Friday, November 30, 2007

Is Obama a Jihadist Vegetarian?

Will he take the oath of office on a slab of damp tofu? So asks cartoonist Tom Toles in response to the absurd rumor-mongering in the once proud Washington Post:
The Washington Post earlier this week ran a ridiculous story on the rumor that Barack Obama is secretly Muslim, without bothering to come out and say that he is in fact Christian. In the third paragraph, reporter Parry Bacon, Jr. does mention Obama's denial of the rumors:
Despite his denials, rumors and e-mails circulating on the Internet continue to allege...
It is not until paragraph 12 that he mentions the denial again:
Obama aides sharply disputed the initial stories suggesting that he was a Muslim, and in Iowa, the campaign keeps a letter at its offices, signed by five members of the local clergy, vouching for the candidate's Christian faith.
Nowhere in the article, featured on page A1, does Bacon point out that there is no factual foundation to the rumors.
Would it have been so difficult to report that the rumors are simply wrong? Would it have been so difficult to say that the word rumors is simply a euphemism for lies?
Obama recounts how he became a committed Christian in his memoirs. He has attended the same church, Trinity United Church of Christ, for most of his adult life. It seems to me that if a person attends church week after week, year after year, the question ought to be settled. Obama should no more have to deny he's a Muslim than Mitt Romney should have to deny he's a Rastafarian.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Romey's a Rastafarian? Wow. What a clever ruse. Hiding behind his supposed Mormonism! That clever guy will say anything to get elected. ;)

9:33 AM, December 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew it! Romney's a rastafarian. I can't wait to tell my friends.

5:16 PM, December 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is clear that Obama purposefully wants to preserve ambiguity about his religious preferences. If he wanted to clearly indicate that he is a Christian, he would have adopted a *CHRISTIAN* name instead of the overtly *MUSLIM* "Barack Hussein". There is a long biblically sanctioned tradition of heathens changing their names upon becoming followers of Christ (particularly if their original names are offensive), for example Simon->Peter, Saul->Paul. So there is a lot of legitimacy in questioning Obama's religious proclivities.

10:58 PM, December 01, 2007  
Anonymous LiberalGeek said...

anon #3,

Are you out of your mind? These days people don't even change their name when they get married. Furthermore, let's supposed that he changed his name to a good "Christian" name (whatever that is) like Andrew Jones. Wouldn't you be posting something like:

He changed his name to Andrew Jones because he was trying to hide the fact that he's a Muslim. He obviously can't be trusted...

You are a mean-spirited bigot. Senator Obama doesn't owe anyone an apology for the name that his Mother and Father gave to him.

Granted, if my name happened to be Goerge W Bush, I would change it because of the offense that it would give to everyone around me.

In closing, who died and made you the judge of a "Christian" name? Certainly not Jesus.

10:26 PM, December 02, 2007  
Blogger Steve Newton said...

It is equally clear that this particular anonymous is neither a Christian, nor does he or she know much about the Christian faith.

Anon--you'll note I sign my name to my comments; this is precisely the cowardly kind of rant that was discussed a few weeks back in DWA.

10:35 PM, December 02, 2007  
Anonymous kavips said...

Steve if you remember, that thread ended with the convincing argument that being anonymous had a distinct role to play in American politics....often contrary opinions can only be expressed in such a fashion.

Placing your name behind a comment is a courageous decision, and should be applauded. However, one most certainly ascertain, particularly from a backwards glance at both history and politics, that the changes most effective to establishing ourselves today, came not from the bravery of foot soldiers, but from accurate and in depth intelligence....

Although the Revolutionary Soldiers did their part, it was accurate intelligence from Washington's system of spies, that often kept the Revolutionary army from falling into the myriads of traps laid out by the English opposition......

Standing behind one's name, so all know who your are, is rather bad for gathering intelligence don't you think?

And not to undercut my own argument, www.blogger makes it exceedingly hard on new timers to comment, unless they choose the anonymous function.

Update: And now they have messed it up for old timers as well..

11:10 AM, December 03, 2007  
Blogger TommyWonk said...

However strenuously I might disagree, I would not wish to attribute motivation to any commenter, anonymous or otherwise.

11:56 AM, December 03, 2007  
Blogger Steve Newton said...

kavips,
I appreciate your take, but I don't agree. There is a role for anonymous commentators or people who take consistent internet handles, but those roles have to do with intellectual arguments or potential damage from whistle-blowing, not to make an inane, inaccurate, and malicious comment that judges a man's worth and values based on someone else's "failure" to change his name.

It is a sad commentary when you suggest it is "courageous" to operate under one's own name.

It used to be considered standad procedure.

7:45 PM, December 03, 2007  
Anonymous kavips said...

Interesting points. But if you do not allow anonymous opinions to be expressed against one, how does one know where one stands? Very few, Donviti being the exception, are willing to say what they think, flat out and directly. Most, and a casual look around the internet shows it is true, post watered down versions of what they think...Many (and they are the majority) say nothing at all...

One must wonder. Why do they say nothing at all? Is it because no thought flows through their heads? That could be a correct assumption (after a night of drinking liberally). More than likely it is because they do not wish to go on record with what they are really thinking, (especially after drinking liberally....)

The anonymous option provides an outlet for something that must be said, so that society can hear, which can not be said otherwise.

Now assume someone whose initials are RJ calls me something synonymous with a "buffoon" and does it anonymously. It's out there and it stays...It is a personal attack and has little to do with any topic under discussion.

Now if this were done in private, perhaps there would be a need to rectify the situation. Perhaps there would be a need to make a stand....But the internet is the direct opposite of private. I would hope that were that to happen, that someone would come to my defense and support my right to say what I had just said...On the other hand, if no one came to my defense,(perhaps because I made a slur against a minority) then I would have to be concerned that perhaps that accusation was partly true.

Had the internet existed in the Old South and had slaves access to it, the Jim Crow Laws could not have stood up as long as they did. Instead, all blacks were forbidden to discuss their plight; any one who tried to reach out was quickly found out and whipped into submission or killed to teach a lesson.

I disagree, based on my historical knowledge which is rather limited, that people stood by their names in the past...Perhaps we have studied different pasts, but my impression was that all influential people during the 18th Century lived double lives....Ones they had in private, and ones they had in public discourse....Those times when anonymous opinions were respected, were the very crucibles that formed new ideas that were then able to circumvent the powerful's natural tendency to suppress thoughts that challenged them, and rise to become the main current of thought....

Hopefully today is the same...As long as anonymous people are allowed to say "whatever", most of it inane and stupid, they prove to all that they are nothing but inane and stupid."

I feel that perhaps we have, by becoming oversensitive to the needs of minorities, with what we should say and shouldn't say, become a nation of weaselly wussies. No one lives in a vacuum. Perhaps the Brits do it best....if someone says some nonsense in their Parliament, they shout them down......

The motive for trying to shut down the capacity to give one's comments anonymously, can only be to protect those who consider themselves to be the elite. They want to control their reputations. They want their respect. Americans have never respected authority solely for authority's sake (thank heavens), and I believe that is why this country has found itself as the one superpower in charge of the whole world....

If Americans think it, they do it.

10:57 PM, December 03, 2007  

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