I could write about the email exchange I had with the Barack Obama campaign, an exchange which emanated from a difference I had with a decision the campaign had made as to a certain South Carolina minister, the result of which I switched my allegiance from Senator Obama to Senator Dodd in the ongoing, seemingly neverending 2008 presidential campaign. It was my second switch. I originally supported Senator Clinton and still believe that in the end, she will be the Democratic nominee and ultimately the 44th Commander-In-Chief. But this entry isn't about my support of Clinton, Obama, or Dodd, the last of whom has since the Iowa caucus dropped out. This entry is about emails.
Below is an email I received (along with a number of other recipients) from a friend of mine who is a prominent citizen in a nearby city. The sender didn't comment on the email, but only passed it along, in the same manner in which it was received in their email-inbox. With the exception of the name of the originator, who listed her contact information (but no email address), I have eliminated all the other names of senders and receivers. Here, in italics, is the email:
Who is Barack Obama?
1- U. S. Presidential candidate, Barack Hussein Obama
2- Born in Honolulu, Hawaii,
Father : Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., a black Muslim from Nyangoma-Kogel , Kenya ;
Mother : Ann Dunham, a white atheist from Wichita , Kansas.
Obama's parents met at the University of Hawaii. When Obama was two years old, his parents divorced.
Father : Re turned to Kenya .
Mother : Married Lolo Soetoro, a radical Muslim from Indonesia.
3- When Obama was 6 years old, the family relocated to Indonesia.
4- Obama attended a Muslim school in Jakarta. He also spent two years in a Catholic school.
5- Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim. He Is quick to point out That,"He was once a Muslim, but that he also attended Catholic school."
6- Obama's political handlers are attempting to make it appear that Obama's introduction to Islam came Via his father, and that this influence was, temporary.
In reality , the senior Obama returned to Kenya Soon after the divorce, and never again had any direct Influence over His son's education.
7- Lolo Soetoro, the second husband of Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, introduced his stepson to Islam.
8- Obama was enrolled in a Wahabi school in Jakarta . Wahabism is the radical teaching that is Followed by the Muslim terrorists who are now waging Jihad against the western world.
Since it is politically expedient to be a Christian when seeking Major public office in the United States , Barack Hussein Obama has joined the United Church of Christ in an attempt to downplay his Muslim backgrou nd. Let us all remain alert concerning Obama's presidential candidacy Please forward to everyone you know. The Muslims have said they plan on destroying t he US from the inside out, what better way to start than at the highest level.
Federal Workers' Compensation Assistant
VA Medical Center, Lexington Ky
For the record, I have no idea who Teresa Abney is, or if she is even a real person. I've gotten this same email from two other friends and also from a family member in Florida. In all of those occassions, I have felt a need to respond, and did. Below is the response I sent today.
I've received this from my friend ********** and feel a need to respond.
If anyone has met Senator Obama, as I have more than once, they will know that many of the accusations such as those listed within this email are without merit. Nestled among a few facts are unfounded lies, plain and simple, lies which may have their roots in people who are simply afraid of change. There is no doubt the senator was born in an American state a little over 46 years ago. And, the names of his parents and step parents are correct. Beyond that, there is much more conjecture than fact. Finally, as a Catholic Christian, I find it disheatening that others would attempt to use religion in such a negative fashion. Al Smith endured this in the 1920s and John Kennedy did forty years later. Now, 40 years after Kennedy it seems nothing has changed and little has been learned. People cloaking themselves in the garb of a Christian are attempting it again. The difference between Smith, Kennedy, and Obama? Smith and Kennedy were in fact what their accusers were accusing them of being - Catholic. Obama is not a Muslim - he is (and has been for some time) a Christian, a member of a Christian church which has its roots in America. Smith and Kennedy belonged to a church with its headquarters in Rome, Italy. Obama's church, a purely American phenomenon, is an outgrowth of the Congregational Chruches of New England and the Christian Church which grew up on America's original frontier, including here in Kentucky.
Finally, I got a big laugh out of the last line of the email, which is in fact true. Lots of people use religion to make political gains. There was a time when a person's religion was a private matter. Now, people who claim to be religious want to force their religious beliefs on every one else. I don't buy into such pseudo-evangelism. People who do that are frauds. If you are not for Barack Obama because he is black, or mixed-race, or young, or a father, or a husband, or from Illinois, or
a graduate of Harvard, or a graduate of Columbia, or an attorney, or a Democrat, or a Christian, just say so. Don't hide in a Bible. Or, if you insist on hiding there, take time out to read some of it. I'll direct you to the Sixth Chapter of Saint Matthew.
Jesus said, "Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
"So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others.
Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. "And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.
But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you."
So, that was my response. I'm curious how any of you feel about such emails, and about attacks like this in general. As always, feel free to comment. Thanks.
Two unrelated items, a death and a birthday - or two.
Robert "Bob" Schulman, 91, died Sunday. I knew Bob for many years, and his wife Louise, though not well, and they both always greeted me, and apparently everyone, with a smile or even a hearty laugh. I've used Schulman's tag line "One Man's Opinion" in these entries in the past. Schulman was a media critic who arrived in Louisville in 1968 at WHAS, moved over to the Courier-Journal and Louisville Times, then to U of L, and helped found LEO, Louisville's Eccentric Observing alternative newspaper. He was well known on WFPL radio as one of the Killer Bees, and was a frequent guest and speaker at the Louisville Forum, and, to be honest, was just one of those Louisville originals, which cannot be replaced. Schulman began his career in the media in the 1940s and was as late as last week advising a college student about journalism as a career. His wife Louise and a large family survives. His wit and wisdom, his sense of humor, and his signature bow-ties will be greatly missed. Rest In Peace, Mr. Schulman.
Also, today would have been my paternal grandmother's 93rd birthday were she alive. And today is the birthday of a friend, Aaron Horner, whose age I do not know, but estimate it to be in the early 30s. Aaron recently left Congressman Yarmuth's office to take a position in Governor Beshear's administration.