Friday, September 26, 2008

Who's YOUR "Daddy"?

A reader who only identified herself as "Holly W." (I wonder if her last name is Wood?? You know...Holly Wood? That would be SUH-WEET.) Okay, sorry. I've regained composure. Anyway, Ms. "W" left me a comment on both this post and this post, but (conveniently enough) I can't get to her blog (if she has one) to leave a comment directly to her. So I don't know if she'll come back to see if I responded, but on the chance that she might, here's what I'm going to do. I am posting her comments, and I will post my responses embedded within what she wrote. It's easier for me to address her points then.

Here's her first set of comments, left in response to my link to "If You Like Michigan's Economy, You'll Love Obama's":

That's really dangerous to consider an opinion piece from Phil Gramm (remember, he's the McCain economic advisor who said that the economy is strong and that the US is just a nation of whiners) to be journalistic fact! He obviously has an agenda, and that is to make people like you scared of Obama. Unfortunately it's working! The best thing you can do during this election season is to read objective, fact-based articles- not opinion pieces, which are usually just that- opinions!

I'm not sure how one can dispute the fact that states under Democratic leadership have floundered, while states under Republican leadership have prospered. I don't see how Obama is going to help my family by raising taxes my husband's employer has to pay. I see that as a great excuse for employers to shrink their workforce to "make up" for the lost revenue paid out in taxes. I also don't believe that the government spending more money is going to stimulate the economy. I know that if I spend more than I'm bringing in, my personal economy is anything but stimulated. I'm thinking the government would have the same problem. That is, of course, my opinion, but I do try to base my opinion on factual information. As for it being "dangerous" - there is nothing more dangerous than singing. (Just wanted to make sure you were still paying attention)

I also want to comment on the other article you put up there about Democratic fundraisers backing McCain. Do you know how this woman is? She's married to a British noblemen, lives in England, and is very rich! Calling Obama "elitist" is simply ridiculous!!! How can Obama be elitist? He was raised by a single mother (partly with food stamps), he just recently paid off his student loans- he didn't get a free ride to Harvard because his daddy could pay tuition- he only has one house (compared to McCain's 7-9 houses- he can't even keep track), he only has one car (McCain has 13)! So what makes him elitist? Because he has a good education? Because he's smart? McCain finished at the Naval Academy at the bottom (or second-to) of his class. Our current president isn't all that smart, and look where that's gotten us!

Lynn Forester de Rothschild grew up in New Jersey, and worked her way up to her financial position in life. She was very wealthy before she even married her husband. That doesn't mean a whole lot. I know of other people who are very wealthy who are humble, and I know of people who don't have much but scorn others who are in their same situation.

The statement that Barack Obama was raised by his single mother who collected food stamps is a bit misleading. According to Time Magazine (April 9, 2008), "Obama's father had an agenda: to return to his home country and help reinvent Kenya. He wanted to take his new family with him. ... "In the end, Ann decided not to follow him." and "When her son was almost 2, Ann returned to college. Money was tight. She collected food stamps and relied on her parents to help take care of young Barack. She would get her bachelor's degree four years later. In the meantime, she met another foreign student, Lolo Soetoro, at the University of Hawaii." Sounds like Obama's mom made the conscious decision to stay in Hawaii (which I don't disagree with, I might have done the same thing), but she had the help of her parents, which is more than many single moms have today.

As for how Obama paid for college, Harvard won't release details of exactly how his entire tuition was paid for, and the Obama's tax records show them paying no interest in student loans after 2004. That's 4 years ago, and his income in 2005 was 1.6 MILLION dollars. He's not exactly "broke" As a matter of fact, the Obama's yearly income for 2000-2004 was nearly TEN TIMES what my family of 7 lives on.

In reference to the number of houses or cars owned by Obama or McCain - In my opinion, if they can afford what they have, let them have it. I personally would never want to own 7 homes or 13 cars, but more than what these people have done for themselves, what have they done for others? What kind of charitable contributions have they made? What have they done to better our world?

Regarding what makes Obama an elitist - how can someone who attended a church that appears to hold a racist view, as well as an anti-American position for 20 years think people will believe he doesn't harbor some resentment towards white people and the country he calls home? How can he not face the flag OR place his hand over his heart during our NATIONAL Anthem, and not be considered un-patriotic? How can his wife come out and say that she's "proud of our country for the first time" (or something like that) only because her husband has the opportunity to become president? What about all of the opportunities they were both afforded in being able to attend college and become successful lawyers? What about her husband becoming a US Senator? I'd say those are all things to be proud of being able to do.

