Saturday, June 20, 2009

"Obama tied to Ayers ... at age 11"

Even on the weekends, WorldNetDaily does not fail to deliver:

Obama tied to Ayers ... at age 11
Anti-military congregation attended as boy in Hawaii linked to radical's organization

Here's the breakdown: as a youngster in the early 1970s, Obama's family attended First Unitarian Church of Honolulu. First Unitarian was more than a bit of a hippie church, and in the late 1960s, the church accommodated deserters and draft dodgers, including those from the radical leftist group Students for a Democratic Society. Meanwhile, in Michigan, Bill Ayers was a prominent leader of Students for a Democratic Society. That is underlying connection behind the headline "Obama tied to age 11."

WND's source for this story is an article in the Hawaii Free Press.

As that article states, "Contemporary accounts of the SDS Resistance use of First Unitarian and nearby Church of the Crossroads as part of the 1968-70 sanctuary for deserters movement shows why Obama would not have wanted this information exposed." In support of this position, the article cites to a dozen newspaper articles regarding SDS or the church from the late 1960s. All of the articles are from 1968 and 1969. The article gives no specific indication of any relationship between the church and SDS after 1969.

And where was Obama during those years? Indonesia. He and his mother had moved there in 1967, and he did not return to Hawaii until 1971. So everything the Hawaii Free Press article describes happened while Obama was living 4000 miles away. Meanwhile, Ayers was living 4000 miles in the opposite direction. Despite the headline, there has never been such an extended period of time in Obama's life when he and Bill Ayers were more distant from each other.

Naturally, WND isn't quite so obtuse as to not notice these details. So while the headline is outrageous, the article proffers a different argument: "Obama, however, likely learned values during his Sunday school days at the First Unitarian in the early 1970s." And perhaps there's a nugget of truth there, underneath the piles of hyperbole.

But in the course of making this argument, WND falls victim to the common enemy of many a conspiracy theory: consistency. Just last week WND was reminding readers of Obama's extremist Muslim background, including his Muslim upbringing in Indonesia. And here they are stressing his radical Christian upbringing in Hawaii, and focusing on the exact same years of his childhood. When it's convenient to smear him as a Muslim, he's Muslim. When it's convenient to attack him as a left-wing hippie Christian, he's Christian. To the conspiratorialist, convenience trumps consistency.

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