We don't have a television, so almost all the news I get I read on the internet. So I never know what somebody's voice sounds like, or how to pronounce certain names, though I know how to spell them.
So when I watched the YouTube highlights of the Saddleback Forum with McCain & Obama this weekend, it was one of the first times I'd actually seen Obama for a prolonged period of time.
And I have a question.
Why does he always tilt his head at a 45 degree angle? I have more substantive policy questions too--I'll get to them in a minute--but my daughter and I were both struck by that as we were watching him. "What's he doing that for?" she said. And we both tilted our heads and thought it was odd.
You can take a look for yourself in that video above.
WARREN: Religious persecution, what do you think the U.S. should do to end religious persecution, for instance, in China, in Iraq, and in many of our supposed allies? I'm not just talking about persecution of Christianity, but there's religious persecution around the world that persecutes millions of people.
OBAMA: Well, I think the first thing we have to do is to bear witness and speak out, and not pretend that it's not taking place. You know, our relationship with China, for example, is a very complicated one. You know, we're trading partners. Unfortunately, they are now lenders to us because we haven't been taking care of our economy the way we need to be. I don't think any of us want to see military conflict with China.
So we want to manage this relationship and move them into the world community as a full partner, but we can't purchase that by ignoring the very real prosecutions, persecutions that are taking place, and so having an administration that is speaking out, joining in international forums, where we can point out human rights abuses, and the absence of religious freedom, that, I think, is absolutely critical. Over time, what we are doing is setting up new norms and creating a universal principle that people's faith and people's beliefs have to be protected.
And as you said, it's not just Christians, and we've got to make sure, you know, one thing I think is very important for us to do on all of these issues is to lead by example. That's why I think it's so important for us to have religious tolerance here in the United States. That's why it's so important for us, when we are criticizing other countries about rule of law to make sure that we're abiding by rule of law, and habeas corpus, and we're not engaging in torture, because that gives us a moral standing to talk about these other issues.
I completely do not understand Obama here. Is he that clueless? He is asked about religious persecution abroad. Let's talk about that persecution. In Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, people are put to death to converting to Christianity. Ditto other countries.
In Pakistan earlier this summer two sisters, ages 11 and 13, were stolen from their Christian parents, forcibly converted to Christianity, and married off to Muslims, most likely so they could work in brothels. The judges and police upheld the kidnapping, saying the girls willingly converted and willingly married.
In China, Falun Gung practitioners are murdered so their organs can be harvested.
In Pakistan, a rape victim is put in prison.
In Egypt, Christian girls are kidnapped and used in the sex trade.
That, my friends, is religious persecution. That is true evil. He gives lip service to that at the beginning, but the main thing he hammers home is that America has to clean up its own act.
Who is going to stand up for these martyrs? Who is going to stand up for these little girls who are stolen from their parents? Does he not care? Is all he can see the supposed evil that America does? Wherever you stand on other issues, surely we can all say that this was a clueless answer.
Here's McCain's, by the way:
MCCAIN: The President of the United States' greatest asset is the bully pulpit. The president of the United States -- and I go back again to Ronald Reagan -- he went to the Berlin Wall and said, "Take down this wall," called them an "evil empire." Many said don't antagonize the Russians, don't cause a confrontation with the Soviet Union. He stood for what he believed, and he said what he believed, and he said to those people who were then captive nations, the day will come when you will know freedom and democracy and the fundamental rights of man. Our Judeo-Christian principles dictate that we do what we can to help people who are oppressed throughout the world, and I'd like to tell you that I still think that even in the worst places in the world today, in the darkest corners, little countries like Belarus -- they still harbor this hope and dream someday to be like us and have freedom and democracy.
And we have our flaws, and we have our failings, and we talk about them all the time, and we should, but we remain, my friends, the most unusual experiment in history, and I'm privileged to spend every day of my life in it. I know what it's like to be without it.
Not a great answer either--I'd like to hear more about how he'd say to the Muslim world "Tear down this wall"--but perhaps that's dreaming on my part. But at least he acknowledges the real evil.
About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.