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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Faith My Voice PSA

YouTube - My Faith My Voice PSA

We've Seen This Movie Before - NYTimes.com

We've Seen This Movie Before - NYTimes.com
We’ve Seen This Movie Before
By STANLEY FISH
Stanley Fish on education, law and society.
In the first column I ever wrote for this newspaper (“How the Right Hijacked the Magic Words”), I analyzed the shift in the rhetoric surrounding the Oklahoma City bombing once it became clear that the perpetrator was Timothy McVeigh, who at one point acknowledged that “The Turner Diaries,” a racist anti-government tract popular in Christian Identity circles, was his bible.
Associated Press An evidence photo of Timothy McVeigh taken April 19, 1995, just hours after the Oklahoma City bombing.
In the brief period between the bombing and the emergence of McVeigh, speculation had centered on Arab terrorists and the culture of violence that was said to be woven into the fabric of the religion of Islam.
But when it turned out that a white guy (with the help of a few of his friends) had done it, talk of “culture” suddenly ceased and was replaced by the vocabulary and mantras of individualism: each of us is a single, free agent; blaming something called “culture” was just a way of off-loading responsibility for the deeds we commit; in America, individuals, not groups, act; and individuals, not groups, should be held accountable. McVeigh may have looked like a whole lot of other guys who dressed up in camouflage and carried guns and marched in the woods, but, we were told by the same people who had been mouthing off about Islam earlier, he was just a lone nut, a kook, and generalizations about some “militia” culture alive and flourishing in the heartland were entirely unwarranted.
This switch from “malign culture” talk to “individual choice” talk was instantaneous and no one felt obliged to explain it. Now, in 2010, it’s happening again around the intersection of what the right wing calls the “Ground Zero mosque” (a geographical exaggeration if there ever is one) and the attack last week on a Muslim cab driver by (it is alleged) 21-year-old knife-wielding Michael Enright.
First the mosque. It is wrong, we hear, to regard the proposed mosque or community center as an ordinary exercise of free enterprise and freedom of religion by the private owners of a piece of property. It is, rather, a thumb in the eye or a slap in the face of the 9/11 victims and their families, a potential clearinghouse for international terrorist activities, a “victory mosque” memorializing a great triumph of jihad and a monument to the religion in whose name and by whose adherents the dreadful deed was done.
But according to the same folks who oppose the mosque because of what it stands for, Michael Enright’s act doesn’t stand for anything and is certainly not the product of what Time magazine calls a growing “American strain of Islamophobia.” Instead, The New York Post declares, the stabbing is “the act of a disturbed individual who is now in custody,” and across the fold of the page columnist Jonah Goldberg says that “one assault doesn’t a national trend make” and insists that “we shouldn’t let anyone suggest that this criminal reflects anybody but himself.”
The formula is simple and foolproof (although those who deploy it so facilely seem to think we are all fools): If the bad act is committed by a member of a group you wish to demonize, attribute it to a community or a religion and not to the individual. But if the bad act is committed by someone whose profile, interests and agendas are uncomfortably close to your own, detach the malefactor from everything that is going on or is in the air (he came from nowhere) and characterize him as a one-off, non-generalizable, sui generis phenomenon.
The only thing more breathtaking than the effrontery of the move is the ease with which so many fall in with it. I guess it’s because both those who perform it and those who eagerly consume it save themselves the trouble of serious thought.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Drowning out the hate hustlers: Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck cannot steal America's soul

Drowning out the hate hustlers: Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck cannot steal America's soul

Now that irresponsible opportunists have brought many of the misled to Washington, we can begin to contemplate what makes bigotry so appealing. Surely, being able to exclude is one of the great joys of the species because it can give a grand identity to the average person.
That identity as one of the elect made the red glow in Southern white necks. They felt part of a civilization in which they were looked down upon until they put on their costumes, screamed loudly at mob gatherings and committed acts of violence.
While bigotry is as American as apple pie, its shelf life is now rather short. The easily dismissed lies that Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich have used to fire up the true believers will not work. After race-baiting as clearly as they could on the issue of a proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero, all of them have attempted to "clarify" what they actually meant.
The reason that opportunists from the right have had to tread carefully is that nobody today desires to be called a racist. And so they've reframed their Islamophobia as an issue of constitutional rights. This is a variation on the purportedly genteel Southern racists who claimed that the real issue during the civil rights movement was not ethnic exclusion, but the rights of states.
That was a ball of dung big enough to play soccer with. It was Ron Paul who surprised everyone on the left with an actual understanding of the Constitution - and support for the Islamic center. American politics is not about whether someone likes the rights that document ensures. Liking has nothing to do with the basic laws of our social contract.
To live and let live under the rule of law underlies our national identity, as Paul pointed out in a statement that sunk many Republicans in a pool of wack.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

