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A log in their eye

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.

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39 Responses to A log in their eye

  1. avatar
    Terry K. November 12, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    Martha Trowbridge has worked with WND’s Erik Rush to push the claim that Malcolm X is Obama’s real father:

    http://conwebwatch.tripod.com/blog/index.blog/2237094/wnds-rush-delves-deeper-into-birther-conspiracy-territory/

    It would seem perfectly justified in this case to characterize her by the commenting company she keeps.

  2. avatar
    Daniel November 12, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    It never ceases to amaze me that birthers, and a good section of the tea party/radical right, manage to claim that they are the “true” Christians, yet seemingly have never read the ninth commandment, or Galatians 5:22-23.

  3. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG November 12, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    Whats that old saying? Sleep with the dogs, wake up with fleas?
    Though in the case of birthers, I’d say “rabies”, as they’re all foaming at the mouth crazy.

  4. avatar
    JD Reed November 12, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    Daniel: It never ceases to amaze me that birthers, and a good section of the tea party/radical right, manage to claim that they are the “true” Christians, yet seemingly have never read the ninth commandment, or Galatians 5:22-23.

    Well said!

  5. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater November 12, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

    Terry K.: Martha Trowbridge has worked with WND’s Erik Rush to push the claim that Malcolm X is Obama’s real father: http://conwebwatch.tripod.com/blog/index.blog/2237094/wnds-rush-delves-deeper-into-birther-conspiracy-territory/It would seem perfectly justified in this case to characterize her by the commenting company she keeps.

    She also believes Ann Dunham had 3 aliases one of them being Elizabeth Duke. She believes Obama was Bari Shabazz and that every bit of proof regarding her claims was magically replaced with information supporting Obama.

  6. avatar
    Curious George November 12, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    Amen, Doc!

  7. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 12, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    I have updated the article to make it explicit that Trowbridge isn’t a birther.

  8. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG November 12, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I have updated the article to make it explicit that Trowbridge isn’t a birther.

    She refers to the President as “AKA Obama”. That’s close enough for me.

  9. avatar
    Butterfly Bilderberg November 12, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    If Martha Trowbridge is not a birther, Doc, then how would you characterize her? She denies that Obama was born in Honolulu, she denies that his parents were his parents, and she spews lies about the President throughout the blogosphere. Please, Ms. Trowbridge, spare us the pithy phrases.

    Birthers demonstrate a visceral hatred for the man. There is no other way to describe it. But they go further, expressing ridicule and hatred, too, of the First Lady and First Daughters. This isn’t about eligibility at all. Michelle, Malia and Sasha have done nothing to earn the vitriol directed at them. The ONLY explanation as far as I can discern is unbridled racism. But I’ve yet to see one birther rein in another or even a moderator step in and shut down the smack talk, and this is especially true at ORYR.

    If Ms. Trowbridge were the Christian she claims to be she wouldn’t be on blogs and internet radio shows spreading falsehoods and encouraging vitriol. I believe God handed down a commandment to Moses addressing such conduct.

  10. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 12, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    That’s a good question, and I puzzled over how to characterize her a bit.

    The site glossary defines birther as:

    Someone who believes Barack Obama is not eligible to be President of the United States by reason of the facts of his birth. Some birthers believe Obama is ineligible because they think he was born outside the United States. Others believe that Obama’s non-citizen father makes him ineligible.

    Trowbridge thinks that Obama is ineligible to be President because he won the election by fraud (hiding his real name, and committing identity theft) not because of the particular facts of his birth. So my definition sort of maybe loosely but not really fits her.

    Still, I hesitate to call her a birther because doing so would lead most folks to jump to the wrong conclusion. I agree with you, however, that she is very birther-like.

    Frankly, I am a little gun shy of late because I have been accused of calling people birthers who were not and at least once I actually did.

    Butterfly Bilderberg: If Martha Trowbridge is not a birther, Doc, then how would you characterize her?

  11. avatar
    Daniel November 12, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    Sounds like a birther… smells like a birther… walks like a birther…

  12. avatar
    Joey November 12, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    Judge not [Martha] that ye be not judged.–Mathew 7.1

  13. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater November 12, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

    gorefan: Start here:

    http://terribletruth.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/seen-yet-unseen-actual-mother-of-united-states-president-barack-obama-appears-with-him-at-d-c-verizon-center/

    And then go here:

    http://www.syracuse.com/orangebasketball/index.ssf/2013/03/syracuse_basketball_players_do.html

    It may help you figure her out.