You mentioned McCain's rank in his class at the Naval Academy. Someones grades (or lack thereof) do not necessarily reflect intelligence. My son is VERY smart, gets "A's" on nearly every test...his GPA is only in the "C" range.

Some people have a hard time taking tests, although they could give you a detailed (and correct) answer when questioned outside of a testing situation.

I graduated High School with a 3.98 GPA (4.0 was the best you could do back then...) and yet I was only in the top 10% of my class of 206. Things like that could be a matter of perspective.

Not saying that Obama ever cheated, because I have never heard that about him, but for another example...people can, and do, cheat to succeed sometimes, be it in school, sports, or business. Again, I am not saying Obama ever cheated, just to be clear.

Finally, I'm sorry to hear about your (husband's) grandmother. My thoughts go out to your family.

I appreciate your acknowledgment of Ande's grandma's death. She was a fine, God loving woman. Thank you.

p.s. I'm a concerned US citizen who just happens to live abroad. What I've learned by living in Europe is that government that can offer its people health insurance, a social safety net, free education (that includes college) is simply better in line with my ideology as an ethical Judeo-Christian- I don't need a lecture about God and Jesus. I'd really like to know why you think that health care for children and help for those who are having financial troubles are bad things. In today's economy, a lot of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, but you should know that better than me- I haven't been on American soil in over a year.

I don't think health care for children or help for those who are having financial troubles are bad things. Our family has been the beneficiary of both of those things. I don't have a solution to our country's problems, but I'm for sure not going to vote for someone who I believe will make them worse.

Now, for Ms. "W's" second set of comments, left under the "Like Rats Leaving a Sinking Ship" post:

I just don't get why Conservatives always try to claim that Liberals don't have any morals or are morally corrupt. What's wrong with wanting children to have health insurance, that is ALL children, or wanting those in need to be taken care of by the State when they're just not making it on their own.

Again, I don't see anything wrong with health insurance for everyone, or helping families in need. I just don't see Obama's plan being one that will work.

As for abortion rights and gay marriage- our founding fathers made it clear that in the US we have separation of Church and State- that means LEAVE YOUR BELIEFS OUT OF POLITICS!!!! I live in a country without separation of Church and State (Germany)- I am an American citizen, by the way- and even though religion is taught in public schools as a one of many subjects, they still manage to keep religion out of politics.

Separation of church and state means (simply stated) that our country will not force anyone to follow a "state" religion, and that our country does not claim to be a nation of a specific religion. (Although don't about 85% of Americans claim to be Christian? I'm just sayin') As for leaving religion out of politics - some of our laws are based on the Ten Commandments, and those same commandments are the basis on which much of society bases their morality (or at least used to). Separation of church and state does not mean, "Leave your beliefs at the door". I won't vote for someone whom I don't feel shares my beliefs.

As for abortion and homosexual marriage - murder is wrong. Most people agree on that, right? Then why is killing a baby okay? There are so many other alternatives out there. The homosexual lifestyle is wrong, as well. If it weren't, why did people (until recent times) hide it?? Why do people go to court to defend it?

Speaking of separation of church and state and religion being taught in school - did you know the first Bibles published in the US were for use in schools?

Anyway, I personally am also pro-life, but how can I claim to be in a position to judge a woman that feels like abortion is the only option? Why should I take that right away from her? Or better yet, let's start teaching our teens about safer sex or work on ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place. We only have to look to Bristol Palin to see that abstinence-only doesn't work. In short, let's start worrying about the people who are already on this earth and start taking care of them.

Using Bristol Palin as a defense for sex-ed seems like a good idea, until you think about the fact that NO form of birth control is 100% effective all of the time EXCEPT abstinence. So Bristol messed up, got caught up in a you honestly believe that knowing how to have sex "safely" helps? To me, it's like giving permission to have sex. Give a teenager a license, a car, and a set of keys. Do you think he's NOT going to want to drive? It's the same thing with sex. Sex outside of marriage has been glamorized more and more in the media. Promoting sex ed, which gives education on how to protect yourself from STD's and unwanted pregnancies, wouldn't even be necessary if people learned to keep it in their pants until marriage, and then remained faithful to their marriage partner for life. Maybe we should start teaching MARRIAGE Ed in schools.

Do any of you work with underprivileged children or people truly on the fringes of our society? I'd be interested to know.

I don't have personal experience with that, other than supporting charities like Goodwill and the Salvation Army. My husband worked in a homeless shelter/drug rehab facility for about a year, and I did interact with some of the clients there on occasion.

Anyway, what ever happened to "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone"? Or loving your neighbor as yourself?

