Sunday, September 27, 2009

Promoting family values: bigotry, hatred, and intolerance

In spite of all the chaos in the GOP, some of the Christian Right have managed to galvanize under a cause: to discredit and criticize America's first African-American President using whatever lies, fallacies, and deceit serve their purpose. Reading these screeds, there's a conspicuous undercurrent of racism and misguided religious condemnation. The latest example of this was an email from one Sally Opper that I read today:
Subject: National Day of Prayer for WHAT??????

If this isn’t an eye opener, then I don’t what is….

National Day of Prayer for WHAT??????

In 1952 President Truman established one day a year as a National Day of Prayer.

In 1988, President Reagan designated the first Thursday in May of each year as the National Day of Prayer.

This year however, President Obama, decided to cancel the ceremony at the White House not wanting to offend anyone.

Presidential candidate Barack Obama declared the USA was no longer a Christian nation. Now see if you can wrap your brain around this: On September 25, 2009 from 4am until 7pm, a National Day of Prayer for the Muslim religion will be held on Capitol Hill, beside the White House. They are expecting over 50,000 muslims that day in DC.

The website (yes, there is a very informative website) is: Pay particular attention to the very bottom of the page: "OUR TIME HAS COME". Could it be that the REAL agenda of the President is becoming more plain????
It's a short and sweet email but it's replete with classic examples of deceitful attacks on the President. I wonder if Sally Opper is intentionally distorting this to get people up in arms against Obama on a fabricated accusation or if she simply lacks the logic and critical thinking skills required to recognize the fallacies and logic flaws in what she's provoking.

First of all, Opper should be pleased that the Islamic community is calling for a day of unity. The Islamic community's right to worship on Capitol Hill is the same right that Opper has to openly worship Christ and it's a right that would one day protect her were Obama to do that what Opper seems to fear: turn the USA into an Islamic theocracy. If anything, Opper should be critical of Christian leadership for not organizing a similar event for Christians if she thinks what the Islamic community organized is so important.

But to try and somehow blame Obama for this event is just intellectually dishonest. Neither Obama nor his administration nor our legislature had anything to do with it. It was organized by Hassen Abdellah, a lawyer and president of the Dar-ul-Islam Mosque in Elizabeth, N.J. And to call out the "Our Time Has Come" tagline to the notice of the event as Obama's agenda absent any kind of evidence other than that it will be "held on Capitol Hill, beside the White House" (which is public property where people of all faiths have the right to gather and pray) is simply a flat-out lie.

I don't know anything about Truman or Reagan establishing a National Day of Prayer and, since Opper cited no sources on it, I can't respond specifically. However, I do know two things about it:
  1. Neither president could enact any such law without congress first passing it, and the current congress has brought no such bill to Obama's desk.
  2. If they did, it would be unconstitutional, so neither Truman nor Reagan should have signed such a bill if it were brought to their desk.
Nor can I speak to Obama cancelling some non-specific (Christian?) ceremony at the White House since Opper has again left out any citation. But to then state that "Barack Obama declared the USA was no longer a Christian nation," conveniently leaving out the operative word Obama used -- "just" a Christian nation -- (as if to say Obama is trying to establish a Muslim nation) is simply deceitful, particularly considering that Obama is a devout Christian and has never been a believer in Islam.

These kinds of lies and deceit are a very unChristian thing to do and, were I Christian, I'd be a lot more concerned with the hatred, bigotry, and intolerance Opper is trying to provoke in the name of Christ than I would be with this Muslim event. This kind of deceit and unwarranted criticism of the president -- who people of all faiths and people of no faith must deal with as our chief executive for at least three more years -- advances no one's cause, least of all Opper's. All it does is create more divisiveness and ignorance in America (at least among those who fall for her dirty tricks) and fractures America along religious and racial lines.

This Modern World

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