    Even Free Republic called her out on this one and removed her thread.

  14. avatar
    gorefan November 12, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

    Dr Kenneth Noisewater: Even Free Republic called her out on this one and removed her thread.

    She started out claiming that a video from a TV interview of a bystander in New York on the day Malcolm X was killed has Stanley Ann Dunham in the crowd. I think its morphed into Stanley Ann Dunham never existed, all the photos of her are PhotoShopped, including this photo

    http://www2.pictures.zimbio.com/mp/JhJHf6r8ewPs.jpg

    which she says must be a fake because there is nowhere in Cambridge that such a scene could have been shot (she being a long time resident of Cambridge). Even birthers recognized the bridge as the Weeks Footbridge.

    According to her, President Obama’s mother is really someone named Jo Ann Newman who is somehow related to Dr. Frederick Delano “Fred” Newman. The relationship is never quite explained. At this point it has now become that Jo Ann Newman is really Elizabeth Dukes the fugitive radical from the 1960s.

    Many birthers consider her to an obot trying to make the birthers look crazy, as if they needed any help.

    Here are Docs previous articles:

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/tag/martha-trowbridge/

  15. avatar
    JPotter November 12, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    “Trowbridge herself apparently is not a birther—rather she believes Malcolm X is Obama’s father.”

    And thus, Trowbridge is a staunch, yet kooky, defender of Obama’s eligibility! What? No?

    I’m not very familiar with MT either. Malcolm X was daddy, eh? Seeing as he didn’t spend much time in Hawaii, what does she say in regards to the Hawaiian birth? Not alleging ineligibility due to place of birth / parentage, yet casting aspersions re: place of birth parentage, as a longwinded, scenic route way to allegations of ineligibility, is still totally birfin’.

    If she objects to being referred to as a birther, then it’s “Helloooo, Notabirther!”

  16. avatar
    CarlOrcas November 12, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    gorefan: It may help you figure her out.

    How about just calling her “nuts”?

  17. avatar
    gorefan November 12, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

    CarlOrcas: How about just calling her “nuts”?

    I would guess she is more Mara Zebest or Viviano Bettina than Nancy Owens or
    Linda Joy Adams.

  18. avatar
    bob November 12, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:

    Trowbridge thinks that Obama is ineligible to be President because he won the election by fraud (hiding his real name, and committing identity theft) not because of the particular facts of his birth. So my definition sort of maybe loosely but not really fits her.

    Trowbridge is a birther because she refuses to believe that Obama, Sr. and Dunham are Obama (Jr.)’s parents. She denies one of the most important facts of anyone’s birth — who are one’s parents.

    Trowbridge is akin to Zullo and Gallups, who never say that Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii (“we don’t know”) but rather believe that Obama committed forgery and fraud (via the PDF on the White House’s web site).

  19. avatar
    CarlOrcas November 12, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

    gorefan: I would guess she is more Mara Zebest or Viviano Bettina than Nancy Owens or
    Linda Joy Adams.

    A distinction without a difference???

  20. avatar
    Arthur November 12, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    CarlOrcas: How about just calling her “nuts”?

    Yup. I mean, isn’t there a point where a person’s speech becomes so ridiculous, so contemptible, so mendacious, that you have an ethical obligation to put aside decorum and call a nut a nut?

  21. avatar
    gorefan November 12, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

    CarlOrcas: A distinction without a difference???

    Possibly, but I would suspect that the one is based on a political agenda and the other is based on insanity. The latter generates a certain amount of sympathy, the former only disgust.

  22. avatar
    CarlOrcas November 12, 2013 at 10:54 pm #

    Arthur: Yup. I mean, isn’t there a point where a person’s speech becomes so ridiculous, so contemptible, so mendacious, that you have an ethical obligation to put aside decorum and call a nut a nut?

    If there is any doubt in anyone’s mind about this woman they only need to visit The Birther Report and look at the latest threads. There’s certainly lots of crazy there but her stuff stands out.

