Sunday, September 21, 2008

I'm Here and Seeing Red

All right, I can't get my first set of beautiful pictures of Maine to download to blogger this morning, for some reason, without its taking about an hour per photo, it seems. Thus, I thought I would just quickly tell everyone that I am, indeed, still here. I didn't fall off the side of a mountain or anything. Maine is as beautiful as ever, but you're just going to have to trust me on that until blogger gets its act together or until I have 20 hours to download photos.

Meanwhile, here's what has me seeing red these days: an email from a friend back in PA, in which she informed me that twice her husband was asked, by two different colleagues, who he is supporting in the election. When he told them OBama, one of them said, "I thought you were a Christian." The other said, "I can't vote for him, because I'm a Christian."

"Christian." Let's see. What does that mean? Oh, yeah, I think it's one who follows the teachings of Christ. Funny, last time I read the Gospels, I don't remember Jesus saying anything about helping the rich and ignoring the poor. Show me the passages, please, where he tells us to rape our planet without a thought to its future. And did I somehow misinterpret the parable about hating outcasts like homosexuals and immigrants and denying them the legal rights that others enjoy? Or the one about how it's important to kill innocent people while fighting an endless war whose real purpose was pure greed and feeding egos and nothing more? Because, you know, from where I'm sitting right now, my view of McCain is one that shows him to be this sort of a person, and I don't see too many connections between him and the Jesus portrayed in the Gospels. Maybe I'm reading a different Bible.

I guess to certain sorts of Republicans, being a Christian is like anything else. All you have to do is say you're a Christian, and you are. Just like all you need to do is say you're all for change, and you are, even though, well, you know, the meaning of the word "conservative" has a little something to do with not wanting change.


Lokesh said...

Glad to hear that you're still here. And I look forward to having photographic confirmation of said fact.

Just this morning, Nicholas Kristof reports a depressingly large number of people think that Obama is a Muslim:

(Of course, it's also depressing to think that that should make a difference, even if he were.)

Anonymous said...

Oh no. What a horrible thing for a person to say. And for a self-identified religious person at that.


Dorothy W. said...

Oh, yes -- infuriating. I don't think that certain types of Christians think they are Christian just because they say they are; I think it's more that they have a very narrow definition of what a Christian is, and it has little to do with what the Bible actually says, and they are willing to force that definition on other people. Their definition of Christian is bewildering, frankly, as your post points out very well.

Nigel Patel said...

Sadly the forces of McCarthyism (alive & well) have replaced Commie with Muslim.
I'm still not sure what his offense was, having a Muslim father or having a secular father and growing up secular (horrors!) himself.

Pete said...

Amen, sister. I'm with you on those points. And I hope that in November we'll be seeing a tide of blue (states) triumphing over the red ones. Please, God!

Anonymous said...

the strange thing is that Obama IS a Christian.

Cam said...

I have to preface my comment by stating that I agree with what you say, but...we need to remember that people with similar faith beliefs can come to very different conclusions in terms of politics. I agree that the conclusion that one can't vote for Obama if one is a Christian is wrong; but so is it to assume that one doesn't pass some sort of Christian sniff test if they support McCain. These are the things that divide us rather than unite us. I would challenge those people with why they think that their beliefs rule out voting for Obama. Chances are that they have made an uninformed judgment without looking at the facts -- how sad that people would take the privledge of voting in free elections so lightly.

Go Barack!

Emily Barton said...

Lokesh, yes very depressing that it should make a difference if Obama were a Muslim.

Bloglily, yes. I wish I'd been there to question those people.

Dorr, "bewildering" is a great word for it. And not very humble. (Of course, I'm always aware that I'm not exactly being humble when I judge them.)

Nigel, and yes, it's also depressing to think that being secular should make a difference.

Cam, you are absolutely right. And I do know people who are far better Christians than I who are supporting McCain. That's why there's this thing called separation of church and state in this country (despite the fact that some don't seem to want it).

Danny said...

That's a scary glimpse into the minds of some so-called Christians...and it doesn't bode well for Pennsylvania in November. I'm wondering where your friend's husband works, would that give us a clue into the bizarre, infuriating response of his colleagues? Do you think their primary motivation for saying that was their (mistaken) belief that Obama is a practicing Muslim? Or could it be a pro-choice issue?

In any event, it's comforting to know that there are people like you and your husband who live and breathe true Christian values.

Emily Barton said...

Danny, my friend's husband works at a car dealership. I think where we live, it's a pro-choice issue, spurned by rumors that Barack is Muslim. And also, although this wasn't mentioned, I am living in the most racist place I have ever lived, so that could be a hidden reason.

stefanie said...

Yikes! I'd be mad too. I never realized that political parties are now religious affiliations. If that's the case, I'll take the Church of Democrats any day. We may have our disagreements but it always comes down to caring about people.