Putting Words in someone’s mouth is bad, putting them in a Dead Soldier’s Mouth is much worse

I get a lot of right wing email forwarded to me.  Some I agree with, but mostly they annoy me.  The one’s I dislike the most put words in the mouth of people.  I’ve seen messages that attribute an angry xenophobic diatribe to Bill Cosby, he didn’t write it.  Attributing it Cosby who I associate with a message of tolerance is absurd.  Putting your words in someone’s mouth that they don’t agree with is more than dishonest.  I’ve seen similar things done to Robin Williams, and Lee  Iacocca.

Maybe worst of all is putting words in a soldier’s mouth, arguably dead soldiers too:


Subject: ACLU I’m not breaking this one
The first picture and the last picture are taken at the beach in Santa Barbara right next to the pier. There is a veterans group that started putting a cross and candle for every death in Iraq and Afghanistan. The amazing thing is that they only do it on the weekends. They put up this graveyard and take it down every weekend.

Guys sleep in the sand next to it and keep watch over it at night so nobody messes with it. Every cross has the name, rank and D.O.B. and D.O.D. on it.

Very moving, very powerful??? So many young volunteers. So many 30 to 40 year olds as well.
Amazing !

Did you know that the ACLU has filed a suit to have all military cross-shaped headstones removed?
Arlington West 1
And another suit to end prayer from the military completely.
They’re making great progress.

The Navy Chaplains can no longer mention Jesus’ name in prayer thanks to the ACLU and our new administration.
Arlington West 2
I’m not breaking this one.
Arlington West 3
If I get it a 1000 times, I’ll forward it a 1000 times!

Please, let us pray…
Please send this on after a short prayer. Prayer for our soldiers Don’t break it!

‘Heavenly Father, hold our troops in Your loving hands.
Protect them as they protect us.
Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in this our time of need. Amen.’


So what message is the author sending here?   I think its:  that our soldiers are brave and these crosses are a tribute to that bravery and now, having used that tribute to incite patriotic feelings, let’s change the subject to this Godless administration and ACLU, so you can find another reason to take your country back.!

Unfortunately, what’s really going on is the use of someone else again to send a message that the person wouldn’t agree with again.  If you poke around to find out about the crosses you find out they’re the work of Veterans for Peace

I don’t think they support the jingoistic spin that I pick up in the email, and there is more.  The claim that you’re supposed to be enraged about having had your patriotic feelings stirred up is false also.  There is no movement afoot to eliminate prayer in the military.  The details are here

In fairness, I suppose the Veterans for Peace are using the dramatization of the number of their comrades in arms that have fallen in combat to make a political point also, but as veterans I think they have some right to do so.  The use of their work in this email is just another case of putting words in someone’s mouth they wouldn’t agree with, and the anonymous use of dead soldiers’ mouths to make point that at least some of them likely wouldn’t agree with.

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