Almost three years ago, when I started this blog, I shared that I am one of that unusual breed that is a born again Christian, believing in the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and a card carrying democrat--I Am a Paradox. For many people this is an irresolvable contradiction. But… for me, it is immensely logical and understandable. There is a book, Is Jesus a Republican or a Democrat by Tony Campolo, which speaks to the problem of seeing human and social issues through the medium of political labels. It is a good book and should be read for its perspective and open-mindedness.
So—why this entry, now? Because I am upset about the bigotry, ugliness, lies, deliberate preying on fear and hate that is swirling around Senator Barack Obama. I am not promoting Obama; I am promoting fairness, ethics and honest debate. Our leaders must be elected on the basis of issues—not deceit and appeal to baseness.
This week I received an e-mail from a dear friend of mine whom I love. Politically we are on different pages in different books except for the one book we both try to live by, God’s word.
I had read that there were scurrilous e-mails circulating with deliberate, malicious lies about the senator, preying on the paranoia and legitimate fears that have become post 9/11 life. Until I received a copy of one, I had not realized how evilly hateful they are, how widespread they are or how believed they are by good people victimized by trust in right-wing demagogues who delight in exerting influence via twisted or non-existent truth.
What frightens me is that the lies are so easily disproven and seen for what they are with easy research—thanks to Google, Yahoo or whatever. Is Obama a Muslim or a Christian? This is such an easily answered question. Here, in a search that took two minutes, are his clearly stated beliefs in an interview in Christianity Today.
Does he refuse to salute the flag? Rush says so. Ann says so. Was he raised a Muslim? Is he a closet Muslim? What do he and the facts say?
I am worried that people so readily accept the demagoguery of men and women operating from agendas meant to prey on fear and which fly in the face of democracy--a form of government where decisions are to be made on substance, philosophical disagreements, issues, opposing understandings as to how to achieve a common vision and other legitimate factors.
I am upset that my friends will not enter into a dialogue about these things, that they will not research or consider information that is shared with them. I am upset that they question my faith because I vote differently than they do.