Feminist Click Moment: You’re Against Battered Women’s Shelters?!

Georgia Platts –BroadBlogs

“We’ve got to stop those feminists from setting up a battered women’s shelter!”

So proclaimed my piano teacher in numerous post-lesson conversations with my mom. When she wasn’t grumbling about shelters she was remarking on how lovely Phyllis Schlafly’s bouffant looked alongside those long-haired feminists.

I didn’t get it. “Why doesn’t she want shelters?” I asked my mom.

Mom didn’t get it either. “I suppose she’s concerned that they don’t have the right training to run one,” she speculated.

Actually, my piano teacher probably didn’t know why she was against shelters, either. Aligned with “the F-word,” they must be bad.

None of us knew. But as it turns out, the whole family-values agenda that my teacher so revered was intent on maintaining male power and female submission.

My piano teacher was a member of my church. Back then, in the ’70s, Mormonism was in major backlash against the feminist movement. And that gave rise to a series of little “clicks,” leading up to a major feminist “click” moment for me.

In my church’s backlash, women were suddenly forbidden from leading prayer during worship services. Worse yet (to me), girls had to wear dresses to “Activity Night,” and lessons on the importance of marriage overtook other activities.

Priesthood, forbidden to women, is bestowed upon all males at age 12. If gender inequality were not bad enough, watching my late-maturing boy-peers take on that mantel seemed ludicrous. I was especially not happy when my little brother received the priesthood. Worse, my divorced mother then declared him “head of home,” presiding over my grandmother, mother and me. I wasn’t having any of it, so that befuddled notion never became reality.

The final click? The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back? Although Mormonism gave up polygamy (“Mormon Fundamentalists” keep the tradition), from the time I was little I was taught that polygamy was the way of Heaven because, ironically, women were sweeter in spirit so there would be more of us up there. I suddenly realized that if I were the best person I could be, my eternal reward would be second-class status as a woman and marriage to a polygamous man. Heaven? Sounded more like Hell to me.

Interestingly, I attended my old congregation a while back while visiting my mother, and heard an announcement that her congregation was raising money for a battered women’s shelter! I also heard concern that “unequal spousal relationships” were a primary cause of family disintegration. Maybe that’s hopeful. I know many young feminist women who today live in peace with Mormonism. Some have even started a blog: Feminist Mormon Housewives.

Oddly, in some ways my whole trauma has an upside. I don’t know if I would have found my life calling–teaching women’s studies, and writing for the Ms. Blog and creating my own BroadBlogs–if it weren’t for my church’s formidable effort to turn me against feminism. So, in a strange way, I’m tempted to say “thank you.” Too bad the cost is so high.

Gays and Women with Boyfriends Shouldn’t Teach (It Limits Freedom!): The Gospel of Jim DeMint

South Carolina Senator, Jim DeMint, was quoted in the Spartanberg newspaper saying that no one who is openly gay should be teaching in the classroom. And neither should unmarried women who are sleeping with their boyfriends.

Apparently hetero men can sleep with whomever they wish and keep their jobs. Good thing, or a lot of his Congressional colleagues would be out of work.

Then he continued, “(When I said that) no one came to my defense. But everyone would come to me and whisper that I shouldn’t back down. They don’t want government purging their rights and their freedom to religion.”

Huh?

How does denying jobs to gays and women with boyfriends increase their freedom and limit government intrusion in their lives? How does this increase their freedom of religion?

So whose freedom is he talking about?

DeMint actually wants to limit the freedoms of the less powerful members of society — women and gays — in order to increase the freedom of more powerful members of southern society: conservative Christians who don’t want the burden of interacting with anyone who doesn’t share some of their views.

But these good Christians seem to have forgotten the golden rule. To paraphrase Jesus: Do unto others as you would have done unto you. And what about the second greatest commandment: Love your neighbor?

Georgia Platts

October is Gay and Lesbian History Month

 

The Burqa and Individual Rights: It’s Complicated

“Burqa bans” are arising throughout Europe, with France voting their approval this past Tuesday. But many are concerned that the prohibitions limit the individual rights of Muslims.

