Liberal Grace

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

People who criticize Obama must not be faithful church goers.

Most Christians totally understand how Obama can disagree with his pastor but still love him.

Nearly every faithful Christian knows what it's like to love a pastor, be devoted to a church but then cringe during the sermon.

I've sat in pews and been told that George Bush is God's will for America! Yet, I love that person as a fellow Christian and it would never occur to me to denounce them.

But, ironically, many in the Religious Right are not faithful church goers.

Sure, they go to church but they aren't faithful. They stay until the pastor says something they don't like, then they march out in a huff and join (or start) another church... but not faithfully.

In my own hometown, we had a family who were highly conservative ... real pioneers of the political the Religious Right. They were high profile Christian and even ran for office but they couldn't stay in one church.

My own church was very conservative and the pastor made it no secret that he thought all Christians should vote Republican. But then he had nerve to say that Christians had an obligation to forgive Bill Clinton if he asked for it. (Matthew 6:12 and all).

That man left our church in a steaming huff because the pastor preached forgiveness!

Here's another irony: I still love that right winger.

I certainly disagree with him. I don't like him at times. But he's part of my spiritual family and I'd welcome him back to church, anytime.

That's the Christian sentiment I heard in Obama's speech today. I get it. I think most Christian's get it. Just not some conservative Christians.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I wore a sombrero once in Tijuana -- am I a Mexican?

The photo of Obama in a turban plays to Americans most un-American urges.

In my photos albums, somewhere, there are photos of me dressed like an Afghan, a Mexican, an Egyptian, a Japanese, an Indian and goodness-knows-what. Am I somehow all those things? That's just a foolish notion.

It's good to dress like a local.* It's a gesture of friendship.

So why would anyone think a photo of Barak Obama dressing like a local could hurt him politically?

Because so many Americans are xenophobes.

And, sadly, this will be the strategy that John McCain and the conservatives will use against Obama in the fall -- that's he's a vaguely suspicious brown guy with a Muslim middle name.

I was listening to some right winger radio guy who got a call something like, "I'm a Democrat but I won't vote for Obama. I don't know... there is just something I don't understand about him."

This is exactly the strategy McCain is going to use against Obama ... exploiting Americans' worst impulses. An impulse -- I might add -- that is un-American. I strongly believe that we good Americans need to call-out and condemn this xenophobic strategy every time it's used against Obama.

I condemn it even if Hillary Clinton used it against Obama -- at last that's what the Obama people counter-charged. external link According to Drudge, a Clinton staffer passed it to them. I, for one, never believe what Matt Drudge says. Propagandists lie as their profession.

I certainly condemn Matt Drudge for playing the un-American xenophobia card againt Obama and I condemn any Clinton staff member if they passed it on to him.

By the way, when I first saw the picture of Obama, it didn't strike me as uniquely Muslim. It struck me as local. Is it? I have Googled without any success.

The photos of Hillary in head scarf, in contrast, is Muslim specific. (Not that this is a bad thing. All the Christian women I know routinely wear them in strict Muslim countries.) Head scarves are clearly a religious symbol and often political statement in the Muslim world.

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* If they invite you to. Tourists often make the mistake of dressing like a local un-invited and this can come across as mockery.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

2008 - the end of southern racists polluting our democracy

I'm supporting Obama for the message it sends to southern white racists: YOU'RE DONE

I supported John Edwards for what he was saying. His issues were my issues.

Now I'm supporting Obama for what his election will say to America: the era of southern white racists is over.

The southern racists dominated the Democratic party for way too many decades until they became Republicans during the Reagan era. As a Democrat I said good riddance to them back then and as a proud American I say good riddance to them now... assuming that we get our first black president in spite of their hate politics.

I've heard many pragmatic Democrats express fear that a black Democrat candidate means a big fight for the south. I, myself, am spoiling for that fight and I think we can win it this year.

By the way, I'm not voting for Obama just because he's black. I agree with his positions and I believe he'll make a fantastic president.

But I do think electing a black man will be a great step in finally healing America of our original sin.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bush Administration lie #936 and counting

Bookmark this page -- Fox News is going to act like this story never happened.

