Sunday, September 21, 2008

A different perspective

 
See that book that Michelle Obama is holding? That book that Obama is resting his hand upon, as he is sworn in as a U.S. Senator? That would be their family Bible. Not the Koran, as is widely reported in some of the forwards that are flying fast and furious throughout the Interwebs.
 
I'm sure we've all received plenty of those lovely forwarded emails that are full of rumors, untruths, and flat-out lies, no matter who the candidate. I think most people are getting the idea that I really don't care for such forwards, and I'm fortunate in that I don't receive a lot. I did have to email one of my uncles and comment on a few things, and tell him about some of the errors in the text. I give him much credit for apologizing, and saying that he would check things out better.
 
I don't think any of us enjoy receiving these, but sometimes all it takes is stepping up and saying, "That's not true," and asking people to stop sending such things to you. I suppose it doesn't work with everyone, but most people will respect your wishes and stop sending them. It's always worth a try.
 
A while back, I wrote about Cousin Shane's friend Doug, who is in the Navy and stationed in Afghanistan. He took photos of Senator Obama's recent visit to Afghanistan, and even got to meet the Senator.
 
Shane forwarded--*GASP*--me an email he got from Doug. Looks like Doug has also grown a little exasperated with some of the junk he's gotten, and replied to the senders, in no uncertain terms, that he doesn't like it, wants no part of it, and there is no truth to it. I think it's interesting to get the perspective of someone who is actually there. His response was to a forward that posed the question "Can Muslims be good Americans?" and goes on to say that we should be suspicious of all Muslims in this country, and further exhorts that we are engaged in a "religious war." I suspect that this would be news to many, of not all, Americans, no matter their faith. I'm not including the text of that forward, because it's ridiculous, intolerant, and as it says that "everyone on the planet" needs to read it, rather idiotic, because "everyone on the planet" doesn't get to vote in our election. I asked Shane if he'd ask Doug's permission to let me post his comments, and Doug had no problem with that, and even said it was okay to include his name, because he has no problem with anyone knowing his opinion on the matter. Thanks Doug, and stay safe! Here is his response, followed by a brief comment from me.
 
*****
 
Why does this kind of crap still keep finding its way out on the Internet??? This kind of garbage reeks of racial and ethnic bigotry, and I would like to think our country has gotten past all of this.

1) Barack Obama is not, and never has been, a Muslim. His father was, and unlike Judaism, being born of a Muslim parent (his mother was not ), does not preclude that the child will be. I think someone would have to have been under a rock these past few months to not have heard Mr. Obama speak on his faith and of being a Christian.

2) He has NEVER once said he would swear on the Koran... give it up, xenophobes! Why would he? He is not a Muslim. This kind of stuff pretends to be spreading messages of enlightenment, but merely is a means of denigrating a candidate... and a faith that someone, whoever wrote this diatribe, doesn't like. So if you don't like Obama, just say so... if you don't like Islam, say so, but don't bother me with it, please.

3)  I am currently serving here in Kabul, Afghanistan, and I can tell you that the Afghans, also Muslims, are friendly and quite wonderful people. To say that all Muslims cannot be friends to us... even good citizens, is about as bad an analogy as saying Republicans and Democrats cannot get along (okay, maybe that is a bad analogy too  )... let's try this one out, as bad as saying Jews and Christians cannot all get along... or that dogs and cats are ALWAYS enemies.

4)  I can also tell you that the Afghans I have met are no different than us... they love their families, their country and their God... and their Allah is our God. I see about as much religious discord here as those in America who have self-righteously claimed that God favors our nation above all others. That is not the God I believe in and love.

So please if you are going to spread this kind of garbage and hate, please leave me off the list. I am not over here fighting so that such stupidity and hatred can rule our own land. I apologize if my opinion is harsh, but I am tired of hearing the same kind of trash talk that requires only that we change the names of the "offending group," but still promotes the old kind of bigotry.