It’s complicated.

First, the garment itself limits individual rights – women’s. Second, to what extent is the burqa wearer exercising actual choice? Finally, is a ban the best way to go?

Let’s start with the question of women’s choice.

When a society’s way of seeing becomes our own – even when it harms us – the belief is “internalized.” My interest in this phenomenon was sparked by my upbringing. In the early years of the feminist movement women from my church were bused to various conventions to vote down things like equal pay for equal work. I spent afternoons listening to women in my church talk about keeping battered women’s shelters from opening. They were against women receiving priesthood authority, and they were for male leadership in the home.

I didn’t understand why they worked so hard to disempower themselves, their daughters, and other women. But people don’t tend to question the taken-for-granted notions of their culture. It’s simply what you do.  So choice disappears.

The same phenomenon arises in other settings. Saudi women say they don’t want to vote or drive. Many 19th Century American women didn’t want the vote, either. In North Africa women defend the genital mutilations that kill and cripple them.

Burqas limit women’s autonomy and power. Yet some women voluntarily don them, keeping with their culture.

Burqas – or niqabs (face coverings) – prevent wearers from gaining driver’s licenses when they are strictly worn, since identity can’t be confirmed via picture ID. When a city or village lacks public transportation it is hard to get around without a car. That makes it tough to get a job.

Even with transportation it’s not easy finding work in a facemask. The mask seems dehumanizing and eerie, as does the subjugation it represents.

But ethnocentrism is thought weightier than sexism. “Isms” that affect men seem more important than those that affect women – even when women are harmed, as when a female German judge denied a Muslim woman’s appeal for divorce, claiming that being beaten was part of her culture. 

Did women have equal power to create the cultures that harm them?

Some women do resist, but feel pressured, as one of my Muslim students told me when we discussed the matter of covering.

But bans may not be the best way to deal with burqas or niqabs. Bans can backfire since people cling more tightly to their groups when they feel persecuted. As restrictions go into effect more women might actually embrace the burqas that limit them.

A better way may lie in creating conversation so that different cultures can consider a variety of perspectives. I am sure that Westerners and Muslims can learn from each other and our different ways of seeing.

Georgia Platts

The Burqa: Limiting Women’s Power and Autonomy

With the French voting on the “burqa ban” next week, I’m republishing my first post from BroadBlogs, originally published July 20, 2010

As European countries step up to ban the burqa, many protesters don’t understand that the burqa is neither a religious requirement nor a simple cultural costume. The burqa is about limiting women’s autonomy and power.

The Koran only asks women to be modest and to veil their breasts (24:30 31).

If the burqa is not a religious requirement, how did it arise? Let’s take a look at how covering affects women in the countries in which it is law, which points to its intent.

In Saudi Arabia women cannot drive because they cannot get a driver’s license (no face picture for identity purposes).

Meanwhile, Sheikh Abdul Mohsin al-Abaican recently declared that women should give breast milk to their male drivers so that they can symbolically become their sons. Not sure that this means breastfeeding, which would neither enhance modesty nor separate the sexes. But it would keep non-lactating women from driving. (Or could they feed their drivers formula?) Women who cannot afford drivers are pretty much doomed to stay close to home.

Reflecting their lack of power, Saudi women make up only 5% of the workforce. Maybe it’s hard to get to work? This low number reflects a social norm that women’s place is in the home, leaving the larger society largely safe from their influence.

In Afghanistan, women political candidates cannot speak or give speeches face-to-face in mixed company. If there is enough money for campaign posters, a burqa amidst men’s faces would certainly stand out, I suppose. Meanwhile, the bulk of Taliban-style culture is designed to limit women’s power, whether keeping them from venturing outside the house or keeping them from education and work.

The Burqa is not a fashion statement. It is not a religious requirement, so it cannot be defended on grounds of religious rights. It is not really about morality. Why should free societies support the lack of freedom and power that the burqa was intended to create?

