[Sayma-Discuss] followup on "Obsession" video

Steve Livingston nc_stereoman at charter.net
Sat Oct 4 13:33:58 EDT 2008

Dear Friends,

It may be a trend. I hope and pray it is.

My favorite pundit, Bob Somerby of dailyhowler dot com, frequently notes 
with cynical humor that whereas right-wingers bellow and complain at the 
least provocation, lily-livered liberals cower and look the other way 
when their heroes are disparaged or their principles besmirched. Perhaps 
he is right about that, or - as I prefer to believe - it seems that way 
because those of a more peaceful persuasion are less likely to be heard 
in the clamor and din of overwhelming information media than bullroarers 
with no compunctions about throwing their pulpit around with deadly force.

Case in point, as we discussed here last month, is the recent newspaper 
insert "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West", a DVD movie 
that arrived at 28 million doorsteps in states identified as "swing 
states" in the coming Presidential election. There was much wringing of 
hands among us Quakers, and calls for action too. What could we do? 
Register protest with our local newspapers? Cancel our subscriptions?

Perhaps some of us did just that. Even in the face of futility, if we 
are called to an action we should take it. Like a drop of rain, one 
voice makes little difference to ground sucked dry of right action, but 
enough voices can bring on a flood. Apparently that is what happened as 
a result of the "Obsession" mailing. I encourage you Friends to read 
this follow-up article, and consider the possibility that we have come 
to the turning of a page in American history, leaving behind a dark and 
dismal period ruled by the politics of fear and hatred.


I encourage you to consider the possibility that, together with a 
torrent of like-minded citizens, we can nourish the ground sufficiently 
to grow a more inclusive kind of politics, a politics of ALL the people, 
the kind of politics Friend Free Polazzo is engaging in, the kind of 
politics Barack Obama inspires people to believe in, that we Quakers 
have traditionally believed in and struggled for, through most of our 

This is a watershed moment in the unfolding of our national character, I 
believe, the spawning of a new chapter of mutual respect and cooperation 
in the face of adversity. I encourage all to find a front row seat, or 
better yet, get right in the arena and perform. As Free noted, "you can 
make a difference if you show up and look for that of G*D in every person."

May our prayers be instilled with the optimism of a new day dawning.


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