The political season brings all kinds of ads, flyers, comments, water cooler talk, e-mails about candidates and what they believe. I'm all for taking part in the conversations about a candidate's stands on the important issues of the day.
I have never been a fan of sleaze ads, such as the swift boat ads of the 2004 campaign. It seems as though you should be able to have a campaign, talking about issues and keeping the personal stuff out of sight.
The one this campaign that bothers me the most are two e-mails that have been circulating about Barack Obama. Here is what I have received and what I have found to be accurate and what is deception and lies.
One email calls Obama a racist Christian. First of all, that has to be an oxymoron because to be a Christian is to be Christ-like and Jesus Christ was not a racist. But back to the claim. It is said that the church that the Obama's attend, Trinity United Church of Christ in south Chicago only accepts black parishioners and pledges allegiance to Africa.
The persons that make the claim have obviously never attended a service there as Trinity is a multi-cultural congregation. Even though the church is predominately African American and is "unashamedly" proud of its African heritage, they state nothing about being anti-American. Dr. Martin Marty, a well respected Lutheran theologian and lilly white has attended worship there and was greeted with great respect and hospitality.
The second e-mail claims that Obama is Muslim by virtue of his schooling and even took his oath of office on the Koran. There is only one Muslim member of the Congress who took his oath of office using the Koran and it is Keith Ellison on Minnesota. I wrote about his experience in an earlier article. (There is nothing that says that a member of Congress must take his or her oath on a Bible.)
One email claims that Obama shows no respect for the pledge of allegiance and doesn't put his hand over his heart. The picture that is shown is a photo of Obama at the Indianola, IA steak fry hosted by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA). The photo was actually taken during the National Anthem and not the Pledge of Allegiance. And there is nothing that requires an individual to place his or her hand over their heart during the singing. The most important thing to do during its' playing is to show respect by being quiet and facing the flag. Many people at sporting events have done much worse during the playing of the National Anthem than standing quietly and facing the flag.