We've found new friends! Catholics Democrats are following us on Twitter - and we in turn are following them! Please check out their website here - and notice the bannerhead "Catholics for Obama." Also read this article here that details their efforts.
When you find a new friend it is usually because you both have something in common - and I mean something beyond the Blake Edward's film, Breakfast at Tiffany's, although for some people that's enough to keep a relationship together. I read this week that Mitt Romney has a penchant for Cherry Coke Zero and McDonald's pancakes, and I was floored because those (and brown paper packages) are two of my favorite things as well. So now, beyond our common religious affiliation, Romney and I share Cherry Zero and MacDoughs, and this is no small thing for me... especially because I'm trying to distance myself from Romney as the election draws closer.
But I am moving forward. And to further this effort, I am giving up Cherry Zero until the election (and I hardly eat McDonald's pancakes anyway; you have to be there by 11 am on Saturday before the switch to lunch, and that is way too early.) So instead, I am taking up Obama's favorite drink, which is... oh wait... black forest berry iced tea. That might pose a problem.
Well, no matter - I found 50 Facts You Might Not Know About Obama, and I've already discovered 8 things we have in common:
1) I have read every Harry Potter book also (and then turned around and listened to them all on CD.)
2) I too have eaten dog, snake, and grasshoppers - and found them all to taste like meat.
3) I sometimes try to write with my left hand (when disguising my handwriting for ransom notes.)
4) I also like Casablanca and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (but edited for television only.)
5) I like Scrabble too. (Qat is my favorite word, because I don't like u.)
6) Like Obama, I don't drink coffee and rarely drink alcohol (only in cough syrup and desserts - but mostly it cooks out.)
7) I've read the dedication page for Moby Dick; (it's written for Nathaniel Hawthorne - before Nathaniel unfriended Herman on Facebook for posting too much political stuff.)
8) The Wire.
And I will add one more thing to my list that wasn't included in the article: Me and the President will be voting for the same candidate in November. That is some common ground to start from.
Lauara Club Fancy wrote about the White House garden, and now we should all go to our favorite independent book store to get a copy of the book that details the garden further. (My favorite Seattle indy bookstores are: Elliott Bay Books and Third Place Books)
Michelle Obama's new book, American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America, is both a book full of pictures of the White House garden and a book of great recipes that match this ongoing theme. The reviews are plentiful and complimentary, and there are a number of video reports as well, including one on C-SPAN2 / Booktv.org . Even Sasha and Malia weighed in, calling it "a good book." And Alex Klein reveals "12 juicy bits" about the book in his Daily Beast review. Now back to the pictures: they are impressive and colorful, and I cannot look at them without wishing that I could go outside and weed a garden. (I do not have garden...just a handful of house plants in my apartment to remind me of Costa Rica)
The book is apolitical and should please the "typical" Mormon who strives to build up our food storage by gardening, canning fruit, making homemade jams and (of course, Jell-O).
Finally, I want to thank my own amazing mother who grew up on a hard-working family farm on the other side of the mountains from Seattle. She raised me to appreciate farm life - while living in the suburbs and taking me on big city adventures during my childhood. So of course, she spoiled me with my very own copy of Michelle Obama's book, and in return I plan to make a few of the recipes for her...and hopefully warm her up to the Obamas one delicious recipe at a time.
You have probably heard quite a bit by now about a recent incident in Afghanastan in which several Qurans were burnt by US military personnel at Bagram air base. Apparently the Qurans had notes written in them by prisoners, and upon discovery were confiscated, mistakenly added to other garbage at the base and at least partially incinerated before being noticed by Afghani staff.
In the wake of the incident radical elements of Islamic extremists used the situation to foment anti-American sentiment, which ultimately culminated in riots that killed more than 30 people, several of them American service members.
As the controversy began to heat up President Obama wrote a letter of apology to Afghan president Hamid Karzai. Secretary of State Clinton and the head of NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, also issued apologies for the incident.
It was these apologies, and particularly the President’s, that set off its own controversy generated by the Right-wing media machine here in the U.S. Media Matters recently compiled an astounding set of clips from FoxNews on this story. (http://mediamatters.org/research/201202280001).
A few highlights:
- Liz Cheney (daughter of the Dark Lord, and qualified political commentator?) calling Obama “The Apologist”, and stating that his “default position” is to “apologize for America”
- FoxNews contributor Mike Gallagher saying that it was “outrageous” for President Obama “to go crawling to Karzai”
- And of course Carl “ham” Rove (Colbert reference), stating that rather then do any good, President Obama’s apology actually “made [the situation] worse by showing weakness”
[caption id="attachment_618" align="alignright" width="300"] A political cartoon by Gary Varvel criticizing Obama's apology[/caption]
Why should we apologize to terrorists who blow up civilians, throw acid in the face of schoolgirls and kill people over a burned book when they don’t apologize to us? As another Fox contributor, Charles Krauthamer, put it, “when I hear that [apology from their side] I'll expect my president to start issuing an apology.”
