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While speaking to faith-based groups today, President Barack Obama finally said what he should have said the moment Palin tweeted(or twitted, maybe..) "death panels". What the President did was remind his audience of the 9th Commandment at a time when so many are blatantly and flagrantly abusing it while casting stones(and those who don't act like jerks get to cast the first stone).

Obama urged the listeners to reject misinformation about his plans, noting, "There are some folks out there who are, frankly, bearing false witness."

There are many true believers who truly believe in what's actually in the bible.  "Thou shalt not bear false witness" is definitely in there, whereas "thou shalt not have an abortion" is not.  I advocated for this type of language earlier in the month partly because I still remembered how Kay Hagan came back at Liddy Dole during the North Carolina Senate race last year.  I think everyone here knows who won that race(for reasons far beyond any flagrant abuse of the 10 commandments).

The President used the chat with faith-based groups to continue to push back on the many false assertions that have been made about health care reform.   He needs to keep it up.  Take the fight to the GOP.   Enjoy Martha's Vineyard, absolutely, but don't forget how important this fight is.

Originally posted to Setrak on Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 04:50 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (20+ / 0-)

    "Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk." John Conyers 1/26/09

    by Setrak on Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 04:50:27 PM PDT

  •  The moral argument is key and should be made (10+ / 0-)

    over and over.

    The lies being spread about reform are indeed "false witness" and the reforms themselves are a moral duty to care for the sick.

    Some people fight fire with fire. Professionals use water.

    by Happy Days on Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 04:55:17 PM PDT

  •  Well, duh (0+ / 0-)

    Pretty perceptive, dude.

    "Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggie" until you can find a rock." Will Rogers

    by bamabikeguy on Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 04:55:18 PM PDT

  •  I heard they are going to the moral argument (6+ / 0-)

    he did mention community once during the press conference, when asked about taxes.

    It is a moral issue.

    And I have read that REAL Christian churches are getting behind healthcare for all as what Jesus would want.

    •  "REAL" Christian Churches? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rieux

      How do you determine the legitimacy of other people's faith congregations, and who appointed you to the task?

      One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

      by RandomActsOfReason on Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 05:16:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If their faith is free-market unregulated (0+ / 0-)

        capitalism, then I can judge them not real Christians.

        •  You didn't answer the questions. (0+ / 0-)

          One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

          by RandomActsOfReason on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:21:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes I did. (0+ / 0-)

            and really, no one appoint anyone to typing an opinion on a blog!  Who appointed YOU?  hahahaha

            •  I'm not the one calling other people (0+ / 0-)

              "False" Christians.

              What is interesting to me, as a non-Christian, is how so many Christians are obsessed with calling other Christians "false" and themselves "real".

              The people you call "false", call themselves "real" and you "false". And they use Biblical quotes to justify their position, just as you would.

              Who is to say who is right?

              And if you are so concerned about "real" vs "false" Christians, what do you honestly think about those of us who aren't Christians at all? Are we "false" people?

              And who the fuck cares, anyway, when it comes to public policy? Christianity, "real" or "false", nor any other religion have any place in a discussion about American law.

              One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

              by RandomActsOfReason on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:40:04 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I am not a Christian, left the church years ago (0+ / 0-)

                and you know, there IS a way to tell if someone is a real Christian. Jesus spelled out the way to follow him and what the most important commandments were.

                Tom Delay, not a real Christian and I say that with full confidence!

                If REAL Christians ran the country, it wouldn't be so bad! We would be more like the Netherlands or France in the way we take care of our people. And we wouldn't start wars.

        •  Why? (0+ / 0-)

          Where does Jesus, or the Bible, or any other relevant authority, say "people who believe in free-market unregulated capitalism are not real Christians"?

          Commanding people to care for their brothers and sisters is not the same thing as commanding them to do so via government subsidies. It isn't even the same thing as commanding them to provide their brothers and sisters with health care. And it certainly isn't declaring that people who fail to provide for brothers and sisters are not real Christians.

          You're pretending that some very vague and general statements in the Bible are equivalent to some extremely specific policy positions. They aren't. And even if they were, they still wouldn't be "support this policy or you're out of the club" creeds.


          And then, of course, our friends the unregulated free-marketers can point to lovely stuff like this:

          And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as [Jesus] sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.

          And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.

          And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.

          - Mark 14:3-7 (italics added)

          So much for "caring for brothers and sisters." Or was that "me ye have not always" guy one of those nasty lousy "fake Christians"?


          These matters are not as simple as you pretend they are.

    •  Same question, different manner: (0+ / 0-)

      Why are churches that oppose government-aided universal health care not "REAL Christian churches"?

      •  Because we are commanded to care (0+ / 0-)

        for our bothers and sisters?

          •  So, Jesus would approve of (0+ / 0-)

            people blocking plans to provide healthcare to others? Really?  Jesus would want you to ACTIVELY try to stop a healthcare bill with a public option?

            Sorry, no.

