Saturday, August 28, 2010

With Them, It's Nature, Not Nurture

Two are not quite a pattern but.... the similarity is striking.

First, it was Reverend Franklin Graham telling CNN's John King

Well, first of all, I think the president's problem is that he was born a Muslim. His father was a Muslim. The seed of Islam is passed through the father like the seed of Judaism is passed through the mother. He was born a Muslim.

Now it is Alveda King, niece of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In Salon, Daniel Denvir writes that Ms. King, who will speak at Glenn Beck's "restoring Honor" rally in Washington today, apparently defends the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, maintaining "The book I go by says there will be wars and rumors of wars. It’s just the season. It’s where we are right now." She is director of African-American outreach at Piests for Life and

In 1994, she released a letter condemning Coretta Scott King’s support for abortion and gay rights, saying it would bring "curses on your house and your people ... cursing, vexation, rebuke in all that you put your hand to, sickness will come to you and your house, your bloodline will be cut off."

You will not be surprised that Ms. King is not a big fan of the late Mrs. King, of whose husband she remarked

I've got his DNA. She doesn't, she didn't ... Therefore I know something about him. I'm made out of the same stuff.

Whoa. I've got his DNA.... I'm made out of the same stuff.

Reverend Graham says President Obama has "the seed of Islam." Alveda King says "I've got his DNA." What is this focus on biology, the idea that genetics determines religious faith, or political ideology, or character?

Franklin Graham and Alveda King are only two individuals and their apparent in biological determinism does not make them eugenicists. But this is the kind of thing that can lead down the long slope to racial determinism and traditional racism. Theirs is a disturbing philosophy, and their apparent commitment to Christian belief does not make it any less so.

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