  23. avatar
    CarlOrcas November 12, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

    gorefan: Possibly, but I would suspect that the one is based on a political agenda and the other is based on insanity.The latter generates a certain amount ofsympathy, the former only disgust.

    Agreed.

  24. avatar
    Notorial Dissent November 12, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

    Doc, for what it’s worth, I think Mad Martha qualifies as birther, just of a different stripe. She doesn’t believe he is eligible because she claims the birth information is false, so that by definition makes her a birther. The fact that her take on it is a total departure from the mainstream of birferdom doesn’t alter her basic premise that the birth information is false, which is the main theme with all the rest of them, she’s just gone a totally different direction with her mania.

  25. avatar
    Rickey November 13, 2013 at 2:35 am #

    Dr Kenneth Noisewater: She also believes Ann Dunham had 3 aliases one of them being Elizabeth Duke.She believes Obama was Bari Shabazz and that every bit of proof regarding her claims was magically replaced with information supporting Obama.

    I have seen the New York driving record of the late Bari Shabazz. As I recall he was four or five inches shorter than Obama.

  26. avatar
    The Magic M November 13, 2013 at 4:21 am #

    JPotter: And thus, Trowbridge is a staunch, yet kooky, defender of Obama’s eligibility! What? No?

    Some of the “different father” folks still believe Obama was born in Kenya (for whatever reason).

  27. avatar
    bovril November 13, 2013 at 4:43 am #

    In my opinion (and therefore worth every penny you paid for it) is that Birtherism is not a singular discrete belief but a distinct mind set.

    The “Birther” is fundamentally an anti-democratic, bigot (usually but not exclusively racist) who simply cannot stomach the fact that Barack Obama, a black Democrat is President and not just once but twice. In their mind he is inherently illegitimate, evil, and all he is and everything he has done must be not just removed but denied and destroyed, wiped from memory

    Since this is their stance they will use any personal belief to bolster this stance. The stance is not the defining characteristic, the mind set is.

    IMHO

  28. avatar
    The Magic M November 13, 2013 at 7:23 am #

    I’m just curious if we will see any eligibility claims about Hillary (now that this particular cat is out of the bag), along the lines of Paul Guthrie’s “wimmin can’t hold any office” or if the loons will “only” latch onto the usual swiftboating (“Benghazi!”) and conspiracy claims (“they murdered so many people”).

  29. avatar
    The Magic M November 13, 2013 at 7:25 am #

    Rickey: As I recall he was four or five inches shorter than Obama.

    You mean *before* leg surgery. Is this why we never see Obama in shorts? 😉

  30. avatar
    JPotter November 13, 2013 at 9:41 am #

    The Magic M: I’m just curious if we will see any eligibility claims about Hillary

    GW Epperley up in Juneau, AK will be all over that. He’s already been railing against Hillary for years.

  31. avatar
    John Reilly November 13, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    Birthers believe all Democrats are ineligible or treasonous or both. Whatever fantasy makes their day. If Clinton runs we will be treated to as re-run of Whitewater, where people who the Clintons knew actually went to jail. Definitely a fantasy more grounded in reality than birtherism. But all derived from the paranoid style of the American political right.

  32. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater November 13, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    The Magic M: You mean *before* leg surgery. Is this why we never see Obama in shorts?

    He’s obviously the Million Dollar Man

  33. avatar
    Kiwiwriter November 13, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    Well, if patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, I would say that sanctimonious fundamentalism is the second-to-last refuge of a scoundrel.

    Not being Christian, I’m never impressed or too interested in Christian rhetoric. My ethnicity’s experience with the action of Christianity has been the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the pogroms, anti-Semitic quotas, restrictive covenants, “No Hebrews taken,” and the Holocaust. To me, Christianity is a religion that slaughters its real or perceived enemies in the name of love. It often slaughters non-Christians — sometimes it slaughters fellow Christians. The “Irish Question” comes to mind, but both sides claimed to have God on their side in the American Civil War.

    However, Ms. Trowbridge is a few bricks short of being a true “birther,” but she’s definitely on the crazy side and part of that movement. Clearly, she loathes President Obama for his ethnicity, is determined to connect him to a radical activist and a religion she despises (mostly out of ignorance), and I find her appeal to faith mawkish in the extreme.