For Obama, Steep Learning Curve as Chief in Time of War - NYTimes.com

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...Image via WikipediaFor Obama, Steep Learning Curve as Chief in Time of War - NYTimes.com
WASHINGTON — President Obama rushed to the Oval Office when word arrived one night that militants with Al Qaeda in Yemen had been located and that the military wanted to support an attack by Yemeni forces. After a quick discussion, his counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, told him the window to strike was closing.
“I’ve got two minutes here,” Mr. Brennan said.
“O.K.,” the president said. “Go with this.”
While Mr. Obama took three sometimes maddening months to decide to send more forces to Afghanistan, other decisions as commander in chief have come with dizzying speed, far less study and little public attention.
He is the first president in four decades with a shooting war already raging the day he took office — two, in fact, plus subsidiaries — and his education as a commander in chief with no experience in uniform has been a steep learning curve. He has learned how to salute. He has surfed the Internet at night to look into the toll on troops. He has faced young soldiers maimed after carrying out his orders. And he is trying to manage a tense relationship with the military.
Along the way, he has confronted some of the biggest choices a president can make, often deferring to military advisers yet trying to shape the decisions with his own judgments — too much at times for the Pentagon, too little in the view of his liberal base. His evolution from antiwar candidate to leader of the world’s most powerful military will reach a milestone on Tuesday when he delivers an Oval Office address to formally end the combat mission in Iraq while defending his troop buildup in Afghanistan.
A year and a half into his presidency, Mr. Obama appears to be a reluctant warrior. Even as he draws down troops in Iraq, he has been abundantly willing to use force to advance national interests, tripling forces in Afghanistan, authorizing secret operations in Yemen and Somalia, and escalating drone strikes in Pakistan. But advisers said he did not see himself as a war president in the way his predecessor did. His speech on Tuesday is notable because he talks in public about the wars only sporadically, determined not to let them define his presidency.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Jim Wallis: Martin Luther King, Jr. Was a Social Justice Christian

Martin Luther King, Jr.Image via WikipediaJim Wallis: Martin Luther King, Jr. Was a Social Justice Christian
This coming Saturday, Aug. 28, will mark the 47th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream Speech." Glenn Beck has chosen this day to deliver his own speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
On that same morning I will be speaking at the dedication ceremony of a work of public art that commemorates the words and legacy of King. It is not a protest. Rather, it is an opportunity to reflect on what this great American had to say and is still saying to our country today. Whenever we take the time to collectively consider what that dream was, we all benefit.
My picture has graced the Glenn Beck blackboard a number of times over the past year. I am quite sure that if the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive today, he would have been on Glenn Beck's blackboard long before I would have ever been considered. That is because Martin Luther King Jr. was clearly a Social Justice Christian -- the term and people that Beck constantly derides. If the Christians of King's era had listened to Beck, they would have been forced to walk out on King's "I Have a Dream" speech. If they were to heed his advice to turn in social justice pastors to the church authorities, they all would have had to turn in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
On December 18, 1963, at Western Michigan University, King gave a speech whose topic was "social justice and the emerging new age." If Beck had been there, I don't doubt that he would have gotten up and walked out as he has told his viewers to do if they hear "social justice" from their pastors. It might be foolish, but I hope that as Beck prepares for his rally on Saturday, he takes the time to read this speech and think about what it says. In it King explained why for justice to be just it can not only be individual, but must also be social:
All I'm saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated, that somehow we're caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.

