If President Obama has his way, you’ll soon be hearing about his health care package when you go to your church or synagogue to pray.
Thousands of religious leaders got a call from on high Wednesday when Obama reached out to Jewish and Christian clergy, urging them to push health care reform from the pulpit.
Obama openly espouses agendas and policies in large part driven by and supported by people who actively fight to remove any reference of religion and God from the public square and now he’s got the insolence to ask religious leaders to push his politics at church. The report says the call he made to about 140,000 people was “supposed to be off the record.” (Yeah, I want to hear from all of those people who were screaming about Dick Cheney’s meetings about this one. My guess: they’ll be voting “present” this time.) I’d imagine they would want it to be off the record. It’s not going to fly well among most of the religious people I know.
The bill, as it’s being proposed, requires American citizens to pay taxes that will, among other things, pay for abortions. That $500 billion Obama says he’s going to wring out of Medicare – a program that’s very nearly bankrupt as it is – is going to have to come from somewhere. Wasteful as I’m sure it is, I can’t believe it’s $500 billion worth of waste. That money is going to come out of treatment programs, it’s just a question of which programs. What do you think Obama was saying in that April interview with the NY Times when he spoke about America needing to have “a very difficult democratic conversation” when asked how we were going to deal with the notion that some treatment programs for elderly people don’t appear to be worth the cost? Rhetoric about “death panels” and the like aside, he most certainly is talking about an “independent group” that will make the decision about what falls within the “worth it” category and what doesn’t. When that decision, when the “guidance” offered to the people who will make the regulations is what’s used to determine the availability of treatment and not the wishes of the patient and their family, you’re putting government in control of a decision families are supposed to make guided by their own ethics, morals, and – yes, sometimes – God.
How is this the Christian thing to do, again?
You don’t get to have it both ways – either God and religion are supposed to stay out of politics or they’re not. Obama and his supporters have made themselves quite clear for years on the matter and now, when they’re desperate, they want to change the rules. Only they won’t stay with it. Once this is over, they’ll be right back to trying to erase every reference to God that might offend their wandering eyes.
Charity – and that’s what Obama’s trying to frame this as, really – is most certainly a Christian value and one we’re proud of, particularly we Catholics. But there’s a problem with calling Obamacare charitable: it’s mandatory. Charity is not what happens when someone tells you to pay up or they’ll throw you in jail. Charity is what Christians do in the willing attempt to follow in the footsteps of Christ. Having your charity forced out of you at the point of a gun isn’t charity and for someone to suggest that our priests, ministers, and rabbis say that it is is just disgusting.