Unfortunately, I share the same last name as a certain former Republican Congressman. It's not a common name, and for the last few weeks I have been receiving e-mails from a member of his family, who is a fundamentalist pastor at some congregation in California. I have the same name as one of her sons.
At first, I e-mailed this pastor to tell her that I'm not who she thinks I am, and that her personal e-mails are being misdirected. This had no effect, and she continues to send me bulk e-mails. I assumed that she is older, not computer saavy, and so I remained polite and deleted the e-mails whenever they arrived.
Well, today I received the following e-mail:
Fwd: The annointed one's belief on abortion!!!
please click on the youtube link below. I didn't know they let live aborted babies just lay in a dark room to die. breaks my heart that anyone could support this practice.
I will include the link for those who have the stomach, but frankly I would not advise clicking on this link. It will only give the author more hits and drive your blood pressure up.
In summary, the video starts out with ominous music and a voice-over about Barack Hussein Obama's support for late-term abortion. There's a quick image of Alan Keyes, and the narrator says that it's not about race, and then repeats "Barack Hussein Obama" to make sure that it really sinks in that he has a Muslim middle name. The bulk of the video is an interview with a nurse who claims that Obama is an active proponent of late-term induced-labor abortions, in which live premature babies are left to writhe and die in the biohazard waste facility at hospitals. It really is quite offensive, but it is emblematic of efforts on the Religious Right to rally support for McCain.
And, as I said, this video is being spammed by a relative (sister?) of a prominent former Republican Congressman - so you can bet that it is being circulated widely among wingnuts. They may talk about a respectful campaign, but this is the kind of trash they are circulating among themselves.
It was one insult too many, so I responded:
I have notified you that I am not the intended recipient for these e-mails. Out of respect for you, I have deleted these e-mails in the past without reading them. But you continue to e-mail me, so I did have a look at this one. I take no satisfaction in abortion, and consider any abortion to be a matter of great sadness. But I'm no longer willing to "turn the other cheek" when confronted by the astounding moral hypocrisy of the evangelical right.
Jesus was a victim of torture. Yet you back an Administration that has made the use of torture official policy, and a candidate who abandoned his once-principled stand against torture. John Yoo, the President's lawyer in the Office of Special Counsel, affirms that in theory the President has the authority to crush the testicles of a terrorism suspect's child in order to get that suspect to talk. John McCain has refused to disavow that legal theory. John McCain once said that the US is obliged to follow the Geneva Conventions. He's backed away from that position. It's shameful to watch. McCain is himself a torture survivor and once backed the Torture Victims Relief Act, but now he's abandon any pretense at honor and reversed his position on torture, appealing to fear and hatred to get elected.
Jesus was a man of peace. Yet you are backing a man for whom conflict and violence is the preferred means of foreign policy. McCain's campaign manager, Charlie Black, was a paid lobbyist for Mobutu Sese Seko, the Congolese dictator who's epic misrule led to a war that has cost at least 3.5 million lives - far more than the Iraq war. (Black was also a paid lobbyist for Ferdinand Marcos, Jonas Savimbi, and a host of other thieves, cowards and war criminals famous for abusing their people.) You are backing a political party that armed Saddam Hussein in the 1980's and then lied to bring the US into a war in 2003, and a candidate who has backed these disastrous decisions at every opportunity.
(By the way, I supported forcing Saddam Hussein from power, but not through deceit, not unilaterally, and not accompanied by the hubris and stupidity that has destroyed our international reputation and discredited our foreign policy.)
Jesus was a champion of the poor. Yet you are backing a political party who's policies have lead to the greatest disparity in income in a century. You support a candidate who celebrated his birthday with President Bush while a major American city drowned, and who has been an uncritical backer of economic policies that have destroyed the wealth of millions of families and left the United States economically weaker than at any time since the Great Depression.
Jesus was a man of tolerance. Yet judging by the video you circulate, you and others in your party are obsessed by Obama's middle name... whether out of fear, ignorance or hate, it's hard to know. However, when your candidate accepts $100,000 in illegal bundled contributions from a Jordanian businessman, suddenly it's OK to be a Muslim.
Jesus asked us not to bear false witness. Yet you back an Administration that has engaged in politically-motivated prosecutions, turning the Department of Justice into a partisan law firm. You support a "maverick" candidate who turned a blind eye to these abuses and, while Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Indian Affairs, even stood in the way of investigations of Jack Abramoff's illegal influence peddling and exploitation.
Jesus honored the stranger among us. Yet you back an Administration that just charged 300 immigrants in Iowa with felony document fraud in order to deny them access to relief in the immigration courts, and you back a "straight-talking" candidate who abandoned his prior support for comprehensive immigration reform in order to pander to nativists and bigots.
Yours is the party of traditional moral values, yet you support a man who cheated on his first wife, called his second wife a "stupid c&#t", and offered to enter her in a topless beauty contest called "Miss Buffalo Chip". I work in the Middle East and can assure you that your average Muslim would never disrespect women in this way.
I do not presume to know you. But by circulating an e-mail calling Obama "The Annointed One", you presume to know me, and millions like me. How ironic that we would be labeled the cult-like followers of "The Annointed One" by religious fundamentalists whose willful ignorance is exceeded only by their moral bankruptcy.
Rather, we are rational, patriotic and increasingly pissed-off people who can't wait until January 20, 2009 - when we will join together in the long, hard work of reversing the damage; when in the words of Langston Hughes, we will "let America be America again".
Now, kindly take me off of your mailing list.