Georgia Platts

Did Women Create Burqa Culture?

The upcoming French vote on the burqa ban has got me thinking. Did women have equal power to create the burqa? And who benefits from this garment?

Some charge that rejecting the burqa comes from fear of the other, or ethnocentrism. I’m in sync with cultural relativism, so long as no one is being hurt. But buqas and “burqa cultures” don’t give women equal power. And women certainly did not have equal sway in creating the customs of these societies.

Think about the laws that exist in places where women are required to cover up in burqas or niqabs (facemasks) or various other veilings.

Is it likely that women decided that men could easily demand a divorce, but women could get one only with difficulty?

Is it likely that women created the notion that sharing a husband with other women might be nice?

Did women create the idea that an adulterous man be punished by burial up to his waist before being stoned, while a woman must be buried to her breasts – and one who escapes, escapes the stoning?

In these cultures, when a woman is raped it is her fault. She obviously let some hair fall from her covering, or she allowed an ankle to show. Everyone knows that no man could resist such things. Did women decide that women, and not men, are responsible for men’s sexuality?

Did women originate the notion that after rape, the victim must be killed to restore the family honor?

Did women clamor for a burqa that limits their power and autonomy – keeping them from driving and getting jobs that are far from home? Did women design this garment that prevents small pleasures like seeing clearly or feeling the sun and the wind?

And who benefits?

Men benefit from easily obtaining a divorce, but not allowing their wives the same privilege. Men benefit from the sexual variety of having many wives, while women are left to share one man. Men benefit by more easily escaping a stoning. And men can rape with impunity since women fear reporting sexual assault, lest their families kill them. Men gain power when women are incapable of getting jobs and income. How much easier is it to beat women for the infraction of straying outside the home, or letting a wrist show, when they are black and blue blobs, and not human beings?

It is common to make accusations of ethnocentrism when one culture rejects the practices of another. Often the fears are valid.

But if a powerful group creates a culture that benefits themselves to the detriment of others, the critique is not about ethnocentrism. It is about human rights.

Georgia Platts

Ways of Seeing: Ravaged or Ravishing?

By Robert Rees

We are bombarded with thousands if not tens of thousands of images every day. Occasionally, two images come into such sharp contrast that they can’t be ignored. Such was the case when I opened the New York Times on Sunday, May 2. On page ten  of that issue is a color photo of a 23 year old Congolese woman. The caption says her lips and right ear have been cut off by rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army. Her shorn head, the blackness of her face, the swollen pink oval around her mouth where her lips had once been (like the exaggerated lips of “Sambo” or minstrel characters once popular in American culture), and the sideway glance of her eyes as someone (perhaps her mother) touches her remaining ear with what seems tenderness. It is an image so heartbreaking as to make one weep.

                                                                             

In Ways of Seeing John Berger says, “The meaning of an image is changed according to what one sees immediately beside it or what comes immediately after it. Such authority as it retains is distributed over the whole context in which it appears.” Thus . . .

Immediately across the page from this photo is a full page Lord & Taylor ad of a beautiful white woman with long flowing dark hair, green eyes, perfect lips and two ears from which dangle long bejeweled earrings. She is arrayed in such opulence—necklace, pendant, bracelets, a giant opaline or turquoise ring, that the contrast with the Congolese woman is shocking. The juxtaposition of the two images is heightened by the fact that the Congolese woman wears a simple hand-crafted red and black blouse whereas the model wears what looks like an expensive hand-knitted ivory-colored chemise over a pink lace skirt. She holds in each hand a knitted handbag (“only $89”), each covered with roses and each holding a small dog, so laden that she seems barely able to hold them up. This cornucopia of luxury, this picture of desire would never be found in the Congo, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. The ad’s caption—“We all have our creature comforts. . . Some of us more than others”—is so ironic as to be almost beyond irony. The motto compounds the irony: “Shop more. Guilt less.” 