No one is without sin. However, we (Christians) shouldn't look the other way when we know there is sin going on. You can love a person without loving the sins they've committed, but that is not to condone the sin.

In case anyone wants to respond, you can spare yourself any religious arguments- I've heard them all, I've thought about them, and I've studied Theology at the University. You'll just feel like your talking to a brick wall, which is how I'll probably feel by bothering to respond. I just get riled up when I see people telling lies and spreading misinformation about Liberals.

Father God does not lie. His word is the truth. Satan, however, is the Father of Lies. Who's YOUR "Daddy"?


Brandi said...

AMEN Julie!! Great Response! I wish I could make my points as well as you. I certainly do hope Ms. Wood reads your comments.

Destini said...

You go girl!

Holly W. said...

First of all, my last name is not "Wood." Secondly, I knew that I was opening up a can of worms that I really didn't need to, but the fact that you spent so much time (falsely) believing that you were tearing me apart is amusing enough. I can't promise that I'll write more because I have a job (I'm a teacher, and to be honest, taking care of my students is more important than debating with you).

I guess I just don't get the double standard that Conservatives always peddle- if that were Obama's teenage daughter who was pregnant, you guys would be jumping all over him.

To respond to you: You say: "I don't see how Obama is going to help my family by raising taxes my husband's employer has to pay." If you would listen, Obama just wants to return to tax code to the same standards it was during the Clinton -era- remember, it was as time of prosperity and when the rest of the world actually admired us. So unless your husband is making over $200,000 a year or his employer is a major oil or drug company, I don't think you have to worry. (What does singing have to do with anything?)

That's great that Lady Rothschild also has a similar background as Obama, but that makes it even more ridiculous that she is now calling him an elitist- do you see the logic? Btw, do you know Obama personally? I tend to think that I can only make such judgements about people when I have actually sat down to talk to them. You are projecting what you have heard about Lady Rothschild, how does that differ?

I don't understand why staying in Hawaii makes her any less poor or any less of a single mother. Just because the weather is nice? Huh? It's great that her parents (from Kansas) helped her out- do you think that Democrats see that as a fault or something? We value families, too.

I'm going to quote you again...
"Obama's not exactly "broke" As a matter of fact, the Obama's yearly income for 2000-2004 was nearly TEN TIMES what my family of 7 lives on." Okay, that's nice- how much did McCain and his wife make last year? Enough to feed a family of 200? Enough to feed a whole African country, I'm guessing. (Judging by the math, your family is not doing so badly either- have you ever had to live from food stamps yourself? I'm guessing no. Well my family had to when I was a kid. I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth and had to work extremely hard to get the opportunity to study at a private university. I know what it's like to go from the bottom to the "top." That's called the American dream, and Obama lives it, not McCain.

As for charitable contributions the candidates have made...I know that Sarah Palin made fun of the fact that Obama was a community organizer, but in my opinion, and the opinion of other socially-minded people, that in itself is a charitable contribution. Rev. Wright aside, at least we know that Obama (who remains in a loving and committed relationship to his wife) attends church regularly unlike McCain!!!

Furthermore, I don't think it's fair to call Obama anti-American just because he's willing to point out the faults of the country. That is what makes our country so great- freedom of speech. As for the comment by Michelle Obama, you have taken that out of context, which is not surprising. She was proud of her country for the first time in her adult life, is what she said. From someone who knows, I can love my country, be thankful to have been born there and given the opportunities I have been given, but that doesn't automatically mean I have to be "proud" of what has been going on the past eight years. In my case, the opposite is true. You don't have to deal with the questions and criticisms that I do because you don't live abroad. I defend the US as best I can, but lately I can't explain how we've gotten into the mess we're currently in- financial crisis excluded.

As for intelligence, I am with you- tests aren't everything. However, finishing last or second-to at the Naval Academy is nothing I would advertise.

Again to get back to the religion issue- if you would look, you would see that Obama is the more "God-fearing" of the two. If you haven't noticed, he talks very openly about his faith. This is actually kind of a turn off for someone like me who wants to keep religion completely out of it. When McCain talks about faith, its only about the faith of others, not of his own. Can you honestly tell me more about what McCain actually believes? He was pro-choice until recently, just so you know. (Btw, Laura Bush is pro-choice, too, and Mrs. McCain refuses to answer questions about it. Do you think that McCain's sudden change of heart could be political? I think so.)

As for abortion, ever since people have been getting pregnant, there have been natural ways to terminate the pregnancy. Hildegard of Bingen, a nun, wrote about such herbal conconctions. As I already said, I am personally against abortion, but I don't want to speak for others. As for homosexuality, I think a lot of "Christians" spend way too much time thinking about what other people do in the bedroom. Science and nature (there are a number of other species that show homosexual behaviors) have shown us again and again that homosexual behavior is something natural and not a choice. Just as you are heterosexual, is one out of ten people on this earth homosexual. God created nature, so if homosexuality is something natural, how can it be wrong?

