Just the Facts, M’am

When in doubt, check it out. Please vote your conscience, but don’t vote based on lies or misinformation–especially purposeful disinformation.

Sept. 21: “Almost one-third of voters ‘know’ that Barack Obama is a Muslim or believe that he could be,” writes New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, noting a recent Pew Research Center poll.

“When I’ve traveled around the country, particularly to my childhood home in rural Oregon, I’ve been struck by the number of people who ask something like: That Obama – is he really a Christian? Isn’t he a Muslim or something? Didn’t he take his oath of office on the Koran?

In conservative Christian circles and on Christian radio stations, there are even widespread theories that Mr. Obama just may be the Antichrist. Seriously.

John Green, of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, says that about 10 percent of Americans believe we may be in the Book of Revelation’s “end times” and are on the lookout for the Antichrist.” There’s even a T-shirt that calls Obama such. link

The Rural Blog from the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues suggests rural (and urban) voters follow up on uncertain “facts” by checking sites like FactCheck and PolitiFact. Sounds like a sound idea to me.

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. So how did 13% in the Pew poll turn into “almost one-third”? And what’s the reference for “widespread” by the way? Seems the NYT ought to take your suggestion to look things up, really!

  2. I have been fighting back about the stupid email I get from high school friends (mostly old men) who are convinced that Obama is Muslim and the Antichrist. I send them to Snopes, and other debunking sites and STILL they send this crap to me. Now, they say he has no birth certificate and he wasn’t born in the US. Last time I looked, Hawaii was a state! With some people, you simply are not able to change their minds or get them to see the truth. Their minds are already made up.

  3. I, too, wonder how 13% got changed to 33%. Here is the link to the Pew survey:


    I see nothing in the survey that supports what Mr. Kristof is writing.

    Could you link to the article in question?

    Is the paragraph that mentions the “widespread theories” part of the same article by Mr. Kristof?

    I don’t doubt that there is the perception that Obama is the Anti-Christ, but where is the justification for widespread?

    There is so much mud-slinging in this campaign!!

  4. Obviously what matters is his policy agenda rather than these diversions. I’m sure if Obama is not elected, claims of racism or some form of discrimination will be rampant. In fact, they already are setting Obama up to be the racial underdog in order to garner sympathy as I read in yesterday’s NJ Star Ledger.

    Frankly, it’s his policies of socialist wealth redistribution, anti-business policies, constraint of individual liberties, affiliation with political and social radicals, and a lack of experience that really scare a large part of America.