Are We At It Again?
By Pete Haug
We’re at it again. It seems long ago, but it’s been only 13 years since a dynamic, articulate Black man first ran for president. If you believed the rumor mill then, there was a problem: he was Muslim. My response, then and now: so what?
Of course, he wasn’t/isn’t, but the rumor swept the media, along with rumors that denied he had been born in America. And similar lies. Are we at it again, this time with a biracial woman who happens to be vice president of the United States?
Two recent comments on a FāVS post about Kamala Harris raised troubling innuendos similar to those that followed President Barack Obama from before his election, throughout his two-term presidency, and beyond. The FāVS post was headlined “‘Jezebel’ or ‘Healer’?.” It recounted how, “some Southern Baptists have started to defame our vice president, calling her a ‘jezebel’.”
Author Andy CastroLang, in a sympathetic column, writes of Harris as a symbol of healing, standing in her “blazing blue coat on Inaugural Day” as she became “the first woman, the first woman of color, the first woman of color of immigrant parents” inaugurated as vice president of the United States. “That wasn’t just powerful,” CastroLang continues, “it was also healing.”
I agree. I’ve been reading Harris’s autobiography, “The Truths We Hold: An American Journey.” Written in 2018, during her first term as a California senator and before she was on the vice-presidential radar, it describes her childhood growing up in Oakland’s rental housing — with all that implies. Despite economic hardships, she had one of the greatest advantages any human can have: a highly educated mother. “At 25years old,” Harris writes, “Mommy had a college degree, a PhD, and me.”
CastroLang’s column goes on to describe how Harris “drives out the demons of misogyny, and prejudice, and racist filth,” how she “stands tall and asks us to work with her on this mighty, hope-filled, driving mission…to make America a ‘more perfect union.’”
A few days ago, this uplifting post received two comments that saddened me. One stated, “I’m actually pretty sure that VP Harris is part of an elite Satanic cult…she certainly appears to be working for the satanic globalist elite who hate Christ and humanity (especially Christians) and use deception and sorcery to mislead good people down a path towards destruction.” The rest is even worse. A similar post states, “I don’t know if [she] is a follower of Christ but I don’t think she is.” The only bright spot addressing these two posts is a third, which asks, “What happened to praying for our leaders?”
A simple internet search reveals some basic facts that the first two posters could have found in seconds. Last August, America Magazine ran a story headlined, “Kamala Harris is the future of American Religion.” It’s worth a read. Harris grew up in a home that “accommodated both Christian and Hindu religious practices,” and she married a Jew.
A second article observes that she has used a family Bible for ceremonies swearing her in for various offices. “Harris identifies with the Baptist faith,” it said. Growing up, she attended “both a Baptist church and a Hindu temple.” Women’s Health magazine describes how Harris’s religion has impacted her life over the years. It cited an interview in which Harris highlighted a proposed “faith-based law enforcement program” in the Department of Justice “to help protect faith communities from hate crimes.”
I find it sad, perhaps even hateful, that certain of us raised in a Christian culture should ignore Christ’s admonition: “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged; condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned; forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37) And perhaps also, speculate not. Use your search engine to discover truth. And use your wisdom to discern truth from falsehood.
Armed with an AB in English literature, Pete Haug plunged into journalism fresh out of college. That career lasted five years while he reported for a metropolitan daily, edited a rural weekly, and worked in industrial and academic public relations. He abandoned all for graduate school, finishing with an MS in wildlife biology and a PhD in systems ecology. Pete taught college briefly, then for a couple of decades he analyzed environmental impacts for federal, state, Native American, and private agencies. His last hurrah was an 11-year gig teaching English in China. After he retired in 2007, curiosity led Pete to explore climate change and fake news and to give talks about both. About five years ago he returned to journalism to write columns under the watchful eye of his draconian live-in editor and wife Jolie. They’ve both been Baha’is since the 1960s. Pete’s columns on the Baha’i Faith represent his own understanding and not any official position.