Again, John Berger, “A woman’s presence expresses her own attitude to herself, and defines what can and cannot be done to her. Her presence is manifest in her gestures, voice, opinions, clothes, chosen surroundings, taste—indeed there is nothing she can do which does not contribute to her presence. . . . To be born a woman has been to be born, within an allotted and confined space, into the keeping of men.” 

The Congolese woman, like the Greek Princess Philomela whose husband Terus cut out her tongue so she could not reveal that he had raped her, has likewise likely been raped and brutally silenced. The severing of her left ear compounds the violation. She will be so disfigured that probably no man will ever touch her again and no compassionate god will turn her into a nightingale. 

The woman in the Lord and Taylor ad will be ravaged by the eyes of a million men who will yet never touch her skin except in their imaginations. And yet in her wildest imagination this white goddess could never see herself in the place of the black tongueless Congolese woman, nor the Congolese woman ever imagine herself in such a space as the woman in the ad inhabits. 

Both of these images are part of the world we live in, although we tend to keep them in separate compartments of our consciousness. The one is horribly real, the other an unreal arrangement by Madison Avenue designers. On another day when they are not juxtaposed, we might consider each separately, but when they are thrust before us in such stark relief, we can turn from neither–only ponder what they tell us about how some of us have more creature comforts than others and how we can remain “guilt less”—and that we are somehow complicit in both.

 Robert A. Rees teaches at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.

Early Islam’s Feminist Air

The founders of three great religions, Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammed (in order of appearance) were remarkably feminist in their leanings. In the month of Ramadan I would like to explore the feminist air of early Islam.

For centuries Muslim women enjoyed greater rights than most women in the world. The Koran gives women the right to work and to own property. Mohammed abolished female infanticide, slavery, and a widow’s obligation to marry her husband’s brother. Indeed, women were given the right to give their consent to marry.

Some things that look sexist today were a great step forward at the time. Women could become heir to one third of what a male inherited. (Since men’s role was to support women they were given extra help.) Muslim women were able to inherit much sooner than their Western sisters.

Islamic men are also allowed to marry up to four wives, and each wife must be treated equally. Doesn’t sound too heavenly to our ears, but this was progress from a time when men could marry as many women as they wanted.

Even the most problematic scripture in the Koran was an improvement. Chapter 4 verse 34 reads, “As for those women whose rebellion you justly fear, admonish them first; then leave their beds; then beat them.” This scripture actually gave women some protection against abuse in that men were cautioned against battering as the first response.  

Some Islamic feminists note that there are other definitions for the word “daraba,” than “to beat,” one of which is “to go away.” Something to think about.

With early feminist beginnings it is not surprising that one of the largest, most egalitarian and peaceful societies is West Sumatra, Indonesia.

Yet over time the religion has become increasingly patriarchal in most corners of the world.

In what is claimed “countering Westernization,” Islamic states have kept busy restricting women’s rights, sometimes going against the Koran, as when the Taliban took away women’s right to work, or when the right to consent to marriage is ignored.

As one Islamic feminist put it, “Islam needs to go back to its progressive 7th century roots if it is to move forward into the 21st century.”

Georgia Platts

Sources:

Asra Q. Nomani. “A Gender Jihad for Islam’s Future.” The Washington Post. November 6, 2005

Neil MacFarquhar. “Translation of Koran Verse Spurs Debate.” San Jose Mercury News. March 25, 2007. (Originally published in the New York Times.)

Glenn Beck Doublespeak: Reclaiming the Civil Rights Movement

Doublespeak: Any language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words.

Glenn Beck wants to “reclaim” the Civil Rights Movement: “We will take that movement because we were the people that did it in the first place!”

Miami Herald columnist, Leonard Pitts asks: whose “we”? Beck’s “we” sounds like people like Beck: affluent, middle-aged conservatives.

Funny, I thought that particular “we” were the backers of the “Southern strategy” that used racism to attract white votes. In the South this “we” largely turned Republican when Democratic President, Lyndon Johnson, signed the Civil Rights Act.

