Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween Haunt at Kings Dominion

For the past two years, I've done a halloween haunted maze at my house, with the help of my children and their friends.

This year, that mantle will pass to my son, who will be running a smaller version of the maze with his friends. My daughter and I meanwhile have joined the "professional ranks", working as halloween haunt monsters at Kings Dominion's Halloween Haunt.

This is a very tiring job, but also a lot of fun. We've always enjoyed going to these halloween mazes at the various theme parks in the area; but getting to scare other people has a special pleasure.

So if you do manage to make it down to Kings Dominion this fall, stop by the Toxic Plague, and we'll be sure to try to scare the living daylight out of you.

Sikh, Muslim -- what's the difference for Obama?

An interesting and quirky story today, in which we find that President Obama has decided NOT to visit a Sikh temple while in India, supposedly because stupid Americans might think Obama is a Muslim:

Revered by Indians of all faiths, it is a cherished emblem of India’s religious diversity. So it was no surprise when the gold-plated marvel was touted as the likely third stop on President Obama’s visit to India, scheduled for early November.

Religious diversity -- that was probably the first strike against them in Obama's mind.

the plan appears to have foundered on the thorny question of how Mr. Obama would cover his head, as Sikh tradition requires, while visiting the temple.

“To come to golden temple he needs to cover his head,” said Dalmegh Singh, secretary of the committee that runs the temple. “That is our tradition. It is their problem to cover the head with a Christian hat or a Muslim cap.”

And while it doesn't say so in the article, it appears you could also where a jewish headcovering, and the article says most people just tie a kerchief around their heads.

Now, Sikhism is NOT Islam. But occasionally, Sikh's in this country are confused for Muslims:

Sikhs in the United States have often been mistaken for Muslims. Sikhism, which arose in the Punjab region in the 15th century, includes elements of Hinduism and Islam but forms a wholly distinct faith. Since Sept. 11, 2001, Sikhs in the United States have been occasional targets of anti-Muslim discrimination and violence — a Sikh was killed in Arizona a few days after the attack on the World Trade Center by a man who mistook him for a Muslim.

Given this history, it is sad that our President is so concerned about his PERSONAL APPEARANCE that he is willing to contribute to the ignorance of others, and play into their prejudices, by refusing to enter the Sikh temple because he is afraid someone might think he is a Muslim:

“We have worked so hard to establish in America that Sikhs have a very different identity than Muslims,” Mr. Phoolka said. “It is very unfortunate that even the White House is conveying the message that there is no difference between Muslims and Sikhs.”

But Obama, more than any President I can ever remember, is a self-centered, self-absorbed narcisist who would put his own reputation above all else, even one of those "teachable moments". Seriously, what great harm is it if some people refuse to believe Obama when he says he is a Christian? So what if some people think he is Muslim? How does that really harm him?

But rather than do the right thing, and show respect to India and demonstrate our own country's tolerance of free expression and differing religions, Obama has chosen to slight the Sikh faith, perpetuate the myth that Sikh's and Muslims are alike, and once again make our country look foolish -- all to protect his own reputation:

Mr. Obama, a Christian, has struggled to fend off persistent rumors that he is a Muslim,

Oddly, by refusing to enter a Sikh temple, Obama is actually contributing to the rumors that he is a Muslim. Because the two faiths have had a sometimes unfriendly relationship, while Christians have no problem entering a Sikh temple.

Many Presidents have taken into account how their actions would reflect on America and it's principles. Obama on the other hand regularly takes actions that reflect poorly on our country -- it's his personal appearance that he cares about, not the country he represents. And once again, he has embarrased our nation for no good reason.