So, from what I have gathered, a good portion of the Republican electorate thinks that President Obama’s apology was insulting to America and its troops, pathetic, weak and harmful. Leaving the efficacy of the apology aside for the moment, I’d like to reflect on the substance of the Right’s inane reactions.
The reality is that the war that the United States is fighting in Afghanistan is not a ‘traditional war’, but rather a culture war. There are fundamentally differing views about the world on the two sides, views that cannot be softened with the help of shared history, customs, language or faith. A more amicable America is not Al Qaeda’s goal any more than a more democratic Afghan terror cell network is the goal of the U.S. We will never ‘agree to disagree.'
Because we are engaged in a culture war, the opinion of the vast majority of Muslims across the world whose minds and support are being fought over are very important to our goals. We will never win those minds and support if Muslims believe we don’t respect their beliefs. To ignore public opinion of Afghanis and other Muslims is not only idiotic, but also deadly. It should be noted that there actually are some conservative political minds that understand this, and so support Obama’s decision to apologize, in addition to a number of military minds as well. (See the Media Matters link).
As one observer pointed out, Hamid Karzai is a weak president struggling to maintain his tenuous grip on power. Whether we like him or not, he is our guy right now, and we need him to succeed for stability in Afghanistan to even be a possibility. What Obama did with his written apology was to give Karzai a tool to use as he worked to confront this mini-crisis at home. Karzai actually read the letter to the Afghani Parliament in the aftermath, using what he had to get what he could.
These common sense reasons to apologize were even obvious to George W. Bush, who apologized not once, but twice, to foreign nations for desecration that occurred to the Quran on his watch.
But beyond the common sense reasons to be culturally sensitive to the Muslim faith that is followed by millions across the globe, there is another reason, an even better reason, for being thoughtful. That reason, of course, is because it is the right thing to do. Rather than subscribing to Krauthamer’s ‘only do good unto others when they have done good unto you’ worldview, I am more inclined to go with another philosophy, something more like ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. Now who was it that said that? Maybe the Right believes that this only applies when it’s easy.
Because I am a Mormon, I am sensitive to how the outside world treats my faith. Beyond the history of forced dislocation, assassinations and open hostility that the early Mormons endured, I have personally had to defend my faith in public arenas, classrooms and in conversation. I know this is not unique to me, but is a common experience for many members of our church. As Mormons, “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.” [*] Of course this does not mean we sit idly by while minority fanatics attack us in the name of their God, but it does mean that we should show Muslims the same degree of respect that we believe our faith deserves.
Leave it to the Right-wing to call Obama’s common sense response to the situation “irresponsible and unnecessary”, an olive branch as “outrageous”, likening it to groveling before a foreign power. And who would you expect but Rove and his ilk to see what others might recognize as self-reflection and honesty as “weakness”. Is theirs a world you want to live in? Me neither.
[*] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ 11th Article of Faith.
I guess I could begin by explaining what this website is not, before explaining what the website is. Firstly, we don't hate Mitt Romney, and we don't want to character-assassinate him here. Personally, I kind of like the guy and wouldn't mind having him as my home teacher. My sister (who is unabashedly liberal) keeps emailing me links to various anti-Romney videos, cartoons, and articles; I mostly read them, laugh, or shake my head in pretend disdain, but occasionally I feel the need to reply back in Romney's defense, forgetting to check myself that I am in fact a Obama supporter. (But more on that later.)
Secondly, we don't want to imply that Mormons, by some definition of being Mormon, should of necessity vote for Obama, although my faith does influence my voting decisions. I have observed this sentiment from some conservative Mormons: that because I am Mormon, I need to vote Republican to be a "good" Mormon. We don't want that to be the case here.
Finally, this website is not purporting to speak on behalf of any candidate or the LDS Church. We are Mormons, and we are voting for Obama, but our ideas are our own, and any guest contributors to this website also take responsibility for their thoughts as well.
It probably goes without saying that we originally thought to make this website because of Mitt Romney's campaign for President and the expectation that because we are Mormon, we logically would vote for the Mormon candidate. We noticed that some Facebook groups of Mormons supporting Obama existed from the 2008 election. However, we wanted to have a place to express our support for the President, his vision and policies, and his campaign for reelection; hence, we've created this website.
Through this site, we are hoping to provide a space for an online community for those who are like-minded, but also for those who may differ or disagree that they might learn as well as teach us something. So please feel free to comment on posts and links!
Additionally, we are looking for content. Therefore, if you have thoughts or ideas that you would like to contribute, or if you come across any relevant news links, please send them to us and we will post them here. A brief explanation of submission guidelines will follow, but as long as it's "nice," there shouldn't be a problem. Thank you for your interest!