            God doesn't approve of storing up riches on earth, remember? God and Jesus don't care that you might be taxed for the good of others and complaining about taxes in the face of Eternity is not Christian!

            •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

              Jesus would want you to ACTIVELY try to stop a healthcare bill with a public option? Sorry, no.

              How do you know? What evidence is there that he wouldn't?


              God doesn't approve of storing up riches on earth, remember?

              No. Though I imagine that there's actually scriptural support for that statement, unlike everything else you've declared. (Though there's also material that supports a contrary view, such as Mark 14:7.)

              Blocking universal health care is not the same thing as "storing up riches on earth."


              God and Jesus don't care that you might be taxed for the good of others....

              How do you know? What evidence is there that they don't?


              complaining about taxes in the face of Eternity is not Christian!

              Why not? Where is that written in the Bible?


              You seem to think you know a whole host of things that are actually arbitrary suppositions bereft of objective support. And as a result you've done nothing to answer my questions or RandomActs'.

  •  But you missed the 2nd Amendment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bamabikeguy

    to the commandment, which states that anyone with a sizeable weapon can bear false witness because "the sword that cleaves the cradle shall not be abominated by those who deploy mere words, but shall rain wroth wrath on the indigent and thereby unhinge the fulcrum of a woeful plenitude" {Duderonomy 6:9}

    Also, the commandment reads "Neither shall you bear false witness against your neighbor." Since most people don't live next to the White House, this commandment allows most of us to freely lie about the Kenyan Muslim Socialist Nazi who lives there.

    John Galt is the new Walter Mitty.

    by Bob Love on Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 05:01:32 PM PDT

  •  Didn't Jesus heal the sick? (9+ / 0-)

    Why are fundies so anti-Christian?

    •  Hey, I just finally figured something out.. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ash Tree, pinkbunny, Amayi, bamabikeguy

      remember the good Samaritan story...before the good guy got there to help, a couple others had looked at the injured guy and passed him by.

      The others were the Republicans....

    •  A Great Paradox (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pinkbunny
    •  But (0+ / 0-)

      fundies aren't Jesus. Neither is the government.

      Given that Jesus (and not his disciples) healed the sick, doesn't that imply that the proper response to disease here and now is to pray for Jesus' help, rather than to demand the government use other people's tax money to hire worldly doctors who very possibly have nothing to do with Jesus?

      Jesus is never recorded in the Gospels saying "Go to the doctor," and he certainly never said "Get Caesar to pay for it."


      (Lest I be misunderstood, I'm a flaming liberal who is fervently in favor of universal health care. I'm just more than a little skeptical that the Bible is on our side in this matter, among many others. Religious liberals' certitude that God and Jesus support their side of political disputes has always struck me as severely questionable.)

  •  Poor framing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sphealey, Rieux
    1. The Bible is not the Constitution. It is not a sin - it is not even illegal - to lie in a public town hall or on television, or even on the floor of Congress. Bible-based arguments have no place in the mouth of the President of all citizens.
    1. Morality is not a religious property, it is a universal property. The President of all citizens should not couch his moral arguments in the language of the Judeo-Christian Bible - or any other religious dogma.
    1. Those who argue he is just making a tactical choice to use the language of his audience are, ironically, making an immoral argument. Telling different people different things in order to appeal to their emotion is not moral behavior.

    It's a phony argument, anyway. It's not like Obama speaks before secular groups and blames religious groups for the town hall behavior.

    I am always surprised that those who make an argument in favor of special rhetoric for the "faith-based" groups are the same people who tend to believe in absolute universal values, and yet don't see the obvious contradiction between the two.

    If there are universal values that are not dependent upon specific sectarian beliefs, then why is it necessary to make arguments based on specific sectarian beliefs?

    Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, animists, polytheists, Wiccans, druids, Jeddi, and, yes, atheists and agnostics, do not consider the 9th Commandment (depending on which version of the 10 you choose to point to and which translation you choose to use) to be divinely inspired or anything approaching human law.

    We may agree with the principle - but better stated, it may be that the 9th Commandment accords with universal principles of common social interest which we call "moral" or "ethical" behavior.

    It is never a good thing when a President invokes God as an authority. We fought a war of independence to free ourselves from such theocratic tyranny.

    One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

    by RandomActsOfReason on Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 05:15:19 PM PDT

    •  He put the general principle in Christian terms (0+ / 0-)

      framing the argument in the idiom in which they are more comfortable. No problem there.

      If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man,
      but it would deteriorate the cat. - SC/MT / -9.5, -7.0

      by Amayi on Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 05:27:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is a problem (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rieux

        He's not the president of Judeo-Christian Americans, but of all Americans. Framing this in sectarian tersm is divisive. It suggests that Judeo-Christian morality is preeminent, and that there are no universal principles that can be argued that could appeal to everyone.

        IT also doesn't even work within the Judeo-Christian population, since, as we all know, everyone interprets the Bible, and the world of God, differently.