    God is quite Impersonal, and He doesn’t care for His Children particularly. Why else would He allow them to butcher each other, either en masse through wars, “ethnic cleansings,” and environmental misdeeds, or on small scales, via serial killers, terrorists, and domestic abusers?

    If you listen to some of the folks who spout His words on television, God seems to be mostly concerned about the outcome of sporting events and the financial picture of various churches and their leaders. Sounds like the Big Bookie and Accountant in the Sky to me.

  34. avatar
    Arthur November 13, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    Kiwiwriter: Well, if patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, I would say that sanctimonious fundamentalism is the second-to-last refuge of a scoundrel.

    Well said. And when you combine the scoudrelism of a birther with the sanctimonious fundamentalism of Trowbridge you get . . . well, I don’t know what, but it’s really offensive.

  35. avatar
    Arthur November 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    Arthur: And when you combine the scoudrelism of a birther with the sanctimonious fundamentalism of Trowbridge you get . . . well, I don’t know what, but it’s really offensive.

    Actually, here’s what you get (from a poster at Birther Report):

    “Obama was born a communist. He is the son of Satan. He wants to destroy all things wholesome and pure. Obama is death incarnate. Obama hates Christianity and everything it represents. Obama supports killing babies, even after they are born. Obama is forcing homosexuality to be present in every part of our lives, from the military to the church. Obama will kill our grandparents by limiting their health care. Obama is pure evil. He has not one redeeming quality. His entire agenda is about destroying this nation and everyone in it. While supporting the Muslim conquest of the world. His words are meaningless. His actions speak volumes. And each and every one of Obama’s actions has been to the detriment of our nation.”

  36. avatar
    aarrgghh November 13, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    Notorial Dissent: Doc, for what it’s worth, I think Mad Martha qualifies as birther, just of a different stripe. She doesn’t believe he is eligible because she claims the birth information is false, so that by definition makes her a birther. The fact that her take on it is a total departure from the mainstream of birferdom doesn’t alter her basic premise that the birth information is false, which is the main theme with all the rest of them, she’s just gone a totally different direction with her mania.

    i too classify as a birfer anyone who questions any of the circumstances related to obama’s origins, such as:

    birthplace (“who knows where he was born?”)
    date and time (“who knows when he was born?”)
    parentage (“was stanley dunham his father? was a black prostitute his mom?”)
    identity (“did the dunhams steal someone else’s baby?”)
    laws (“his alleged birth facts makes him constitutionally ineligible!”)
    species (“is obama a shapeshifting reptillian from alpha draconis?”)

    John Reilly: Birthers believe all Democrats are ineligible or treasonous or both. Whatever fantasy makes their day. If Clinton runs we will be treated to as re-run of Whitewater, where people who the Clintons knew actually went to jail. Definitely a fantasy more grounded in reality than birtherism. But all derived from the paranoid style of the American political right.

    in 2009 i wrote a post on this subject: “not just obama”

  37. avatar
    G November 13, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    I agree completely.

    Notorial Dissent:
    Doc, for what it’s worth, I think Mad Martha qualifies as birther, just of a different stripe. She doesn’t believe he is eligible because she claims the birth information is false, so that by definition makes her a birther. The fact that her take on it is a total departure from the mainstream of birferdom doesn’t alter her basic premise that the birth information is false , which is the main theme with all the rest of them, she’s just gone a totally different direction with her mania.

  38. avatar
    G November 13, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

    I support your position. However, if a distinction had to be mad within the class of that distinct mind set, I would define that particular mindset itself as ODS (Obama Derangement Syndrome), with Birtherism as a specific sub-set, in which they put some focus on wishing to change his birth circumstances in order to achieve that de-legitimizing of him. I do agree with how you’ve characterized the pathologies motivating all these ODS folks…

    bovril: In my opinion (and therefore worth every penny you paid for it) is that Birtherism is not a singular discrete belief but a distinct mind set.

    The “Birther” is fundamentally an anti-democratic, bigot (usually but not exclusively racist) who simply cannot stomach the fact that Barack Obama, a black Democrat is President and not just once but twice. In their mind he is inherently illegitimate, evil, and all he is and everything he has done must be not just removed but denied and destroyed, wiped from memory

    Since this is their stance they will use any personal belief to bolster this stance. The stance is not the defining characteristic, the mind set is.