This is right out of Karl Rove’s playbook: Redefine an idea as it’s opposite. Rove turned “W” from National Guard deserter to Iraq/Afghan War Hero as easily as he swift boated war hero, John Kerry, into an unpatriotic fibber.

Orwellian talk is alive and well on the political right. It pops up when “Conservative Feminists”  resist adopting “a male model of careerism and public achievement as female goals, thereby denying women’s need for intimacy, family, and children.” If they had their way, we’d soon backtrack to a world before feminism.

Future Texas textbooks will question the Founding Fathers’ commitment to separation of church and state. They will diminish Thomas Jefferson and expand anti-feminist, Phyllis Schlafly.  Meanwhile, the slave trade will be renamed the “Atlantic triangular trade.” All thanks to a conservative school board.

Taking “we” back from Beck, Pitts names the Civil Rights Movements’ rightful owners: Rosa Parks refusing to sit at the back of the bus, Freedom Riders fighting – and sometimes losing their lives – for the right to vote, Lyndon Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act, and Martin Luther King leading the movement.  

Meanwhile the political right will keep trying to take over our thoughts one word at a time.

Georgia Platts

Banning Prayer or not?

I’m confused – somebody explain? We can’t pray in schools- adults can’t even do it in schools after hours if there is a student in the building, We can’t put a cross or a Christmas Tree in a Government building or on its lawn. On and on and on.

Obama goes to Georgtown and has Jesus Christ covered, does not attend a day of Christian prayer but he does attend a Muslim function at the White House And now I find out that 9/25/09  the following has been scheduled on Government property? Please explain? And if that is OK then I will call for a Christain Day of Prayer and I want a million praying on the Capitaol and not a sound about it and I am not even religious- and i want a million Jews to have a day also and the Budah and the Indian religions. Awh hell let’s give the Atheists a day too.

ENOUGH! For twenty years or so Christians have been put through hell and I will be damned if Muslims will be given preferencial treatment for their religion over any other in this country. As it is now Christainas cqn’t bow their heads yet Muslims can wear a scarf and leave the room to go pray several times a day. ENOUGH!

ISLAM ON CAPITOL HILL
2   0   0   9

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH….

 
The objective of this gathering
is to invite the Muslim Communities and friends of Islam to express and illustrate the wonderful diversity of Islam. We intend to manifest Islam’s majestic spiritual principals as revealed by Allah to our beloved prophet people. We shall  serve all
ON THIS DAY…. 

Muhammad (PEACE BE UPON HIM) of Arabia. Likewise; we intend to inspire a new generation of Muslim to work for the greater good of all

people, regardless of race, religion or national origin.

  • The Athan will be chanted on Capitol Hill, echoing off of the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and other great edifices that surround Capitol Hill
  • Thousands of Muslims from all races, creeds, colors and ethnicities will gather for the sole purpose of prayer
  • Bonds of friendship will be formed between those in attendance, both Muslims and Non-Muslims
  • Muslim youth will experience tours of the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court.
  • The peace, beauty and solidarity of Islam will shine through America’s capitol.

http://islamoncapitolhill.com/Home_Page.html

Jummah prayer
Capitol Hill

50,000 anticipated

September 25, 2009  @  1:00 PM

Polar Bears and Sarah’s religious beliefs?

 

I got a letter from  this couple who quit my newsletter after  admonishing me to stop right now and think about polar bears – war and the right to abortion.  They came right out and told me that Sarah had no right to bring her sick baby into the world because of her religion and refusal to abort that last baby at 44 years old!

Apparently besides their concern that she would continue to bring sick babies into the world, they are very concerned that she would allow her daughters to have babies out of wedlock rather than abort them. In the same breath they complain that Sarah Palin is heartless and that she will kill the poor wolves and polar bears and end by reminding me that Sarah Palin  is a war monger. They also sent the piece they got their argument from; Drill, Drill, Drill by Eve Ensler from Huffington Post today  My Reply –is to them and Eve Ensler as well.