The John H. Armwood News Podcast For The Week Ending Friday august 27, 2010

This podcast is for the week ending Friday August 27, 2010.  The Archive of my previous News Podcasts is found here


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Through Islamic Center Debate, World Sees U.S. - NYTimes.com

Through Islamic Center Debate, World Sees U.S. - NYTimes.com
For more than two decades, Abdelhamid Shaari has been lobbying a succession of governments in Milan for permission to build a mosque for his congregants — any mosque at all, in any location.
For now, he leads Friday Prayer in a stadium normally used for rock concerts. When sites were proposed for mosques in Padua and Bologna, Italy, a few years ago, opponents from the anti-immigrant Northern League paraded pigs around them. The projects were canceled.
In that light, the furor over the precise location of Park51, the proposed Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan, looks to Mr. Shaari like something to aspire to. “At least in America,” Mr. Shaari said, “there’s a debate.”
Across the world, the bruising struggle over an Islamic center near ground zero has elicited some unexpected reactions.
For many in Europe, where much more bitter struggles have taken place over bans on facial veils in France and minarets in Switzerland, America’s fight over Park51 seems small fry, essentially a zoning spat in a culture war.
But others, especially in countries with nothing similar to the constitutional separation of church and state, find it puzzling that there is any controversy at all. In most Muslim nations, the state not only determines where mosques are built, but what the clerics inside can say.
The one constant expressed, regardless of geography, is that even though many in the United States have framed the future of the community center as a pivotal referendum on the core issues of religion, tolerance and free speech, those outside its borders see the debate as a confirmation of their pre-existing feelings about the country, whether good or bad.
“America hates Islam,” said Mohaimen Jabar, the owner of a clothes shop in Baghdad, Iraq.
“If America loved us, it would help the Palestinians and stop the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,” he said. “It would stop Iran and Israel from distorting the image of Islam.”
Interestingly, leaders in Iran, Afghanistan and even occasionally prickly rivals like China and Russia — both of which have their own tensions in some of their heavily Muslim regions — have refrained from making much of the Park51 debate.
China’s state-run news media has used the story to elaborate on the need for a secular state strong enough to police extremism, a matter near and dear to its own ideology.
American diplomats are selling the controversy as Exhibit A in the case for America as a bastion of free debate and religious tolerance.
But “the harmonious image of the melting pot, of the ability to integrate all immigrant ethnicities is tottering dangerously,” Federico Rampini wrote in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
That was echoed by Pierre Rousselin, a French columnist writing in Le Figaro: “America is discovering that its Constitution and liberal principles don’t protect her from the debates that the practice of Islam stirs up in our countries.”
In Thailand, which has contended with its own Islamic insurgency, an editorial in The Nation worried aloud that America’s handling of the cultural center would affect relations worldwide between Muslims and non-Muslims. “If the era of former President George W. Bush tells us anything, it is that how the U.S. deals with the Muslim world affects us all,” the editorial said.
Far more common, however, was a sort of shrug of the shoulders from clerics and observers accustomed to far more unpleasant debates. While extremists have presented the controversy as proof of American hostility toward Islam, some religious leaders have taken quite a different stance, arguing against placing the center close to ground zero.
Dalil Boubakeur, head of the Grande Mosquée of Paris and one of the most senior Islamic clerics in France, told France-Soir: “There are symbolic places that awaken memories whether you mean to or not. And it isn’t good to awaken memories.”
A senior cleric at Egypt’s Al Azhar, the closest equivalent in the Sunni Islamic world to the Vatican, said that building at the proposed location sounded like bad judgment on the part of American Muslims.
“It will create a permanent link between Islam and 9/11,” said Abdel Moety Bayoumi, a member of the Islamic Research Institute at Al Azhar. “Why should we put ourselves and Islam in a position of blame?”
That is not to say that the language in the United States has not agitated some observers, like Aziz Tarek, who wrote on the Saudi Web site Watan that America was in the grip of “intolerance and racism.”
He referred to Newt Gingrich’s widely reported statement that there should not be a new mosque in Lower Manhattan until Saudi Arabia allows construction of churches or synagogues.
“How can they compare building a mosque in N.Y. with building whatever in Mecca?” Mr. Tarek wrote. “I thought they viewed themselves better than that country of Saudi Arabia with its many human rights violations, as they love to put it.”
One Cambridge University researcher, writing in the Palestinian daily Al Ayyam, said Muslims could win their case for a center near ground zero in a court of law, only to end up losing in the court of public opinion.
“Provoking the other side will eventually create public opinion that will undermine the very laws that the Muslims evoke today,” wrote the researcher, Khaled al-Haroub, adding that many Muslim states do not tolerate Christian or Jewish houses of worship: “We keep increasing our religious demands vis-à-vis the West, while refusing to meet even a few of the demands made by religious minorities living among us.”
Paradoxically, the public reaction has not been heated in Lebanon, a country with 18 recognized religious sects where Muslims and Christians have a long history of occasionally violent coexistence.
If the mosque were built, many Lebanese commentators said, it would increase the influence of the ideal of the secular state. Many Lebanese, however, seemed more interested that Miss U.S.A., Rima Fakih, a Lebanese-American, had suggested that Park51 seek another location, than in the debate itself.
“Let’s be honest, it is kind of weird to build it there,” said Samer Ghandour, 33. “But the U.S. is also incredibly polarized and does not tolerate Islam.”
Mahmoud Haddad, a history professor at the University of Balamand in Lebanon, said that “the Muslim community should take the high moral and political ground” and agree to move the center, even though it has every right to build near ground zero.
“They should show they are more concerned about the general good of all Americans,” said Mr. Haddad, who studied and taught in the United States for two decades. “American society refuses to accept Muslims, even of the Westernized type, and consider them as a potential risk at best.”
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the project leader, has been speaking about his Cordoba Initiative on a two-week tour of the Persian Gulf sponsored by the State Department, although he has gingerly avoided discussing the Park51 location.
“What’s happening in America is very healthy,” said Muhammad Al-Zekri, a Bahraini anthropologist, after spending an evening with the imam.
The United States, he said, was still assimilating historical influences, including Islam, into its inaccurate self-image as a solely Judeo-Christian nation. The construction of Park51, Mr. Zekri believes, will help shape that.
“We pray for the people of New York, for peace,” Mr. Zekri said solemnly. “And if it matters, we apologize for what those people have done on 9/11.”
Thanassis Cambanis reported from Bahrain. Reporting was contributed by Anthony Shadid from Baghdad, Maïa de la Baume from Paris, Ethan Bronner from Jerusalem, Nada Bakri from Lebanon, Elisabetta Povoledo from Rome, Mona El-Naggar from Cairo and Thomas Fuller from Thailand. Li Bibo contributed research from Beijing.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mayor Bloomberg of NYC, A Real Patriot Speaks Out

