Thursday, October 16, 2008

It's Getting Nasty Out There

I have received several more emails from certain long-ago acquaintances regarding Senator Obama. They strike me as hysterical screed which I would laugh about, but for the fact that somebody sat down and wrote this stuff as a serious critique of Obama's candidacy, by attacking him personally. They attack his honesty, his ethics, his patriotism, and his religious faith. I sort of understand all that. If he were a lying, cheating, traitor who worships Satan, I might have a problem with voting for him -- unless, of course, he had a great idea for extricating us from the war in Iraq and turning around the economic crisis. I can be very open minded when the situation calls for it.

The one critique that left me scratching my head was the allegation that Obama is not half-black. The writer said Obama is half white, and the other half is "90% Arab and 10% black." The writer concludes that means he's a Muslim. Huh? I think somebody needs to look up the words "Arab" and "Muslim" in a dictionary or on Google. Obama's father was from Kenya; I'm guessing the man was probably racially a black man, regardless of his religion. Racially, Senator Obama is half white and half black. Neither of which has any bearing whatsoever on his religion -- which is, for the record, Christian. [Senator Obama belongs to the United Church of Christ, which is the Congregational Church.... the heirs to the churches of the Pilgrims. I am sure some of those dudes are spinning in their graves over what their church has become.]

I think it is interesting that the evengelical right-wing seem to think it is somehow worse to be a Muslim than to be black. I guess a black Christian (especially a narrow-minded evangelical one, not a "radical" black Christian like Rev. Jeremiah Wright) is preferable in their view to a Muslim, no matter how intelligent, rational or forward-thinking he (or she) might be.

Presumably that has to do with the evangelical requirement for accepting-Jesus-Christ-as-your-Lord-and-Savior. I suppose that blacks in America, who are, as far as I know, overwhelmingly Christian, should take some consolation in that -- but probably not very much.

I am no huge fan of Islam for a whole lot of reasons, but even I acknowledge that simply being a Muslim does not necessarily make a person a wacko. There are a lot of Muslims who are intelligent and broadminded. We should not consider all of them to be terrorists because of a few extremists. [I note we could say the same thing about the Christian far-right wing. They are utter nut-jobs. That does not mean that all Christians are kooks.]

I knew this was going to happen. In all honesty, I thought it might be worse than it has been. I'm predicting the attacks will continue to escalate until the eve of the election (and beyond, if Obama is elected). What scares me is that I know the kind of awesome communication network the Christian wackos have. They can electronically rev up the faithful to a fever-pitch, not unlike the most diabolical Wahhabi ayatollah. I would not want to be Barack Obama for the next two weeks ... or four years.

Obama's ahead in the polls now. If the far right decides to swallow hard, hold their noses and vote for McCain (especially since his running mate is a darling of the Christianists), and if the liberals hold true to form and stay away from the polls in protest or because it's raining or cold or inconvenient, McCain could eke out a victory.

Think: Election 2000.


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