wright has the right to his own opinion, no matter how Wrong, and
B) Senator Obama really has no control over the opinions of anyone other than *drumroll* Senator Obama, and
C) Reverend Wright isn't up for election.
I hate to have to say this, but there have been PLENTY of things that Pastors/Ministers/Ayatollas/Priests/Saul of Tarsus have said that I vehemently disagree with - but that doesn't mean I would automatically condemn them to hell - except for Saul of Tarsus.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.