May 16, 2010
Will America wake up in time to elect a Christian?
We all get e-mails of all shapes and sizes. It is often difficult to edit the smorgasboard of information. Though loaded with important and stupendous information coming from all angles, it is seldom that any one slug of ultra-pertinent information stands out against the rest.
That is until yesterday when I received an email bearing a youtube video of our current president. What the film maker has done is to search what probably amounted to hundreds of speeches and interviews. Out of these the film was edited down to specific statements made by our president about the muslim faith. The film is ten minutes long and I urge you at this point to access it on your computer. Make up your own mind about what the message is here.
This is "supposedly" the video that FOX NEWS has been trying to show that is constantly blocked by the administration.
I can only say that I found the video profoundly disturbing. It started an uproar in my gizzard and when that happens I have to talk about it. I am having to face something that I didn't actually realize: My president is deeply loyal, reverent, affectionate and promoting of the Muslim faith. I was somewhat aware of this before, but did not realize the extent of his devotion. I was aware that he had some background, etc. – but didn't think that he was at all serious about it. After watching this film I am agape, agog and flabbergasted. I fear for my country!
I confess that my past has well-established reasons for feeling this way. Memory takes me back to when I was in Turkey in 1971. I had no particular reason for being there other than being a curious young traveler looking for perspective on life in America; trying to satisfy a cat-like curiosity for the world. My wandering took me east to the end of the Mediterranean, the island of Cyprus, which is terminally embattled between the Greeks (Christian) and the Turks(Muslim) and then on into the Muslim world - Turkey.
What I witnessed there has made a lifelong impression on me. By the time I left I was very sure of two things: 1) I had no doubt that I was a christian, and 2) I loved my country America and felt extremely fortunate to be a Christian American. In the abundant wisdom of my youth, I had been holding these ideas somewhere between lukewarm and cool.
As destiny would have it, I wound up having to stay in Turkey for about a month because of a banking/money snafu in which they ended up withholding a great deal of my cash (surprise, surprise). It was literally sucked out of my hands by this well intended, paper-heavy bureaucracy well versed in preying on young travelers. Consequently I enjoyed an extended stay in Ankara, Turkey, the teeming capital city.
It is hard to know where to start in describing this world. My eyes became open to the fact that I was in a world built upon the Muslim faith – truly different. My cushy life in the U.S.A. was the civilization that Christianity built – no comparison. The first thing I notice is that there is a general filth about everything. Lots and lots of people on the sidewalks - it is instantly evident that nearly everyone is poor – not American poor with beer bellies, dogs and packs off cigarettes – but actually poor and hungry. Public restrooms are so disgustingly filthy that you can hardly go in, yet there is are attendants whose job is to keep the place clean, and they pester you for money.
There is a pervasive appearance that the lights have been dimmed. Nothing is crisply lit like back home. My hotel room was lit by a single light bulb hanging from a wire in the center of the room. This was normal.
One of the most shocking behaviors was drivers' attitudes toward pedestrians. I had heard many warnings along the traveler's highway to be extra careful when crossing the streets in Turkey. It turned out to be true. I witnessed brutal incidents in which compromised pedestrians were scorned, honked at and cursed. I witnessed cars driving recklessly on downtown sidewalks and through yards to get around a traffic jam. I saw a poor man with a horse cart in downtown traffic (not uncommon). The horse was down on the cobblestone street and the man was whipping him to get up while extremely angry drivers showered him with horns and hate.
Looking out my hotel window at three in the morning I saw the sidewalks filled with people as if it were noon - an every night ordinary condition. These were not partiers or late night revelers, these were people living at survival level, coming and going to whatever menial employment they could find. It reminded me very much of an unsleeping, drone-filled ant hill.
There is something in all mid-eastern cities and towns that is as constant as the sun rising and setting - this is the muslim call to prayer. Each dawn and each dusk there rings out over the city like an air raid alert the eerie chanting voice of a man summoning all to come to the mosque and pray. The sound emanates from large speakers mounted on the minarets, tall narrow rocket ship looking towers which surround the mosques. On the sidewalks, throngs of people are walking toward the nearest mosque. I can't help noticing, however, that their walk is a more of a trudge and their demeanor is not of those who go happily to church but go as a result of habit, ritual or indoctrination. On the sidewalks around the huge and beautiful mosques were the most poverty-stricken people I have ever seen. These were people on the verge of starvation, tin cups held out in trembling hands, desperate facial expressions, begging against the walls of the mosque.
I could go on. There was sewage running down the streets. Military police in pairs with rifles roamed the city. Travelers warned not to be caught afoul of the law because the jails were so putrid and dangerous. (See movie "Midnight Express." Every pathetic little dilapidated piece of paper currency had lots of zeroes after the numbers. Hot water in the hotel was Tuesdays and Saturdays. All of this was not a crisis or emergency, it was just normal. I ached to see a cross, a chapel, anything Christian – a new longing of my heart. I would have gone there to feel safe.
Eventually, I got my money back and got out of there, but not without a life long lesson. What I observed was that a society will take shape according to its predominant faith. The reason Turkey seemed dim and dirty to me was that I had seen something better; something kinder, more educated, better equipped. What I had experienced in my life in America was a society built upon Christian values, Christian behaviors. The muslim world wasn't just a little different, it was allot different.
The train and bus stations in Turkey were crowded with people who were leaving the country. Most of them had their possessions in battered suitcases and cardboard boxes tied with rope. They were going to Europe so they could get a job, have an apartment, maybe even own a car. They had seen the western world on TV - It looked like quite an improvement to what they were experiencing.
