Oh Brother!

I awoke this morning to discover that my President yesterday accused me of breaking the ninth Commandment. Here’s what he said:

You’ve heard that this is all going to mean government funding of abortion. Not true,” he said. “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, and that is that we look out for one another. 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.

This is the same man who, from the years 2000 to 2004 gave about 1 % of his income to charities but increased this once he entered national politics.

The same man who recently had an auntie Zeituni living (illegally) in public housing in Boston, even though he had made millions on his book deals.

The same man who above invokes a saying from the very first murder, who himself voted not once, not twice, but three times to not allow proper health care to a baby already born and seperated from it’s mother, because it was the mother’s wish to kill the baby. This involves another Commandment, the sixth.

The same man who has a half-brother living in a 8’x10′ hut on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya.

The same man who attended a church for 20 years and stated he never knew the core beliefs of it’s pastor.

Sorry, Mr. President . Your ‘moral and ethical’ appeal to support your healthcare plan holds no validity here.


  1. A number of news sources picked up on Obama’s reframing the debate to the moral issue. You nailed it, Randy. The man is really stupid if he thinks we won’t notice his own shortcomings in this area while preaching to us.

    Obama keeps digging a deeper hole, don’t you think? Maybe they’ll let him lead China when he gets there.

  2. Woe is me! I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips…Isaiah

    The President made a moral appeal. Are the morals misguided because of the messenger?

  3. Randy in Richmond says:

    “And in the wealthiest nation on earth right now, we are neglecting to live up to that call.” Not really, Mr. President.


  4. From Obama? Absolutely.

  5. Randy in Richmond says:

    Once a seraph flies down with a live coal and touches Obama’s mouth, and he then submits himself to God’s service as Isaiah did, I will listen to Obama’s moral appeals.

  6. Listen to Isaiah then?

    This is a moral issue, whether we like the players or not. Why not press for a moral solution? While the right extreme is casting stones and creating distractions, the left is going to press forward. They are going to pass something. If you care, be a player.

  7. Moral solution? Right. Coming from a party that thinks nothing of ripping unborn fetuses from their wombs.

    Full of shit, Kathryn. I won’t be playing the game.

  8. Randy in Richmond says:

    When did it become a moral issue? Just yesterday because the President said so? Why have you not brought it up before that it is a moral issue. I’ve never heard free speech and debate called ‘casting stones and creating distractions’.

    Obama’s “we look out for each other” is code for pure socialism which this proposed healthcare issue is all about.

  9. When was helping the needy NOT a moral issue?

    We could be talking about cutting waste, creating efficiencies, and keeping folks from falling through the cracks. You have evidence of a safety net in place. You could ask why it isn’t working. Instead the nation has been talking about Orwellian scenarios and how stupid the President might be. What happened?

    Randy–Obama is taking the argument, I expect, from Jim Wallis, et al. That discussion, in those terms (moral issue) has been going on for YEARS, and Wallis has it with whomever is in office. (Check the attendees of last year’s prayer breakfast. Wallis was there with W. and Bono.)

    Sojourners web site was not working well when I tried to access it earlier this morning, but if you search “Wallis health”, you will find plenty of related discussion. Or not; up to you.

  10. So abortion (i.e., saddling you daughter with a child) isn’t a moral issue? Caring for your Auntie or half brother isn’t a moral issue? Abandoning your church and never getting around to finding another one isn’t a moral issue? Refusing to support the greater community when you have a generous income isn’t a moral issue?

    Why do you choose to cherry-pick this issue as moral the day after Obama proclaims it so?

  11. Randy in Richmond says:

    What happened? I’m glad you asked. The approximately 20-25 % of Americans that some call moderates, non-affiliated, fence sitters, etc. as well as some Democrats, and Republicans that chose not to vote, are starting to look at the substance of President Obama rather than the symbolism on which he ran his campaign . And specifically people are looking intently at this health care plan and don’t like what they see. Because of the ‘we’re smarter than you’ attitude the Dems are using to defend the plan people are angry–in many cases real angry. The White House is a disaster. They are out of control. It is operating as if the election is still ongoing and campaign mode is in full effect.

