Who am I? After a lifelong history of speeches, writing, service on about 40 not-for-profit boards, and many diverse activities in North America and Europe, it seems judging me can come from reading a couple of my blogs. Of course that is nonsense, but it comes as part of the territory in the blog world. So be it. Below are a number of sentences that begin with FACTS about my life followed by conclusions quickly drawn by many ...far too many.
He knew the Martin Luther King family; therefore he must be African-American. Wrong.
He was baptized and confirmed in a church that is a predecessor to the United Methodist Church; he must be a Methodist. Wrong.
He attended a Lutheran college and worked for the Lutheran church; he must be Lutheran. Wrong.
He attended a Catholic university and was vice president of a Catholic college; he must be Catholic. Wrong.
He was offered a scholarship and living expenses to attend a graduate school in a Moslem country; he must be a Moslem. Wrong.
His Master's degree thesis was on the wrongs of Western World imperialism in the Middle East; he must be a Moslem. Wrong.
He often criticizes Ronald Reagan; he must be a Democrat. Wrong.
He often criticizes liberal Senator Russ Feingold; he must be a Republican. Wrong
He volunteered to serve in a nursery during synagogue services; he must be a Jew. Wrong.
He drove elderly ladies to temple during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur; he must be a Jew. Wrong
He crticizes capitalism; he must be a socialist. Wrong.
He worked in Washington, D.C.; he must be connected to politics. Wrong.
He's been called "Papito" by loved ones; he must be Hispanic. Wrong.
I have criticized Bill Clinton, John Edwards, some peace groups, the NRA, Newt Gingrich, Democratic Senator Herb Kohl, ad infinitum. And I have asked Americans to pull together as one. But you cannot draw conclusions about who I am because of one blog posting, one speech, on article, etc.
It gets sillier and sillier. One blog or two blogs are just that: blog entries; a very small piece of a life filled with many varied experiences.
If you criticize what someone believes, you are labeled the opposite of that person's beliefs. Perhaps the worst offenders are those who cloak themselves in "neutrality" or "objectivity" when they are in some extreme camp with some extreme agenda. These are particularly sad people because they have deceived themselves in their denial. Denial is usually a part of extremist mind-sets.