Respectfully,

MC1 Doug Mappin, US Navy

Camp Eggers, Kabul, Afghanistan

 "Some see things as they are and say
why? I see things as they should be
and say, why not?"

--Robert F. Kennedy
 
*****
 
Doug's words make me resolved to refute the forwards that I get. He has the courage to do so...and so should I. How about you? While you're at it, take a moment to think about the quote he included from RFK. Indeed...why not?
 
 

22 comments:

mpnaz58 said...

I love that quote from Bobby Kennedy...and I can just hear him saying it with his Massachusetts (I hope I spelled that right) accent!  Thank you for posting this and allowing Doug to say his piece.  Racism is alive and well all over the world, sadly.  Thanks to our men and women serving in the Armed Forces all over the world who put their lives in danger each and every minute!  
xoxo ~Myra

geocachelinda66 said...

This is a great entry!  Thank you for posting it!  I am so sick of forwards and e-mails trying to make Obama look like a Muslim or a radical terrorist etc... Linda

amy122389 said...

I don't usually get political forwards, but I'm giving Doug a high 5 anyway.

~Amy

queeniemart said...

I just hit delete.
XO

buckoclown said...

Luckily I do not get a lot of forwards with such nonsense.  

In J-Land, there are only a few journals that spew such mis-information [both Democrates and Repulicans], and I would never comment on such.  That is the beauty of J-Land, you can simply turn off alerts and/or not comment on such things.

Go Doug for being willing to step up and say, ENOUGH.

That is just my opinion :o)

preciousone25 said...

I've recvd quite a few lately... what I do, is highlight the snopes article saying it isn't true, and forward the link back to whoever sent it.   (Now, where's that raw oyster story?)

Joann

marainey1 said...

People are so gullible.  The main thing is that we get the facts and they are out there if we want to read them or listen to them.  This election is something I pray for every day.  I do hope the right person gets the job as president.  We need a really good man (I would have voted for Hilary) right now.  'On Ya' - ma

jjdolfin9 said...

Have a nice week Beth.
Joyce

laurelrk66 said...

I know I said in my blog that I was sick of politics, but this entry in your blog really ignited me.   We certainly think alike, and you say it so well!   Thank you for taking the time to sort it all out.
Laurel

lv2trnscrb said...

I'm not 100% sure, but I do not believe their Allah is the God I worship which is the God of the Bible; if their Allah was that God, then why would they need the Koran? However, in saying that I agree with us being careful to only forward truthful emails; you will never see a forwarded email from me; I just don't forward unless it is to my hubby

(I also don't believe the God I believe in favors one nation above all others; he loves everyone unconditionally; he does have some requirements for who gets into heaven, but he is slow suffering and doesn't want anyone to perish, and all are welcomed who accept his son, Jesus, as their Savior; that's the God I believe in, the one, true, and only God :)

enjoy the day :)

betty

dbdacoba said...

I never get those forwards, but I have my slingshot ready if I do.   D

orangedoublezero said...

thanks for posting this, beth!  i'm glad to see so many people in agreement.

joann, i love your response to these falsehoods.  nothing like reality and truth to deflate an incorrect statement!

shane

markonit said...

... good post ..!  But appeals to the lowest common denominator has always been a way to hide the truth ...

lisawesmalayna said...

It is so refreshing to hear from other truth seekers. I really love the Robert F. Kennedy quote, he was a very wise man. I think people need to stand up to the people telling lies, and those who choose not to research the facts. I sallute your cousin Doug, it requires true courage to say what one feels. I noticed somewhere the words "religious war". If I'm not mistaken didn't President George W. Bush use the words"Holy War" some years back? I think it is rediculous to attack others for their religous beleifs, let alone lie about a persons faith. It is only getting closer to November, and the hate will try to flood the truth. Let us all join hands and build a wall of hope to dam the liars. Election time is here again, so in the words of the Violent Femms it's another example of "Dirty tricks and Politics".