I don't understand what Bibles published for use in schools have to do with the separation of church and state. It's in the Constition. I'd like to know when that happened. Probably at a time when the US was more homogenous than it is today. And even if that were so, it still doesn't change the facts. I myself am not a Religion teacher (I teach Ethics for all the non-believers- fitting, eh?), but the same ideas are taught in both courses- tolerance, respect, and open-mindedness. I see these as core values, and you?

You then say: "NO form of birth control is 100% effective all of the time EXCEPT abstinence". How long do we have to hear this outdated argument? No one would deny that this is true, but let's get real here. Adolescents are having sex, and isn't it better that they know how to protect themselves against diseases and unwanted pregnancies? If they don't have the facts, then we really run into problems. It's not a coincidence that the US has the highest teen pregnancy rate in comparison to the rest of the industrial world (where sex ed is taught). In my perfect world, no one would get divorced, all children would be loved and taken care of, everyone would wait until they got married to sleep with their partner, and everyone would have a roof over their head, enough to eat, and warm clothing. Unfortunately, that isn't our world, so we have to get real.

As for "Marriage Ed." that you can really only learn from example, not from a textbook. I'm lucky and have good examples, but a lot of other people aren't so lucky. I think that many people have unrealistic views of marriage, which is why so many end in divorce. I think that discussion about loving relationships isn't a bad idea, and we try to do that in Ethics class.

Finally, you asked who my "daddy" was...that's a complicated question and I don't want to launch into a long discussion. I'll sign off with a short story that sums up my thoughts about that...a man looked around at the pain and suffering in the world and asked God why he didn't send someone to help. God replied, "I did send someone, I sent you."

What that means to me, God is within us, and as Ganhdi said, we should be the change we want to see in the world. So I guess that means that I accept full responsibility for my actions and their consequences.

Have a nice weekend. Fall has arrived here, and by in your neck of the woods? I'm looking forward to the changing leaves. We have a beautiful view of the Steiger Woods from our balcony.

Holly W(ermter)
Erfurt, Germany
p.s. sorry my last name isn't as interesting as "Wood". Are you making fun of my first name? I would appreciate it if your friends would stop making fun of my name as well. It's not very becoming. That's just hitting below the belt, and for the record, my parents are God-fearing, church-going folks. They scratch their heads when they wonder why I'm not, at least not in the same way, but at least they're willing to discuss it with me with an open mind.

12-arrows said...

Julie I have to hand it to you and your great words of rebuttal! Way to go! You did a fantastic job of bringing forth the truth, however its very clear that Holly W. chooses to live in the "dark". How sad that people are totally closed-minded to the real issues, living in the "fog" of ignorance. I am proud of you and applaud you for your integrity and your public stance!

12-arrows said...

Oh by the way, I love the "Who's your Daddy". That was FANTASTIC!!!

Julie said...

Thanks to those of you who have commented on this so far.

First, I'd like to tell Holly that I was not making fun of her name (first OR last), I thought it would be a good tension-breaker. And Holly Wood wouldn't be a bad name to have. Sorry, Holly, that you felt that way. As for what the other readers say, they are responsible for their own comments.

Second, I wasn't trying to tear anyone apart, I was stating in simple terms why I support the candidate I do, and answering what I thought were questions you wanted answered. For someone who didn't want to debate, you sure asked a lot of questions.

If Obama's teenage daughter were pregnant, I would hope that she wouldn't choose abortion. However, I do know that Obama did say in a speech that he didn't want his daughters to have to "pay for a mistake" or something along those lines. I personally wouldn't jump all over anyone who had a teenage daughter who got pregnant. My mom had my sister when she was 17. I have an aunt who had her first child at 14. I know that kind of stuff happens.

I frankly wasn't too interested in politics when Clinton was president. As a matter of fact, he was elected while I was still in high school. I do know that Clinton signed NAFTA, which has been a GREAT thing for our economy. Just ask me, my husband, and the thousands of other people who USED to work in the automotive industry. Obviously you didn't click the link in the singing comment...I was trying to make a little joke, lighten the mood a bit. Go back and click the link and maybe you'll get the joke.

No, I don't know Obama personally. I do know the kinds of statements he makes that are offensive to me (like the one about clinging to guns and religion). I do know that I don't trust lawyers. I do know that I will not vote for him.