Study: False statements preceded war
By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."

The study was posted Tuesday on the Web site of the Center for Public Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism.
What is the reaction of the Whitehouse? TO JUST KEEP LYING!

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel did not comment on the merits of the study Tuesday night but reiterated the administration's position that the world community viewed Iraq's leader, Saddam Hussein, as a threat.

"The actions taken in 2003 were based on the collective judgment of intelligence agencies around the world," Stanzel said.
This is lie 936 from this administration.

We all now know that there was good intelligence which contradicted Bush & Co.'s claims. The Bush administration cherry picked the intelligence but continues the lie that there was "collective judgment" agreeing with them.

The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.

"It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al-Qaida," according to Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith of the Fund for Independence in Journalism staff members, writing an overview of the study. "In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003."

Named in the study along with Bush were top officials of the administration during the period studied: Vice President Dick Cheney, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan.

Bush led with 259 false statements, 231 about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 28 about Iraq's links to al-Qaida, the study found. That was second only to Powell's 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq and al-Qaida.

The center said the study was based on a database created with public statements over the two years beginning on Sept. 11, 2001, and information from more than 25 government reports, books, articles, speeches and interviews.

"The cumulative effect of these false statements — amplified by thousands of news stories and broadcasts — was massive, with the media coverage creating an almost impenetrable din for several critical months in the run-up to war," the study concluded.

"Some journalists — indeed, even some entire news organizations — have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical. These mea culpas notwithstanding, much of the wall-to-wall media coverage provided additional, 'independent' validation of the Bush administration's false statements about Iraq," it said.
Bookmark or save this story: "Study: False statements preceded war" because the Bush Administration and their news agency, Fox News, will pretend like it never happened.

When the rare words "Bush lied" is dared uttered by a guest on Fox, the host will act outraged, hurt and indignant, claiming that liberals just hate George Bush. But Bush & Co. didn't just lie -- they lied shamelessly and they lied often.

In my opinion, they lied to the point of treason and beyond.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Do Conservative Christians Believe in Redemption?

The "Obama is a Muslim" email reveals a cynicism about the redemptive power of God among evangelicals.

Like many politicians, Obama seems to have held back from the ugly Swiftboating he's received about supposedly being a Muslim probably for fear of legitimizing it.

This charge is zig zagging from one Christian's in-box to another by the gazillions. Perhaps you received the email yourself:

If you do not ever forward anything else, please forward this to all your contacts...this is very scary to think of what lies ahead of us here in our own United States...better heed this and pray about it and share it.

Who is Barack Obama?

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 background. ALSO, keep in mind that when he was sworn into office he DID NOT use the Holy Bible, but instead the Koran.

Barack Hussein Obama will NOT recite the Pledge of Allegiance nor will he show any reverence for our flag. While others place their hands over their hearts, Obama turns his back to the flag and slouches.

Let us all remain alert concerning Obama's expected presidential candidacy.

The Muslims have said they plan on destroying the US from the inside out, what better way to start than at the highest level - through the President of the United States , one of their own!!!!
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[I've shortened it. Click on the link to read the whole odious thing.]

Finally this last week, Barak has started to speak out directly against the charge:
At a rally to kick off a weeklong campaign for the South Carolina primary, Obama tried to set the record straight from an attack circulating widely on the Internet that is designed to play into prejudices against Muslims and fears of terrorism.

"I've been to the same church _ the same Christian church _ for almost 20 years," Obama said, stressing the word Christian and drawing cheers from the faithful in reply. "I was sworn in with my hand on the family Bible. Whenever I'm in the United States Senate, I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. So if you get some silly e-mail ... send it back to whoever sent it and tell them this is all crazy. Educate."
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This email shows once again that conservative Christians will gleefully and glibly break the ninth commandment for cheap political gain.

This particular campaign of lies also reveals just how much conservative Christians don't believe in redemption.

Let's say the premise of the email is true (although it is not): Obama was raised as a Muslim.

Shouldn't Evangelical Christians be REJOICING that he has accepted the Lord and is now a Christian?

