Who’s Afraid of Barack Obama?


I’ve received a number of e-mails from friends, family and co-workers
warning us of the supposed doom that will befall the United States if Barack Obama
is elected President. I have also had conversations with concerned
friends, family and co-workers who, in one way or another, know that I
support Obama’s campaign. Every single one of these e-mails and
conversations has had two things in common:

1. They are well-intentioned.
2. They are simply misinformed.

I’d like to correct some of the errors that are out there concerning
Obama so that you (whoever you are) will have a better understanding of
who he really is, and so that if you receive an inaccurate e-mail
forward about him (and there is a common one floating around that I’ve
received several times already) you can direct the sender to this post
or Snopes to eliminate further confusion and misinformation.

First of all, one of the first lines of the e-mail forward is:

"We checked this out on snopes.com It is factual. Check for yourself."

is a new inclusion in many urban legend e-mail forwards. They assume
that the reader will not take the time to actually verify it for
themselves and by implying that they have, they create some undeserved
credibility. If a person actually does take the time to check for
themselves they find that the claims in the e-mail are entirely false.

The fact that this line opens up the e-mail and is itself a
blatant lie should tell you something about the credibility of the rest
of the message.

The e-mail also includes this:

takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim. He is quick
to point out that, ‘He was once a Muslim, but that he also attended Catholic school.’"

Obama has never said that he was once a Muslim. The e-mail places
quotes around the line implying that Barack said that, but he never
did. This is another claim that the e-mail presents as fact despite the
complete lack of supporting evidence.

And then:

Soetoro, the second husband of Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, introduced
his stepson to Islam. Obama was enrolled in a Wahabi school in
Jakarta. Wahabism
is the radical teaching that is followed by the Muslim terrorists who
are now waging Jihad against the western world."

is a claim that was borne from a thoroughly-debunked story printed in
Insight Magazine which said that Obama attended a radical Muslim
religious school. Every follow-up investigation found this claim to be

Associated Press:

A spokesman for Indonesia’s Ministry of Religious Affairs said claims that Obama studied at an Islamic school are groundless.

"SDN Menteng 1 is a public primary school that is open to people of all
faiths," said the spokesman, Sutopo, who goes by only one name.
"Moreover, he studied earlier at Fransiskus Assisi, which is clearly a
Catholic school."

Obama later transferred to SDN Menteng 1 – the elite, secular
elementary school at the center of the controversy. The school is
public but is very competitive and has exceptionally high standards. It
is located in one of the most affluent parts of Jakarta and attracts
mostly middle- to upper-class students, among them several of former
dictator Suharto’s grandchildren.

And finally:

keep in mind that when he was sworn into office he did not use the Holy Bible, but instead the Koran (their equivalency to our Bible, but very different beliefs).

is also not true. Barack Obama was sworn into office with his hand on
the Bible. The original author of the e-mail has either mistakenly or
purposefully confused Obama with Congressman Keith Ellison.

Clearly, the e-mail is filled with falsehoods from start to
finish and the conversations I’ve had with people face-to-face are
about the same wrong claims that are found in it. Please, if you
receive it, direct the sender to the actual Snopes page, this post, or
give them my e-mail address and I will be happy to clear up any
confusions they may have about Senator Obama.

One thought on “Who’s Afraid of Barack Obama?”

  1. I’ve recieved that email a lot also! I thought it was pretty funny how it says snopes confirmed the info and then I went to snopes and it plainly says “false” :)

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