God for Obamacare …
By: Dr. Paul Kengor
Editor’s note: A longer version of this article first appeared at American Spectator.
Liberals are apoplectic over remarks by Dr. Ben Carson at the National Prayer Breakfast. Carson, a prominent pediatric surgeon from Johns Hopkins University, dared to weigh in on healthcare—something he knows something about. In the liberal mind, Carson committed a grave transgression; he disagreed with President Obama on healthcare at a faith venue, and in Obama’s presence.
In discussing Carson’s moral effrontery, Candy Crowley, host of CNN’s “State of the Union,” asked panelists if they were offended by Carson’s comments. “He [Carson] was talking about the idea of, you know, weaving the Bible into some objections he appears to have with the president’s approach,” said Crowley. Count Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky among the offended. She told Crowley: “I think it’s … not really an appropriate place to make this kind of political speech and to invoke God as his [Carson’s] support for that kind of point of view.”
In truth, what the likes of Crowley and Schakowsky object to is the mere fact that Carson publicly disagreed with Obama on healthcare, especially in the context of faith. For liberal Democrats, conservative Republicans should never use their faith to disagree; only liberal Democrats enjoy such freedoms. I could give a thousand examples illustrating the point; I’ve written entire books doing so. For now, however, here are some particularly salient examples involving Obama, liberals, and healthcare reform:
From the first year of Obama’s presidency, the religious left (Obama included) incessantly claimed God’s support for their vision of healthcare reform.
In August 2009, Obama addressed a “virtual gathering” of 140,000 religious left individuals—a huge conference call to liberal Christians, Jews, and other people of faith. Obama told them he was “going to need your help” in passing healthcare. Obama penitently invoked a period of “40 days,” a trial of deliverance from conservative evildoers. He lifted up the brethren, assuring them, “We are God’s partner in matters of life and death.”
Like a great commissioning, in the 40 days that followed the religious left was filled with the spirit. A group called the Religious Institute—led by Rev. Debra Hafner and representing 4,800 clergy—went wild stumping for Obamacare. Other religious left faithful joined the crusade.
A group of 59 leftist nuns sent Congress a letter urging passage of Obamacare. This was in direct defiance of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which insisted the bill “must be opposed” because of its refusal to explicitly ban abortion funding. The liberal media cheered on the nuns, gleefully exaggerating their influence. In a breathtaking display, the Los Angeles Times beamed, “Nuns’ support for health-care bill shows [Catholic] Church split.” Amazingly, the Times reported that the nuns’ letter represented not 59 nuns—but 59,000! Like Jesus with the loaves, the Times (normally militantly secular) had demonstrated miraculous powers of multiplication.
The nuns’ brazenness was matched by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a Roman Catholic, who, in March 2010, invoked the Solemnity of the Feast of St. Joseph on behalf of Obamacare. She urged American Catholics to “pray to St. Joseph” for Obamacare.
That was prelude to what happened March 21, 2010, A.D., a rare vote not merely on a Sunday—God’s day—but the final Sunday in Lent, the week before Palm Sunday that initiates the Lord’s Passion. Obama’s healthcare bill was passed by his Democratic Congress. To Obama, Pelosi, and the religious left faithful, Jesus had gotten his healthcare package, and they had been his loyal handmaidens.
If all of that seems hypocritical enough from liberals, in light of their castigation of Dr. Ben Carson, consider this glaring double standard:
At the National Prayer Breakfast two years ago, February 3, 2011, Obama stated: “Sometimes what I can do to try to improve the economy or to curb foreclosures or to help deal with the healthcare system—sometimes it seems so distant and so remote, so profoundly inadequate to the enormity of the need. And it is my faith, then, that biblical injunction to serve the least of these, that keeps me going and that keeps me from being overwhelmed.”
Yes, Barack Obama, at the National Prayer Breakfast, invoked his faith and the Bible on behalf of healthcare reform—much like he has done on behalf of gay marriage and other liberal agenda items.
Question for Ms. Crowley and Rep. Schakowsky and liberals everywhere: Was this appropriate? Are you offended?
But now, here comes one Ben Carson, pediatric surgeon with more than 50 honorary doctorates, named one of America’s 20 foremost physicians by CNN and TIME, and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the nation’s highest civilian honor. He disagreed with Obama and the liberal faithful. His price: political excommunication. In Alinsky fashion, he will now be isolated and demonized. How dare he bring up healthcare at the National Prayer Breakfast.
Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values. His books include "The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism," and his latest release, "Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century."