But no! Instead, they believe that any claim of salvation must be false and that the grip of Islam must be more powerful than the saving power of Jesus Christ.

It is tragic how the heretical politics of Jerry Falwell and the Religious Right have ruined the most sacred belief of the Evangelical church -- that Jesus could save anybody.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Huckabees second heresy

Besides changing the US constitution, Huckabee also wants to change the bible.

I was raised as a fundamentalist Christian and we railed against heretics. It was our main complaint about liberal Christians... that they did not adhere to the whole word of God.

I was taught that it is heresy to either add or remove from biblical teaching. I couldn't help but think about that this week when Huckabee said he wanted to re-write the US constitution to adhere to the bible:

"I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God. And thats what we need to do is amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than trying to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family."
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Holy smokes! Isn't rewriting the constitution to fit the bible a heresy of American values? Of course, lots of people pointed this out.

But less mentioned is Huckabee's second heresy -- and that's reduction of the bible. As I was taught so carefully in my fundamentalist church -- it is heresy to reduce biblical teaching.

Colmes: When you make statements like that, changing the Constitution in keeping with your God.

Huckabee: On two things. The context is two things. Human life amendment, which I support and which has been in the Republican platform since 1980. And by the way, Fred Thompson doesn’t support it, nor does John McCain. And yet it’s part of our platform and it’s a very important part of our platform to say that human life is something we’re going to stand for. And the second thing is traditional marriage. So those are the two areas in which I’m talking about. I’m not suggesting that we re-write the constitution to reflect tithing or Sunday school attendance. I want to make that very clear.
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But why not tithing? The bible is very clear about tithing ... certainly much more clear than it is about abortion! Who is Huckabee to add abortion but remove tithing from the bible?

Isn't it heresy for Huckabee to reduce biblical teaching down to just two items? Conservative Christians use to claim so.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Huckabee and Romney's lying problem.

If conservatives are so confident, why lie?

Al Gore never said he invented the Internet. Yet the GOP hammered him for his supposed "truth problem." The irony, of course, is that countless conservatives lied to accuse Gore of lying.

Previously I pointed out Romney's fibbing about who Jesus Christ is to the Mormons. Mormons believe that Jesus is a son of a god... not the Son of God as orthodox Christians traditionally believe. external link

As a liberal Christian, I respect Mormons and defend their right to believe whatever they want about Jesus Christ. However, I expect them to be honest and open about their beliefs.

But Romney's "truth problem" seems to go beyond his faith.

Romney told that nation he saw his dad march with Martin Luther King.

Mitt Romney forced to backpedal over Martin Luther King claim Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney

Politicians hate the word lie. When caught dissembling, they will concede that they misspoke, or misremembered, or even that they were economical with the truth.

Now the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has added another delicious entry to the lexicon of political euphemisms for the blatant fib.

When he said that as a boy he "saw" his father march with the civil rights leader Martin Luther King – a claim debunked yesterday – Mr Romney now says he used the word "saw" in a "figurative sense".

Continuing his clarification, Mr Romney said: "If you look at the literature, if you look at the dictionary, the term 'saw' includes 'being aware of' in the sense I've described. I did not see it with my own eyes, but I saw him in the sense of being aware of his participation in that great [civil rights] effort."
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OK, this is very Clintonesque of Romney, "That depends on the definition of what "saw" was.

To further Romney's "truth problem" is that George Romney never marched with MLK, no mater how you torture the English language. external link

Huckabee also clearly has a "truth problem" in that there is no way he never noticed the cross in his commercial. I've done some video professionally -- fast and cheap.

Even at my amateurish level, there is absolutely no way -- not possible at all -- that a big, prominent floating cross in a frame would be missed in one of my videos.

In the very remote chance that it was missed in the original framing of the scene, it would have been noticed during the shoot. In the extremely unlikely case that it was missed in the shoot, it would have been noticed and pointed out during editing where every frame is reviewed again and again and again.

In very very, highly, extremely improbable chance that the gigantic cross was missed in the editing, it would have been noticed in the focus group and executive pre-screening of the video.

In other words: Hucakbee is lying.

Not good for a minister running as a Christian.