I received one of those viral emails that asks you to suspend your intelligence, take what has been written on faith and forward it to everyone you know. As my confirmation class teacher at my United Methodist Church would tell you - I don't take anything on faith alone. I left him exasperated and frustratred beyond belief on every class meeting. "But how do we KNOW for certain?" "Where's the proof, the evidence?" So in the internet age, one of my favorite sites is snopes.com. I don't want egg on my face if I'm forwarding crap around to my friends and family. If I'm sending something alarming to someone I want to know it's truthful, so that I can have confidence in what leaves my laptop.
What, pray tell, is the email I received that started this train of thought barreling down the line? Funny you should ask. My husband received an email from someone close to him (I won't name names) about Sen. Barack Obama. It alleges that in two of the books he has written, Lessons From My Father and The Audacity of Hope, that there are frightening and dangerous passages. These speak to the dangerous nature of his thinking and judgment. Would you want someone likke this in the White House? My husband had been aware of this b******** for a long time and fired off a quick email reminding the sender that most of the quotes were inaccurate and all the accurate ones were taken out of context. He also asked the sender if he had actually read the books.
Here's the shocker. The sender had read the books! And, he feels that the senator is "a far more elliquent [sic] man than Mccain [sic].... but that is not the measure of a leader." Now, I'll admit to not reading the books. I haven't read much at all in the last year with moving across the country, settling my son in one school, only to have to pull him and settling him in a new school, and of course having Ellie and getting her qualified for pre-K, through the first IEP, settled in school, evals for private therapy..... guess I didn't need to go on there. In any event, life is finally settling down and I am finding time to read and so this to me was a great recomendation for a book! So I will be curling up with The Audacity of HOpe which I just got from the library - the last copy available. All of the copies of Lessons From My Father are out right now.
But what really bothers me is that this well educated person could read these books, know that these passages - if true - are taken out of context and do not mean what they sound like, and send this hate-filled message of fear out to who knows how many? Hopefully it was only to his brother - my hubby.
Last night while sitting at my son's swim team practice, someone noticed I was reading a book. "Oh, what are you reading?" I showed her the title, The Audacity of Hope, by Barack O'Bama. (I got the last copy at the library!) "Oh! You're one of THEM!" she exclaimed. Just what in the H#?! is that supposed to mean? That I'm one of those "free - thinkers" who doesn't just take the right wing pandering pablum at it's word? Then she said, "that explains why you weren't so excited about Sarah Palin over the summer when I mentioned it. You being from Alaska I thought you would have been more excited." Well, I had to explain to this very nice person, that the information being passed around down here in the lower-48 is not accurate. I explained that Sarah is not so popular in Alaska anymore. "Well she has 83% approval." I said, "that's dropped over 20% since she was nominated as the VP candidate." "Not to forget, she has been found guilty of ethics violations in the Troopergate." "Alaskans on all sides of the political fence are unhappy with her." "Even right wing politcal pundits have said she is unqualified to be the VP, let alone, God-forbid something were to happen to elevate her to the Presidency." It was falling on deaf ears. I was "one of THEM."
For those of you who want to know what Alaskans think check out these two blogs: Shannyn Moore: Just a Girl from Homer and The Mudflats. Enjoy!