Political Leaders’ Rift Grows on Muslim Center - NYTimes.com

Political Leaders’ Rift Grows on Muslim Center - NYTimes.com
Even as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg firmly rejected calls for the relocation of a planned Muslim community center and mosque near ground zero, signs of growing division emerged on Tuesday within the political establishment in Manhattan, as the powerful speaker of the State Assembly expressed forceful opposition to the plan.
Breaking his silence on the issue, the speaker, Sheldon Silver, a Democrat whose district includes ground zero, said the organizers’ honorable goal of healing post-Sept. 11 wounds and building bridges among faiths had instead provoked bitter fighting and raw emotions that could not be ignored.
“I think the sponsors,” Mr. Silver said at City Hall, “should take into very serious consideration the kind of turmoil that’s been created and look to compromise.”
Such a compromise, he added, would mean finding “a suitable place that doesn’t create the kind of controversy” engendered by the Park51 plan.
The opposition from Mr. Silver, a religious Jew who commands considerable influence in the city’s Democratic political world, is largely symbolic, because the city has already given its approval. But it fueled creeping doubts about the viability of the center, which faces a raft of obstacles, like paltry fund-raising, on top of the public outcry.
Mr. Silver’s remarks came on the same day that Mr. Bloomberg, the center’s most visible supporter, delivered a carefully prepared answer to the emerging voices calling for a compromise.
Speaking at a traditional dinner at Gracie Mansion as part of Ramadan, the mayor sought to tamp down the opposition and regain control over a national debate that has escalated by the day, starting as a local zoning dispute and becoming a referendum on the limits of religious tolerance in an age of terrorism.
Mr. Bloomberg, flanked by the center’s developer and the wife of its imam, said he understood the impulse to find a different location, in the hope of ending the controversy.
“But it won’t,” the mayor said. “The question will then become, ‘How big should the ‘no-mosque zone’ around the World Trade Center be?’ ”
He added: “There is already a mosque four blocks away. Should it, too, be moved? This is a test of our commitment to American values. We must have the courage of our convictions. We must do what is right, not what is easy.”
It was Mr. Bloomberg’s second major speech in three weeks supporting the plan, and its soaring tone and forceful arguments suggested that he had firmly embraced his role as a national defender of the plan for the center, even as high-profile voices have called for a re-examination of the wisdom of the current site.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Real Americans, Please Stand Up - Opinionator Blog - NYTimes.com

