Thursday, August 26, 2010

September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows Speaks Out in support of NYC Islamic Community Center

Donna Marsh O'Conner, September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows:

"Democracy lives in our actions. When I see the towers fall, l feel pain, but I have to acknowledge that the pain I am feeling essentially comes from 19 individual criminals, who murdered 3,000 people on our soil and it left us horrifically scared."

This makes me cry. Thank you, Donna. I am so honored and humbled to have been a small part of spreading your message to the world.

I was so happy to see September-11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows on last night's Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Donna Marsh O'Conner, who lost her daughter on 9-11, speaks out against the fear and hatemongering currently stoked by politicians and some mass media against Muslims and people of color.

Here is a direct link , to the video segment as it appeared on MSNBC, in its entirety on August 25

Here's the direct link, in case the televised segment doesn't show up here |

Earlier, at a dinner held to mark the end of Ramadan, NY Mayor Blooberg also addressed the issue. The Mayor had this to say:

"Compromise, is by itself, a defeat of religious freedom and what this country is all about."

Thank you Mr. Bloomberg for standing on the right side of history. You can read more about the Mayor's address here.

Bloomberg News |

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fear of "the Other." The Religious Right Wraps Bigotry in the Guise of Christianity

CULTURAL DIVERSITY: Keith Olbermann and Michael Eric Dyson from Georgetown University call the religious right to the carpet for their bigoted, un-Christian and un-charitable attitudes toward President Obama, who is a Christian.

The pair discussed the recent CNN appearance by Franklin Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham who was uninvited from the National Prayer Breakfast for his less-than-charitable attitudes towards people of other faiths, specifically Muslims.

Graham was speaking on speculation about the President's faith, specifically if Mr. Obama was secretly Muslim. Mr. Grahams observations were exceedingly troubling, filled with nonsensical, repugnant references to the "seed" of the President's father, who was an atheist.

Shades of Rosemary's Baby and the "Demon Seed." Franklin's father Billy was exposed as virulently anti-Semitic. Does that say something about inherited "seed?"

Some of the more poignant thoughts from Dyson:

The racial subtext here can't be ignored. We're trying to "otherize" him....The jumble of epitaphs that are being hurled with lethal intensity against Mr. Obama are nothing but the made-over bigotry of people trying to find new-fangled ways to dress up old-fangled bigotry.

More from Dyson:

Mr. Graham is on horrible ground here. If we're looking at people's Christianity the Bible tells us to "judge them by their fruit.' We don't want to get into slinging accusations about who is Christian and who is not.

And later:

The President is fighting an uphill battle. He's got racial issues, he's got religious issues, he's got issues of American citizenship.

Finally, what probably amounts to the most profound statement regarding who is or is not Christian, at least for me:

Another way [to fight the bigotry] is for members of religious communities, of Christian communities, to step out on their faith and say look, let's top haranguing this man,' let's stop berating him...Jesus said a lot of people who call my name will not ultimately be in the kingdom with me. So it's not what you say out of your mouth it's what you perform in your heart....I can't discern any credible connection between the God I worship, who is about justice and mercy and truth and love, and the judgmental, harshly indifferent to the plight of the poor God that Mr. Graham seems to worship. I'd rather be with those who perform the realities of the faith, than who simply claim it out of their mouths.

Featured Newsclip. August 20: Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham spews his anti-christian venom on CNN.

Visit for a direct link to this segment, other world news, and provocative discussion about today's toxic political environment

Here's the direct link, in case the video segment doesn't appear on your screen |