    And alas. He cannot walk on water. Voting present doesn’t work anymore. Giving good speeches has nothing to do with making good appointments and making good decisions. His lack of executive experience screams at all of us. He has surrounded himself with mostly Chicago style politicos and has appointed over 30 czars and czarinas to positions that do not answer to the people and do not require vetting because that became a stumbling block. Heaven help us for wanting to look into the background of those serving the White House.
    And I’ve never heard of Jim Wallis and when I looked up his bio and saw he was President of his college’s Students for a Democratic Society I lost interest.
    Thanks for asking.

  12. Kathrine,

    A person’s well-being is certainly a moral issue, but it’s not a moral obligation for the government to insure health care. Let me explain.

    I saw the O’Reilly Factor last night, and he had a liberal Catholic woman try to make a case that Jesus would want our government to insure the needy. She said that Jesus saw helping the needy as a societal obligation, and therefore this includes the government.

    Only one problem, Jesus didn’t believe that helping the needy was a societal obligation. He saw helping out your neighbor as a voluntary obligation by the individual, not a societal one.

    Furthermore, Jesus saw helping out the needy as a voluntary obligation from the goodness of the heart, not a mandated obligation through taxation. The purpose of charity is voluntary, when someone forces you to give, then it’s no longer charity and no longer an act of goodness.

  13. “wealthiest nation on earth right now”

    Day-by-day this is becoming less true. Most indebted nation would be a more accurate description.

  14. Thank you, Aaron. That was well said. Certainly there is no government obligation, per se. Being a democracy, we do get to decide how we will handle things.

    I differ on the question about how Jesus viewed things. I think we can’t know his opinion to that degree of specificity, but since he claimed to fulfill the law and the prophets (i.e. the Hebrew scripture) it makes sense to look there for what his opinion might be. The prophets certainly had a lot to say about societal responsibility, especially responsibility to the poor. I read scripture (both testaments, actually) to say we have both personal and societal responsibility. It is paradoxical, but one that is easier to deal with than others, in short: do all the good that you can, however you can, as long as you can (apologies to John Wesley .)

    I am not so much arguing for a Democratic party plan (it seems there are a few of them) as arguing against doing nothing. Status quo is economically unsustainable and morally suspect. As a society, we have to sort it out.

  15. Kathrine,

    There is somewhat of a disconnect between the two testaments of the bible primarily because the New Testament is a revelation of the Old, and therefore the Old Testament alone should not be used without supplementing it with the New. Thus, I am somewhat hesitant to rely on the Old Testament as a standard of how to behave in a society.

    In the New Testament, Christians ought to concern themselves with primarily understanding the function of two groups: the individual and the church. As an individual, giving to the poor or helping out the needy is meant to be a reflection of one’s love, a type of purging for the self, a demonstration of spirituality, and a ministry to the lost. The scriptures never say to give to the poor because the poor shouldn’t be poor, or the unhealthy shouldn’t be unhealthy.

    As a church, Jesus expects us to help out the needy (widows, orphans, poor) primarily as a way to minister salvation unto them. What good is food if they do not receive salvation? And trust me, the government certainly doesn’t want to get involved with ministering Christ to the lost.

    I’ve heard many times liberals trying to use the scriptures to show that we should provide handouts or subsidize entitlement programs. But there is no support in the scriptures that government should involve itself in such things. There is plenty of basis for individuals doing it, or perhaps the body of Christ (church), but never the government. We should keep this in mind.

  16. I think the logical extension of such a church/government dichotomy is complete separation of Christians from civic affairs. The scripture never tells us to vote or lead revolutions or establish governments; we’d have to keep quiet and pay our taxes for whatever purpose Caesar sees fit.

    As long as we have government by the people, I think we have a role in government, and part of our role IS to do such things as serve the needy–no strings attached. That could be by the government doing it or by the church doing it, or by some collaboration of private sector institutions, but it needs to be done. Representative government is the forum by which we sort that out.

    I’m starting to repeat myself, so I’m going to bow out here. I expect we will continue to disagree. I have enjoyed the discussion Aaron. Peace to you.