Real Americans, Please Stand Up - Opinionator Blog - NYTimes.com
By DICK CAVETT
Dick Cavett on his career in television.
All this talk about the mosque reminds me of two things I heard growing up in Nebraska.
I had a 6th grade teacher who referred to American Indians as “sneaky redskins” and our enemies in the Pacific as “dirty Japs.” This abated somewhat after I asked one day in class, “Mrs. G., do you think our parents would like to know that you teach race prejudice?” She faded three shades.
The rest of that year was difficult.
As a war kid, I also heard an uncle of mine endorse a sentiment attributed to our Admiral “Bull” Halsey: “If I met a pregnant Japanese woman, I’d kick her in the belly.”
These are not proud moments in my heritage. But now, I’m genuinely ashamed of us. How sad this whole mosque business is. It doesn’t take much, it seems, to lift the lid and let our home-grown racism and bigotry overflow. We have collectively taken a pratfall on a moral whoopee cushion.
Surely, few of the opponents of the Islamic cultural center would feel comfortable at the “International Burn a Koran Day” planned by a southern church-supported group (on a newscast, I think I might have even glimpsed a banner reading, “Bring the Whole Family,” but maybe I was hallucinating). This all must have gone over big on Al Jazeera news.

The Rachel Maddow Show - This anti-Muslim thing is just so bad

The Rachel Maddow Show - This anti-Muslim thing is just so bad

Glenn Greenwald calls this video from Sunday's rally against the planned Islamic community center with a prayer roomin Manhattan -- a.k.a. the Ground Zero Mosque -- a sign of "some extremely ugly stuff that's been unleashed."

And so it is. An African-American man, identified on YouTube as a union carpenter who works at Ground Zero, walks through the crowd and suddenly becomes the symbol of everything Islam. He protests that he's not Muslim and that the people chanting "No mosque here" don't know anything about him. They won't let up. Eventually we get to "He must have voted for Obama" and "Mohamed's a pig."

The man seems to be a target because the mob needs a target, and anyone who looks different from them will suffice.

Bonus for recognizing the man in the suit who escorts the carpenter out of the crowd. Hit the comments, please.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

In New York City Jewish And Moslem Leaders Join Forces In Support Of Mosque


This was the Jewish community that I grew up around and loved in New York City.  They stood up against ignorance and bigotry in an environment where much of it existed.  I thanks God for that wonderful community. So many others in America need to wake up, open their closed bigoted minds and learn from their example.
John H. Armwood

Obama's Personal Faith Leaves Public Wondering : NPR

Obama's Personal Faith Leaves Public Wondering : NPR

A spokesman says the president prays daily, often with others, sometimes in conference calls with spiritual leaders, including one recently aboard Air Force One. He has given speeches where he has spoken of how his faith helps him in his job, and he has spoken explicitly in Christian terms, as he did this year on Easter Sunday at a White House breakfast reflecting on Christ's final moments on the cross.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Is Assange the target of a U.S. smear campaign? – This Just In - CNN.com Blogs

Is Assange the target of a U.S. smear campaign? – This Just In - CNN.com Blogs

[Update 11:30 a.m.] Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange is "no longer wanted" and "is not suspected of rape," Chief Prosecutor Eva Finne said in a statement published by the Swedish prosecutor's website Saturday.

[Original post] Reports of criminal accusations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange brought instant suspicion of a U.S. government-led smear campaign.

Assange, a citizen of Australia, has been accused in Sweden of rape and molestation, or harassment, the Swedish tabloid Expressen reported.




What's Behind A Surge In Anti-Muslim Rhetoric? : NPR

What's Behind A Surge In Anti-Muslim Rhetoric? : NPR
The controversy surrounding the proposed mosque near Ground Zero is the most visible sign of what may be growing anti-Muslim sentiment around the country -- from protests over proposed mosques in California and Tennessee to plans for anti-Islam protests and Quran burnings on Sept. 11. What may be fueling the anti-Muslim rhetoric?

