11.14.2009

'It's not personal, it's business'

Late Friday night I was feeling great. I had almost made it through Friday the 13th with no apparent problems. The New York strip steak I had for dinner was perfect. Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher had just been rescued from the cave in the book I’m listening to. Then, I received the following email:

Obama and his Muslim faith. A muslim president of a Christian nation is a scary thought.

Read this before it is removed. If the administration finds it they will remove immediately.

Watch the YouTube video, “Obama Admits He’s a Muslim.”.


***

"Jesus Christ," I said out loud, "hasn't this been laid to rest?" This email was offensive to me on so many levels and spoiled an otherwise perfect evening. How do you respond without saying “you are ignorant” to the person who sent it? How do you respond without seeming to attack Christianity?

I have chosen to respond on DemWit. To the person who sent the email I quote the line from "The Godfather" trilogy, "It's not personal, it's business." Here are a few facts:

1) I am Christian.
2) Barack Obama is Christian
3) The United States of America is not “a Christian nation.” While the majority of its citizens are of the Christian religion, the Constitution clearly states, “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …” The first part of this clause means America cannot be declared “a Christian nation.” The second means any citizen may worship freely in this country – Muslim, Jew, Christian – or even choose not to worship at all.
4) There is an overriding assumption in the email that all Muslims are evil. Islamic Jihadists are our enemies, an evil presence just as extremists in any religion are, including fanatical Christians.
5) It’s just plain stupid to assert the Obama administration would “remove” this YouTube video. It’s been up since September 2008, and it hasn’t been removed yet. And, it sure as hell didn’t have an impact on Election 2008.

I am on a dial-up connections, too slow to view videos, so I took a trip through Googleland and came up with the original interview from which the YouTube video was lifted out of context.

Obama did not “admit” on ABC to being a Muslim

Here’s the full exchange with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, making it perfectly clear that when Obama says “John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith,” he meant “John McCain has not claimed I am Muslim.” He’s referring to efforts to smear him, and both he and Stephanopoulos clear the statement up.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You mention your Christian faith. Yesterday you took off after the Republicans for suggesting you have Muslim connections. Just a few minutes ago, Rick Davis, John McCain’s campaign manager, said they’ve never done that. This is a false and cynical attempt to play victim.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA: You know what? I mean, these guys love to throw a rock and hide their hand. The …

STEPHANOPOULOS: The McCain campaign has never suggested you have Muslim connections.

OBAMA: No, no, no. But the — I don’t think that when you look at what is being promulgated on Fox News, let’s say, and Republican commentators who are closely allied to these folks …

STEPHANOPOULOS: But John McCain said that’s wrong.

OBAMA: Now, well, look. Listen. You and I both know that the minute that Governor Palin was forced to talk about her daughter, I immediately said that’s off limits. And …

STEPHANOPOULOS: But John McCain said the same thing about questioning your faith.

OBAMA: And what was the first thing the McCain campaign went out and did? They said, look, these liberal blogs that support Obama are out there attacking Governor Palin. Let’s not play games. What I was suggesting — you’re absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith. And you’re absolutely right that that has not come …

STEPHANOPOULOS: Christian faith.

OBAMA: — my Christian faith. Well, what I’m saying is that he hasn’t suggested …

STEPHANOPOULOS: Has connections, right.

OBAMA: … that I’m a Muslim. And I think that his campaign’s upper echelons have not, either.

IN CONCLUSION, it took me 10 minutes to research this allegation. If the persons who pass this crap along would take a few minutes to verify it rather than spread bogus information, this would be a better world – and my contented evening would not have been interrupted.

14 comments:

Father Tim Farrell said...

When President Obama gave that wonderful speech in Cairo to the Muslim world, I had a parishioner stop me afterwards while I was in my front yard and yell at me, asking, "Why haven't you denounced Obama on saying we are not a Christian nation?" I was startled and then told the man I would look at what President Obama had said before I decided to speak or not to speak. I watched the entire speech on C-Span and was deeply moved by his words. It was a speech calling on the U.S. and the entire world (including Muslim-majority countries) to respect each others' beliefs. The man's anger came from ignorance and I later told him so. He is still mad at me, but still coming to Church so maybe he is thinking . . . and there is hope in that. As far as the email with the attached video purporting to demonstrate President Obama admitting he is a Muslim: well, it is the dumbest thing I have seen in a long while. It is apparent that things are sliced and diced and badly edited so things appear a certain way, but your transcript clears up that silliness immediately. Thank you for that. I have gotten this email three times and just get tired of the insanity. This stuff is scared people doing silly -- and sneaky --things. Lying and manipulating seem their answer to their fears. I don't buy the lies, never will and simply push the delete button. Good job BJ. Hang in there!

Falzone for America said...

It is increasingly worrisome that underhanded tactics work so well for a political party to retain support for there regressive policies. With a barrage of false or twisted information that causes fear where the exact opposite is in order they hoodwink their followers and instigate mob insanity. They stir the pot of fear, hate, anger, division, and the pride of superiority which mobilizes the victim to a fever pitch of support, much like a cult leader does. These things are evil. These are the fundamental foundations of sin.

Ranch Chimp said...

Thanx for the video...I cant respond to what I think about it though.I just never seen it before.

