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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > Obama: Separation of Church/State?

Obama: Separation of Church/State?
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Jawbone54
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Dec 1, 2009, 04:15 PM
 
I'm wondering how strident "KEEP 'EM SEPARATE!" types here on 'NN feel about Obama's comments to 140,000 people of faith, requesting they push health care reform from their pulpits...

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 spoke to about 140,000 people of faith in a conference call and webcast Wednesday evening. He and a White House official discussed the moral dimension of health care, telling the mostly Christian audience that "this debate over health care goes to the heart of who we are as a people."
"I am going to need your help in accomplishing necessary reform," Obama said, according to Rabbi Jack Moline of Virginia, whose Twitter feed has since been scrubbed of the information.

Obama told the rabbis that "we are God's partners in matters of life and death" and asked them to "tell the stories of health care dilemmas to illustrate what is a stake" in their sermons, Moline wrote.

Critics say Obama's message seemed to "cross a line" and imply a kind of "scriptural or holy support for the program."

"I can't imagine why it would be appropriate for a president even to suggest a partnership with God somehow was connected to his ideas for health care," said the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.
I personally don't feel comfortable backing individual politicians from behind the pulpit. I've been critical of many things, but they're more cultural than political. I've never stood behind a pulpit, whether it be in front of our general congregation or in youth service, and bashed or praised health care reform.

I'm just curious as to why President Obama thought this was okay.
     
The Final Dakar
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Dec 1, 2009, 04:16 PM
 
I'll put it this way: Bush would be crucified for this (pun intended).
     
Jawbone54  (op)
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Dec 1, 2009, 04:23 PM
 
I briefly thought of a quick Photoshop job. "Briefly" as in about 0.001 seconds. I like my job too much to put something like that out on the Internet.

But yeah, that's my thought exactly. Double standards are out of control in the political arena (and yes, that extends to the media).
     
SpaceMonkey
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Dec 1, 2009, 04:43 PM
 
Yeah, pretty dumb.

"One ticket to Washington, please. I have a date with destiny."
     
besson3c
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Dec 1, 2009, 04:47 PM
 
I think that the notion of making health care affordable/available to rich and poor is a moral issue, as is arguably the whole exploitation of the pre-existing condition loophole (which you can argue is a form of theft), but I have a problem with what Obama did too because this gets into the *means* in which we accomplish these goals politically.

Regardless of how we get there, which plan it is, whether there is a public option or not, whether Democrats and Republicans like the plan, whatever else is political territory. I'm sure we can all agree upon the idea that taking all of the political and political philosophical stuff aside that health care should be affordable and/or available to everybody with no strings attached, as this is moral. When you go beyond this, I agree that you cross the line.
     
Dork.
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Dec 1, 2009, 04:50 PM
 
So, how did that go? This article is from August, so I'm guessing all the "pushing from the pulpit" is done by now....
     
The Final Dakar
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Dec 1, 2009, 04:51 PM
 
The timeliness of the PL has declined steadily in the past 5 years.
     
SpaceMonkey
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Dec 1, 2009, 04:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar
The timeliness of the PL has declined steadily in the past 5 years.
And still no one will respond to my Alien and Sedition Acts thread.

"One ticket to Washington, please. I have a date with destiny."
     
besson3c
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Dec 1, 2009, 04:59 PM
 
Speaking of the state, have you guys ever checked out this site? It's a pretty new site, and sure sounds like a good way to empower politicians/the state.
     
Chuckit
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Dec 1, 2009, 05:06 PM
 
I think my take is a bit different from most people's. I don't think it's inappropriate for Obama to suggest things to religious leaders, per se, because he wasn't speaking with any legal authority. He's not ordering them around or offering them anything more than an idea. But religious leaders who tell their congregations how to vote are crossing a line.
Chuck
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Chongo
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Dec 1, 2009, 05:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
I briefly thought of a quick Photoshop job. "Briefly" as in about 0.001 seconds. I like my job too much to put something like that out on the Internet.

But yeah, that's my thought exactly. Double standards are out of control in the political arena (and yes, that extends to the media).
Remember, Democrats have campaigned in churches for decades with no fear from the IRS or the FEC.
Who can for get this one.
Al Gore's Clinton Moment His protests of innocence about the Buddhist temple fundraiser look very squishy. - February 7, 2000
     
besson3c
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Dec 1, 2009, 05:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
I think my take is a bit different from most people's. I don't think it's inappropriate for Obama to suggest things to religious leaders, per se, because he wasn't speaking with any legal authority. He's not ordering them around or offering them anything more than an idea. But religious leaders who tell their congregations how to vote are crossing a line.

Where is the line drawn between rallying/cheerleading campaign style vs. lobbying/cutting deals? What about if this were to happen in reverse?
     
   
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