I received a forward yesterday with a 10 second clip capturing Obama saying to the interviewer, “You’re right in saying that John McCain did not talk about my Muslim faith…” The email asked the question, “was this really a slip of the tongue” with the obvious implication that it wasn’t and it revealed Obama is indeed a Muslim. Besides the bothersome discrimination displayed in this email, I was more bothered by the fact that the originator of the email didn’t bother to actually listen to the whole interview. If they did, they would not have forwarded this little clip. In the interview, the interviewer was accusing Obama of blaming McCain for insinuating that he is Muslim. So Obama responds by saying that John McCain did not talk about his having a Muslim faith.
It is very disappointing to see people so partisan and biased that they are so unwilling to double check their information to make sure it is credible and relevant. It is even more disappointing that this email was forwarded by Christians, who are suppose to stand up for all Truth.
I wanted to write my criticism of Christians and their partisanship, but after reading my wife’s blog, I decided to post her response, which accurately describes my feelings on the subject. So here it is.
I would like to say, I wish it were Nov. 5th. I am tired of all the election crap. I think the debates are annoying and rather pointless; the ads are ridiculous. But to me what I find even more frustrating is the e-mails, myspace bulletins and other stuff people feel the need to send or forward.
I find them annoying not because someone I am friends with is trying to share their opinion, because I am ok with that. I genuinely like to hear both perspectives. I find it annoying because every one of them that I have received has been sent by a Christian and it is full of either blatant misinformation, edited information to support their view therefore missing the whole story, or just offensively rude to Obama. I think if it was not Christians doing this, it would still annoy me but not to the same extent. The main reason being, I cannot for the life of me understand why Christians are not different from the rest of the world. I am pretty sure all of them would say being a Christian should make you different from those who are not. If this is the case, why are they not acting in love? Why are they not checking to make sure the information they are pushing is correct? (and I am stretching here by giving them the benefit of the doubt that they think it is correct). Just because we disagree with Obama’s policies does not mean slandering him is acceptable. I find it ironic in some ways because I know some very conservative Republicans who are not Christians and do not agree with or like Obama, but do not engage in these type of actions. Besides, all these types of messages and conversations do is turn off anyone who feels differently, because they are rude and judgmental. The only people that read them fully and are moved by them are people that already feel the same way.
I have no problem with Christians believing in and supporting their candidate of choice, but I do have a problem when your Christianity gets checked at the door when promoting your candidate. My thoughts…love people, including those who may not agree with you; speak in a way that is honoring to God; be honest in your information and check it to make sure it is correct before spreading it (otherwise it is just political gossip); realize that people on the other side have valid reasons for what they believe as well, even if you believe them to be wrong. Find someone who believes differently than you and ask them why, without needing to defend yourself. My personal favorite it to find someone with the opposite point of view and switch sides to debate it. It shows you are both well informed and that you have a good grasp on the other side. People are always more willing to hear your opinion when they feel understood as well. Why is there fear in fully understanding someone else’s point of view? A good debater can take either side of the argument on any issue, because it is based on information not opinion.
As I think about our daughter that is eventually going to be asking questions during election season, I hope that I raise her with a knowledge of what both parties believe. I can honestly say I do not believe either I or Carlos would say this is the Christian way to vote. I like to believe I will teach her to respect both sides, understand both sides, to pray like crazy that God’s will be done, and to search Scripture regarding policies that are being debated. I want her to seek God as much as possible and come to her own conclusions. (This is not saying I would not say my opinion if asked, just that I don’t want her to believe something based only on my beliefs). As a side note, Carlos and I were walking through a bookstore and noticed several children’s books on both McCain and Obama. It is funny because really, why would a 7 year old care, and then because both of us said; “well if you get one of those for your kid, you really need to be willing to get the other one as well”