 

I am sorry you believe you have the right to speak for all of us. I am not concerned with Sarah Palin’s personal religious views – I have my own religious views and I would never impose them on you or anyone else, and certainly not on the nation. But let me ask you: how do you know that every other Democrat agrees with you on these issues? Isn’t that was “pro choice” means?

I simply don’t “get” people like you who protest to end the war and petition about killing polar bears, but be that as it may —I cannot judge your decisions and I never have. Choice to me means simply that: making your own choices. I would never seek to have the pro-choice rights overturned, nor would I ever tell my teenager to abort a child. I would not shoot any animal for fun, but I would to eat and feed my children. I can make these choices and I allow you to make yours without judging either way – can’t you? I believe we each have the right to our own religious and secular beliefs.

My daughter is dying and I want everyone to have healthcare, but not enough to give up human rights for the rest of women. I cannot be selfish nor can Dee Dee when so much more is at stake. We want what is best for America, and we realize that the Democratic Party (which is now the Obama Democrats) is selling Americans a lie. They are playing on our fears, hoping that by trying to tie John McCain to George Bush no one will look closely at Obama himself because so many people are angry at Bush.

Personally, I’m not buying that line, and anyone who knows anything beyond the Obama propaganda isn’t either. I should hope that would include you. Obama is nothing new, and he certainly isn’t a reformer or an agent of change – at least not in the good sense. He is the most corrupt politician to hit the national stage in decades. He has openly admitted that he will not turn his back on his lobbyist friends (though this has not been reported much) and he has blatantly LIED when comparing McCain to Bush – their records are strikingly dissimilar.

Don’t think for one second that his friends, people like Tony Rezko (the felon serving time in prison) and others aren’t waiting for him to be elected so they can call in the favors he owes them. Ever wonder why so many Superdelegates voted for him? He had a special PAC called the Hope Fund that he used to donate to their campaigns – these politicians owed him, and they paid him back. He played dirty politics in Chicago, and he’s playing it now. He brought on a Washington insider as his VP pick to help him along once he beat Hillary Clinton – which he wouldn’t have done had he not played dirty in the first place.

As for question, do I want an America that is a free, open tolerant society, or a closed place of   fear, fundamentalism and aggression:

I want an America that is a free of election fraud—free of Chicago-style machine politics and free of sexism and free of human rights violations against women, and free of two parties dividing this nation in half as if we were two different animals.

I am a centrist who thinks with both sides of my brain; sometimes left, sometimes right, but always with common sense. I want an open, tolerant society without fear of liberalism or fear of fundamentalism and without use of aggression on either side toward one another.

We have become intolerant Americans and should be ashamed of ourselves as we stand brother against brother and sister against sister and sit within these groups and say we are for peace. What peace we are displaying among ourselves – here and now—this war of words—is as deadly as any other. Shame on us all.

For example: you folks who make blanket statements about others, without knowing the truth, just floor me. Sarah Palin did not ban any books. Yet you choose to believe any lie against a Republican that anyone tells. You also find it acceptable to say she “let” her daughter get pregnant. First, you do not want fundamentalism, then you use it against her when convenient.

 Can you not see what we are becoming? We are becoming what we hate. Shame on us – are we hypocrites who choose to ignore where Obama sat for 20 years or that he chose that filthy song  that his wife and he danced to across the stage in victory? Where is our outrage at that? Have we sunk to the level that the end justifies the means – are we willing to overlook anything to win? Is this why our students and athletes cheat and take drugs to win at all costs? Is this the America we want?

Is this what you want to pass off as liberalism vs. fundamentalism instead of plain downright disgusting and wrong? Do not talk to me about killing wolves and polar bears; we have not only destroyed democracy in the greatest nation on earth – we are annihilating each other in a bloodless war of words and deed.

You would vote a party line that espouses lying, cheating, strong-arming, fraud, sexism, racism, carte blanche murder, and God knows what else, because you do not like this woman’s personal views. Personally, I do not like Barack Obama OR his wife OR their personal views either – and I certainly don’t like their corruption and I won’t have it destroying my country.

