Martha Trowbridge directed a comment to me at Birther Report. She said:
The Lord judges us, not on how many talents with which we were gifted by Him, but by how we apply those talents.
Not until my spiritual awakening eight years ago did I comprehend that, since college, I’d been lying to myself about what a ‘good’ person I was. Now, I look at the person I used to be – selfish, vain, proud, essentially ‘dis-connected’ from God though I called myself Christian, relativistic, ‘tolerant’, secular, worldly, glamorous, self-indulgent – and I realize how I fell for our sick culture’s demonic definition of ‘good person’. In those years, I couldn’t even ‘see’ most sins, so mired in sick cultural muck was I.
In the spirit of fraternal correction, Dr. C., I exhort you: be honest with yourself. Examine your conscience. Seek out God, He is there, right there, watching, awaiting you.
I will accept that comment in a fraternal spirit and take it as an opportunity for reflection.
Because I was on the Birther Report web site, I naturally reflected first on what I saw alongside her comment. It appears on a particularly vicious, vile and obscene manifestation of the birther movement, the Birther Report comments section. Every nasty thing that can be imagined about Barack Obama is said there—it literally seethes with hatred and character assassination. Whatever the truth of Obama’s origins, some birthers routinely tell lies, twist the truth and deliberately mislead others. Being a Christian, I cannot help but use the category “sin” to describe that.
Now I know next to nothing about Trowbridge, and I do not characterize her according to the place where she commented. But she she couldn’t help but see what was around her. This is where my reflection intersects Scripture. Jesus is quoted in Luke, Chapter 6:
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.
— Luke 6:41-42 English Standard Version
Birthers in general do not police themselves. They rarely condemn their fellows and admit their mistakes. Because they have biases in their perception, and they condone character assassination. They accumulate debris in their eyes like a logjam in a river. The body of the birthers refuses to take the log out of their eye and so birthers cannot see clearly to criticize Obama. First they must clean up their act—then they will have the ability to see well enough to criticize others.
Trowbridge herself apparently is not a birther—rather she believes Malcolm X is Obama’s father. Still, one conspiracy theory is not much different from another—differing only in the details.