        It also suggests that most of the people screaming about this issue are deliberate liars, which is not the case. Most of the people screaming about this issue are either ignorant (which is the case for most of the hysteria at the town halls) or so fervent in their dogmatic beliefs that a "little lie" feels justified for the "greater good".

        If anything, it is the notion that morality is divine, supernatural and encompassed in the 10 Commandments that is responsible for much of the anti-progressive hysteria in America.

        The primary arguments against a woman's right to an abortion, against stem cell research, against same sex marriage, against the teaching of evolution, against recognition of anthropogenic climate change, against human humility in general, are based in Biblical beliefs.

        The answer is not to point to the 10 Commandments. If it were, we should have them up in every courtroom in America.

        Oh wait, that is exactly what theocrats want.

        If telling a lie is wrong only because of the 9th Commandment, then we are all in trouble.

        And there are no private discussions any more. The President is always speaking to all the people.

        He just never speaks in my language, sadly. The best I can hope for is that this president, unlike his predecessor, acknowledges my existence.

        He still speaks as though he merely tolerates me, rather than embraces me as part of the American fabric. I guess I'm supposed to be grateful that he doesn't say I'm neither a patriot or a citizen.

        One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

        by RandomActsOfReason on Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 05:38:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Gee, I wonder how he'll frame... (0+ / 0-)

    ... the argument when he addresses a delegation of atheists. I guess he could employ phrases like...oh, wait a minute. I forgot that people who don't love Jesus (or whomever) aren't considered full Americans and won't be getting an audience with the President. Silly of me. Carry on....

      •  Is it, really? (0+ / 0-)

        Can you point us to a public policy speech where Obama quotes Dawkins from "The God Delusion"?

        Or, hell, just quotes Jefferson or Madison or Adams or Franklin on the evils of organized religion in general, and Christianity in particular?

        How about these - can you cite me ANY president in the past one hundred years who has ever quoted these words from our founders and the Framers of our Constitution?

        "Question with boldness even the existence of a god." - Thomas Jefferson

        "Religions are all alike - founded upon fables and mythologies." - Thomas Jefferson

        "During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution." - James Madison

        "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise." - James Madison

        "That Jesus Christ was not God is evidence from his own words." - Ethan Allen

        "Twenty times in the course of my late reading have I been on the point of breaking out,'This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it!!!'"
        -- John Adams, in letter to Thomas Jefferson

        "If by religion we are to understand sectarian dogmas, in which no two of them agree, then your exclamation on that hypothesis is just, 'that this would be the best of worlds if there were no religion in it.'"
        -- Thomas Jefferson, in his reply to Adams' letter

        What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not. - James Madison

        "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter."
        -- Thomas Jefferson

        "The hocus-pocus phantasm of a god like another Cerberus, with one body and three heads, had its birth and growth in the blood of thousands and thousands of martyrs."
        -- Thomas Jefferson

        "The Christian God can be easily pictured as virtually the same as the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel, evil and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed, beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of the people who say they serve him. The are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites."
        -- Thomas Jefferson

        Can a free government possibly exist with the Roman Catholic religion?
        -- John Adams

        "I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded upon fables and mythologies. The Christian God is a being of terrific character -- cruel, vindictive, capricious, and unjust..." Thomas Jefferson

        I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved -- the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!
        -- John Adams

        God is an essence that we know nothing of. Until this awful blasphemy is got rid of, there never will be any liberal science in the world.
        -- John Adams

        Of all the nonsense and delusion which had ever passed through the mind of man, none had ever been more extravagant than the notions of absolutions, indelible characters, uninterrupted successions, and the rest of those fantastical ideas, derived from the canon law, which had thrown such a glare of mystery, sanctity, reverence, and right reverend eminence and holiness around the idea of a priest as no mortal could deserve ... the ridiculous fancies of sanctified effluvia from episcopal fingers.
        -- John Adams

        "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." Benjamin Franklin

        "Lighthouses are more helpful than churches." Benjamin Franklin

        This one would be perfect for a Prayer Breakfast speech or a talk at Rick Warren's megachurch:

        Ecclesiastical establishments tend to great ignorance and corruption, all of which facilitate the execution of mischievous projects. - James Madison

        How about it? Ever hear our president mention one of those anywhere - even at a meeting with atheists? After all, he's just "using the language of" the group he's talking to, right?

        Can you provide any documented instances of any president in the past one hundred years uttering ANY of these quotes (or any of the myriad of other clear and unambiguous expressions of similar sentiment by our most revered founding figures) to ANY audience at ANY time?

        Not one?

        Then, perhaps the comment you refer to is not "dumbass" after all.

        One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

        by RandomActsOfReason on Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 11:48:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Although I appreciate your sentiment... (0+ / 0-)

    When can we get religion out of politics?

    I don't agree that Obama needs to speak "code" to appease the the Religious folks.

    Sorry but we've had that on overload with Bush...

    Ever since Jerry Fallwell's "Moral Majority" religion has poisoned our civil discourse... and visa versa... Politics has poisoned religion.

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