Truthfully yours,

Wes

solace223 said...

I'm frustrated with this subject as well but not because people are saying that he is one religion when he's not.  For me it's outrageous that people would say that by being Muslim, we shouldn't vote for him.  Muslims are actually quite peaceful.  The idea that since we are at war with two countries (and yes I still consider Afghanistan a war, our soldiers are still dying there) that are primarily Muslim based, we shouldn't allow anyone in office that could even have ties to the Muslim community is just asinine.  I personally, being an athiest, couldn't give a crap what religion he is, although I'd be a bit put off if he claimed to worship satan.  ;)  To me your religion means nothing, it's your actions that speaks worlds about who you are and your character.  I just think the whole thing is ridiculous and if people would take a step back, maybe they would think, really why would it matter IF he was Muslim?
Jamie

sybilsybil45 said...

Thank you so much for giving us Doug's opinions.  It is so important to speak up when we know that untruths are being said about people.  Good for him.  I only wish you could use it is a forward to a lot of these people who are sending the lies around the globe.  As I have said before it is not my business to speak of your politics but I do believe that we are all interconected and what happens in the US does matter to other countries.  Just see what has happened to us all with the financial situation all countries find them selves in.     By the way did you  notice in the photograph that the bible was a well thumbed bible not a new one brought out for the occasion ?     Love  Sybil xx

http://journals.aol.co.uk/sybilsybil45/villagelife/

shrbrisc said...

Ok the last entry scared me I am a wimp lol I try to tell people the same thing about obama and have actually lost friends over it I think the difference is if people want to believe they are going to and there is really nothing we can do just smile and pray there is enough of us to make a difference in november ..
hugs
Sherry

mereel2005 said...

While not a Obama supporter, rumors do die hard. People who want to believe the worst of someone will cling to any half truth or down right lie, whether it is Sarah Paline, John McCain, Joe Biden or Mr. Obama.
Laini
http://journals.aol.com/mereel2005/Maybe-Im-Amazed-/

wwfbison said...

I received a forward from a family member along the lines you are talking about.  I emailed her back and told her that is not how I understood it to be. I was indifferent, just stating the facts as I knew them to be.  It turned into a huge argument, she resorted to name calling & kind of went ballistic!   She has since apologized and we are speaking again but I have told her not to send my anything political at all.  I have been doing my own fact checking so I can make an informed decision come November....a forward from someone isn't going to do it for me.
Lisa

slapinions said...

I know I'll come off as a mit-picker here, but that quote isn't from RFK. It's someone *he quoted* George Bernard Shaw I think. Like most of the Kennedy 'accomplishments' it's based on the work of someone else :)

I do not believe Obama is a Muslim, any more than I believe he's good for America.  I'm saving up for a splashy 'here's why Obama sucks' piece ;) so I won't say anymore.

Enjoy Army of Darkness - I didn't really enjoy that one tho'.

Dan

jhorky said...

I have no quarrel with that at all.  The so called facts that have bveen spreading around are utterly ridiculous.  I am just so afraid he is going to lose because Beth, you are young enough to know hoiw much prejiduce there is now and I remember how horribly they were treated , many times for no good reason.  I have been taken to task many times for stating my opinions on this subject on my Journal so I have tried to stay out of politics but somehow It manages to creep in.  Even if it is a one liner and I get told about it.  So you don't see it in my Journal.  I am pulling for him.  Watch out, now, for making that comment.  I wanted to thank you for the comments on my Journal.  Yes I believe you know what an outhouse was.  I had my second baby and Xhusband was teaching and no running water.  I had 2 babies under the age of 18 mo. carried all my water after pumping it.  Did not have disposABLE DIapers in those days so guess who washed every day.  So0rry I got carried away.  Lucy   I think Mort might caLL ME A BIT LONG WINDED!!!!

sangrialel said...

Great entry!  Linda