God’s New Partner

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August 20, 2009 | Comments

So now God is the tool. The man tried velvet. The man called out the media, and he toyed with the race card. He tried threats, he tried guilt, and he tried civil rights in his unceasing quest for that magic bullet that will finally win the masses over to his side on the socialized health-care debate/debacle. As all else has failed, he now turns to God.

God has indeed played a prominent role in the characterization of Barack Obama. Our President has been likened to God by the news media he carries around in his pocket, jokes about his anointing are rampant, and he has been facetiously christened “the messiah” by those who object to his image as someone beyond criticism, beyond reproach, beyond media scrutiny, and beyond all human frailty. But yesterday, in a calculated quest for victory, he tried a new tact: He played the God card.

Yesterday for the first time, the President of the United States readily accepted the whole God connection that has long hounded him, when he stated to a gathering of rabbis that “we are God’s partners in matters of life and death.” Clever move. We can’t say no to God, can we? And if God speaks through Barack Obama, now apparently self-elevated to spiritual leader of the people, on such pesky matters as life and death, well, who are we to argue?

To say that I am horrified by such a shameless display of arrogance would be an understatement of explosive proportions (and I’m hoping God isn’t all that impressed either). While I personally believe that the President has gotten a charge out of the God/Supreme Being comparisons, I never dreamed he would so openly jump on that train. And to a gathering of rabbis, no less. Did they give him a pass?  I don’t know. I hope they didn’t.

 I can tell you that my family’s parish priest certainly would have called him on it. A veteran with a fierce love for America, our pastor has been quite honest and heartfelt in sharing his feelings about the prospect of the government deciding who among us should live and who should die. This, he has stated unequivocally, not only violates the Christian faith and all faiths that value the human spirit, but also the founding documents of our nation that grant us the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” As someone who has also read these documents, I don’t remember seeing mention of government bureaucrats or czars determining how the first item on that list will be managed, distributed and controlled.

But it didn’t end there. Oh, no. After proclaiming his divine partnership on Wednesday, his newfound position as spiritual leader, the President today informs us – by way of yet another health-care campaign event with a gathering of clergy – that to oppose these promising health-care proposals is, essentially, akin to committing a sin. Peppering his prepared speech with biblical references, he admonished us to “be our brother’s keeper” (a mission he accused us of neglecting and failing to uphold), he referred to passage of his health-care bill as our “core moral obligation,” and he accused those who don’t support his agenda as “bearing false witness.”

As Dana Carvey’s classic Saturday Night Live Church Lady of Church Chat fame back in the 80s might ooze in her imitable nasal whine: “W…e…e…e…l…l…l, isn’t that special.”

Though the President’s media pals tried valiantly to underplay it, we are all well aware of the church that God’s new partner and his family attended over the past decades, and the incendiary messages that emanated from its pulpit (though the President apparently missed them). Those of us who have spent that same amount of time in, shall we say, more traditional houses of worship – Christian and Jewish alike – we are left wondering not only how and when God decided that the President of the United States – any President of the United States – would now be his equal partner in “matters of life and death,” but also how we missed the commandment that opposing the presidential/congressional agenda was essentially a sin. I never heard Charlton Heston read that one from those stone tablets.

I am reminded of the magnificent mini-series “I, Claudius,” when a crazed emperor Caligula confesses joyfully to his uncle Claudius that he has become a god. It’s good to be king, we have long heard, but according to John Hurt’s Caligula, and perhaps a certain president we know, as well, it’s even better to be a God – or at least God’s partner. The God-fearing men who wrote our country’s founding documents were guided by the desire to protect the grand experiment that is our country from monarchy. Methinks they never would have dreamed that someone would someday come along, bypass the lowly king level altogether, and grasp for the exalted deity ring instead.

Most who know God can recognize what is authentic and what isn’t, the first sign of authenticity being humility. It is downright embarrassing and disgraceful to see our God used as a threat, a tool, a club, for phony, political pandering. Even more disgraceful, would be for men and women of God to give such pandering a pass.

Betsy Siino | Comments

Who Do They Think We Are?

