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President's Words Opens Up Evangelical "Can of Worms"

Oh-boy. President Obama just opened up an Evangelical can of worms. Yucky. See below.

When the President got on that Wednesday conference call sponsored by progressive and moderate faith leaders he said some of his critics are "bearing false witness". Well it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that he's definitely  referring (not exclusively) to people who are talking about these death panels and government funding of abortion.  Guess what? He's talking about conservative Evangelical groups. When you come out on a FAITH conference call and use the words, "bearing false witness" that is a direct slap down of conservative Evangelical groups. You can debate the intention behind his words but it really doesn't matter because it is really only how it is received that matters. In essence he was calling these Christian groups a bunch of liars. It's a serious charge. By ratcheting up the rhetoric, the President just amped up the fight against him and opened up a can of worms.

The President may think these groups are bearing false witness but they think the same thing about him as well as the people associated with Health Care within the White House. They truly believe that this administration is purposely being secretive and not up front with the American people.

With his words on the conference call, the President essentially just insulted millions of Evangelical Christians who don't believe they are bearing false witness but rather feel justified in their viewpoint because they carry a heavy dose of skepticism about this administration.

What we have here is two sides who both claim they know the truth. By the President calling out his Evangelical critics (not by name but as stated above the implication is pretty clear) he chose to use divisive words. For a President who loves nuance,  why couldn't he simply say something about how he simply doesn't see eye to eye with his critics or that while he acknowledges their concerns he just simply sees it a different way. He went further. Seriously, if indeed the President says a health care reform bill will not lead to government funded abortion (whether directly or indirectly) why not just write that specific language into the bill? 

Look, ultimately what we are seeing play out here is a landscape tussle  by two faith factions. While I hate labels, let me invoke them to lay this out in the most simplest of terms: the "Religious  left" is trying to drive the social justice, Matthew 25 scripture moral philosophy in their quest for health care. Then you have the "Christian right" driving the abortion and End of Life care moral issues. Both sides have stated their cases. Both sides believe THEIR morals are more pressing. Church attendees around the country are discussing these important health care issues. What will be the final verdict?

Print     Email to a Friend    posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 7:34 AM

Comments on this post

# RE: President's Words Opens Up Evangelical "Can of Worms"

I'd say the President was being kind. Flat-out lies are being widely promoted amongst right-wing groups. Being a person of faith is not a guarantee that they are embracing - or hearing - the truth. Just because Sarah Palin says health care proposals include death panels does not make her statement true. In fact, she's making stuff up!!!
Left by GordonsGirl on Aug 20, 2009 11:36 AM

# RE: President's Words Opens Up Evangelical "Can of Worms"

"why couldn't he simply say something about how he simply doesn't see eye to eye with his critics or that while he acknowledges their concerns he just simply sees it a different way."

Um, because there's such thing as truth. Apparently conservatives no longer understand that. In your post, there's no interest in whether Obama's claim is correct. Are some conservatives bearing false witness? You don't care. We're just supposed to all acknowledge the validity of all possible viewpoints.

Your moral relativism is a sad thing, David.
Left by Miggs on Aug 20, 2009 1:09 PM

# RE: President's Words Opens Up Evangelical "Can of Worms"

President Obama spoke the truth--something that we don't hear often enough these days. Mr. Brody, this is not about differing philosophies as you claim, this is about lies such as the comments about "death panels" versus the need to offer medical care to so many who are being trampled by insurance companies. And by the way, since when is the Gospel of Matthew merely "moral philosophy?"
Left by Anne on Aug 20, 2009 1:09 PM

# RE: President's Words Opens Up Evangelical "Can of Worms"

Re: Miggs and gordonsgirl: I never thought I'd see the day when the far left admits there is an absolute truth! Now we're getting somewhere. So much for moral relativism, I guess liberals have conveniently forgotten their core belief structure. Unfortunately, they appear to still be blind to what the truth is, especially when they rely on biased far left websites like factcheck.org.

Let's see, mandatory counseling for the elderly as a cost cutting measure and government run decision making on what treatments will be covered: sounds like rationing and death panels to me. And yes, government funded abortion is allowed in some of the bills proposed. Typical, just demonize opposing points of view, try to marginalize 30-60% of the population that opposes the health takeover instead of discussing the issues rationally.
Left by WiscDan on Aug 20, 2009 3:16 PM

# RE: President's Words Opens Up Evangelical "Can of Worms"

Personally, I'm on the side of life, whatever side that may be. It is a fact that Obama is the most pro-abortion politician ever. He lost me on that issue. It is no stretch for me to see how any health care bill could eventually lead to life and death decisions based on economics. Think not? Read Wall Street Journal "The Death Book for Veterans" at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204683204574358590107981718.html
Left by Exodus 20 on Aug 20, 2009 3:19 PM

# RE: President's Words Opens Up Evangelical "Can of Worms"

No, Barack Obama has not spoken the truth.

He has consistently lied and misled people as he has tried to develop support for his plans to nationalize health care.

Saying that you are in possession of facts is not the same thing as actually being in possession of facts. Democrats in Congress and the White House keep making claims that are routinely disproven and they keep making public statements which contradict previous public statements.

That is not speaking the truth.