Take Care Ms.BJ

Sue said...

the stupidity and lack of common sense is astounding. Linda has brought up the fact 9/11 terrorists are being tried in NYC is going to cause all kinds of scary and dangerous scenerios. Why does she say this? Because she hears Beck and Limbaugh speak and therefore its gospel! The right wing nuts get nuttier by the day!

tiny said...

As Father Tim said, they 'slice and dice' everything Obama has to say to try to put context in his mouth that he did NOT say. Some people cling to their false beliefs like Linus does to his blanket. It's the only security they have. The old axiom is: 'They are more comfortable with the devil they know(regardless of how false)than the devil they don't know.' Truth literally scares the bejeepers out of lots of people. It also knocks them off their superiority pedestal.

Pres. Obama is a very intelligent person and tries to unite all natiions of people to live in peace and harmony. But if people don't want that they aren't going to get it. No one has to live in ignorance. Facts are relatively easy to find if one is willing to invest a little time in finding them.

BJ, you are great for setting the record straight with your posts. Blessings to you for taking the time to give people an opportunity to educate themselves.

tsfarken said...

I've done the same thing as you did every time this (and its like) has arrived in my inbox. Try to point out the absurdity of what the video is saying and my hope that the sender will rethink their reasoning behind sending it with out checking facts for themselves.
My friends can have whatever opinions they choose but I try to make sure their opinions are fact based, not just 'Beckerisms'.

bbj said...

Thanks, BJ, and to all who commented. These ignorant e-mails drive me nuts. I even wrote a newspaper column about the stupidity of forwarding these things without checking them out first.

This one I hadn't seen, but I'm sure I will eventually, unless the administration removes it from YouTube. Ha.

{{{{shaking head}}}

Frodo, soap salesman, said...

As he has repeated before, Frodo's grandfather believed that black people did not bathe. Some things, alas, change not. Frodo's grandfather never finished the fourth grade.

Some people today go to Liberty University.

Same thing.

B.J. said...

First to tsfarken: glad to have you as a first-time commenter on DemWit. I hope you will continue to visit and express yourself.

To everyone: I do wish DemWit visitors would read the Comment Zone, which adds so much to my blog.

To Father Tim: I’m so glad we’ve been friends for 30 years! Yep, 30 years!

I couldn’t’ let this issue go by without recalling my DemWit post of 20 October 2008.

On 19 October 2008, Gen. Colin Powell was Tom Brokaw’s guest on “Meet the Press.” He explained his endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for the presidency and interated his concerns over the direction the Republican Party has taken – “the Party has moved even further to the right.”.

I published Powell’s exact words, so there would be no mistaking what he said.

GEN. COLIN POWELL:

I'm also troubled by, not what Sen. McCain says, but what members of the Party say. And, it is permitted to be said such things as, "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But, the really right answer is, “What if he is?” Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's “No, that's not America.” Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, "He's a Muslim, and he might be associated with terrorists." This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And, as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone, and it gave his awards - Purple Heart, Bronze Star - showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old. And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross, it didn't have the Star of David, it had a crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And, his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he could go serve his country, and he gave his life.

Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourselves in this way. And, John McCain is as nondiscriminatory as anyone I know. But, I'm troubled about the fact that, within the Party, we have these kinds of expressions.
–End of Powell’s Statement-

Sue said...

BJ I recall Powell sitting there and these exact words, it was great!

Frodo I chuckle at the Liberty University line!

Bill Sumrall said...

Thanks, BJ, for "taking care of business, in a flash," as a certain Tupelo-born entertainer would have said.

Infidel753 said...

It will never be "laid to rest" in the sense of there not being a single person left trying to spread this nonsense. It never totally goes away. There are still people who deny the Holocaust, one of the best-documented events in all of human history. There are still people who reject the theory of evolution, and that was settled (as far as the evidence is concerned) 150 years ago. Some of them are probably the same people who claim Obama is a Muslim.

There will always be a certain residual minimum of sludge at the bottom of the gene pool who just believe whatever they want and are impervious to any kind of evidence. It's a waste of time to worry about it.

B.J. said...

I-753:

That is the conclusion I have just drawn AS the person who sent the “Obama Admits He’s a Muslim” video emailed me the following:

“With Obama, this is following precisely the Bible. If you watch Fox News, everything they say is in the Bible.”

CLUNK, CLUNK, CLUNK. The sound of my head against the brick wall.

BJ

Tiny said...

Tiny's Dad had only a fourth grade education so the Liberty Univ. chuckle is appropriate. However, her Dad was a self educated man.

Tiny was reared in fun-DUH-mental religion and understands where people are coming from with their beliefs. However everyone interprets the Bible at their own level of understanding, which is okay if it fulfills the need in their lives.

People can find something in the Bible to back up anythink they want to try to prove. Same in all religions. Most Muslims are as dvout with their religion and people in any other religion. And it's no secret that there are radicals in all religions. No matter how good something is, there's going to be someone(s) who will find a way to misuse it.

As far as peace is concern, Tiny thinks if you don't find it within yourself, you aren't going to find ourside of yourself. If we don't have it within, how can we live it in our own lives? Anyone want to answer that question for Tiny.