I came back to the U.S. with an entirely refreshed point of view - so much I had taken for granted. My country cared, though not perfectly, about pedestrians, went to church with a smile, stayed in their lanes in traffic jams, made concessions for the handicapped, had hot water every day and kept the sewage inside the pipes. It was glaringly clear to me that the Christian faith and the resultant attitudes, ideas, work ethic, politics and entrepreneurial spirit, though less than perfect, had built a country that was the envy of humans world wide.
So why am I all of a sudden hammering on my brief experience in the muslim world? It is because of this video I have just watched. When I see the man who has managed to become elected Commander-in-Chief of our country waxing eloquently – repeatedly! - his affections for his Muslim faith, it gives me the shivers. I do not begrudge a man to choose his faith – pay your money and take your chances – but I do feel that this free nation puts itself in a pickle when it elects a president outside the Christian faith, for that person will not comprehend nor be inclined to affirm the bond between the Constitution and the Bible and will not be able to lead in a way that sustains the American standard of excellence.
Interestingly, this video is made almost entirely of short takes where the president is addressing the subject of muslim faith. A critical fault-finder might call attention to the fact that these statements, comments and proclamations are all taken out of context (i.e. the sentences around them have been largely cut away). To that objection I would say yes, but count the number of gushing affections. There are so many muslim-isms bubbling up from his inner well that they actually create a context in themselves. Those with whom I have shared the video have universally commented that they don't believe the American public is actually aware of this profound devotion. Or am I misreading this?
My mission here is for everyone to see the video and decide for themselves. If you are like me, you will be suspicious. The Muslim faith intends nothing for America but to collect on its prosperity. The muslims boast huge numbers world wide, but there's an asterisk on that figure: Except for those who are very rich the rest are dirt poor. Millions have fled their native muslim countries to take up residence in the Western Christian world - Europe, U.S.A., etc, On the other hand, count the number of people who have fled the western world to get into the muslim world.
There is a key word in the muslim faith. It is mujahadeen. It is the overarching term they use for the collective muslim goal to take over and destroy the western world. The radical fundamentalist muslims are the operatives of the mujahadeen – they go out and blow things up.
The moderate muslims for the most part are not militant. Like us, they are probably more fixated on sports, music and pop culture. However, they are extremely reluctant to speak out against the radicalism simply because in their culture one is indoctrinated (brainwashed) at a young age into the religion. They do not live in a culture of debate like we do. People don't speak out. They do not go to church by choice - it is hammered into them as children. They may not agree with the mujahadeen but refrain from ever being open about it. They are not protected by a Bill of Rights. Their history has no phrases like "freedom of speech" or "right to dissent."
In Ashland, Oregon, a college based muslim charity organization named al-Haramain was recently indicted by federal law enforcement for laundering money to support mujahadeen forces in Europe. In a very telling book, "My Year in Radical Islam" by David Gartenstein-Ross, the author tells of his short lived attempt at becoming a muslim, through joining and working at the al-Haramain ashram.
In one incident, the chief of the ashram was being chastised by a higher cleric of the faith visiting from the Middle East. "In order to become a true muslim you must take up residence in the motherland," admonished the visitor.
The local ashram chief responded with due reverence explaining that it was so much better in America because the rights, laws and civil protections could be taken advantage of to promote the muslim faith. Hmm?
Seeing the President of the United States in a low sweeping reverent bow to the king of Suadi Arabia definitely set off some red lights on my personal dashboard. When I first heard about it I thought, okay so he nodded his head, big deal. But when I saw it in this video, it was clear from the body language that it was coming from a deep place in Obama and appeared to have every intent of showing the Saudi king, "Hey Bro! I'm one of you."
It is also known that Mrs. Obama did not travel with her husband beyond Europe in the recent trip to the middle east. It is only conjecture that the reason for this is that Sharia law forbids a wife to travel with her husband for political reasons. I doubt the O's would want that known.
A legitimate objection might arise from someone saying, wait a minute, he was going Reverend Wright's Christian church before he was elected. But did you notice, and I'm sure you did, that your crafty little president was attending a church which was badmouthing America?
America needs to be awakened to this alarming fact. The main-ream media won't touch it. There is a Presidential election approaching. If you think that America is just ripe for embracing and understanding the Muslim faith – (and don't forget that your president has claimed America to be one of the largest muslim countries in the world - sorry, but I really doubt that.) – then please go to that part of the world built upon the muslim faith, stay there for a while and take a look around. If you feel it's all good (my favorite pop-culture phrase), then Obama's your man.
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If you would rue the day that America ever became a filthy mess like this; if you think America should actually be run and managed by Constitutional standards as they grew forth from the edicts of Christianity – I would seriously suggest that we vote out this presidential time bomb pronto!.
So here in Grants Pass Oregon, the local election is slogging along with a voter turnout in the low 20%'s. If this attitudinal apathy continues into the presidential election in two years, then you can count on another four years for the smiling muslim.
© 2010 Bernie Conrad - All Rights Reserved
Bernie Conrad was born in San Diego, CA, 1944. Attended College at University of California Santa Barbara and Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles. Served in US Army Reserves 1965 -1971. Has worked primarily at building renovation and property improvement. Has worked extensively and tutored privately in art and woodcarving.
My purpose in writing is not political or religious. I feel the time has come to enlist in the war between right and wrong. I do not claim a background of specialization other than a love of my family, my fellow man and the American pursuit of happiness. There has been an unquestionable downturn in the character and quality of life within my country - within my lifetime. I see numerous causes for this phenomenon. These causes I identify as the enemy. To speak out against them is to fight for my country. I have gotten too old for the sword so I shall take up the pen. It is a privilege to live in a country where I may do this. It is a shame to see our own citizens unaware of this blessing.