About the only person who has spoken the truth during this so-called national discussion on health care reform has been Barney Frank. He has been open and honest about what this legislation means for Americans.
Left by Andrea555 on Aug 20, 2009 3:25 PM

# RE: President's Words Opens Up Evangelical "Can of Worms"

Bearing false witness biblically implies so much more than merely avoiding the truth. We are left to wonder if Rev. Jeremiah White and Harvard missed that nuance in Obama's education, or is this just an attempt to speak Scripturesque? Witness for Obama's true intent is clear from his voting record to allow "problem" newborns to cry themselves to death to his recent reenactment of Clinton's program of VA hospitals promoting death as an alternative to treatment for our country's suffering heroes. One does not need to look too deep to figure what would be the "postal-like" program to deal with the sick and elderly. I've seen no pastoral associations listed as members of the consulting panels, yet the Hemlock Society is on-board.

The imitation of Christ calls to find life precious and eternal at all stages and conditions. May Obama and his supporters find mercy from the Lord at their judgement.
Left by Hening on Aug 20, 2009 3:28 PM

# RE: President's Words Opens Up Evangelical "Can of Worms"

Excuse me, what are you posters talking about? What do you mean we're bearing false witness? What exactly are we saying that isn't true? The original bill did have mandated conferences between doctor and patient to discuss wills, end of life issues etc. (Read the bill) We ARE going to be paying for abortions however the bill calls them reproductive and birth choices. (Read the Bill) This bill will bankrupt the country. TRILLIONS in debt. This bill makes the government the sole controller of your health care. The government has not run one agency well in the last 100 years! The postal service is going bankrupt, that's a fact, GOOGLE it. Medicare/Medicaide is in SERIOUS trouble due to lack of regulation and poor management. (Fraud is rampant.) The one health care agency that they are currently in charge of is The Indian Reservation Health Care System. By treaty we are supposed to be taking care of our native Americans. They laugh at us wanting what they have... research it. I DO NOT LIE!
Left by Julie on Aug 20, 2009 3:38 PM

# RE: President's Words Opens Up Evangelical "Can of Worms"

First we have the following:

June 30, 2003, State Senator Obama said “I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program. …. A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.”

Then we have this:

August 11, 2009, Obama said: “I have not said that I was a single-payer supporter, because, frankly, we historically have had a employer-based system in this country, with private insurers, and for us to transition to a system like that, I believe would be too disruptive. …So, I’m not promoting a single-payer plan.”

Excuse me, but who is bearing false witness? That would be you Mr. President. I am a minister and I can tell you that I can spot a “false witness” when I see it.
Left by It's Me! on Aug 20, 2009 4:05 PM

# RE: President's Words Opens Up Evangelical "Can of Worms"

Yes, there is truth. And the truth is Jesus never preached for his followers to impose their beliefs through government, actually quite the opposite. If, as a Christian you want to make a difference in healthcare, you and/or your Church should do something. Open a free clinic, adopt a family, don't impose your beliefs on everyone else.

If you think 1300 insurance companies are the bogeyman, just wait until there is no competition.
Left by rocketman on Aug 20, 2009 4:07 PM

# RE: President's Words Opens Up Evangelical "Can of Worms"

Since many of you are sensitive to negative criticism of the President, I will present you with actual information about the bill. Go read it for yourselves! It's very long and seems to change often. It's HR 3200 - http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/thomas
Amongst 100 pgs of text, is a provision for penalizing individuals for not having insurance and a public plan that will compete with insurance companies, and will cover abortion on demand. The "death panel" or medical review board was removed because of public disapproval. There's also link to the bill's actual cost from the Congressional Budget Office, which concludes that this will only increase the costs of healthcare.
Also, take a glance at this memo from the NRTL on Obama's "false witness":
Here is a review of the actual revisions:
Also, consider 1 Samual 16:17 before condeming those who question the President.
Left by Vera on Aug 20, 2009 4:30 PM

# RE: President's Words Opens Up Evangelical "Can of Worms"

Let's just go back to what POTUS said in 2007 vs what he is stating now.

Left by nor on Aug 20, 2009 4:51 PM

# RE: President's Words Opens Up Evangelical "Can of Worms"

Conservatives "bearing false witness"? Are you joking? This president lies at every turn, and the abortion aspect of HR 3200 is a perfect example. Benefits provided pursuant to this bill absolutely will include abortion. Legal precedent is quite clear that, prior to the Hyde Amendment, abortion was required to be covered under Medicaid because the statute was silent on the issue of abortion coverage. Thus, case law provides that if the new statute is silent on the issue, courts will require coverage of abortion. A contrary conclusion is impossible in light of current precedent. Obama, supposedly a legal scholar, knows this fact and is lying through his teeth when he states that the bill will not cover abortion. Calling a liar a liar is not bearing false witness, it is shining the light of truth on darkness. God have mercy on his soul.
Left by gfounds on Aug 20, 2009 5:27 PM

# RE: President's Words Opens Up Evangelical "Can of Worms"

Here's the problem.

It centers on what each side thinks the word "lying" means.

One can imagine that the party of defenders of Bill Clinton's position that the word "is" has variable meaning--depending on whether you're trying to corrupt a legal proceeding or not--might be forgiven for believing that any word can mean whatever they want.

On the other hand, the seemingly increasingly smaller party which holds that the meaning of "is" has not changed for at least 100 years, might be forgiven for believing the same about the word "lying."

Marxists urge their practitioners to "seize the language," meaning to pervert the meaning of ordinary words to use them as weapsons in the class struggle.

Words are of no use to communicate with people who don't respect the meaning of them.

Obama and his legion are liars of the first order--in the classical sense of both "liars" and "are."
Left by nobama on Sep 13, 2009 9:30 PM