Four times today I was asked, by Christians who were very earnest and quite confused by an email that has been widely circulated: "Is Barack Obama a radical Muslim who intends to take over the country and destroy the US?" 89438jpg_smiling_obama
Apparently one of these Internet "myths" has gained so much steam today, oddly after the primary last evening in New Hampshire, that it is now being passed around to hundreds of thousands via the Web. I read the letter this evening. What grieves me profoundly is that Christians read and forward this stuff to their friends as if they are warning people of impending disaster. Frankly, this is akin to slander and commits the person who forwards it to carelessly sinning against both this man and the truth.

I do wonder who creates these kinds of letters and why they are sent in the first place? Did someone from a campaign do it? Did someone who has an agenda to destroy Obama create it? I am not accusing since I do not know but I wonder. I find it anything but accidental that "dirty tricks" could become increasingly used by various parties on the Internet in the coming days. 

Let me say this one more time. I am not a supporter of Barack Obama. I believe his record is one of the most liberal of any of the candidates in the presidential race. He is so consistently pro-choice, and so faithfully devoted to a voting record that reveals him to be one of the most liberal senators in the Congress, that there is plenty to oppose in his political views.  89443
And, as has been acknowledged here already, he is a member of a liberal "black" church that is very Afro-centric. I am not going to explore this further at the present moment but will try to do so when I review the new Shelby Steele book I referenced in a previous post.

The whole issue of race does need to be vetted and explored with regard to Obama’s views and self-understanding. What I am opposing is the "way" so many Christians are dealing with these matters. We have an obligation to speak the truth in love and this does not end when we write blogs and emails. Speak the truth and speak it in the right way. This is the right way to openly consider this man and his views and whether or not they are good or bad for the country.

But these attempts to prove that Obama is not patriotic and a "secret" Muslim who will destroy America is patently false and plainly rooted in the worst Internet foolishness. I am not going to post any more links to these stories so please do not send them to me.

If you know anything about the Internet you know how it can be used responsibly to do real good and irresponsibly to spread lies and rumors that destroy people. I will not contribute to these lies. I am interested in issues, not in character assassination.

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  1. George C January 10, 2008 at 1:23 am

    Amen. I too would never vote for Obama, but I have no reason to believe anything other than that he is a genuinely intellegent, well meaning, more honest than most politicias, and just plain wrong on almost every issue.
    The kind of garbage that you mention is a sad commentary of the mindset of WAY too many that claim Christ.
    May God help us!

  2. Stan Wiedeman January 10, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    I am with you 100% on this. I am distressed about how people want to invest very little time in examining and thinking through the issues. And Christians may be the most vulernable to propaganda, wanting to believe the worst about candidates they don’t like, but refusing to even consider anything that might stain their own candidates.
    Having said that, there is some pretty sound initial evidence of voter fraud in New Hampshire, at least in one county where 31 votes for Ron Paul were omitted by “human error.” The Boston Now web site reports this:
    I am deeply concerned about the abuse of power by those who are already bosom buddies in the power structure and enjoy the benefit of wealth that brings privilege. Corporate America will not stand by idly and watch anyone try to hack into their secured program for success.

  3. Jonas Borntreger January 11, 2008 at 6:52 am

    John: I am often dismayed by the trash that good, caring, Christian people dredge up from somewhere and pass on to one another. We are to be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” It seems that we have trouble being either. Thanks for your post.

  4. Nick Morgan January 11, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    Good post John! I was once part of the “bash the President” Evangelical crowd in the early 90s, but I was young and very naive in my understanding of politics and the gospel. I too am tired of the tendency to present “candidate bashing” as a sort of conservative religious obligation. I also find very little in the way of political ideas that I would share with Senator Obama. However, this does not give me the right to assasinate his character or spread e-rumors about him, especially in the name of Christ! Sadly, the people I receive these kinds of e-mails from are conservative Evangelical Christians. I’ve learned through experience that this sort of attitude toward political candidates seriously reduces if not nullifies our witness to Christ and the gospel. Will we ever learn? God bless!

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