Anti-Islam Protest in U.S. Bolsters Extremists, Experts Say - NYTimes.com

Anti-Islam Protest in U.S. Bolsters Extremists, Experts Say - NYTimes.com
WASHINGTON — Some counterterrorism experts say the anti-Muslim sentiment that has saturated the airwaves and blogs in the debate over plans for an Islamic center near ground zero in Lower Manhattan is playing into the hands of extremists by bolstering their claims that the United States is hostile to Islam.
Opposition to the center by prominent politicians and other public figures in the United States has been covered extensively by the news media in Muslim countries. At a time of concern about radicalization of young Muslims in the West, it risks adding new fuel to Al Qaeda’s claim that Islam is under attack by the West and must be defended with violence, some specialists on Islamic militancy say.
“I know people in this debate don’t intend it, but there are consequences for these kinds of remarks,” said Brian Fishman, who studies terrorism for the New America Foundation here.
He said that Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born cleric hiding in Yemen who has been linked to several terrorist plots, has been arguing for months in Web speeches and in a new Qaeda magazine that American Muslims face a dark future of ever-worsening discrimination and vilification.
“When the rhetoric is so inflammatory that it serves the interests of a jihadi recruiter like Awlaki, politicians need to be called on it,” Mr. Fishman said.

Obama keeping public expressions of religion to a minimum

Obama keeping public expressions of religion to a minimum
As he flew aboard Air Force One to Chicago on his 49th birthday earlier this month, President Obama dialed three Christian pastors to pray with him.
On an airborne conference call, he kidded with the religious leaders about being abandoned by his wife and daughters, who were away on vacation and at camp. As he celebrated his birthday, he was in a reflective mood. He told them he wanted to pray about the year that had passed, what's really important in life and the challenges ahead.
"That was simply something that he wanted to do at his initiative because it was important to him," said Joel Hunter, an evangelical pastor who was on the call and who is part of a small circle of spiritual advisers who frequently talk to Obama by phone.
The prayer session, which was not publicized and which neither the White House nor the ministers sought to bring to light, reflects Obama's decision to keep his public expressions of religious faith to a minimum. Hunter said the president often reaches out to pastors for private spiritual conversation.
More...
___________________________________
I believe the results of the recent Pew institute poll showing a 18 percent of Americans think Obama is a Muslim derives in large part from racial bigotry. It is much more acceptable in America to say negative things about Muslims as opposed to negative things about African Americans. Witness the sinister statements by Reverend Franklin Graham, son the the famous evangelist Billy Graham who recently said Obama was “born a Muslim” because the religion’s “seed” is passed from the father". This statement clearly contradicts the express words of the bible he professes to believe in which says upon accepting Christ as your lord and savior "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" 1Peter 1-3 New American Translation. The problem with many evangelical pastors is that they tend to br poorly educated, poorly read and intellectually dead. As a result they are steeped in the same bigotry and prejudices as other similarly situated citizens. The problem is that many Christians and non Christians hear there statements and believe this is Christianity. These types of statements chase many people away from the church, good pople who do not want to be associated with this type of ignorance and bigotry. Reverend Billy Graham was notorious for his open support for the corrupt President Richard Nixon and also the unpopular and morally indefensible War in Vietnam. No wonder some many highly educated and well read people reject organized religion.
John H. Armwood

Though President Obama has explained in his memoirs that his father was indeed born a Muslim, according to a Time Magazine article by Barack Obama in 2006, Barack Obama Sr.'s deep skepticism of religion eventually led to his atheism:
My father was almost entirely absent from my childhood, having been divorced from my mother when I was 2 years old; in any event, although my father had been raised a Muslim, by the time he met my mother he was a confirmed atheist, thinking religion to be so much superstition.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rev. Graham: Obama 'born a Muslim' - POLITICO.com Print View

