In a rather extraordinary twist, President Obama has attempted to move the healthcare debate from ideological pedantry into the area of religion. Years ago in my youth I recall shysters and snake oil salesmen of the time invoking professed faith to push whatever line or shonky product they were pushing by invoking the name of God. The following is very reminiscent of that:
Repeatedly invoking the Bible, President Obama yesterday told religious leaders that health-care critics are "bearing false witness" against his plan.
The fire-and-brimstone president declared holy war in a telephone call with thousands of religious leaders around the country as he sought to breathe life into his plan for a system overhaul.
Without naming anyone specifically in the 10-minute conference call, Obama said opponents had been spreading lies.
"I know that there's been a lot of misinformation in this debate and there are some folks out there who are, frankly, bearing false witness," Obama said.
"I need you to spread the facts and speak the truth." …..
He said the reforms aim to carry out one of God's commandments.
"I am my brother's keeper. I am my sister's keeper," Obama said.
He called health reform a "core ethical and moral obligation."
Christianity has always seemed from my perspective an individualistic perception, not a collectivist one. It has always appeared to me to be a guide to ethical behavior, and living life in reasonable harmony with those around you, indeed that is what the ten commandments is all about. Face it, the following seems more libertarian than the sort of statement a creature of the state would make:
….. king that shall reign over you: he will take your sons and put them to his chariots and make his horsemen of them and they must run before his chariot, and will make him captains of them over thousands and over fifties, and set them to ear his ground, and to gather in his harvest, and to make instruments of war and apparel for his chariots. And he will take your daughters and make them the dressers of his ointments, and his cooks and bakers. And he shall take the best of your fields, and of your vineyards and of your olive trees, and give them to his servants. And he shall take the tenth of your seed and of your vines, and give it to his lords, and to his servants. And he shall take the best of your menservants and maidservants and young men, and of your asses, and do his work with them. And he shall take the tenth of your sheep, and you shall be his servants.
Given what we see from the state today, that statement seems rather optimistic, especially the one tenth bit. Generally, the whole statement from the president reminds me of the old expression we have here:
“When your neighbor talks religion, brand your calves early.”