I will not vote for a candidate or for a party that lies, cheats, steals and destroys democracy, one that denies the people their voice, and that denies women human and civil rights. Not happening. If you choose to give up those rights for a few right-wing issues, I have to say I consider you a fool and as for me and my house – we choose liberty and democracy! Our founders did not shed blood for Roe v Wade and polar bears; they shed blood for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and we fought the civil war for equality and the 19th amendment gave us the vote for equality the tea party gave us representation if we pay taxes – and I damned well refuse to give any of it up for some polar bear or for Roe vs. Wade (which, if you bothered to think it through, you’d realize is NOT going to be overturned in any case, no matter who wins – again you are listening to the fear-mongering). Yes, I care about the environment and a million other things too, but I also am fair. I would never impale one human being over another simply because of a party line and that is what this letter I got has done pure and simple. It is disgraceful party line talking points beneath the dignity of human beings. Whether you believe in a God or not—we simply do not treat one another like this and expect to live peacefully with one another. If you expect to live in peace you had better come up with a more peaceful way to address one another and be more tolerant of one’s rights to choose!

This is my country, and it is your country, and it belongs to the people – not the party, and certainly not to special interests. As women we are 55 percent of the population and we are not represented and our reproduction organs are a very small part of our bodies. So let’s start thinking with the rest of our bodies – like our brains.

Certainly work against the things you want to work against—get involved by all means—state your casework for legislation and make your case about the issues; but to blindly berate this woman personally because of her own personal morals that don’t conform to yours – that was a vicious, unspeakable thing to do and it is immoral on your part. She has not warranted your discussion about her daughter’s condition or that she should have forced her daughter to have an abortion. How dare you say such things? That is out of line and if someone said the same about your beliefs, mocking them, I can only imagine the outrage. Were you parroting Obama, who said he was for abortion because he did not want his daughters punished with a baby? That was a very unfortunate statement indeed, both from him and from you.

Vote your conscience. But remember—the guy you are voting for has none; he is dirty and HE voted for the Bush-Cheney bill (McCain voted against is) and HE is not against drilling, either. You simply don’t know the facts: you seem to know what MoveOn and such groups want you to know.

Obama’s former church is nothing to be proud of, and his friends are not only felons, terrorists, and other questionable types, so I rather think you are simply voting party over country, and over common sense. You seem to be voting against Bush, not for a President. And McCain is NOT Bush, no matter what Obama, or MoveOn, or any of those would have you believe.

If you knew the facts, you would know that McCain is the best of anyone running right now. Unless Obama steps down McCain is the most qualified to lead this nation at this time. Vote down ticket to prevent total control in reference to liberal issues—war and drilling—now what is your argument? Obama did not gain this nomination by consent of the people. He has not been able to close the deal and can’t be guaranteed to win except by cheating. That does not bode well. Time to make sure that we are safe first! If the Democrats were so concerned for the nation they would should have thought about that before they installed the weaker candidate, but Obama had too many of them in his pocket. That is what the Democratic Party has become.

I was in Denver. I spoke to hundreds of delegates. I was part of the group who installed the 300 petition; they came to us to sign it and we met with every one of them. We know what happened. They were threatened and strong-armed; some had their votes changed against their will. They came to us after the vote in tears—they could not believe these things happen in America. Some have been delegates for many years and they never ever saw anything like this before.

We are now getting calls from Southern states where Obama’s people are going door to door signing up voters to vote for Obama in absentee ballot and taking the ballots with this to turn in later. This is fraudulent voting. Is that what you want for your country?

Go online; go to YouTube; Find the film “We will not be silenced” – these delegates and poll workers will tell you what they saw during caucuses. If you really care for America not just a few issues, then wake up. We will lose America for an issue that we will ultimately lose after we lose the right to speak at all, for that is what is really at stake. Please WAKE UP. I am a Democrat; but not an Obama Democrat.

I promise you, if you just investigate you will see it too. All I ask is that you investigate for the truth. I can even give you the sites. If you still feel the same after that—via con dios.