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August 12, 2009 | Comments

Perhaps the question above would be better posed as “How stupid do they think we are?” — “they,” of course, being those on the political left, who have made their answer to this query abundantly clear for years. Oppose the left, profess your allegiance to conservative and even traditional American values, and, despite your level of education and life experience, you are a toothless, illiterate shlub, clinging to your guns, your Bible and your family.

Today our own government regards any who oppose its extreme left-wing agenda in this same light, and they are not afraid to say it. Case in point: HR 3200, the notorious “health care” bill being touted by the President and his democratic Congress. As public support for this bill plummets, the administration and the dems are becoming more livid by the second. They have thus resorted to name-calling, a tradition that began at the beginning of this administration’s “rule,” when those who oppose government takeover of industry, finance, health care and such, were christened “right-wing extremists” (especially valid for those who happen to be members of the NRA, oppose abortion, or are returning home from a tour of duty in the United States military).

Now that the health-care debate has caught fire, Americans who have never protested anything are showing up in droves at town hall meetings and protests across the nation, channeling eloquently the spirit of Thomas Paine to express their opposition to what they consider a dangerous and un-American piece of legislation. In response these fledgling protesters have sustained a steady tirade of insults from their own elected officials, and even the White House itself, each barrage becoming more shrill and hysterical and extreme by the day. They’re un-American! An unruly mob! Brooks Brothers brigade! Astroturfers with manufactured anger! They’re sabotaging democracy! They’re Nazis! Terrorists! The KKK! Brown shirts! And, when all else has failed, the ever popular: They’re just racists.

The more incendiary their pronouncements, the left has believed, the more frightened we toothless masses will become, and the more likely we will finally shut our mouths (just as you suggested, Mr. President), crawl back under our rocks in fear and surrender, and allow the almighty government to do what is best for the collective.

So I must ask again: Just who do they think we are?

Obviously they have no idea. His own frustration escalating, the President called out his unions and various, shall we say, community activists, to wreak havoc at town halls and protests, to “punch back twice as hard.” Several victims of physical assault can testify to the success of this tactic. The White House also launched what has become known as “the snitch line” on its website, asking supporters to report anyone who, through email or “casual conversation,” might be spreading negative, misguided or otherwise “fishy” opinions and information about HR 3200. While supporters have apparently obeyed this order, demonized Americans have also answered the call, reporting themselves to the White House for their opposition to nationalized government health care, end-of-life counseling, health-care rationing, and socialism in general.

And again the left — from White House to Congress to mainstream-media conspirators to community-organized groups and unions, are shocked to discover that in the wake of such not-so-veiled threats and attacks, the American people still refuse to succumb. Oh no, the opposite has occurred, typically the result when one threatens the American spirit. The left, in turn, is stunned to learn not only that we have teeth, but we also know how to read, and many of us have actually put this latter skill to use and read HR 3200. So when we stand up to speak at protests and town halls (true town halls, not phony, staged, presidential town halls, of course), we come armed with facts, figures, and direct quotes.

The startled politicos at the receiving end of such informed and heartfelt dissent are hiding in their offices and refusing to explain why they themselves are exempt from the plan to which they seek to sentence the rest of us. They appear even more foolish and frightened when we scan the faces of those they are attacking, insulting and evading: grandmothers, grandfathers, moms, dads and kids, veterans, working people, students, taxpayers, consumers, professionals….Americans who are perfectly capable of running their own lives and will not tolerate a government intent on damaging their families. I look in the eyes of these people, these Americans, and I see no evidence of collusion or fraud. And no evidence of fear.

Then I look into the eyes of the name-callers, those standing behind elevated podiums at community centers or behind desks in network newsrooms, calling their voters, their audiences, ignorant fools, terrorists and thugs. In the faces of those name-callers…that is where I see the fear. The vitriol the left has released against the American public seems indeed to have hit the intended targets, yet, finding these targeted Americans draped in an unexpected armor, it has ricocheted back on the individuals who fired that first misguided shot. Terrified of anything so authentic, they are left dazed and uncertain, forced to acknowledge, even if only in the quiet of their own souls, that the anger and the love of country they are witnessing at these gatherings of Americans is real – and undeniably American.

Betsy Siino | Comments