“I know there’s been a lot of misinformation in this debate, and there are some folks out there who are frankly bearing false witness,” Mr. Obama told a multidenominational group of pastors, rabbis and other religious leaders who support his goal to remake the nation’s health care system.Bearing false witness? Breaking the 9th Commandment? So his opponents are sinners. I'm trying to imagine the separation-of-church-and-state freakout if George Bush had taken this approach to arguing for one of his policies.
According to the lede paragraph in the linked NYT article:
President Obama sought Wednesday to reframe the health care debate as “a core ethical and moral obligation,” imploring a coalition of religious leaders to help promote the plan to lower costs and expand insurance coverage for all Americans.Strangely, the context of that quote — "a core ethical and moral obligation" — is missing from the body of the article. Was something cut? Was it too embarrassing? Too Bush-y? I have to go elsewhere:
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: OK, for some, that public option has gone over like a lead balloon. So how about plan B, morality? Is that the secret weapon strategy to get health care reform? President Obama went on a conference call today with thousands of religious people, arguing health care reform is a moral issue. The president also argued against what he calls "ludicrous lies" made up about his health plan.Now, we know that Barack Obama doesn't "keep" his actual brother — we remember George Hussein Onyango Obama, the brother who lives a hut — and it's clear that what he means is that government has the moral obligation to regard all citizens as brothers and sisters — I'm coining the word sibizens — and to care for them.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: These are all fabrications that have been put out there in order to discourage people from meeting what I consider to be a core ethical and moral obligation. That is that we look out for one other, that I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper. And in the wealthiest nation on earth right now, we are neglecting to live up to that call.
I'd really like to find the full text of what was — if I'm to believe Van Susteren — a big telephone call. It's not on the White House website. There's a bit more here (at ABC):
Mr. Obama called on the religious leaders to help him share the good word about health care reform and set the record straight.Sharing the "good word"? Good Lord! Is this the Gospel? Mark 16:
“I need you to knock on doors, talk to your neighbors. I need you to spread the facts and speak the truth,” he said.
Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.Obama says believe. Believe or be condemned as sinners. And go forth into the world. Preach the good news. Speak the truth.
He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."
"And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."Talk about the blue pill! Just wait until the government lays its hands on you. In Barack's name, you will get well.
Government as religion — it's a poisonous notion! But drink it, drink it. Believe! It will not hurt you at all!