As for Obama's mother's choice to stay in Hawaii - his dad WANTED them to move to Kenya. She chose not to go. She made the decision to be single. Hawaii's weather, I'm sure, had nothing to do with her poverty level. Why would Democrats see her parents helping out with him as a fault? I was simply stating that she was not quite the destitute single mom you made her out to be. I'm sure she struggled at times, but many of those struggles were of her own choosing.

John McCain made $419,731 (actual income) last year, of which he donated AT LEAST $176,508 (book royalties). I don't know how much his wife made, as they file separate income tax returns. The Obama's reported ADJUSTED earnings of $983,826, of which they donated $60, 307. Now, this may just be me, but it seems as though even though McCain's earnings were less than half of the Obama's, he gave nearly THREE times as much to charity than they did. I know Cindy McCain also does a lot of charity work, and has a heart for hurting people as well. Aren't two of their children adopted?

Oh, and I didn't know $28,000/year was "not doing too badly". That's how much my husband makes. For 7 people. Yes, we have received food stamps, and I grew up in a house when sometimes all we had to eat was ketchup and bread. I don't have any idea what a silver spoon tastes like, but I can sure tell you what government subsidies do.

I'm not sure that I feel attending a church regularly that promotes racism is better in some way than someone who doesn't attend church very often. Some of the biggest hypocrites out there are in church every Sunday, yet are lower than snakes every other day of the week.

So, Michelle Obama was not an adult when she was given the opportunity to go to a prestigious university? She was still just a kid when she became a lawyer?? I think not. Freedom of speech is great, but when someone who is running for office associates with known terrorists??? Why do you think the Muslims want Obama in the White House? It sure isn't so he'll invite them to tea.

My guess (and it's only a guess) is that McCain is proud of the fact that he was able to attend the Naval Academy. Who cares if 50 years ago (or however long ago it was that he attended the academy) he wasn't a great student? I'm a little more concerned with the kind of person he is today.

Of course Obama talks openly about his faith. I watched part of that Shadow Mountain interview that Rick Warren had, and had to turn it off for all the ridiculous sucking up to Rick Warren and the audience Obama was doing. He wants the Evangelical vote, and he's not afraid to stoop to any level to get there. As for McCain and his religion - he claims Christianity as his, and attends a Baptist church.

As for the pro-choice issue - you know, there was a time when I was pro-choice. Then I changed my mind. I think people are entitled to that. Cindy McCain is for abortion only in the case of rape or incest, I believe. I don't agree with her position, she's a whole lot closer than someone who voted four times to shoot down the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.

Of course a nun would have an herbal concoction to terminate a pregnancy. How else would one cover up all of the things that went on between priests and nuns? (I think not allowing priests or nuns to marry is just about the stupidest thing I have ever heard).

The science and nature argument is interesting. There might be one in ten people who feel the urge to murder someone. Would that make it "natural"? There might be one in ten people who want to have sex with animals. Would that be natural? God did not create us to have same sex relationships. Homosexuality is the result of sin, which began when Adam and Eve at the fruit in the Garden of Eden. It certainly isn't what God had intended for us. If He had, I'm quite sure He would have said something about it being okay in the Bible.

The Bibles in school comment was meant to illustrate that in the past, even with separation of church and state there was still room for religion. Tolerance, respect, and open-mindedness are all great in theory. However, in the real world, people only seem tolerant to things that don't challenge their way of thinking. To be tolerant also does not mean to condone.

The teen sex thing - of course they are having sex. Because our society tells them it's okay to. Keep giving permission (and instruction), and they'll keep doing it.

You know, the more I think about it, Marriage Ed is a really good idea. Many kids these days have no examples other than what they see on TV or the cover of the latest tabloid. Of course they don't value marriage - no one else seems to. My parents divorced, and I am divorced from my first husband. Nearly every couple in my family has been divorced. How's that for an example? Maybe if I had been learning about how to create a loving relationship with a man so we could have a marriage that would last instead of learning how to put a condom on, I might have been a little better off. Thankfully, I learned from my first mistake and now have a great husband who is my best friend.

The last question was rhetorical. That was for you to consider for yourself. If you choose to follow a false god, or to follow none at all, I can't control that. I can only say that I know who the one true God is, and I know His word is truth.

As for your final comments, the weather is still warm here during the day, but cool at night. Leaves are changing and falling already.

As I said before, I wasn't making fun of your name. "Holly" reminds me of Christmas, which is one of my favorite times of the year. I'm glad to hear that your parents are believers in Christ. Gives me hope that you will be one day, too. I'm sure they're praying for that day. (My sister prayed for me for 15 years before I gave my life to the Lord).