This edition of State of the Christian Left engages Libya, the end of the Tea Party, and the theological questions of providence concerning the disaster in Japan. Join Zac from Crazy Liberals and Conservatives and Mark from The God Article for what promises to be insightful, thoughtful, and fun commentary.
It is a sad commentary on the state of our nation, particularly the press, that the Birthers continue to have a national voice. Faux News is particularly guilty of covering this non-news “news” story.
Birthers believe that we have an illegitimate President. They claim that he was not born in the United States. Instead, they argue, Barack Obama is Kenyan, where his father is a native. Even when presented with the facts, including documents, which show clearly that Barack Hussein Obama II was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961, the Brithers jump to conspiracy theories with claims ranging from faking the certificate to a mass government conspiracy involving Hawaii's Department of Health.
The problem with all of the Birther theories is that none of them can explain how back in 1961 it was foreknown that the fake birth certificate or the mass government conspiracy would happen and that somehow (I'm supposing with the help of a soothsayer or a crystal-ball) someone had the foresight to print in the Honolulu Advertiser the birth announcement of Barack H. Obama in order to back it all up:
Like I said, the whole thing is a sad commentary on the state of our nation. It can also be seen as a strong statement about Obama the Presidential candidate for 2012. The best thing they have on him, the thing to which they constantly return, is their doubt as to whether he is actually a citizen of the United States. They have no proof. As a matter of fact, the birth certificate which they claim has yet to be released can be found by a simple Google search (many of the photos found are actually from news organizations that have confirmed it's authenticity) or (under a soon to be passed bill from Hawaii) an official copy can be purchased from the Department of Health in Hawaii for $100.
But that isn't enough for Birthers. Why? Mostly because they just don't want it to be true. I have to believe that it is also partly because President Obama isn't white and doesn't have a name like George, Bill, or Ronald (maybe we should give the President a nickname like “The Gipper”... how about “The Hoper” - probably not). You can bet that if our current President was white and had a name like Mark or Jeff or Hillary, the proof that we currently have would be more than enough. Actually, no one would have even asked for it.
It would seem that many of those who want to be the Republican Presidential nominee realize that, if they hope to win (probably both the nomination and possibly the Presidency), they need to be identified with the Birthers to some degree. The most resent person to jump on the Kenyan bandwagon is Donald Trump who recently said on Faux News that he would make the issue of “Barack Obama’s birth certificate a pivotal part of his bid.”
It's a sad commentary indeed. Worse yet, many of those who are doing it consider themselves Christian, yet seem to have no problem allowing cognitive dissonance to cause them to bare false witness against their neighbor (and yes, biblically, Barack Obama is your neighbor).
I wish I could say to the Birthers and to their most recent lead cheerleader, Donald Trump, “You're fired!,” but I'm pretty sure Donald's got the phrase trademarked, so I'd just like to say, “Stop the idiocy.”
All wars kill innocent people. The war in Afghanistan is no exception. A recent article on couterpunch.org by Kathy Kelly, reminded me of that all too tragic reality.
Today, the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers are holding a candlelight commemoration for the innocent children killed in the Afghanistan war. They will carry that compassion on and connect with other youth from around the world on the “Global Day of Listening” which is held on the first day of Spring.
Today, I stand with them in commemoration and grieving of the children killed in the Afghan War. So, I have lit a candle. Admittedly, it is a small thing, but it matters. You see it is a constant reminder of the atrocities of war. It is a constant reminder that the The War Machine doesn't care about life, it only cares about power. It is a constant reminder that I was too silent when the U.S. was considering war. I was not silent. I was simply too silent. So the candle matters – it reminds me.
I hope you will consider lighting a candle today as well. Why? Because it matters. Why? Because it is a reminder. Why? Because you were too silent as well.
For me, today is not enough. You see, children are dying around the war because of war and because people are rightfully standing up in places like Libya, Syria, Yemen, Palestine and others where they are being mistreated. Children and adults are dying everyday – bloody and brutal. So, for me, today is not enough. I am setting a candle on my desk at work and I will light it every day to remind me. It will remind me that people are dying needlessly every day. It will remind me that it is not only the War Machine that doesn't care about life, it is all those who value possessions and money over life. Every day people die of starvation in a world where there is more than enough food. Every day people die from a lack of clean water when we have the technology and resources to provide it for most people. Every day people die from curable diseases because it would be too expensive or inconvenient to save their lives. So, I will light a candle everyday as a reminder that I have been too silent. So the candle matters – it reminds me.
I hope you will consider lighting a candle everyday as well. Why? Because it matters. Why? Because it is a reminder. Why? Because you were too silent as well.
The candle is a small thing, some will argue it is insignificant and just barely better than doing nothing – but it matters. When people ask me (when people ask you?), why there is a candle burning on my desk I can say, “Because I have been too silent about the children who die because of war. I have been to complacent about the innocent people who are dying every day in the name of money and power. It reminds me to use my voice, to stand up for those whose voices are being snuffed out with rifle fire, silenced by the lack of food, drowned out by a lack of clean water. I hope you will consider lighting a candle everyday as well – because it matters.