Rev. Graham: Obama 'born a Muslim' - POLITICO.com

Rev. Franklin Graham on Friday said that President Barack Obama was “born a Muslim” because the religion’s “seed” is passed from the father.
Graham made the claim during an interview with CNN’s John King set to air Friday night after being asked about a new Pew polling showing that 31 percent of Republicans believe the president – a Christian – is Muslim.
Asked by King if he too believes the president is a Muslim, Graham said that Obama’s “problem is he was born a Muslim.”
“The seed is passed through the father,” Graham said. “He was born a Muslim. His father was a Muslim, the seed of Muslim is passed through the father like the seed of Judaism is passed through the mother. He was born a Muslim, his father gave him an Islamic name.”
Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham, acknowledged that Obama has said he is a Christian.
"He has renounced Islam and he has accepted Jesus," Graham said. “That's what he has said he has done. I cannot say that he hasn't, so I just have to believe the president is what he has said.”
“But the confusion is because his father is a Muslim, he was born a Muslim. The Islamic world sees the president as one of theirs, that's why Qaddafi calls him his son. They see him as a Muslim,” he added. “But, of course, the president says he is a Christian and we just have to accept it as that.”
____________________________
Ministers like Graham do more to injure and discredit Christianity than any non believer could ever do. They cause non Christians to ridicule Christians as a group of lunatics, liars and just plain nuts. This type of behavior is affront to any thinking Christian. Unfortunately he is following in the footsteps of his father who engaged in similar behavior in his younger days. Ministers have a high calling. So many fail to live up to that responsibility. This statement clearly contradicts the express words of the bible he professes to believe in which says upon accepting Christ as your lord and savior "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" 1Peter 1-3 New American Translation.

The problem with many evangelical pastors is that they tend to br poorly educated, poorly read and intellectually dead. As a result they are steeped in the same bigotry and prejudices as other similarly situated citizens. The problem is that many Christians and non Christians hear there statements and believe this is Christianity. These types of statements chase many people away from the church, good people who do not want to be associated with this type of ignorance and bigotry. Reverend Billy Graham was notorious for his open support for the corrupt President Richard Nixon and also the unpopular and morally indefensible War in Vietnam. No wonder so many highly educated and well read people reject organized religion.

John H. Armwood



President Obama has explained in his memoirs that his father was indeed born a Muslim, according to a Time Magazine article by Barack Obama in 2006, Barack Obama Sr.'s deep skepticism of religion eventually led to his atheism:

My father was almost entirely absent from my childhood, having been divorced from my mother when I was 2 years old; in any event, although my father had been raised a Muslim, by the time he met my mother he was a confirmed atheist, thinking religion to be so much superstition.

 

 

 

 

'Ground Zero Mosque': Latest In A Litany Of Killer Phrases : Watching Washington : NPR

'Ground Zero Mosque': Latest In A Litany Of Killer Phrases : Watching Washington : NPR

by RON ELVING

GROUND ZERO MOSQUE. The phrase sums up a controversy in terms so vivid and concise that neither journalists nor water cooler pundits can resist using them. Even if you put the words in quotation marks, on paper or in the air, the powerful combination works its magic.

The proposed Islamic center would be two blocks north of the site where the twin towers stood, in a building previously occupied by a Burlington Coat Factory store.
Of course, the phrase is also inaccurate and misleading.

Rudy Giuliani Weights In Against Mosque As Expected


Unfortunately Giuliani has weighed in on the Mosque issue with his usually politically opportunist  positions.  He is pathetic.  He is a lawyer, he knows better.  In the future we will look back at this episode with shame.  It is shameful to see how so many Americans are willing to throw away our basic values simply to be politically expedient.
John H. Armwood

Mosque Near Ground Zero Stirs Mixed Feelings for Local Muslims - NYTimes.com

Mosque Near Ground Zero Stirs Mixed Feelings for Local Muslims - NYTimes.com

If this really is a free country,” said Mr. Khan, 56, the manager of a trucking company in Brooklyn, “then, by all rights you must, you must, allow it.”
The same holds true for Pervaz Akhtar, a tailor who keeps a shop a few blocks from the center’s site — and who lost his first shop and nearly his life in the Sept. 11 attacks. “There is a principle involved,” Mr. Akhtar, 58, said. “We believe in the American Constitution.”
Yet with equal confidence, both men — who squared their shoulders and seemed to address an imaginary town hall meeting when discussing the issue — embrace a seemingly contradictory conviction about the center: It does not have to be two blocks from the site of the attacks.
“If they want to put it 10 blocks away, that’s fine,” Mr. Akhtar said. “I believe in compromise, too.”
The debate over building a Muslim community center so close to where terrorists claiming to act in the name of Islam killed more than 2,700 people has attracted the intense views of political and religious leaders, victims’ families and pundits. But the outcome could have its most lasting impact on the estimated 600,000 Muslim residents in New York and its suburbs.